Wednesday, October 18, 2017

A note from the Pastor

Dear CUCC friends and neighbors,

As a reminder that we are all invited to the banquet, that showing up in the right clothes has nothing to do with our hair, shoes or dinner coats, but everything to do with wearing our scars, Marchaé Grair calls us to “do church differently”:

Blessed are the Broken
by Marchaé Grair

"My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise." - Psalm 51:17

I walked into a bar eager to go to a storytelling event, where people volunteer to tell their most personal stories to strangers.

This wasn't just any storytelling event. This was a storytelling church service.

Next to the doorway there was an invitation to write mini-stories that emcees would read during the program. The white slivers of paper read, "I still have scars from when…," prompting people to complete the sentence.

I submitted my mini-story, "I still have scars from when my dad disappeared for ten years," and took a seat.

I watched two storytellers talk about the things that scared them and the things that scarred them.

Then, the final storyteller took the stage. He just happened to be a pastor and friend who was preaching about the power in his brokenness.

His sermon was an offering for those of us who felt as if the scars of life are still fresh enough to become reopened wounds.

He encouraged us not to devalue ourselves because of the brokenness that is still a part of our lives.

He said our wounds and our scars don't make us too broken for anything—for love, for healing, or for closure.

I thought about the pain I still have from the father who was absent for most of my childhood and I realized that still wrestling with it didn't make me weak—it made me human.

This storytelling church wasn't church done differently. It was just church. And finding the beauty within the broken was pure scripture.

Minutes later, I sang "I Will Survive" at the top of my lungs, as I danced with 50 other people who suddenly knew that scars mark us but don't make us.

Prayer: Thank You for the stories in our scars.
Marchaé Grair is the Digital Content Manager at the United Church of Christ and editor of the UCC blog, New Sacred

Octoberfest - Saturday, October 21, 5:00pm - 8:00pm

Hi Friends! 
We are super excited about another fun night on the church lawn to hang out and enjoy the beauty of our amazing community! We will have a crew of Monty's bluegrass musicians providing the entertainment.

As always, we will need your help to pull this event off! Please RSVP to Jenny or Susan Atkinson with how you can help!

This is a potluck event with Paul, Jeff and Charles preparing meat on the grill: Brats/burgers/chicken. 

Please bring a side dish to share, and a lawn chair. We would especially like a few folks to bring some protein rich vegetarian or vegan dishes to share. We will make sure and label them for vegetarian/vegans. 

Here's how you can add to the party: PLEASE RSVP if you can HELP
*Thursday afternoon: 1-4pm, help Susan, Jenny and Santi with hanging flags, setting up the fence and other odd jobs

*Saturday, 4pm- Come an hour early to help with final odd and ends
- Children's play area, youth table, food set-up 

*Saturday, 8pm- Clean-up help! The more people pitch in the easier this will be.

Please RSVP if you can bring:
Beer & Wine 
Non-alcoholic beverages
Vegetarian/Vegan dish

As a special treat, the Nicaragua Youth Mission Team will be serving Pinolillo - a Nicaraguan iced chocolate drink!  

Thank you for celebrating the gift of community with us!!
Jenny Shultz-Thomas

Donor to double your donation to CROP

Walkers needed---CROP Hunger Walk is this Sunday Oct 22!

An anonymous donor is doubling all donations made by Sunday to the CUCC team ---so you can have a double impact on hunger now!

We are only halfway to our 20 walker goal--can you help us get there? Come out and enjoy a fun, family activity at 3:00pm at Court of North Carolina at NC State.

Register and/or donate here or just show up at 2:00 and look for Mike Soboeiro. We can end hunger and poverty and promote peace and justice! Join us!! Questions:  Contact Mike Soboerio.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Meet a short-term need for a refugee family

Young girl gives peace sign.  Behind her stand four girls holding thank you sign.
Make check to CUCC.
"Afghanistan Family" on memo line
Community Outreach Ministry recently learned of a refuge family from Afghanistan which needs financial support for rent and utilities due to an unfortunate and untimely illness of the mother.

The family includes a mother and five daughters aged 7 to 17.  They left Afghanistan in 2001 and lived in Pakistan for 15 years before coming to the US with the help of Lutheran Services.  The mother and oldest daughter have been working at various jobs since they arrived, so they can be financially independent.

The oldest daughter works part-time to support the family while going to high school.  All of the girls are very good students, and the older ones are taking AP and Honors classes with dreams of going to college.  Unfortunately, the company where the mother worked shut down in June, and in August an illness required her to have surgery.  This has significantly impacted her ability to find a new job.
This is a strong and motivated family working to excel in the face of adversity.  To help them bridge the gap during this hardship, we have set a goal of raising $2,000 to cover rent and utilities for two months.

If you, your family and friends can assist this family, please make your donation to CUCC and in the memo line of your check note Afghanistan Family.  CUCC continues to support our family of refugees and this request will not impact their support.

On behalf of this family and their mentor Iwona Birk, thank you!

Lena Gallitano
for Community Outreach Ministry

Friday, October 13, 2017

From the Pastor

Dear CUCC Friends and Neighbors,

October marks Domestic Violence Abuse Awareness Month. Statistics suggest that we all know someone who is currently living in an abusive situation or has suffered from domestic violence at some point in their past.  On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men. (

This week, we also celebrate National Coming Out Day as well as the International Day of the Girl. In 2011, as the result of youth advocacy around the world, the United Nations declared October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child. Its mission is “to help galvanize worldwide enthusiasm for goals to better girls’ lives, providing an opportunity for them to show leadership and reach their full potential.” (

As we already know, sharing our own stories holds the key to healing and empowerment. The Movement to End Violence reminds us:
“Storytelling is at the heart of what we do as advocates and movement builders. There’s a story behind why we started doing this work, a story that keeps us going, a story that connects us, and a story that will bring others along.” (

This week, I was part of a social media thread which included stories from female clergy, new seminary grads to retirees. The thread was a safe space to tell our stories, but the unfortunate truth is that these stories are not only from the past, but the present. Girls and women, all over the world, in our own communities, in our offices, in our own homes, are still living with violence.

This week is the Sandy Hook Promise, “Say Something” Week, which reinforces the power youth have to prevent tragedies and save lives when they Say Something to a trusted adult. This week, I encourage you to look closer, listen deeper, and “say something” if you have questions about someone’s safety.   Spirit is leading the way, Rev. Jenny Shultz-Thomas

Blessing of the Animals

Blessing of the Animals
Sunday, October 15, 2017
4:00pm - Church Grounds

A special time to thank God for the gift of our animals

All animals welcome.  Please bring animals on leashes or in their respective containers to make sure they and all the humans remain safe.

Lectionary for the Week of October 15, 2017

Lectionary for the Week of October 15, 2017 
Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Green
Exodus 33:12-23; Psalm 99 or Isaiah 45:1-7; Psalm 96:1-9, (10-13);
1 Thessalonians 1:1-10; Matthew 22:15-22


Sunday 10/15
  9:00am  Taizé Worship – Sanctuary
  9:30am  Seven Steps to Becoming a Better Ally - Fellowship Hall
  9:30am  Animate Faith - Hoffmann Room
  9:30am  Youth Confirmation Class - Youth Room
10:30am Worship Service  - Sanctuary - New Member Sunday
10:45am Children’s Sunday School - Sunday School Rooms
10:45am Youth Sunday School - Youth Room
1145am Fellowship - Vaughan Fellowship Hall
  4:00pm Blessing of the Animals - Church Grounds
  4:00pm Covenant Community - Bradow Room
Wright Center Meal
Monday 10/16
12:15pm Monday Lunch Group - Hoffmann Room
  6:30pm Church Council - Hoffmann Room

Tuesday 10/17 
10:30am Office Staff Meeting - Pilgrim House
  6:30pm Life & Faith in Raleigh - O’Malley’s Pub & Restaurant, 5228 Hollyridge Dr, Raleigh NC

Wednesday 10/18   
  9:30am Tai Chi – Vaughan Fellowship Hall
  6:00pm Bible Study - Pilgrim House
  7:30pm PFLAG - Vaughan Fellowship Hall
Saturday 10/21   
  9:30am Saturday Morning Book Club – Library
  5:00pm Octoberfest - Church Grounds
Sunday 10/22  
  9:00am Taizé Worship – Sanctuary
  9:30am Animate Faith - Hoffmann Room
  9:30am Seven Steps to Becoming a Better Ally - Fellowship Hall
  9:30am Youth Confirmation Class - Youth Room
10:30am Worship Service  - Sanctuary
10:45am Children’s Sunday School - Sunday School Rooms
10:45am Youth Sunday School - Youth Room
11:45am Fellowship - Vaughan Fellowship Hall
12:00pm Stewardship Ministry Meeting - Library
  3:00pm CROP Walk - NCSU, Court of the Carolinas
  4:00pm Covenant Community - Bradow Room 

Life & Faith - Oct. 17

October topic:  Tell us the story of you and your ally.  

Drop ins welcome!  Our next Life & Faith gathering will be
Tuesday, October 17, 6:30 PM to eat, 7PM conversation begins

At 9:30 adult church school, Annaka Sikkink is leading some of us through "Seven Steps to Becoming a Better Ally."  Without sharing personal details about your ally, tell us about what makes that person your ally.  What justice issue do you work on together?  How did you get over awkward moments?  How have you been there for each other?  What has your ally taught you about being an ally?

We'll use Annaka's definition of an ally; you might choose to substitute another word for something that divides us for the word "class."

An ally is a person who seeks to end poverty (or work for justice more broadly) and who partners with people from all (class) backgrounds to work toward that goal.  An ally develops personal, responsible, respectful and mutually beneficial relationships with people from different (class) backgrounds than him/herself.  These relationships are not necessarily friendships, but are at least respectful working relationships bound together by a common goal of ending poverty (working for justice).

Since some of us are taking Annaka's class and some are not, we'll have some fresh perspectives!

O’Malley’s Pub and Restaurant
5228 Hollyridge Dr, Raleigh
Look for us at the long table in the room on the left.

This fall our gatherings are not our regular Tuesdays.  Mark your calendars!
Oct. 17 (3rd Tuesday)
Nov. 14 (2nd Tuesday)
Dec 5 (1st Tuesday)

Anyone who wants to be part of the conversation can come to Life & Faith where we exchange ideas and practices for connecting what we believe to everyday situations and vice versa.  Friends are welcome.  Read more about food, tipping (!), and group agreements.

Creation Justice Video

 CUCC is part of the Southern Conference Creation Justice Network.  The network is featured in the national UCC's Three Great Loves/Love of Creation video campaign!  Please view this three-minute video -- you'll not only hear a powerful and uplifting message, you'll also see a a very familiar face from CUCC as well as some other people you may know.  See it here.
Submitted by Gary Smith for the Justice in a Changing Climate task force.

An invitation to love from Prism

Dori is a part of CUCC's Prism ministry and is putting a concert on for her brother who needs a kidney transplant. We are trying to support her. She asking for $25 per family or whatever anyone can give (less or more.) She is quite a hostess and I am sure it will be a good party. If you would like to share with others she would appreciate it I am sure. Thanks!

- submitted by Joy Alford Allridge for CUCC's Prism ministry in Wake Forest

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Yard Sale Donations Needed (and buyers, too!)

(and buyers, too!)

Robert Parrish is having a fundraiser to raise money for a guitar and to take lessons.  Jane Smith has offered her yard for the yard sale on Saturday, October 21.  If you have any items you would like to donate for the yard sale, please drop them off at Jane’s home on Friday evening between 6:00pm – 8:30pm.  If you need to drop off small items prior to Friday, October 21, you may drop them off at the church office during normal working hours.

Yard Sale for Guitar



TIME:             8:00 A.M.-11:00 P.M


                        GUITAR AND TO TAKE LESSONS

CROP WALK - Ending Hunger One Step at a Time - Sunday, October 22.

As people of faith, we are called to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty. We are called to help our neighbors here and around the world!

Join CUCC on Sunday, October 22nd, at 3:00pm for the Greater Triangle CROP Hunger Walk. It is a very fun, family friendly walk to raise funds and awareness.

Register online

Can’t walk on the 22nd?  Sponsor our team at the same website.  Every donation helps end hunger and save lives! Help us reach our goal of 20 walkers and $5000 raised!

New route for the 2018 CROP Hunger Walk
Questions: Maria Mayorga.

Please note there is a new starting point and route.  Route map or go to the Raleigh CROP WAlk website  and scroll down to where it says "click here for route map."

Sunday School News

      Our elementary, preschool and nursery classes are up and running!!! All is going well. Our volunteers and staff are working well together and our children are SAFE and HAPPY! Many thanks to everyone for making this happen for our children.
      We would love to have a kitchen in the preschool class. I thought I had one lined up to be donated, but it did not work out. It anyone has a preschool sized kitchen in good condition that they are no longer using we will gladly take it off your hands. 
      This year we donated 94.5 pounds of fresh vegetables to PLANT A ROW FOR THE HUNGRY through Logan's. Thank you to all who helped us by donating plants to the garden and delivering veggies to Logan's from their own gardens. This has truly been a group effort this year. Despite the hardships of this growing season we made a difference. YAY CUCC!!!
      Our elementary class is getting a wonderful addition. Many thanks to Lisa and Porter who are donating the materials and their time to turn our unusable chalk board into a white board. I am so excited to have this for the children. Also, thank you to Porter and Lisa, and Lei Covington-Jones who are donating markers for the new white board. The markers will be kept under lock and key.
Our children are again lucky to have Ann Moorman-Smith leading us for choir. We are working on a special song that we will share with you before Christmas. It is a song that I have wanted our children to learn for a long, long time.
      Cooking with Ms. Susan is coming up! Once again Ms. Susan will be planning  and directing our children as they provide Fellowship Refreshments the Sunday prior to Halloween (October 29). We will be cooking on Oct. 15 and Oct. 22. We will be serving on Oct. 29. Parent volunteers are needed to assist with clean up on Oct. 29. Please see Anne Bailey to volunteer. We only provide Fellowship refreshments twice a year (Halloween and Valentine's) so we only need you twice a year! Remember, many hands make light work!!!!!
     I will be away with my family on Nov. 12. Please contact me ( if you can help out on this Sunday.  Thank you, Anne Bailey