Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Announcements from CSJ!

Adrienne Little from Congregations for Social Justice would like to invite you to a few events coming up in the next few weeks. Kindra Bradley will be speaking TONIGHT at Quaker House. If you have any questions please call Adrienne at (919) 781-0829.
Challenging Racism and Islamophobia workshop
       When: Saturday, March 24, 2-5pm
       Where: Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Raleigh, 3313 Wade Ave, Raleigh, NC 27607 
The Movement to End Racism and Islamophobia (“MERI”) will present an interactive presentation on Islamophobia and racism, including a discussion of real life scenarios of Islamophobia and how to respond. They will provide examples of solidarity actions, information about upcoming events and other resources to allow long-term actions in defeating Islamophobia and racism. Please contact Pat Butler at patabutler3@gmail.com to sign up to learn techniques to help you in putting your faith into action.

Quaker House Speaker    
       When: March 20 at 7:00 
       Where: Highland UMC Conference Room, 1901 Ridge Road, Raleigh 
Quaker House Speaker Kindra Bradley, Quaker House Executive Director, will speak about the work at Quaker House counseling men and women in the army at Fort Bragg and their families, dealing with GI Rights, Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Moral Injury. Quaker House has been the “Front-Line Mission for Peace” in Fayetteville, since 1969 exposing, witnessing, and helping heal the invisible or hidden wounds of war.

Roadmap to Peace: Moving Together Toward Racial Healing 
A Reconciliation Weekend with Rev. Dr. Brenda Salter McNeil
See Attached Flier for details
    When:Friday, April 6 - 7:00 p.m.  Dessert, Coffee & Our “WHY”
    Where: Holy Trinity Anglican Church, 549 N. Blount Street-Raleigh

    When: Saturday, April 7 - 9:30 AM - Dinner
    Where: St. Francis United Methodist Church, 2965 Kildaire Farm Road-Cary

    When: Sunday, April 8 - 10:30  a.m.  JOINT WORSHIP SERVICE
    Where: Mt. Sinai Holy Church & Redeemer Anglican, 301 S. Swain Street-Raleigh
$25 for the weekend or $15 for Saturday only.  Click HERE for tickets.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Easter Cross

Cross shape covered with fresh flowers
A cross is placed in the courtyard to celebrate Christ’s resurrection Easter Sunday.  We encourage you to bring a flower(s) to adorn it after the service.

Psalm 118:24:  This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

- from Jeanne Ledbetter for the Deacons Ministry

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Gathering in Spirit: An Experiential Lenten Retreat

Saturday, March 31, 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
CUCC building, grounds, and beyond

Join us as we experience Holy Saturday together through meditation, prayer, creative expression, journey, and community. This 2 hour retreat, facilitated by our Diaconate, will provide a series of opportunities that will allow us to draw closer to Spirit as we prepare for Resurrection Sunday.

The creative experiences were designed with all ages in mind.  A caregiver will be available to assist children with the activities.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Lectionary for the Week of March 18, 2018

Lectionary for the Week of March 18, 2018 - Fifth Sunday in Lent - Violet
Jeremiah 31:31-34; Psalm 51:1-12 or Psalm 119:9-16;
Hebrews 5:5-10; John 12:20-33


Sunday    03/18       
    9:00am  Nursery provided
    9:00am  Taizé Worship – Sanctuary
    9:15am  Courageous Faith Book Discussion - Bradow Room
    9:15am “Animate Spiritual Practices” - Hoffmann 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 International Mission Team Planning Meeting - Hoffmann Rm
  12:00pm Stewardship Ministry Meeting - Library
  12:00pm Lenten Prayer Circle - Bradow Room
    4:00pm Covenant Community - Bradow Room
                   Wright Center Meal

Monday 03/19   
  12:15pm Monday Lunch Group - Hoffmann Room
    6:30pm Church Council Meeting - Hoffmann Room

Tuesday 03/20 
    9:30am Office Staff Meeting - Pilgrim House
Wednesday 03/21 
    9:30am Tai Chi – Vaughan Fellowship Hall
Thursday 03/22
 11:00am Arts in Bloom - North Carolina Museum of Art
   7:00pm Lenten Workshop - “Restorative Yoga”  - Sanctuary
Saturday 03/24 
  9:00am Meet at Church Parking Lot for March for Our Lives
10:00am March for Our Lives - Duke Energy Center
  9:00am Church Wide Workday - CUCC
  9:30am Saturday Morning Book Club – Library

Sunday 03/25     Palm/Passion Sunday
  9:00am Nursery provided
  9:00am Taizé Worship – Sanctuary
  9:15am Courageous Faith Book Discussion - Bradow Room
  9:15am “Animate Spiritual Practices” - Hoffmann Room
  9:30am Choir Practice - Sanctuary
10:30am Worship Service -  Sanctuary - Children Sing in Worship
10:45am Children’s Sunday School - Sunday School Rooms
10:45am Youth Sunday School - Youth Room
11:45am Fellowship - Vaughan Fellowship Hall
12:00pm Children’s Easter Egg Hunt - Church Grounds
  4:00pm Covenant Community - Bradow Room

One Great Hour of Sharing

On April 1, Easter Sunday, CUCC will collect the One Great Hour of Sharing special offering. Through One Great Hour of Sharing, lives are literally changed daily. Your support provides clean water, food, medicines, shelter, healthcare, education and so much more.

What is One Great Hour of Sharing?
One Great Hour of Sharing, as part of Our Churches Wider Mission, is the special mission offering of the United Church of Christ that carries God’s message of love and hope to people in crisis. The UCC works with international partners to provide sources of clean water, food, education and health care, small business micro-credit, advocacy and resettlement for refugees and displaced persons, and emergency relief and rehabilitation.  OGHS also supports domestic and international ministries for disaster preparedness and response.  

Who participates in One Great Hour of Sharing?
Seven Christian denominations - 
American Baptist Church, African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Church of the Brethren, Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Presbyterian Church (USA), the United Church of Christ, and Church World Service work together to develop common promotional materials thereby sharing ideas, costs, and a commitment to faithful service. Each denomination receives and manages its respective OGHS offerings, and together raise over $10 million annually.

From the Pastor

Psalm 51:10-12; Daily Lenten Devotional, Luther Seminary 
    Prayer for Cleansing and Pardon

Create in me a clean heart, O God,
    and put a new and right spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from your presence,
    and do not take your holy spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
    and sustain in me a willing spirit.

We heard the words of this psalm just a few weeks ago on Ash Wednesday when we began our
Lenten journey. Out of fear we tend to gloss over our mortality, the importance of our lives, our work, our loves crowding out the “ashes to ashes, dust to dust” truth that is our temporal reality. Then by extension, we also gloss over our shortcomings, the damage we have done to others and our world, often without intention. Our limited time means limited vision. We have polluted, discriminated, hoarded, degraded and abandoned because our own survival demanded it—or so we tell ourselves. Lent invites us to stop and see with God’s eyes. The psalmist’s words could be spoken from our hearts, gloss banished, reality fully lit. We are invited to stand, revealed in God’s presence and along with the psalmist, believe that God is there to hear our confession, merciful and forgiving.

Create in us a clean heart, O God. Restore to us the joy of your salvation. Amen.

Spirit is leading the way, 

Rev. Jenny Shultz-Thomas

How did my article wind up on the Moon when I wanted it in the Sunday Announcements?

Are you confused about where your submitted information is being posted?  Expecting to see it in one place and finding it in another? You are not alone!

The Communications Committee has been diligently working on updating our communications tools in order to better support our church life together. To that effect, we have tweaked a few things. To publicize your information:

Your email submissions should include a subject line heading specific to your request, i.e. Submission for Weekly eNews, Submission for Sunday Morning Announcements, etc. The office may have to edit content for space. Time sensitive articles will have priority.

Please send your ready-to-go article to the church office:(office.cucc@gmail.com) AND to Jane Smith:
smithjeg@mindspring.com), by Tuesday morning, 9:00am.

Still confused?  No problem! Contact the church office at 919-809-8850 and we shall be confused together.

March for Our Lives, Saturday, March 24, 2018

March for Our Lives, Saturday, March 24, 2018
Show your continuing support for our youth as they are working toward an end to gun violence. Please join us as we march in the Raleigh March for Our Lives. This march is in unison with the Washing D.C. march. To carpool, meet in the church parking lot at 9:00am or meet at The Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts. We will march to Halifax Mall (16 W. Jones St.) where the rally will take place. For additional info, contact Śānti Matthews at education.cucc@gmail.com

Sisters in Spirit - (SIS)

Sisters in Spirit (SIS) will meet on the fourth Tuesday, March 27, 6:30pm, at the home of Vivian Hunter for potluck and lively discussion.  Contact Vivian at vivian.hunter@gmail.com or 919-782-8100 for directions and additional information. All women of the church are invited.

Alert: Annual Spring Church Auction Right Around the Corner!

SAVE THE DATE!  CUCC Annual Church Auction
Saturday, April 21, 2018, 6:30pm, Vaughan Fellowship Hall

Print donation form and turn into office

Submit your donation online

From Paul Atkinson’s Stewardship Ministry Moment:

Let’s be honest, some fundraisers are just terrible. For instance, a few years ago I bought an off-road vehicle at a blind auction. Got it delivered. It was an inner-tube raft.

Rest assured, however, this year’s auction at CUCC will be the opposite of terrible. Better than your average auction, it will be a fun-filled night with friends. And everyone will go home a winner... at least in their own minds.

There will be drinks, hors d'oeuvres, laughter and games. We’ll even hold a heads or tails competition where the winner will take home a dinner-for-two gift certificate from a posh and swanky restaurant. There will be a slew of exciting silent auction items and insanely great live auction items. 

Could it be your chance to win a special gift certificate for your sweetheart? Or perhaps you’ll cash in on a special vacation package. Or maybe a yoga class. Or that much-needed babysitting service. And don’t forget… the luckiest of you will snag a bee hive demonstration from our very own Bill Lamb!

Also, because giving is far better than receiving, please know there are many ways each of us may contribute to this growing list of auction items. To encourage donations, we’re even going to host a friendly competition. It won’t be based on the cash value of what is donated. No... it’s much more sophisticated than that. When you donate an item to CUCC’s auction, you’ll also have the opportunity to submit one tongue-in-cheek auction item. 

What’s a tongue-in-cheek auction item, you ask? A tongue-in-cheek auction item is completely fabricated, and meant to be delivered as a joke at your own, or loved one’s, expense. Let me share a few examples from the Atkinson household. Our family offers the following tongue-in-cheek items:

·       Susan will teach you how to grow your very own mushroom garden in the refrigerator vegetable drawer! 
·        Mason will provide 3 minutes of lawn service before wandering off to listen to his iPod.
·       Cooper will give a workshop on how to make others think you are really listening.
·       Paul will give a workshop on how to deliberately not listen, and make no bones about it.
·       Our dog Petey will provide free sock and underwear shredding, with a volume limit of 3 cubic feet. He’ll need at least a week to get through that much.
·       Make sense? We’ll collect tongue-in-cheek auction items at the start of the event. During the live auction, we’ll read them and let the audience cast their votes. The winner will receive their very own ceremonial crown and be appointed the 2018 CUCC Auction King or Queen. 

Last, another way CUCC’s auction will be better than your average auction, is we will include people of ALL ages - both young adults AND those with a bit more seasoning. But wait, there’s more! Childcare WILL ALSO BE PROVIDED! Hooray! Now everyone can attend! 

So please do yourselves a favor, folks. Go ahead - pull out those cell phones and mark this very special date on your calendars. Saturday, April 21st at 6:30 PM. We hope to see you there. And with some luck, perhaps you’ll win the fantastic luxury item provided by one of our most generous, anonymous donors……….. A genuine inner tube raft.

You can donate auction items using the 2018 Auction Form found at the back of the sanctuary, you can print a form or you can fill out a form online. Either way, submit your auction item by the deadline, April 16th and be sure to come and bid on your favorite item.

Lenten Offerings for Children

Children will gather for Sunday School each week after the Children’s Message in the 10:30am worship service. We study Bible stories, practice with the Children’s Choir and pray for each other and for the word.  Put these dates on your calendar:
     March 25:  Children will sing during the 10:30am Worship Service
                        Children will enjoy an Easter Egg Hunt immediately after worship on Palm Sunday

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Invitation to three community events

Congregations for Social Justice would like to invite us all to attend three events in the upcoming weeks. Learn how to end racism and Islamophobia at the Islamophobia and Racism Workshop. Be part of the process at the Avent Ferry Corridor Design Alternatives Presentation. And hear how to help at the conference: Bringing It Home: Ending Homelessness in NC. Please call Adrienne Little with any questions (919) 781-0829.  Adrienne is our Social Justice Ministry's representative to Congregations for Social Justice.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Lectionary for the Week of March 11, 2018 - Fourth Sunday in Lent

Lectionary for the Week of March 11, 2018 - Fourth Sunday in Lent - Violet
Numbers 21:4-9; Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22; Ephesians 2:1-10; John 3:14-21
Daylight Saving Time Begins March 11, 2018


  9:00am  Nursery provided
  9:00am  Taizé Worship – Sanctuary
  9:15am  Courageous Faith Book Discussion - Bradow Room
  9:15am “Animate Spiritual Practices” - Hoffmann 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 Caring Committee - Bradow Room
12:00pm Community Outreach Ministry Meeting - Hoffmann Room
12:00pm Memorial Garden Task Force Meeting - Pilgrim House
12:00pm Newcomer’s Coffee - Library
  4:00pm Covenant Community - Bradow Room
Monday 03/12 
12:15pm Monday Lunch Group - Hoffmann Room
Tuesday 03/13  
  9:30am Office Staff Meeting - Pilgrim House
 Wednesday 03/14  
  9:30am Tai Chi – Vaughan Fellowship Hall
12:00pm Communications Committee Meeting - Pilgrim House
 Thursday 03/15  
  7:00pm Lenten Workshop - “Restorative Yoga”  - Sanctuary
 Saturday 03/17 
  9:00am Nicaragua Slide Show - Vaughan Fellowship Hall
  9:30am Saturday Morning Book Club – Library
Sunday 03/18  
  9:00am Nursery provided
  9:00am Taizé Worship – Sanctuary
  9:15am Courageous Faith Book Discussion - Bradow Room
  9:15am “Animate Spiritual Practices” - Hoffmann 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 International Mission Team Planning Meeting - Hoffmann Rm
12:00pm Stewardship Ministry Meeting - Library
  4:00pm Covenant Community - Bradow Room

From the Pastor

Dear Friends,
Please receive these words from my friend and colleague, Pastor John Pavlovitz, from his blog, “Stuff That Needs to be Said”. My prayer for our faith community, and for our world, is that we will indeed LIVE.  ~ Blessings, Rev. Jenny Shultz-Thomas

On the Day I Die: by John Pavlovitz

On the day I die a lot will happen.  A lot will change. The world will be busy.
On the day I die, all the important appointments I made will be left unattended. The many plans I had yet to complete will remain forever undone. The calendar that ruled so many of my days will now be irrelevant to me. All the material things I so chased and guarded and treasured will be left in the hands of others to care for or to discard.

The words of my critics which so burdened me will cease to sting or capture anymore. They will be unable to touch me. The arguments I believed I’d won here will not serve me or bring me any satisfaction or solace. All my noisy incoming notifications and texts and calls will go unanswered. Their great urgency will be quieted. My many nagging regrets will all be resigned to the past, where they should have always been anyway.

Every superficial worry about my body that I ever labored over; about my waistline or hairline or frown lines, will fade away. My carefully crafted image, the one I worked so hard to shape for others here, will be left to them to complete anyway. The sterling reputation I once struggled so greatly to maintain will be of little concern for me anymore. All the small and large anxieties that stole sleep from me each night will be rendered powerless.

The deep and towering mysteries about life and death that so consumed my mind will finally be clarified in a way that they could never be before while I lived. These things will certainly all be true on the day that I die.

Yet for as much as will happen on that day, one more thing that will happen. On the day I die, the few people who really know and truly love me will grieve deeply. They will feel a void.  They will feel cheated.  They will not feel ready. They will feel as though a part of them has died as well. And on that day, more than anything in the world they will want more time with me. I know this from those I love and grieve over. 

And so knowing this, while I am still alive I’ll try to remember that my time with them is finite and fleeting and so very precious—and I’ll do my best not to waste a second of it. I’ll try not to squander a priceless moment worrying about all the other things that will happen on the day I die, because many of those things are either not my concern or beyond my control.

Friends, those other things have an insidious way of keeping you from living even as you live; vying for your attention, competing for your affections. They rob you of the joy of this unrepeatable, uncontainable, ever-evaporating Now with those who love you and want only to share it with you. Don’t miss the chance to dance with them while you can.

It’s easy to waste so much daylight in the days before you die. 
Don’t let your life be stolen every day by all that you’ve been led to believe matters, because on the day you die—the fact is that much of it simply won’t. 

Yes, you and I will die one day.

But before that day comes: let us live.