Friday, January 29, 2010

Is there a Christian response to the great recession?

You are invited to join a series of discussions on understanding our current economic issues and searching for just solutions.  Meet in the Fellowship Hall of Community United Church of Christ on five Tuesdays, from 7:30 to 9:00 P.M.  Questions?  Talk to Shirley or Don Birt or Cy King.

View and discuss the film, The Corporation       February 23 and March 2
Discuss David Korten's Agenda for a New Economy *     March 9 and 16 
Closing the Gap between the World We Have and the World We Want       March 23
*While you don't have to read the book to participate, the discussion leaders will assume that you have.
This study is in response to the congregation's direction that we study the possibility of developing and adopting an economic justice covenant for our church.  You can read a covenant adopted by the Southern Conference of the UCC to learn more about the ideas under discussion.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

February Forum Programs

February 7
Jerry Mikell, Administrative Coordinator of The Coalition for Peace with Justice, a coalition of individuals and groups working through education and advocacy to establish a just peace in Israel and Palestine.

February 14
Barbara Walsh, "Why a change in the Wake County School Board was necessary." An active parent in her children's schools in Cary, Barbara will talk about what led her to become a neighborhood activist pushing for changes in the Wake County School Board.

(Programs for February 21 and 28 will be announced later.)

Forum: January 31

"Appalachia Service Project Adult Work Trips"
Bill and Rosemary Pate

Bill and Rosemary Pate, volunteer leaders from the Appalachia Service Project summer work trips, are now organizing opportunities for adults to spend long weekends in Appalachia on ASP adult-only work trips. The Pates will show a video, tell of their experiences and answer questions about this opportunity to serve and share fellowship.

Appalachia Service Project (ASP) provides one of the most rewarding structured service opportunities in the nation -- bringing thousands of volunteers from around the country to rural Central Appalachia to repair homes for low-income families.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Pancake Brunch after Worship on Sunday, February 14

Come to a Shrove Sunday Pancake Brunch after church on Sunday, February 14. CUCC youth will be cooking up stacks of pancakes. So join in the fun, and help us to use up our butter and sugar before the Lenten season of living simply begins. (Sugar-free syrup will also be available). A free will offering will benefit the Yahve-Jire Orphanage in Port Au Prince, Haiti.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

"Kolya" -- Feb. 12 Movie Night

Jo and I found ourselves with a difference of opinion regarding the choice for the next "Movie Night" film. Since women significantly outnumbered men at our Jan. 22 movie, I'm going with Jo's feminine perspective and deferring to her. (Interestingly enough, both of us were were advocating a Czech film.) On Feb. 12 (7:30-9:30 PM) we'll feature "Kolya" (Czech Republic - 1996). This will make another good popcorn movie, and since this movie is a bit shorter (1 hr. 45 min.) we can enjoy a more leisurely evening. Here's the Netflix summary of "Kolya":

In Soviet Czechoslovakia, middle-aged concert cellist and bachelor Frantisek Louka (Zdenek Sverak) is strapped for cash, reduced to playing funerals, when a chance relationship results in his caring for a 5-year-old Russian boy, Kolja (Andrei Chalimon). Political turmoil is imminent on the eve of the Velvet Revolution, while Louka's own emotional upheaval is just as unpredictable in this heartwarming, Oscar and Golden Globe winning tale.

Both "Kolya" and "Secrets and Lies" which we saw on Jan. 22 were made in 1996. And "Kolya" was the winner of the "Best Foreign Film" Oscar for that year.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Next Steps: Open and Affirming, January 31

Were you intrigued considering what CUCC might do next to extend our welcome to people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered?  Was our 20th anniversary as an ONA congregation good news you would like to share?  Would you like to learn more about issues facing the LGBT community to see how we might be in ministry with people confronting those issues?
Come to the initial gathering of a task force looking at CUCC's Open and Affirming ministry on Sunday, January 31, at 5:30pm in the adult library.  If you can't make it but want to join in the work, contact Joan McAllister or Jane Smith.

Your Wishes at the Time of Your Death

This document allows you to have on file at the church such things as emergency contact information, actions to be taken in an emergency, and last wishes for the celebration of your life at the time of your death. You can print a copy from CUCC website.  The Caring Committee presented this document last year during their three part series.
On a personal note, giving the office this contact information can be useful in other ways.  When Abby was accepted into Exploris Middle School as a late lottery draw, the school couldn't reach us.   A parent at the school knew where we went to church and they called Carol.  She had my parents' number and called them.  They called us at the hotel where we were on vacation.  As a result, Abby had a great two years at Exploris instead of missing her opportunity.
So, if you haven't completed your form, the cozy days of winter are a good time.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Forum: January 24

Join us this Sunday for another in the series "History and Theology of the UCC." Michael Evans will discuss "Diversity in Our Church."

CBS planning to run Focus on the Family Ad during Super Bowl

I hope you'll consider signing this petition, asking CBS to reject the Focus on the Family ad set to run during the Super Bowl. Five years ago they rejected the UCC's ad as too controversial.

http://gayrights.change.org/actions/view/tell_cbs_reject_focus_on_the_family_ad_or_accept_united_church_of_christ_ad

From the Change.org website, explaining the petition:

"Five years ago, television network CBS rejected as too controversial an advertisement from the United Church of Christ (UCC) that suggested churches should be places free from discrimination, including discrimination based on age, gender, race, and sexual orientation. At the time, CBS told the UCC that the network had "a longstanding policy of not accepting advocacy advertising."

Fast forward five years, and now CBS is prepared to run an advertisement during the Super Bowl -- the largest watched television program in the entire country -- from vehemently anti-LGBT organization Focus on the Family. Focus on the Family has a long history of spouting anti-LGBT beliefs, from calling gay marriage perverted, to saying that homosexuals were a threat to civilization, to telling girls that sex education strips them of their modesty. On top of that, the advertisement that Focus on the Family plans to run during the Super Bowl will take an anti-choice viewpoint...."

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Dreaming ...

Lately I've heard a member of our church issue an invitation for us to dream of amazing things CUCC could do; she hopes that we might set some goals for 2010.  These days my dreams tend to revolve around showing what we believe in our physical plant.  So many people use our fellowship hall; can a visitor feel God's love just by looking around?  Do they leave feeling refreshed?  Do we?
Here are two inexpensive ideas for our Vaughan Wing.  Do they spark ideas in you?
1)  Put a picture rail about a foot from the ceiling along the wall stretching from the piano to the sliding glass doors.  Paint it the same color as the wall so it blends in when not in use.  Use it to:  display our creativity, hang a seasonal banner, attach brainstorming newsprint when we are meeting,...
2)  Turn our two bathrooms into joyful expressions of thanksgiving.  If it is legal, make both bathrooms unisex so people can enjoy both of them.  Ideas: 
Paint this verse on the inside of door one:  "The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork." (Psalm 19:1) Inexpensively mount 3 x 5 photos of favorite nature scenes submitted by the congregation, max one per person.  Suggest a $5 donation for each photo and donate it to a local group which does hand-on care for creation.
Paint this verse on the inside of door two:  "You created my inmost self, knit me together in my mother's womb.  For so many marvels I thank you; a wonder am I, and all your works are wonders."  Ps. 139:13-14a)  Inexpensively mount 3 x 5 photos of people we love, submitted by the congregation, max one per person.  Paint a "frame" around the mirror, too.  Suggest a $5 donation for each photo and donate it to a local group which helps children realize that they are a marvel created by God.
The bathroom galleries would stay up for two years; by then we'd probably want to communicate a different message.  Would you enjoy visiting that bathroom?
What would you dream for CUCC?  Put "dreaming" in the label so we can find our dreams throughout the year.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Want to play, too?


Have you noticed the colorful game board posted on the children's bulletin board?  The Children's Church School is playing "We Follow Jesus."  The path goes around and around because we never stop following Jesus.  On the squares, the children suggest ways we can follow Jesus.

Each student makes a game piece (here are Isla's and Annabelle's) to play the game. 



Ask a child about his or her game piece and about the game.  Maybe they will let you play, too!

Remembering how good it feels to be as one body


The sky was blue, the temperature perfect for walking, and the conversation stimulating.  Imagine a roving party as a 1000 people walked together, remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and marveling yet again that we could be side by side enjoying one another and the day.  See how many of the 16 CUCC folks you can count in these photos in the CUCC Honors Dr. King album.

There is much work to be done, but for one day we celebrated and that felt very, very good.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Annual Reports Now Available

The annual reports for 2009 from the various committees and ministries are now available on the resources page at the CUCC website.

Carolyn King is now home

(Report from Mary Kilburn)

Carolyn has been transferred to, and is snugly ensconsed in, her Whitaker Glenn apartment! Even better, Cy reports that she is "laid back in the recliner and appears to have lost none of her managerial skills."

More seriously, she is pretty much pain free, although her back gets a little "tired." She will continue to receive physical therapy while at home. They say that they have been the recipient of so many kindnesses that they recognize the impossbiility of writing thank you notes to the initiators of all these kindnesses. I assured them that "thank-you" notes were not only not expected, but would be unaccepable - under the circumstances. They asked that I communicate their deepest gratitude for the many remembrances and well wishes they have received. Your attentions have doubtless helped Carolyn achieve this relatively quick and wonderful recovery.

As you know, she loves to receive calls and can now visit with a little more ease. Cy suggests that it would be best to call [829-0780] before visiting - presumably to make sure they are not going to be out cavorting at some demonstration or other [smile.] Or, it could just be that she will need a nap every now and then.

It has been fun being your "correspondent" but I am so glad her health makes my further services unnecessary.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Conservative Case for Gay Marriage

From this week's Newsweek cover story:

Ted Olson was the attorney for Bush in Bush v Gore. He's joined with opposing counsel in that case, David Boies, to argue on behalf of two gay couples in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, a federal case challenging Proposition 8, the California ballot initiative that outlawed same-sex marriage in the state.

And Ted Olson makes his case, The Conservative Case for Gay Marriage.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Rose McAllister


Our prayers are with the family of Rose McAllister who died on Sunday, January 3, 2010. Mrs. McAllister visited us frequently and we were always glad to see her in her regular pew in worship. Her daughter, Joan, said her passing was peaceful and quiet.

Movie Night Resumes - Secrets and Lies, Jan. 22

Following a brief interruption, movie night returns with the acclaimed British Film (1996) "Secrets and Lies" which was nominated for 5 Oscars. There may be disagreement as to whether this film is accurately classed as a comedy, but it is uproariously funny at times. Others might claim, however, that its poignant insights into race and class issues put it on a different level from a movie that's simply funny.

This is the film that was cancelled in October because of the unexpected waxing of the floor in the fellowship hall. I had promised popcorn for the movie, so the showing on Jan. 22 provides an opportunity to deliver on that promise. So put the date on your calendar: 7:30 PM, January 22, in the fellowship hall for "Secrets and Lies." You're bound to enjoy it. Even though the film is entirely in English, the blue collar Cockney accents are pretty tough to follow in places. So we'll probably choose to show the English subtitles during the movie.

History buffs take note

Raleigh's celebration of the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., will feature something very special this year - the 50th anniversary of the founding of SNCC, which happened here in Raleigh.  The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee played a key role in events of the time.  One of the founding students, Dr. Bernard LaFayette, Jr., will give the keynote address at the noon observance on Monday, January 18.  He will be introduced by another founder, Rev. Dr. David Forbes.  From an email by Mr. Bruce Lightner:
"One of the young students who participated in the 1960 SNCC conference was Dr. David Forbes, pastor of Raleigh's Christian Faith Baptist Church. Forbes proclaimed, "The founding of SNCC was a pivotal moment for us. It helped provide the infrastructure for training, coordination and leadership which was needed to sustain the movement to end segregation." At the time, Forbes was a student at Shaw University.

The Raleigh King Committee is bringing back another student who was in Raleigh during the 1960 SNCC conference. As a student at Fisk University in Nashville, Bernard LaFayette was establishing himself as an articulate and energetic scholar of nonviolent protests. He was the leader of the Nashville Movement and the 1960 Freedom Rides through Alabama. He directed the Alabama Voter Registration Project in 1962 and helped organize the 1965 "Bloody Sunday" march in Selma, Alabama which was a major turning point in the Civil Rights Movement. In 1966 Dr. King appointed LaFayette to the post of National Program Administrator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).
Dr. LaFayette will be the keynote speaker for the Martin Luther King Noon Ecumenical Observance on January 18 in the Raleigh Memorial Auditorium. His speech will kick off recognition of SNCC's anniversary in the same building where students organized 50 years ago."
Remember that CUCC folks will gather for the march in front of the history museum at 10:45.
Here is a complete list of MLK celebration events.  This year's emphasis is on gang prevention.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

More on Carolyn King

(information based on e-mail sent by Mary Kilburn)

Carolyn is having restful nights at: Mayview Convalescent Center, 501 E. Whitaker Mill Road - Room 164, Raleigh NC 27608.

She feels she is receiving excellent care, walking around with the help of a walker, and able to pass up a few prescribed opportunities for painkillers! Her oncologist is satisfied to leave her chemo off until early in February, as the cancer numbers, while not yet completely where he wants them, are headed in the right direction.

She is still rather tired and needs frequent naps. But she is looking beautiful and her sunny disposition has returned full force. The doctors will decide later when it is time for her to return to her apartment, but there are no plans at the present for that to happen.

You can lighten the load of information sharing for Cy by passing this information on to people whom you know would want to know how Carolyn is progressing.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Upcoming Congregational Meeting January 24

Please remember that there will be a Congregational meeting on Sunday, January 24 after church. The Welcoming, Fellowship and Growth ministry is sponsoring an "Hors d'oevres" potluck just prior to the meeting and during the meeting. Please bring finger foods to share. All foods should be edible without utensils. (We will have utensils for serving.)

Open and Affirming 20th Anniversary Party Fun

Did you miss the celebration?


Twenty years after passing a resolution which put us on record as an Open and Affirming Congregation, we read that resolution together during worship.

Then we celebrated with a splendid cake  and many of us took rainbow comma car magnets so we could spread the welcome as we drive around town.

Reading aloud our commitment moved me.  When I was in seminary a friend confided her gender identity - an identity deemed sinful on that campus.  I was so sad for her that she needed to hide her commitment to her partner and sad for me that I couldn't invite her to my church at that time.  Later, when Gary and I joined to CUCC, one of my prime joys was knowing I would never face that dilemma again.  At the celebration, several people told me similar stories from their lives.  Sometimes we take for granted how healing it is for each of us to be part of an ONA congregation.
If you would like to be part of a group exploring how we continue to grow into our ONA commitment, contact me or Joan McAllister.  And if you would like a rainbow comma magnet for your car or other visible metal surface, let Joan know.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Carolyn King Update

Cy King reported this morning that Carolyn's medical procedure to stabilize her spine was completed and that Carolyn moved to Mayview yesterday. Cy says Carolyn is feeling better (yea!!!) and is moving about a good bit while receiving physical therapy. According to Cy, Carolyn is now recovered enough to have calls and visits. She's in a room that has no installed phone, but much of the time Carolyn now has Cy's cell phone (264-2130). Cy recommends that folks call Carolyn before visiting simply because Carolyn is often out of the room having physical therapy or such.

So it sounds like all who have been waiting for the opportunity to visit Carolyn now have the green light to go ahead. Wonderful news to start the new year!