Tuesday, March 30, 2010

CUCC Auction is April 24

(from March Newsletter)

The CUCC Family Fun Auction is coming up on Saturday, April 24, and we need you to help make it a success! The auction is an annual fundraiser for CUCC. Would you consider donating an item to the auction? Examples of past auction items include:
  • Garden plants
  • Weekends at the beach, lake or mountains
  • morning of bird-watching & lunch
  • Therapeutic massage
  • Day trips to destinations like Jugtown
  • A geology field trip or a hike at a state park
  • Delicious homemade cakes, pies, jams etc.
  • Hand-made pottery, quilts, jewelry and original artwork
  • Brunches, lunches, dinners
  • Pet-sitting, Babysitting, Yardwork, Handyman, and Computer services
Please contribute your time, talents or treasure to this wonderful annual event. To make a pledge, call the office and let them know the item, the minimum bid, any conditions (date, maximum/minimum number of people, etc.) AND whether you will be attending the auction. Please enter your pledge of an auction item to the church office by April 20. Download the pledge form here. The completed form may be mailed to the church office or turned it at worship on April 11 or April 18.

Make plans to attend this great annual event. Social and silent auction begin at 6:30 pm; the bidding starts at 7:00 p.m. Child care will be provided, and a great time is guaranteed.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Easter hope

The Children's Church School gives us a glimpse of the joy that awaits us at the culmination of Holy Week.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Publicizing church events and activities

For the past year or so we've been using an "Upcoming Events" box on the home page of the CUCC website to focus attention on the most important all-church activities slated for the near future. However, there has been an increasing level of discussion as to what sorts of events are appropriate for front page news coverage. In an effort to expand the number and nature of activities that can merit front page mention, I've temporarily replaced the front page "Upcoming Events" box with a list of tweets (i.e. via Twitter) that point to near term church activities. The advantages that this offers are:
  1. Since it's a scrolling list, a small amount of turf can display a large amount of information.
  2. This opens participation to others. Anyone who wants to tweet info pointing to an upcoming church activity can do so, and I'll flag the tweet so that it appears in the list.
This list is moderated (by me), so there won't be junk or spam appearing in the list. And I'll purge activities to keep the list current. If you have an upcoming church activity that you wish to mention in this list, drop me a brief e-mail to let me know, and I'll "tweet" it for you. If you want to use Twitter yourself for this purpose, just let me know your Twitter ID so that I can follow you on Twitter and flag the appropriate tweets so they will appear in the list.

This should be used ONLY for publicizing church activities. In general I'd suggest using this blog for full descriptions of church activities, and using the method described above to point to your blog post. And the Twitter Chat page remains available for commenting about anything you like.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

AWAKE and with my friends

Today the CUCC youth led us in worship as we reflected on the story of Jesus's night in prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane.  Themes from the worship:  Rely on your friends, be AWAKE to friendships & to life, prayer is being AWAKE to God.  With the authors' permissions, here are links to John's message and Erin and Jackson's meditation on the scripture.  I plan to use both for my Lenten meditation this week.
Two questions stuck with me:  Am I AWAKE to what God is doing in my life?  Am I AWAKE to my friends?   Our family has certainly experienced God's love through the prayers, calls, cards, and meals offered by our friends.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

UCC premiers a new video with our help

The United Church of Christ's StillSpeaking Ministry will launch a new powerful video spot on the Internet on April 16 at 9:00AM. At first the video message will be delivered to tens of thousands by email, through internet ads, and posts to social networks. Then, as the day unfolds, "God is Still Speaking" will sweep the internet like a mighty wave - reaching millions! But only with your help.
9:00 am:  The video is launched.  Watch it, let is sink in.  
9:02 am:  We share the link.   Send notes on your social networks and through email. Invite family, friends, co-workers, and church members to watch and share the video.  Add your reaction on this blog. 
Does this video reflect how you experience God's presence through CUCC?  Is this how you hear God still speaking?

Children's Building Site and ASP Stockholders' Meeting

Bring your parents to the Children's Building Site after worship on April 11. What does it feel like to paint a wall? Hammer a nail? Climb a ladder to repair a ceiling? Lay a vinyl floor? The 2009 & 2010 Appalaciha Service Project teams have prepared four centers to give future ASPers a chance to try a bit of ASP.
Also during fellowship time, ASP stockholders will hear the annual report from the 2009 team. Everyone can enjoy photos from last year's trip and munch on standard ASP fare: PB&J sandwiches and fruit.

Newcomers' Supper, April 16, Friday

You are invited to the Newcomers’ Supper.  Unwind after a busy week while you learn a bit about Community United Church of Christ, and we learn a bit more about you! Please bring an appetite and curiosity.
Appetizers at 6:00 PM, Dinner served at 6:30 PM
RSVP to CUCC office by Tuesday, April 13 787-6422 or cucc@nc.rr.com
Please tell us if you need childcare (ages) and if you have any dietary restrictions.

Creation Care simulcast at CUCC, April 21, 7:30pm

Have you wondered how to discuss your concerns about global warming with Christians who are politically conservative? Shouldn't our shared faith allow us to talk with one another and work together?
Evangelicals and progressives are joining together and CUCC has signed up to participate in  "Hope For Creation: A Live Simulcast." Join Gary and Jane Smith for this groundbreaking evening   All you have to do is be in your seat in the Fellowship Hall at 7:30pm.
From The Rev. Mitchell C. Hescox, President/CEO, Evangelical Environmental Network
"Evangelism, caring for the poor, tending the garden, and worship are part of our identity in Christ. That’s why EEN is partnering with the Blessed Earth, and I am personally joining Matthew & Nancy Sleeth in Orlando, FL on April 21, 2010 for “Hope For Creation: A Live Simulcast. The simulcast will feature worship and teaching to celebrate all that God creates as well as our call to be good creation stewards.  It’s time to renew our call as the original environmentalists. Join ... thousands of Christians worldwide from your sanctuary, living room, coffee shop, dorm, or classroom on Earth Day eve."
"It’s time for a revival in the American Church and the revival can begin, as we remember and renew our call to be good creation stewards. We have been wandering too long in the wilderness. The Holy Spirit keeps building this connection between 40 years of Earth Day, 40 years of the Exodus journey, and 40 days of Jesus’ temptation. Both the Exodus and Jesus’ wilderness passages describe dependence, total dependence of God. It’s time for us to stop wandering and return to a complete trust in God. Maybe that’s why I am crazy and like Jesus care for His creation."

Thursday, March 18, 2010

OGHS $ in the Congo

Global Ministries delegation "postcards" make you want to pack your bags for the Democratiac Republic of Congo. Each delegation member records impressions of a day visiting Equateur Province. You'll read of hopeful work being done with UCC money as they visit a variety of projects, including the dedication of school repairs (would have been closed due to weather damage) and of a hospital wing, the Ikenge Farm (funded with OGHS money!), and a microcredit lending group founded by pastors' wives. The daily diary mixes travelog with a peek into the wonderful church community in Equateur Province. To find the internet link, go to the CUCC blog (you don't need to sign in).

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Movie Night April 16 -- Zelary (7:30 PM)

Thanks to those who have suggested films for use in this foreign film series. I started with 4 films in mind that I wanted to show for certain, and about a dozen other likely candidates. So far we've seen 2 of the 4 plus 2 films recommended by Jo. In April we'll make another attempt at Zelary (Czech Republic - 2003), the film that was cancelled in October because the floor of the fellowship fall was waxed, and cancelled again in November because of the death of Jo's sister.

Watching this movie several times about 3 years ago (twice in one week) was what provided my primary motivation to lead this foreign film series. I had never heard of this film prior to seeing it the first time, and I came to realize that nobody else had either. So I roped some other folks (including John and Joan Little) into coming over to my house for a viewing. A few days later John commented to Joan, "We should see more foreign films." Joan responded that the problem with foreign films is that you have to read subtitles. John pointed out that the subtitles in Zelary didn't seem to prevent Joan from enjoying the movie. "Oh, but that movie was in English," Joan replied, indicating that within a few days of viewing this Czech film, Joan had forgotten it was a foreign language film.

Here's the storyline as provided by Netflix:

This gorgeously shot World War II drama tells the story of a clash between two different worlds and two different people. Eliska, a nurse in a city hospital, donates her blood to save the life of injured mountain-dweller Joza, and the two form a strong bond. When the resistance group Eliska belongs to is discovered by the Gestapo, she's forced to seek refuge with Joza, leaving her urban life behind and starting anew in the remote mountains.

This film is "R" rated and is (like our first film, The Lives of Others) a bit gut-wrenching. But this film, like the first, is also a very uplifting film that illustrates how unexpected blessings can arise from apparent tragedy.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Celebrating a Dad

My father Franklin Page (1910-1985) was born 100 years ago today. Being who I am, naturally I made a video. If you'd like to join in celebrating my dad, you can find the video here:

Work is progressing nicely on the editing of the video I did with Cy and Carolyn on Sunday. The final result will be 5 segments totaling about 75 minutes in which Cy and Carolyn recount their lifelong pursuits for racial reconciliation. Look forward to this being available within the next few day. When it's ready, it will be announced on this blog.

Forum: March Schedule

We are proud to announce upcoming programs...

March 7 - Bill and Rosemary Pate, "Appalachia Service Project Adult Work Trips"

March 14 - Dr. Norman Camp, Partners for Environmental Justice and the Walnut Creek Wetland Center

March 21 - Chris Canfield, Executive Director, Audubon North Carolina

March 28 - Michael Evans, "Economic Justice and the UCC"

We thirst for God's love.

Like the Samaritan woman at the well, we thirst for God's love.  Jesus offers that love to us.  As the children continue to study ways we follow God, they painted for us the living water of God's love.  Enjoy their gift to us and be refreshed.

Photos of the artists at work