Thursday, September 30, 2010

Vandy Bradow's surgery report

Vandy Bradow went into surgery at Rex Hospital this morning at 9 AM, and the surgery lasted about 3 hours (as predicted). The surgeon reported to Amanda around 12:15 that the surgery went as expected, and that Vandy was doing well. The preliminary report on the two lymph glands that were enlarged is that the pathology work done during the surgery did not indicate cancer in those two lymph nodes. (Of course, additional pathology reports will come later.) The surgeon told Amanda that she be able to see Vandy shortly after 1 PM. Amanda plans to spend the rest of today as well as tonight with Vandy at Rex Hospital. In our conversations during the surgery, Amanda told me that Vandy might well go home from Rex on Friday. I do not remember whether the surgeon commented on that following the surgery. But in any case, things look good at this point.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Do you know what a news reader is?

People sometimes ask, "Is there a way I can be notified if something new has been added to the CUCC News and Chat blog?" There's actually a good tool for notification when something new has been added to ANY of your favorite news sources. The tool is called a news reader. An example is Google Reader, which is accessible via your web browser. Here's an illustration of how I use Google Reader to keep me up-to-date on new activity at all my favorite news sources. It also shows how to add the CUCC News and Chat blog to the list of news sources you're following.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Creative questioning

Insights and experiences which startle us.  Questions which our assumptions and habits don't answer.  What is the cutting edge of your spirit, the unsettled place where you are growing? In sharing our questions, we support and inspire one another.  Invite others to join you in your exploration by creating an "A meditation" pew card.  The meditations are created by the people (all ages) of CUCC and rotated in the pews periodically.  We hope that you will use them as you wait for worship to begin, during communion, or at home. 

GUIDELINES
Generally, the cards follow the pattern:  "I saw/read/experienced this, and now I wonder 'What is Spirit telling me?'"  For instance, Joan remembered a quotation about call which helped her as she was discerning which of the many competing needs in the world she should address as a new retiree; "How do I decide what I am to do?"

Jane will format the card for you so you don't have to worry about typing or columns.  The cards are printed in black ink on white paper.  You have space for about six sentences + your meditation question.   For visual images, we can glue a 3" x 5" photo or a photocopy of a black and white drawing to the top; or you can draw "on the card" (2.5" x 5.5").   Your name will be on the card as its creator.  Consider:
  • a description of an experience
  • a photo
  • a black and white drawing
  • a poem or part of a song
  • a prayer
  • a quotation
Submit your meditation to Jane Smith or call to discuss what you are considering.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

CROP Walk - October 2

CROP Walk is scheduled for October 2. See Mike Shafale to sign up to walk or to find someone to sponsor. There will be a sign up table in the narthex after church for the next two Sundays. You can also call Mike directly. See http://www.cropwalkraleigh.com/ for more information.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Photos from Welcome Back Sunday

Suzette has a great set of photos from Welcome Back Sunday (September 12). You can see them at Picasaweb.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A new play, and a recommendation from an old friend

Today's e-mail brings a note from Sallye Hardy. Sallye was active in CUCC for several years in the early to mid 1990s, and was ordained at CUCC in 1994.

Lavon, greetings and great memories of you and yours and my life within and through CUCC.

Wanted to send the information about a musical happening at Swain Hall in Chapel Hill.. it's NOTHING PINK ... based on a novel written by my brother (who teaches there in Raleigh) .. its something that members there really might benefit from seeing... When I was ordained there in 1994, Mark was present -

Contact info for the play is:

RESERVATIONS for SEPT 16-19: Call UNC Memorial Box Office [919.843.3333 open Mon-Fri 10am-6pm] They will not begin taking reservations UNTIL Wed Sept 8. Ticket prices are set at $10 for Adults, $5 for Students with ID.

The following brief description of the play is found at a website of Communications Studies events at UNC.

A boy turns to music when true love, faith, and family collide. A Play with Music based on the beautiful "coming-out" novel for teens by Mark Hardy told with both traditional Gospel and original hymns. Written and Directed by Paul Ferguson. Musical Compositions and Arrangements by Mark Hartman

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

More on "big tent" Christianity

I applaud Jane's effort to promote the upcoming "big tent" event in Raleigh. I hope it gains traction at CUCC. (I'll miss the event because I'll be in Massachusetts officiating the wedding of Jo's niece.)

The event's organizers speak of "big tent" Christianity as finding areas of agreement among the multitude of issues which sometimes divide Christians. But there's another way to think of "big tent" Christianity that is worth noting as well.

In the parable of the Good Samaritan, we find an unambiguous message that we should all engage in rescuing the broken and beaten man lying by the side of the road. And that was something the Good Samaritan attended to himself. A fair amount of detail is provided as to exactly what he did, but there's no suggestion in the parable that the details in themselves are what's important. For example, the Good Samaritan is described as "pouring on oil and wine; then he set him on his own beast and brought him to an inn." If a cool spring had been nearby, and if the Samaritan had happened to live nearby, then bathing the wounds with water and taking the injured man home would have no doubt been conduct just as meritorious as what Jesus described.

Where so many of our divisions arise is when we move from the realm of personal action to arguing over what we should lobby the government to do. One group wants the government to do such and such, and another group wants the government to do something else. But you know what? When we argue about that sort of stuff, we're arguing about strategy, not about core values. We need to keep our tents big enough that the strategy arguments don't divide us. The size of our tents can be quite large if we define the tent based on core values. And remember that Jesus didn't talk a whole lot about strategies.