Saturday, January 29, 2011

Fellowship Time Advocates: Feb. 13

"Let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream."
Social Justice Ministry will have four actions you can take during Fellowship Time after worship on Sunday, Feb. 13.  If you like to read carefully & ponder what you sign and to study the issue, read this info in advance.  Each website also has background information.
Congo: Sign a letter to the Securities & Exchange Commission supporting their effort to write Congressionally-mandated transparency regulations which would limit the sale of conflict minerals. 
NC budget: Sign a petition thanking our legislators for the great services provided by the state. And, make a short statement on video naming a service you appreciate and urging the legislature to create a budget which balances cuts and revenues.
Creation care: Sign valentines to Senators Burr and Hagen urging their support for enforcement of the Clean Air Act.

SJM endorses NC Commission of Inquiry on torture/NC connection

Ask your organizations to endorse, too.*
Local human rights organizations have been working for years to investigate the connection between extraordinary rendition and North Carolina.  Because the Convention Against Torture requires the US to take affirmative action to investigate and seek justice when it has engaged in torture, these groups have repeatedly asked our governor to step in where the national government has failed.  So far, the governor has refused.  For this reason, we are now calling for an independent Commission of Inquiry to investigate.  A panel representing the political and geographic breadth of our state will select the commissioners.  The process will result in a report, to be formally announced and distributed publicly.  When the report becomes available, Community UCC members will be invited to read, analyze, discuss and consider action based on the report's recommendations.
*  Endorsing organizations are asked to have a designated person/group who will reach out to other groups (ours is Cy King); make a donation to create a seed fund for matches to this process (CUCC did); agree to read, analyze, discuss and consider action when the report is released (several SJM members have committed).

HKonJ: "This in no time for complancy"

Saturday, February 12, join others from Community UCC as we take part in this annual rally/march for justice in North Carolina.  A CUCC contingent will meet at Shaw University.  Look for Don and Shirley Birt.  This is a family-friendly event; you'll see lots of children and youth.  Read below for tips on matching your abilities to participating comfortably.
HK on J (Historic Thousands on Jones Street - home of the legislature) is a 90-strong coalition of organizations, faith groups, and individuals (see list in flyer) who unite around a 14 point agenda for North Carolina (see list in flyer).  This year the emphasis will be on
  • education equality
  • economic justice / good jobs / workers' rights
  • equal protection under the law.
Tips on participating:  At 9:30am we gather at Estey Hall, Shaw University (118 East South St. at Wilmington Street).  If the event proceeds as usual, you'll find people of all ages from all over North Carolina greeting one another, talking to representatives of the member organizations, signing petitions, and listening to rousing speeches and fantastic music. Shirley says, "From past experience with the HKonJ march, we have found that we agree to meet in front of Shaw Univ. near the MacDonald's for those who will be participating in the march. Other folks have melded into the march from the sidewalk; others meet us in the plaza between the museums. There have been (in the past) shuttles from Shaw to Jones St. and back to the Shaw area. Some folks are more comfortable if they can leave before the whole program is over so need that flexibility. Again as you know, the gathering is at 9:30 AM at Shaw on Feb. 12 with the march to the legislature building (16 W. Jones Street) and program at 11:00 AM."

Not able to come the whole time or not comfortable walking?  The press shows up at the beginning and end.  So come for the opening rally, or just to march, or meet us at the legislature building at around 11.

Sabbath Economics: From Mammon to Manna

CUCC's Adult Forum will consider corporate behavior and will envision changes in the economy at an economic justice series each Sunday in February and March at 9:15 am
Schedule
Feb. 6      Introduction to Sabbath Economics
Feb. 13    Sabbath Economics in Torah and the Prophets
Feb. 20    Sabbath Economics in Jesus and Paul
Feb. 27   Conversation with Dr. Edith Rasell, UCC National Staff, Justice and Witness Ministries and Minister of Economic Justice
Mar. 6    A Sabbath Economics Household Covenant
Mar. 13  Dr. Michael Schwalbe, Professor of Sociology at NC State University. His interests and publications include issues of class and inequality.
Mar. 20  Surplus Capital, Stewardship and Social Investing
Mar. 27  Community Investing

Background
In 2009 the UCC General Synod adopted a resolution on An Economic Justice Covenant. It included a statement that each UCC local church be encouraged to become an Economic Justice setting that engages in focused studies of economic injustices and create a program of study that may lead to adopting an economic justice covenant.

For some time a small group of us at CUCC have been meeting to discuss what it would mean to commit to an economic justice covenant as a congregation. We decided we needed to engage in more study of the issues. Last spring we had a series of discussions on corporate behavior and envisioning changes in the economy. We have been given an opportunity to continue discussions during the Forum schedule in February and March.

Four of the Forum series will begin with a 30 minute DVD presentation by Ched Myers, a theological educator and part of the Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries. Two DVD programs will feature Andy Loving, a Certified Financial Planner and ordained minister. The series will reexamine with fresh eyes the Biblical vision of Sabbath Economics and move to modern practices.

Our current economic experience is confusing and complex, but it cannot be ignored. Do our Biblical roots offer us any guidance? What is the role of the church at this time in our common history? We hope you will join us at Forum as a place to deepen your understanding of issues and expand your personal growth in a supportive environment.

(posted for CUCC Economic Justice Task Force: Mac Hulslander, Cy King, Marge Eckels, Edith Sylla, Don Birt and Shirley Birt)

Friday, January 28, 2011

SIS goes Greek in February

Kathy Clift and Athena Tracey are treating SIS (Sisters in Spirit) to a Greek dining adventure on Feb. 22nd at Kathy's condo.   Women of Community UCC, come join the culinary exploration! Car poolers are gathering by 6:15 at parking lot on Dixie Trail at the church that evening.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

First Earth Sabbath Celebration: Earth

Last night (Jan. 25), CUCC hosted the first Earth Sabbath Celebration (see photos).  We're co-sponsoring these 4th Tuesday spirit-renewal events with NC Interfaith Power + Light.  Our own Steve Halsted is planning them jointly with our friend, Tama Eller.  The liturgies draw from a variety of world faith sources and will focus on the four elements:  earth, water, fire, and air.

A group of 20+ folks from a variety of congregations came to the first evening which wove around "earth."  We chose stones from Alaska to hold, sang songs, prayed in four directions, practiced a breath prayer and a bidding prayer, watched orchestrated visual poems, listened to a blend of scriptures and word poems, and were commissioned for our work.  We also had a chance to get to know each other (what is your favorite animal?) and to build closer support networks for the work of creation care.
Join us next 4th Tuesday, Feb. 22, at 7pm.  Bring a friend who is as passionate as you are about creation care.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Want to make a low-income home greener?

CUCC might have the opportunity to put our hands to work at simple home repairs which would enable those homes to qualify for federal weatherization.  Garman Troup of Resources for Seniors in Wake County will be talking about their home weatherization project, part of the federal green jobs stimulus money.  Some homes aren't qualified because repairs need to happen first:  a basement cleared out so there is access to the joists, a floor repaired, a new window sash.  If we could do the simple repairs, Resources for Seniors could take care of the weatherization.
Come to Forum this Sunday, January 30, 9:15 am, to learn more.  A possible project of CUCC's  Justice in a Changing Climate Initiative.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Our wishes for the new year

The Children's Church School has been talking about God's love for them and how much they wish to do what God asks of them.  On their bulletin board is a wishing well, overflowing with their wishes. 

When you see the well, consider how you wish to respond to God's love for you.

Friday, January 21, 2011

MLK Day On a step forward

Standing room only crowds listened to panelists discuss next steps for Raleigh at the ML King, Jr., Day On celebration.  The community study circles have formed and will be meeting over the next five weeks.  Photos

Monday, January 17, 2011

Thank you, God, for our sister Jo Lemons

I just learned that Jo Lemons died suddenly this weekend.  Many of us have special stories of the ways Jo touched our lives - through her Lenten studies, through visits, through humor.  As we mourn her absence from our day-to-day lives, we are very grateful that she is no longer constrained.  We keep her family in our prayers.
A memorial service will be held Sunday, January 30, at 12:30pm at CUCC.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Updated Open and Affirming Resolution passes unanimously

Read the resolution
and get ready to start living into it.
Planning meeting:  ONA Task Force, Feb. 13, 12:15pm

Monday, January 10, 2011

January 25 Earth Sabbath Celebration

How do those who do the work of creation care receive the renewal and inspiration they need to continue in this ministry?  Earth Sabbath Celebrations! Each 4th Tuesday of 2011, 7-8:30pm, creation care givers will gather at CUCC to be refreshed and to share.  Our Steve Halsted joins Tama Eller in worship leadership under the sponsorship of NC Interfaith Power + Light.7pm - 7:30pm Welcome, Introductions, and Interconnections/Networking
7:30 - 8:30pm Worship Celebration, Sharing Environmental Passions, Commissioning/Sending Forth/Empowering to action in faithful stewardship of our precious Earth and addressing Climate Change Issues
Worship will include songs, inspirational readings, scripture of world religions, guided meditations (focusing on the elements of Earth, Water, Fire, and Air) , silent and spoken prayer, lifting up our joys and concerns for our work as Environmentalists, ritual sending forth to do the Environmental work we are called to do as people of faith.
Questions: Contact Rev. Steve Halsted

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

In Memory of Keith Petersen

(2011 brings the 10th anniversary of the death of Keith Petersen. While some now think of me as the maverick within the congregation, I can only wish that everyone now at CUCC had known Keith as intimately as those of us in the Wednesday night Bible study did. Keith was a sage and a poet. About a year before his death he penned this satirical version of "Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus". -- Lavon Page)

A dissenting liberal protestant’s lament at the end of the second millennium
by Keith Petersen

(To be sung to Adam Geibel’s tune for “Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus”)

Sit down, sit down for Jesus, ye wise and thoughtful few,
to analyze our problems and ponder what to do;
then action, Social Action, with roll of muffled drum,
will make — without a monarch — the heavenly kingdom come.

REFRAIN
Sit down for Jesus,
ye wise and thoughtful few,
to analyze our problems,
then ponder, yes, ponder what to do.

Sit down, sit down for Jesus. Let’s sermonize and then,
for us and other children, let’s sermonize again;
then — offering collected and hymns correctly sung —
we’ll celebrate our triumphs of brain and cash and tongue.
REFRAIN

Sit down, sit down for Jesus until we sing the hymns
that now have been reworded to meet all modern whims;
There is no Lord, no battle; Christ can’t be called a man.
Sing to amorphous spirit — with spirit if you can.
REFRAIN

Sit down, sit down for Jesus — and wonder what’s been lost.
While newer views are safer, they save us at what cost?
The world’s too wide to touch us, humanity’s too bland
for those whose need is simpler: to touch one bleeding hand.
REFRAIN

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

January Adult Forum Schedule

Each Sunday morning from 9:15 to 10:15, adults gather in the fellowship hall to hear from an expert working in the world to make it a more just place.  Presentations are generally followed by time to ask questions.  As we learn, we become better prepared to act in faith and love.  Here is the January schedule.
January 9 Alliance Medical Ministry. Dr. Anne McLaurin, Staff Physician, and Rev. Joi Williams, Clinical Chaplain, will share the story of this faith-led non-profit organization with the mission of serving working uninsured adults of Wake County in need of affordable health care

January 16 Honoring the Legacy of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. David Zonderman, Associate Professor of History, North Carolina State University, will speak on the history and present status of public sector unions in North Carolina, including the Hear Our Public Employee (HOPE) Coalition and its ongoing efforts to legalize collective bargaining for state, county, school, and municipal workers.
January 23 Review and discussion of previous 2 sessions.
January 30 (Tentative) Garman Troup about pre-weatherization project