Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Health Care: April Forum Series

April 3:  "Promoting Health and the Faith Issue."  Ms. Willona Stallings, Program Associate for Health and Wholeness at NC Council of Churches
April 10:  "Frontline:  Sick Around America."  Few Americans would argue that the country's health are system is healthy; however fewer still would be likely to agree about how to fix it.  This "Frontline" special attempts to find some answers.
April 17:  "Preserving Health Care Reform."  Sandy Irving a volunteer with the NC Council of Churches, will bring us up-to-date on what is happening in Congress and elsewhere with regard to health dare reform.
April 24: Happy Easter!  No Forum.

Forum meets from 9:15-10:15 am on Sundays in the Fellowship Hall.

Healing and Centering Prayer, Tuesday, April 5

This two-part time of worship allows you to choose to participate in either or both parts.
6:30pm  service of healing
Break
7:00pm  lesson and practice of centering prayer
We'll gather in the Fellowship Hall.  Friends are welcome.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Hooray - CUCC Auction date announced (April 30)

Saturday, April 30 · 6:30pm - 9:00pm
This is a fun and fabulous event to raise money for the church's programs.
FREE CHILD CARE IS PROVIDED!
Get a chance to bid on once-in-a-lifetime experiences, vacation getaways, original artwork and home-baked goodies, while laughing a lot and enjoying a cheap date (it's just $5 to bid). All for a great cause - the great work of your spiritual community.
Last year's auction raised over $6,000 for CUCC's programs. Be a part of this great event in 2011!
What will you offer?  If you have something you'd like to buy, post your suggestion on our Facebook page or tell someone on the Stewardship Ministry.

Report to 2010 ASP Shareholders at Fellowship, April 10

Hear stories from last year's Appalachia Service Project team as you munch on traditional ASP PB&J sandwiches and apples.  This is our annual shareholders report, always a brief but joyful celebration.  Thank you for your continued support to ASP.  See you after worship (11:45) April 10.

Your support of ASP requested April 3 & 10

Your CUCC Appalachia Service Project Team is raising funds to purchase construction supplies and travel expenses.  We'll be working in Kentucky July 17-23 this summer.  Most of all, we ask for your prayers as we prepare for the trip:  for the three families whose homes we will repair, for our safe journey and work, and for the center staff which is already preparing for us.
You can support us financially after worship April 3 and 10 by:
- buying a share of our trip (complete with stock certificate)
- buying flower coupons for your spring annuals
- contributing gently used items (no clothes please) to our April 30 yard sale
- arranging a flamingo flocking for a friend or relative.

Say it with flamingos!

Wide-eyed flamingo in this clipartA flock of bright pink flamingos could land in the garden of someone special to you - all for a donation to the CUCC Appalachia Service Project Team.  Contact any CUCC ASP team member.  Let us know when you'd like the flock to land, the name & address of the person to receive the surprise, and anything special you'd like on the card.  After confirming with our flamingo wrangler that the flock is available that day, we'll take care of the rest. We'll herd a flock of 25+ flamingos to grace your friend's lawn for two days.  Then we'll retrieve the flock.  The perfect gift to say you care!
- Jackson, Carson, Abby, Anna, Santi, Paul, Ron, Gary, Jane (your 2011 ASP team)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

March 22 Earth Sabbath Celebration, 7pm

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

Friday, March 11, 2011

Lenten enrichment schedule

Now that Lent has begun, consider participating in one of the Lenten spiritual enrichment opportunities at CUCC.  Many of them are described in detail elsewhere on this blog.  Full schedule

Flowers to support home repair

Were you planning to buy a hanging basket or herbs or perhaps plant a flat of annuals this spring?  Campbell Road Nursery has offered to make a donation to our Appalachia Service Project team for every flower coupon we sell.  Each coupon costs $15. You take your coupon to the nursery between April 22 and May 9 to redeem it for ONE of the following:
- a flat of 36 annuals (you can mix and match the packs)
- three 4" pots of specialty annuals
- a hanging basket of annual flowers
- three 4" pots of herbs.
Campbell Road Nursery is open 9-6 Mon-Sat and 1-5 Sundays (May 2 and 9 only).

A few notes from Jane based on my experience as a former coupon buyer:
- This is my favorite place to buy annuals; I find the selection to be good and the flowers are reliable.
- Depending on when you arrive, you will find a different selection of plants. I can't guarantee, for instance, pale pink impatiens. However, I've never had trouble finding a combination of plants that fits my needs; I just had to be flexible with my plan.
- Frost date for our area is April 15, so your plants should be safe to plant when you buy them.


See any member of the ASP team for coupons (Jackson, Carson, Gary, Paul, Ron, Jane, Santi).

Yard sale to benefit home repair, April 30

Twenty-one youth and adults from several congregations will be spending July 17-23 in Kentucky making three homes "warmer, safer, dryer."  To fund the Appalachia Service Project trip, we'll hold a huge yard sale Saturday, April 30, 7-11 am at Community United Church of Christ (directions).

To make a donation of something to sell, drop off at noon on Sunday, April 17 (Palm Sunday) in the fellowship hall or from Friday, April 29, from 10am to 8:30pm.  No clothes please.

We hope to post a list of some of the items for sale on Friday night, April 29.

See you there!

(Jackson, Carson, Abby, Anna, Ron, Paul, Gary, Santi, Jane)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Holy ground

On Transfiguration Sunday, Steve Halsted began his sermon with what sounded to me to be a psalm.  He has given permission to me to print it for you.  May it speak to your Spirit.

If you have ever watched a baby being born, you have been on Holy ground.
     If you have experienced the rapture of true love, you have been on Holy ground.
If you have ever been welcomed home after a traumatic separation of time to a warm, secure embrace, you have expereinced something about Holy ground.
     If you have lost yourself in creative work, losing sense of time or place, you have entered into Holy territory.
If you have heard a moving story that has brought tears to your eyes or dissolved you into shrieks of laughter, something Holy has seized you.
     If the rapture of heavenly music has carried you away, you have floated over Holy ground.
If the way the moonlight played on the waves of the ocean transfixed your soul, then you have waded into the Holy.
     If you have been held spell-bound, no doubt you were entering Holy territory!
Whenever we are dazzled,
     Whenever we are transfixed,
Something Holy happens!

Lenten Centering Prayer

Learn and practice an age-old, tried & true method of prayer - meditation - that will relax, renew & deepen your spiritual life.  Tuesdays, March 15 and April 5, 7-8pm.  Led by Steve Halsted

Post cards from the creative, restless edge of the church

For the past six months I've been on a Grand Tour of the outskirts of the Church.  I've traveled through Emergence, the New Monasticism, Big Tent, TransForm, and Virtual Church.  I've lingered on the border between Where-we-are and Where-we-might-be-going.  I've wondered what will thrive, what will fade away, and what will transform us at CUCC.  As on any trip to new cultures, I've discovered places I'd like to visit again and places where once was enough.  I have a glossary of new words in foreign tongues and loads of photos to share.  And I've met people, wonderful people, to whom I'd like to introduce you.  Join me for stories of the creative, restless edge of the Church.  Mondays - March 14, 28, April 4, 11 - 7pm, Fellowship Hall.  Warning:  expect 1 hour of homework each week.

CUCC a major sponsor of "Windows and Mirrors" art exhibit

We're carpooling to Greensboro to see "Windows and Mirrors:  Reflections on the War in Afghanistan," Saturday, March 26, 9am.  Take a look at the museum catalog hanging on the Lenten bulletin board in the hall.  CUCC is a major sponsor of the Guilford College stop on this national tour of major cities.  No tickets required, but contact Jane Smith if you want to carpool.  After a morning tour of the exhibition, we'll grab lunch at Ganache, one of Jane & Gary's favorite Greensboro eateries.

From the tour information:
"In January 2010, [American Friends Service Committee], the Chicago Public Arts Group and the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program circulated a call to artists seeking contributions to a travleing memorial to Afghan civilians killed in the war.  ... The exhibit now consists of 45 stunning 4' x 6' mural panels by artists from across the United States, 15 framed drawings by Afghan high school studnes and accompanying information panels."

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Your treasures wanted for ASP yardsale

We know you need to clear out your home so that you have space to buy wonderful items at the CUCC auction.  The CUCC Appalachia Service Project team has come to your rescue!  Donate your treasures to our April 30 yard sale.  Then, that night, go to the auction to find new treasures! 


If you have items to donate, contact a member of the ASP team (Carson, Jackson, Ron, Paul, Gary, Jane or Śānti).  We ask that all items be in good condition.  No clothes, please.  Bring the items to CUCC on Palm Sunday, April 17, or anytime during the day Friday, April 29.

Hospice vice president to speak at CUCC

On March 14, we will gather to learn about the Hospice Program. Michael Blanchard, Vice President for Development of Hospice, will be the speaker. Anyone interested is invited to join us in the fellowship hall at 10:30 a.m. Bring a sandwich; drinks and dessert will be furnished. - posted from the Retirees' Group

Sequel to Leopold's Ghost available

Dr. Georges Nzongola-Ntalaja's new book The Congo From Leopold to Kabila: A People's History
is now available.  We read Leopold's Ghost and heard a presentation on the DRC from Dr. Nzongola.  Is anyone else interested in reading this new book & then getting together for a one-time discussion?  Review

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

CUCC Chancel Choir to sing Mozart's Requiem Mass, May 1, 10:30 worship

Doug Barrick provided this information on Mozart's Requiem Mass to help us prepare for what we will experience; I believe the entry comes from translator Kurt Hermann Kretzschmar.  Doug notes that the choir's May 1 performance falls on Holocaust Remembrance Day.  The choir plans to have guest soloists and instrumentalists.  Join the choir for practice Wednesdays, 2, 16 and 30  at 7:00 and every Wed. in April at 7:00.


"Among the numerous sacred compositions of superior quality which have become part of the universal literature in music, the “Requiem” by Mozart has a very special meaning. It is the most accomplished work of art among the Masses of this master and the only Requiem Mass of comparable beauty to give such balance to the contrasting text – the fear of death on the one hand and the hope for God’s grace on the other. The seriousness of dying is expressed everywhere, even in the unusual features of the instrumentation; the terror of the Last Judgment is felt keenly in this music, but the horror is kept at a mild level which takes on an ethereal quality in many places. Mozart has subordinated the subjective style of his music to strict liturgical forms, but the effect is still one of greatest simplicity.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (born 27 January 1756 in Salzburg, died 5 December 1791 in Vienna) wrote the “Requiem” – as the mysterious commission of a Count Walsegg of Stuppach who performed the work as his own composition at a memorial service for his late wife – during the year 1791 amidst premonitions of his own death. He did not live to finish the work. The Sanctus, Benedictus and Agnus Dei, as well as the major portion of the Lacrymosa, were composed by Xaver Sűssmayr, a talented pupil of Mozart who was known for several operas he had written and who had a through knowledge of the intentions of the master, possibly even owning some sketches by Mozart which are now lost.

The first performance was arranged in 1792 by Baron van Swieten in Vienna, followed soon by performances in Munich and Prague. By the turn of the century, Mozart’s “Requiem” had become well know throughout Germany, rapidly reaching all music-loving countries, even overseas, and it remained for three decades the only Requiem Mass used on solemn occasions. In Paris, where Cherubini introduced it in 1804, it served as late as 1840 as the official Requiem Mass for the interment of Napoleon. Only in more recent years have masses by other composers taken their place next to the swansong of the Salzburg master."

What is the imposition of ashes?

An old tradition in Chrisitianity, the imposition of ashes is a ritual reminding us of our mortality in the context of God's love.  The celebrant (at CUCC, Steve) coats a finger with ashes and smudges a cross on your forehead.  In some traditions, the celebrant says, "Remember that you are dust, and to dust you will return."  You are marked both with a sign of your inevitable death and of your resurrection.  Since Lent is a time when the church prepares as a community for the festival of Jesus' death and resurrection, wearing the ash cross is a way to launch an intentional time of preparation in your own life.  Traditionally, the palms from the previous year's Palm Sunday celebration (signifying the triumphant reign of Christ/God's love) are burned to create the ashes (the crumbling of all human endeavors and the natural cycle of life and death) and mixed with oil (used in healing rituals). 

CUCC practices the imposition of ashes during the Ash Wednesday worship service (Mar. 9, 7pm).  This service is quiet, even somber, and proceeds in the Taize-style of scripture reading, repetitive chants and long stretches of silence.  There is no sermon.  Generally it concludes with participants leaving in silence.  To signify that you want to participate in the ritual, come forward and either stand or kneel (your choice) in front of Steve when he issues the invitation.  You don't have to say anything or do anything.  Open your spirit to what Spirit is saying to you, both as you receive the ashes and as you go out into the world wearing them.

[Note from Jane:  As a preteen, I loved the imposition of ashes.  This service is symbolic, physical, dramatic, and connects directly to emotion - preteens and teens intuitively get it.  Younger children who will be able to sit very quietly & still and who like long periods of silence (5 minutes +) are welcome, but this is not likely to be a positive experience for wigglers.]

New venue for "Gen Silent"

We're still going to see "Gen Silent," the documentary addressing issues facing aging LGBT persons, but have changed the date and place.  Make your resevation to attend the film screening and panel discussion at the Friday Center in Chapel Hill, Saturday, April 2, 1pm.  If you would like to carpool, call the church office 787-6422.