Tuesday, August 30, 2011

"Of Gods and Men" is feature on Sept. 23 Movie Night

The foreign film series restarts on Sept. 23 with the acclaimed 2010 French film "Of Gods and Men." Many regular attendees for the movie series are active in Monday Lunch Group, so I generally consult with Monday Lunch Group when scheduling a film. This film receives rave reviews from those in Monday Lunch Group who have seen it.

As usual, the film will begin at 7:30 in the Fellowship Hall, and refreshments will be available during the movie. Feel free to bring a friend, and please arrive on time so that the feature (just over 2 hours) can begin promptly at 7:30. This will allow us to have a little discussion afterwards and to be out by 10 PM. Following is the description of this film found at Netflix ...

Awarded Grand Prix honors at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival, this compelling historical drama relates the ordeal of seven French Trappist monks in the mountains of Algeria who are taken captive by Islamic fundamentalists. Before the monks' abduction, they have ample reason to believe they may be in danger, but their assumption that there can and must be common ground between Islam and Christianity leads them to remain at the monastery.

Monday, August 29, 2011

"Once Upon a Mattress" CUCC Night, Oct. 1

Our Appalachia Service Project team invites you to join us as we support our teammate, Mark Taranto, who is performing in this Cary Players production.  We'll meet at the Cary Arts Center at 7:15 to distribute the tickets; you can pay Jane then.

If you'd like Jane Smith to order your tickets (and possibly get the group discount rate of $15), email or call her BEFORE SEP. 10.   I need to know how many tickets you need from each category:  adults ($18), seniors - 55+ ($16), or student ($16), (price if we can't get the group rate).  By ordering a ticket you are committing to paying for it whether or not you can attend.


This is a family friendly play. Here's the description from the Cary Players.
"Be a part of history when Cary Players produces the very first musical to hit the stage of the brand new Cary Arts Center in downtown Cary! This 399-seat state-of-the-art theatre will quickly become Cary's hottest cultural gathering place, and you can be there at our first production - the beloved musical Once Upon A Mattress! Think you know the story of "The Princess and The Pea?" You may be in for a surprise! Carried on a wave of wonderful songs, this rollicking spin on royal courtship provides some side-splitting shenanigans. You'll never look at fairy tales the same way again!"

A Gathering of Friends Event 

Children & Youth Church School

The fall church school season began with a splash last Sunday at the annual pool party (thanks, Burkhardt family).  Here is what is in store for the fall:

On Welcoming Sunday, September 11, all ages at CUCC worship together, beginning in the sanctuary, but moving quickly outside to worship through games, service, music, creativity, 9/11 reflections, and an NC foods potluck. 

From "Miss Anne Bailey" (children): 
"This fall we will study Moses in depth. I am very excited about this study for both of our classes. In September we will also tally our offering collected for the MAKE A WISH FOUNDATION and select our next charity."

The children will continue to harvest the "Plant a Row for the Hungry" (over 200 pounds harvested so far).  Parents, find your pre-K and first graders in the Children's Library and your second through fifth graders in the long classroom next to the kitchen.

From Santi (youth):
"Church School (Christian Education classes for 6th-12th graders) meets every Sunday except the first Sunday of the month. The first Sunday of every month is reserved for families to share communion worship together."

"Youth Group meets twice a month for lunch and activities after church. We’ll also periodically have Youth Group service projects, lock-ins, fun nights, and additional time for planning special events such as the Novemberfest/Talent Show and the Lenten Youth-Led Worship in the spring. Please be sure to check your emails regularly."Youth church school and Youth Group meet in Pilgrim House.  All youth and teachers will be going to the Fellowship Hall after church school to meet parents, unless there is youth group after which will be held in the youth room.

Youth Group Plans for September
Sunday, September 4:  Join your parents in worship.
Sunday, September 11: Welcoming Sunday with potluck and pick-up soccer game after.

Sunday, September 18: Technology Forum led by CUCC youth. Followed by worship and then the first day of fall Church School.
Saturday, September 24: 1st Annual Cycle for Hope a 12-mile greenway tour; proceeds benefit the Hope Center which aids the homeless in job readiness. Great for our youth and adults who love to cycle.

Sunday, September 25: CUCC Youth visit Binkley Church in Chapel Hill for worship and lunch.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Adult Forum - September & October schedule

The Forum resumes Sundays at 9:15-10:15 in the Vaughan fellowship hall beginning the week AFTER Labor Day weekend. This Fall, the Forum will focus on a series of topics for multiple weeks; the first three topics address the use of social media, the school system, and environmental sustainability. Each topic is coordinated by a different Ministry.

September 11 – “Sharing the CUCC Message"
Have you noticed? Print media is being used less and less by both young and old. Telephone calls? Almost a thing of the past. Email? Not as effective as it used to be. Given the move to electronic communications such as Facebook, Twitter, blogs, YouTube and others, how can CUCC effectively spread our message and be relevant to our congregation and the wider Raleigh community?

Join us at Forum to hear the ups, down, ins and outs of communicating electronically. What works best? How much time does it take? How can I learn to become tech savvy and use these electronic tools?

September 18 – “Technology Forum”
This “ask the experts” Forum will provide a hands-on learning opportunity for those less experienced in the use of electronic media. Two of our CUCC Youth, Jackson Kiel and Carson Roach-Howell, will show us exactly how we can post information pertaining to CUCC activities such as social justice, economic justice, justice in a changing climate and our other ministry projects. CUCC has many, many activities yet we often fail to “let your good deeds glow for all to see” as Jesus taught in Matthew 5:14-16. Isn’t it time for all of our good deeds to shine for others to see both inside and outside CUCC? Social media is one way to do just that and Carson and Jackson are going to help us move in that direction.

In preparation for our voting in the October 11 election for five seats on the School Board, we will begin a 3-session discussion on the status of Wake County Schools.

September 25 – “What does 'Back to School' mean for Wake County?"
Neil Riemann will provide an update on the assignment policy controversy, a review of the first six months of the tenure of Superintendent Tony Tata, and the effect of state and county budget cuts.

October 2 – "Improving Student Achievement"
Marvin Pittman, Education Consultant and retired DPI Director of the Division of School Improvement.

October 9 - Review of previous two sessions nd open discussion of the topic.

Beginning October 16, Forum will focus on environmental sustainability and related issues.
October 16 – "Green" presentation: "Qu'est-ce que c'est? Does THIS Contribute to Sustainability of the Planet?" Marty Lamb will present pictures taken in Belgium, France and Spain this summer, of different objects and we'll determine does the item contribute to sustainability of the planet? If so, how?


Monday, August 22, 2011

Trans: a movie preview

Thanks to Joan for forwarding to me a link to an upcoming movie, "Trans."  It looks to be a powerful documentary which provides additional information about life for many trans people.

Joan's link is to a Facebook page, but since not all of you are on Facebook, you might want to look at the trailer from the web site of the documentary company.  Just type Trans into the search box on the site.  The documentary is listed as Trans (formerly Finding New Hope)

Welcoming Sunday, September 11, 10:30am worship

A service of worship celebrating the gifts of our life here in North Carolina.  After starting in the sanctuary for the invocation and a 9/11 remembrance, we'll continue worship outside in NC fashion.
Games:  horseshoes, basketball, puzzles, checkers, & more
Service:  packing the hygiene bag items we've been collecting for Church World Service
Creativity:  making prayer sticks
Music:  music by John R, by Marty & Jane, and more + a playlist of NC music
Food:  NC foods potluck
Remembering:  9/11 remembrance board
Exercise:  pick up soccer game after worship concludes with the potluck

Bring a friend!
Bring a dish which includes a local ingredient.

Workday at CUCC this Saturday


Come for an hour or all morning this Saturday, August 27, to get CUCC ready for Welcoming Sunday.  Come prepared for window washing, cobweb cleaning, fellowship and a nice sense of accomplishment.  Bring gloves, rags and cleaning supplies.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Sign Painting Party

Noon, Sept. 18
Fellowship Hall

Wield a marker and scissors for justice as we make signs to carry in the NC Gay Pride Parade. Artistic skills not required! Young artists welcome with a parent.

A Gathering of Friends event



Sign up to attend NC Pride with the CUCC delegation

 The 27th Annual NC Gay Pride Festival is on Saturday, September 24, on the East Campus of Duke University. Our church will have an official supportive presence there by having an information table and marchers in the Pride Parade. Your involvement and support are needed. We need people to staff the table and to answer questions; people to walk in the parade, carrying signs and the CUCC banner; and people who will express our church’s warm welcome to potential visitors. Please sign up with contact information! Sign up sheets are in the hallway on the Open and Affirming bulletin board as well as on the Gathering of Friends bulletin board in the Vaughan Fellowship hall. We will be in touch regarding carpooling and directions.




Sign up for SIS beach retreat

Women of CUCC, you are invited to the annual Sisters in Spirit (SIS) beach retreat Friday, October 7th - Sunday the 9th.  We gather at the Lamb's Topsail Island home for a weekend of friendship, fun, and spiritual growth.  This year's theme is "There's a Spirit Coming Down...."  Please contact Marty Lamb ASAP if you plan on attending and/or for more information.
Marty says, "'May we choreograph the rhythms and rituals of our lives to ensure greater structure, stability and contentment."


Friday, August 5, 2011

Pool party and Supper

Sunday, August 28,
4:30 - 7:30 pm
Lake Park Swim Club
6333 Lakeland Drive, Raleigh
The event is open to all ages...so come one, come all.  Hamburgers, hot dogs, and vegetarian options will be provided. We just ask that you folks bring a side or dessert to share.  Swimming is optional...fun and fellowship are mandatory. RSVP to Heather Burkhardt

Anglican 4th Day weekend opportunity

An Appalachia Service Project friend of mine, Mike Harris, is part of the leadership team for the new Anglican 4th Day and he has extended an invitation to any CUCCer who'd like to participate in a Cursillo-like weekend.  Thursday, October 27, 2011 at 7:00pm at Camp Agape in  Fuquay-Varina.

Anglican 4th Day is the new expression of a movement which uses the retreat/ongoing group model of Cursillo.   [You might have heard of Tres Dias, Walk to Emmaus, and Sunrise - similar experiences - or of the folk song or bumper sticker, Des Colores, a Cursillo standby.]  Most Cursillo-type groups are denominationally based, but the Anglicans have chosen to be ecumenical. 

I have never been on Cursillo, but several friends of mine from Grace Lutheran were deeply enriched by their participation in the weekend and the follow-up groups of fellowship, support, and action called Ultreya.  The weekend is "an experience of the Christian Community, but is also a time of instruction in the basics of our faith."  The Cursillo model origniated in the 1940's, so you'll find language and images from that time (and more common now in some denominations than in the UCC). But one of the things that impressed me most in talking to my friends was that while the talk topics are the same each time, the lay person presenting makes the content her or his own; folks spend hours and hours in study and prepartion using great creativity.  The second thing that impressed me about this movement is the way the Ultreyas sustain the energy of the weekend "high," becoming the ongoing-energy for transformational justice work (starting a clinic for low income people, housing homeless people in a church).

Here's a description of the weekend from their brochure: 
It teaches what is fundamental to living a Christian life. The Anglican 4th Day weekend begins on a Thursday evening and ends on the following Sunday evening. During the three days, candidates listen to 15 talks, five each day, given by laymen and clergy. 

There is also daily Eucharist and Prayer.


The laymen and clergy who comprise the “team” spend weeks working together preparing their talks. It takes careful planning because the time is short and the subject is extensive.


You may be wondering what the talks are about. To give you an idea, they will cover such subjects as Ideals, Grace, the Church, Piety, Study, Sacraments, Action, Obstacles to Grace, Leaders, Environment and Christianity in Action. Each talk is followed by a discussion period in small groups.


An Anglican weekend is not a retreat. There is no fasting, no long periods of silence and very little solitude.

If you'd like to learn more, let me know and I'll email you the brochure from Mike. Or, go to their Facebook page Anglican 4th Day Raleigh Ultreya. And Mike has said that you can go to an Ultreya gathering before you go on the weekend; they meet monthly, either the 2nd or 3rd Friday. The next one is Friday, August 12, 2011 at 6:30pm at Church of the Holy Cross, Raleigh.


- posted by Jane to spread the word for my friend, Mike

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

What is A Gathering of Friends?

Jesus said, "You are my friends."  Not disciples or acquaintances or committee members.  Friends.


Friends take care of each other, laugh until they cry together, trust each other enough to disagree, bring out the best in each other.  When you find yourself following God into difficult places- maybe singing in jail (Paul & Silas) - you need your friend at your side.  When you feel called to do the impossible - perhaps open the church to the rejected (Peter to the Council in Jerusalem) - you need to know and trust those to whom you bring the scary new idea.

For the church to be the church, we grow into friends.
This fall make a new CUCC friend. Watch for a wide array of opportunities to get to know one another: some new, some ongoing. Movie night, potlucks, trip to a play, Wednesday morning prayer, book discussion, pool party, hiking & more. Sign up on the bulletin board in the Fellowship Hall so the host knows you are coming or to reserve a spot if there is limited space. Better yet, post an event yourself by inviting others to join you when you are doing something you enjoy.  Going to a lecture, a concert, a new restaurant?  Post it and contact Jane to help you get word out.

Spend some time together.  Talk.  Laugh.  Debate.  Eat.  Make a friend.

Sign up for "Emily Alone" book discussion

Sign up on the Gathering of Friends bulletin board in the fellowship hall (Jane's house holds 15)


Discussion evening:  Aug. 24, Wed., 6:00pm, Smith's home
Eat before you come or bring a brown-bag supper.

"I was intrigued when I heard an NPR recommendation for summer reading. Emily sounds like a character worth knowing, somone who is living her life fully, but figuring out how to negotiate changes which come with age. Since some of us are interested in talking about our own aging or our aging parents, I thought others might enjoy the novel, too.  I hope the early start time will allow us to finish so folks don't have to drive home in the dark.  Do feel free to bring your supper; I'll be eating mine, too!"  - Jane Smith

This A Gathering of Friends event was sparked by conversation at the June congregational meeting.  Many of us love reading books and talking about them.  Others of us are noticing that we are entering the "older generation" or have parents for whom we have new caring responsibilities.

If you are reading a book that you think others might enjoy, set a date for discussion and post a note on the A Gathering of Friends bulletin board.  Drop Jane a note and we'll help get the word out.

A Gathering of Friends event

Wednesday Matins

Start your day with a time of prayer and friendship. Using the liturgy for the day from the newly-published Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals, we'll pray and read the scrptures of the day, then share a cup of coffee or tea and catch up on our week. 45 minutes max, then you are off to work!

6 Wednesdays, 7-7:45am, Bradow Room
Sept. 14, 21, 28, Oct. 5, 12, 19
A Gathering of Friends event

Enjoy getting together for great food and conversation?

"What can I eat to keep myself healthy if I am pre-diabetic?"  Our own Diana Koenning will be on hand to answer your questions at this first Healthy Eating Potluck.  Diana is a dietician with WakeMed (MPH, RD, LDN).  [The theme was suggested by someone at the June congregational meeting.]

Bring a low-carb, low-refined sugar dish and the recipe.

Saturday, August 20
Gather at 4:30pm to set up tables & chairs
Fellowship Hall
People of all ages are welcome; no childcare will be provided.
Friends are welcome

Potluck series
This is the first in a series of themed potlucks that we'll be having this fall, responding to a request at the June congregational meeting that we have more opportunities to get to know each other as we enjoy good food.   The potlucks will be hosted by everyone who shows up.  Together we'll set up & clean up.  And each time we'll pick a theme and set a date for the next potluck.  So bring your ideas, too.  Will our next event feature ethnic foods?  Foods from NC?  Childhood favorites made healthy?  Vegetarian recipes?

A Gathering of Friends event