Wednesday, September 28, 2011


It DOES take a village to raise a child. Sometimes it helps for parents to get together to grow as a community, practice "goodness", trade notes, enhance skills. From time to time in the history of our church parents have sometimes formed such groups that they have found quite beneficial. Is now a time to wonder about forming such a group again among parents of kids at CUCC? Let's see. If you think you might be interested in meeting together ONCE to learn a little about the history of parents' groups here and hear of some models and possibilities, please call the church, 787-6422, and leave your name, contact information, and when would be good times for you to meet with others.

– submitted by Marty Lamb

Fall Planting and Clean-up Day

October 15, 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM 
Families Invited, Lunch Provided! 
Share your garden with CUCC!!

This workday will focus on the CUCC grounds with these objectives:

  • Add landscaping plants to improve the appearance of the Dixie Trail parking lot
  • Plant a fall/winter vegetable garden with the children and youth attending
  • Weed the children’s playground and the bank along Wade Avenue
  • Pick up branches and pine cones on all of the CUCC grounds

If you have plants to share from your garden, please divide them now and re-pot them so they will have time to form some roots and be ready for planting on October 15. Please let Lena know what you’ll be bringing.   Can’t garden? Can you make phone calls or help with lunch? Just let Lena know how you’d like to be involved. SEE YOU OCTOBER 15.

Novemberfest! Save the Date & Reserve a Spot!

This year, our Novemberfest! feast and celebration returns to a turkey dinner format. Contact the office to reserve your spot for dinner. 

November 12, 6 p.m.
Turkey with all the fixings 
A vegetarian option will be available.
Tell the office if you want child care.

This is a FUNDRAISER for the ministries of Community UCC.  Open your wallets wide OR bring that check book so we can continue to
  • meet basic needs of those in the community, 
  • advocate justice to public and private institutions,
  • share God's welcome and love with one another and with folks often shunned by society,
  • care for our staff who help us grow, worship, and work, and
  • care for the bit of creation which God has entrusted to us.

A Variety Show will follow the dinner.
If you have an act with which to entertain our audience, that would be wonderful! Please contact Śānti Matthews with variety acts. Stay tuned - details to follow!!!

VOLUNTEERS are needed to help with any and all aspects of Novemberfest!! Please contact Skip Stoddard or Fawn Pattison. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

An Echo from the Past

Today's Raleigh N&O includes an obit for Wangari Maathai, the Kenyan environmentalist who became the first African woman to earn a Nobel Peace Prize, and the first East African woman to receive a Ph.D. The article reminded me of the occasion several years ago when a visitor at the CUCC forum identified himself as her ex-husband. He related that he had visited CUCC while a student in the U.S. in the 1960s, and that he had fond memories of CUCC and the people who had welcomed him then.

In order to verify my memory, I checked the bio for Wangari Maathai found at Wikipedia. It would appear that she and her husband had a very tortured relationship, but the facts there appear to verify my memory. So I'm posting this information so folks will be aware of a small connection between our church and a very remarkable African woman.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Zeitoun discussion begins Oct. 3

Throughout October the Monday Lunch Group will begin discussing Dave Eggers'  book "Zeitoun" under the leadership of Vandy Bradow.  Betsy has copies of the book from the Wake libraries you may borrow.  Sign out a book from the church library with your name and the book #.  Vandy recommends you plan to complete the book by Oct. 10.  See you at 12:15.  Bring a bag lunch if you like.
A Gathering of Friends event

What's next for Open and Affirming?

Join the conversation as we discern how we might continue to extend God's extravagant welcome to our LGBT sisters and brothers.  Many ideas are on the table, including preparing for the May 8 vote on the constitutional amendment, a PFLAG safety-from-bullying initiative to LGBT students in Wake Schools, new banners for the sanctuary, and having a table at the Equality NC conference Nov. 12.

Imagining another world is possible

Every fall, CUCC holds a special collection to support Neighbors in Need, the United Church of Christ's program to support ministries of justice and compassion in the United States.  This year, we'll be dedicating our offerings on Sunday, October 9.
You can read more about Neighbors in Need at .  Thanks for supporting this work which allows us to reach beyond our walls and our neighborhood to neighbors in our country.

Rev. Brenda Baker to preach this Sunday

We welcome the Rev. Brenda Baker from our sister congregation, St. Paul's Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) on October 2.  She'll be preaching and celebrating communion on World Wide Communion Sunday at the 10:30am worship service.

Brenda Baker has lived and worked in North Carolina since 1975. She has her Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education and was a NC public school teacher, predominantly in Wake County, for 25 years. While teaching Brenda received her call to Ministry and attended Shaw University Divinity School to begin her studies. Upon retiring from teaching in 2007, she began her studies full-time at Andover Newton Theological School and graduated in May of 2010. Brenda is associated with the Alliance of Baptists and the Disciples of Christ and was ordained earlier this year. She is currently in the search and call process.

Friday, September 23, 2011

CROP Walk 2011

The Raleigh CROP Walk 2011 is Sunday, October 30. Every year, CUCC and surrounding churches join forces to raise money to provide food for the hungry. The proceeds are used both locally and globally. The event begins and ends at the Marbles Kids Museum. Registration and fun festivities for the entire family begin at 1:00 and the walk kick-off is at 2:45. Event organizers are hoping to make this year’s event better than ever, offering kids’ activities prior to the walk. They are also encouraging walkers, young and old, to come wearing Halloween costumes. CUCC had fewer than ten walkers last year, so let’s set a goal of twenty walkers this year and make our presence known! Fund-raising materials will be available in the Narthex prior to the 10:30 service two Sundays in early October. For more information, see Amy Jensen or Mike Schafele, or check out the Crop Walk website at

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Readings for Wednesday Matins

Bill asked me to post the readings for the Wednesday Matins.  Here they are, Bill.

Sept. 21
Psalm 105:12-15
Micah 1:1-9
Matthew 9:27-34

Sept. 28
Psalm 135:3-7
Jonah 1:1-7a
Matthew 12:22-32

October 5
Psalm 25:6-10
Jeremiah 37:3-21
James 3:1-12

October 12
Psalm 62:6-9
Lamentations 2:8-15
II Corinthians 1:23-2:17

October 19
Psalm 96:7-10
Ezra 6:1-22
II Corinthians 7:2-16

Monday, September 19, 2011

Wish you could swap ideas with others about how we use our money?

MONEY TALKS: Join us for a sharing of experiences, questions and issues about how we use our money on Sunday, October 2, in the Hoffman Room at 12:30. Bring a bagged lunch. Explore the relationship between our money and our values.

A Gathering of Friends and Economic Justice Task Force Event

CUCC friend the Rev. Dr. Ursula Schmitt-Pridik to preach Sep. 25

What a joy to welcome "home" Ursula Schmitt-Pridik.  Ursula was an intern at CUCC several years ago and we're always happy when she makes a visit to the US so we can renew our friendship with her.  She is now a minister in our sister denomination in Germany.  We look forward to her sermon this Sunday at 10:30 worship.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Want to carpool to Hunter's ordination?

On October 9 at 3:30pm, our friend Hunter Thompson will be ordained at Samora Lebanon Christian Church where he has been serving as pastor.  Hunter was "in care" at CUCC and we enjoyed having Pam, Oliver and Rachel as part of our church family.  If you would like to carpool to the ordination service, contact the church office.  The church is about 1 1/2 hours from CUCC.
Samora Lebanon Christian Church, 349 CUNNINGHAM RD , SEMORA NC 27343

Feeling Distressed?!

Today in his sermon, Steve reminded us that God created us with biological mechanisms for responding to stressful situations.  When the stressor is experienced first-hand, our biology kicks in so we can do the "fight or flight" thing, putting our stress response to good use.  But when the stressor is second-hand (like watching news about 9/11, or the economy, or the legislative vote on the anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment) or stressors pile up, we have a tougher time channeling the stress in healthy ways.  I tried to jot down his suggestions for stress-relief in my bulletin; I'm sure I missed a few.

  • exercise
  • deep breathing, connecting to the Breath of Life
  • reconnecting to the rhythms of your life
  • picking a mantra to remind yourself to let go of what is "not helpful", steering clear of unhelpful input
  • reading (fantasy literature or inspiration biographies, for example)
  • prayer
Add some of your own stress relievers here as a comment or on the Community United Church of Christ Facebook page.
- from Jane

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

"Why don't people have jobs? Is all the work done?"

On Labor Day, Shirley Birt's Ministry Moment spoke of the challenges facing working people.  Then, on behalf of the Economic Justice Task Force, she encouraged the congregation to engage "in the issues in whatever way works for you" by staying informed and joining forces with excellent groups working for solutions.

You can read Shirley's  Labor Day Ministry Moment and consider specific actions you might take.

Supporting our LGBT friends and family in these painful times

Preparing Signs for NC Pride:  On Sunday September 18 you are invited to bring your ideas and/or artistic skills to the Vaughan Fellowship Hall to make signs for the Pride March September 24.
Being a sign of love and acceptance - come to NC Pride:  Since many of our youth will be involved in the Cycle for Hope event, it is even more important that our CUCC members come to participate in the September 24 event, which runs around 11 am to 5 pm. It is on the Duke East Campus, off Swift Avenue in Durham. We will need help staffing the table (in the shade) and talking with visitors who want to know more about UCC. We will need WALKERS to walk the parade route (about 1.5 miles) We will need people to help set up in the morning and take stuff down in the late afternoon. Please come and be a part of this event. The LGBT community desperately needs to hear that churches exist who are loving, accepting, embracing. Especially now.

Monday, September 12, 2011


Saturday, September 24, 2011
A fundraising event for The Hope Center
(Helping people overcome the many barriers associated with homelessness and make a
new start in their lives.)
Join the CUCC Youth Group and friends as we participate in the Cycle for Hope.
  • Registration begins at 8:00 a.m., but the 12 mile ride can register by 9:00 a.m.
  • Enjoy a 12-mile greenway tour through NCSU and past Lake Raleigh; starts at 9:30 a.m.
  • Embark on a 40-mile tour that includes a stop at beautiful Lake Wheeler Park; starts at 9:00 a.m.
  • After your ride enjoy refreshments and live music.
Both rides begin at The Hope Center, Pullen Memorial Baptist Church1801 Hillsborough St.Raleigh. Registration is $35 per rider. Register online ASAP at The Hope Center Web site:
CUCC adults will be accompanying CUCC youth. If you need help getting yourself and/or your bike to Pullen, or if you need help with the registration fee, please let Santi know:  or 961-8814.
A Gathering of Friends event

(We realize this conflicts with the NC Pride Parade (In future years these two events will not conflict!)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Why matins?

[from Jane as Jane, not with my CUCC hat on]  When I was a teenager, I began going to the Episcopal mass with my neighbor. She and I played guitar in a tiny 18th century sanctuary which smelled of old wood and incense, light filtering through stained glass windows. That was my introduction to the richness of “high church” liturgy. Over the years, I continued to delight in the liturgies of the Roman Catholic and Lutheran traditions and, as much as I love CUCC, I find I miss those rhythms of worship. Gary and I participated in Matins at Grace Lutheran Church when we first moved to Raleigh. That brief service and time for coffee and chatting, repeated each week with roughly the same small group of people, was an important part of keeping us energized for the hard work of doing justice. The CUCC Deacons have graciously said “yes” to our request to try it for six Wednesdays at CUCC.

What is matins? Matins is the early morning prayer service in the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran and Eastern Orthodox liturgies of the canonical hours. Around the world, Christians begin their day with roughly this format: greeting, song, scripture of the day, prayers of the community, Lord’s prayer, benediction. Whether you enjoy formal liturgy, are curious, or simply want to start your weekday with prayer and friendship, consider Wednesday Matins, 7-7:45 am.

We’ll be adapting the matins from a new book, Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals, which was written by participants in the “new monastic” communities: Shane Claiborne (Simple Way, Philadelphia), Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove (Rutba House, Durham), and Enuma Okoro (Duke University).

Where: Bradow room (the room with the comfy furniture
When: Wednesdays, 7-7:45 am (Sep. 14 to Oct. 19)
I hadn’t planned for childcare, assuming those with children will be busy with school routines. Let me know if you’d like to come but need childcare and I’ll see what I can arrange.
Friends are welcome!
A Gathering of Friends events

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Newcomers' Supper, Friday, Sep. 16

You are invited to the Newcomers’ Supper on Friday, September 16, 2011. 
Appetizers at 6:00 PM; Dinner served at 6:30 PM
Unwind after a busy week, ask questions about Community United Church of Christ, and enjoy meeting new people!  Please bring an appetite and curiosity.
RSVP to CUCC office by Monday, September 12:  787-6422 or
Please tell us if you need childcare (ages) and if you have any dietary restrictions.

Mike Schafale to speak, Mon., Sep. 12, 10:30am

Retirees and their friends will meet in the fellowship hall to hear Michael Schafale, a member of CUCC, and the author of the recently published book, Wild North Carolina, will discuss the creative process in writing the book. He is the Community Ecologist for the NC Natural Heritage Program.  Bring a bag lunch to eat around 12 noon.  Drinks and dessert are provided. You need not be retired to attend and friends are welcome.
A Gathering of Friends event

Explore foods from around the world

Ethnic foods potluck, Saturday, Sept. 17, 5:30pm
Our second dinner group potluck - open to anyone
Bring a dish to share & the recipe
We'll gather in the fellowship hall at 5:30 pm to set our tables, then enjoy a friendly meal together, cleaning up together before we head home. This is the second in our series of potluck dinners for those who enjoy good food and conversation. Friends are very welcome!
A Gathering of Friends event