Sunday, February 19, 2012

A Covenant for Economic Justice at CUCC

Four discussions will be held during Lent to examine a proposed Economic Justice Covenant for CUCC and what it would mean to become an Economic Justice congregation.  The discussions will begin at 7:00 p, the Hoffman Room on the following dates:
February 28:  What is the role of the church in economic justice and why have a covenant?
March 6:  Examining our individual life styles and our stewardship of creation
March 13:  Educating ourselves about the causes and perpetuation of economic injustices
March 20:  Engaging in economic and political actions consistent with our moral views


- posted for Shirley Birt and the Economic Justice Task Force

Saturday, February 18, 2012

I can't see the whole Lenten calendar entry. Help!

When you are using the online version of the calendar, do you might find that when you click the Spiritual practice you can't see all of the "essay?" 

If you don't "speak computer."
When you look at the internet, you use a "browser" - a computer program that connects you to the internet and helps you find stuff (go away, tech people, I know this is oversimplified).  Some browsers you pay for, some are free, and all track what you are looking at in limited ways (see their privacy agreements). C'est la vie.

Now, back to your problem.
My guess is that you are having this problem because you use Internet Explorer as your browser.  How can you tell?  Look at the very top of your internet page.  I'm guessing you'll see a blue bar with a funny "e" and "Windows Internet Explorer."  Fortunately for us, your computer is happy to let you use two different browsers and there are free options.  Consider adding either Firefox's Mozilla or Google's Chrome as your second browser.  That way you can keep doing what you're used to doing on your old browser, but have this new one as an alternative if you run into problems like the one with our Lenten Calendar.  I don't have a preference for either browser; I have found that both read the Calendar (and a bunch of other stuff) much better than Internet Explorer.

Here is how to load a second browser (a second way to access the internet).  In less than five minutes you'll have a second browser ready to use.
Here are the links to the two free browsers.
Firefox's Mozilla  OR Google Chrome

Click on the big rectangular button that says

"Firefox Free Download"  OR "Download Google Chrome"

Keep a look out for questions asking if you want this to be your "default" browser which means the one that shows up automatically.  Say "no" (unclick the little checked box) until you are sure you like this better than what you have.

There will be very simple directions there telling you exactly what to do. As I recall, you'll be asked to Accept the program and to Run the program.  (For Google Chrome you'll see a screen that says this could take a few minutes.  It does.  Go get a cup of coffee so you don't feel stressed waiting and wondering if you did something wrong.  You didn't.)

You do NOT have to join Google to use the browser.

If this sounds complicated to try on your own, call me and I'll talk you through it. But honestly, it isn't.  I learned how to do this last Thursday!  Really!

If you do "speak computer."
I found that my Internet Explorer 8 cuts off the "Description" section of the calendar event after about 1000 characters.  Others in the Google community found other cut offs.  No one has found a way to expand that window.

Some options:
Use Google' Chrome, Firefox's Mozilla, or Apple's Safari as your browser.  All work perfectly for me.
Try updating to Internet Explorer 9 IFF you have Windows Vista or 7 (won't work with XP).
- posted for the CUCC Stories/envisioning group

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

How can my children be involved during Lent?

Most days you'll find three sections which were prepared with different age groups in mind.
Activity:  These were written with children and adults in mind.  Expect things to make, things to find, memories to share, conversation, dancing, singing, ritual....  You'll create a Lenten table and place items there.
A story from…  and CUCC hiStory Be on the lookout for stories from our children, youth and families.  Stories from adults were generally written with adults in mind.
Dig deeper:  These events occur throughout the season and in various locations around Raleigh.  Child care is not provided unless noted.
{.}  children & youth are welcome although the event was not necessarily planned for them; parents, you know your children.
{c}  planned for children
{Y}  either planned for youth OR planned for adults with youth welcome if they are interested; parents, you know your youth.
not marked   planned for adults.  
- posted for the CUCC Stories/envisioning group

Sign up for Lenten events

Please sign up for the Lenten events.  You can call or email the church office or sign up on A Gathering of Friends bulletin board.

- some events include food; we want to have enough
- some events use materials; we want to have enough
- some events have childcare; we want your child to be safely attended
- some events require someone to meet you (ex.  carpooling to the art walk or walking the Meredith labyrinth); we don't want to lose you

That said, don't stay home if you didn't sign up.  Before you leave home check your email or our home page Upcoming Events column for last minute changes.
- posted for the CUCC Stories/envisioning group

Monday, February 13, 2012

Where to find the Lenten Spiritual Practices Calendar

Share this calendar with friends and family.  Here are three ways to access it online.

Lenten Spiritual Practices Calendar (online)- an online version through Google calendar.  "All day events" (in color box) link to the Activity, Stories and to Dig Deeper events of the day.
     Links to color photos for February 28, February 29, and March 21
     Link to finger labyrinth for March 5
     You should not have to set up a Google account; the calendar is public.

Lenten Spiritual Practices Calendar (12 point pdf) - print this pdf version (37 pages)
    pp. 6, 7, and 21 include color photos; the rest can be printed in black and white

Lenten Spiritual Practices Calendar (large print pdf) - print this pdf version (60 pages)
   pp. 9, 11, 39  include color photos; the rest can be printed in black and white

Let me know if you have questions.  Jane
- posted for the CUCC Stories/envisioning group

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Centering Prayer and Lenten Meditation

Whether you are new to this spiritual practice or have years of experience, join Steve Halsted for either or both of these evenings.
Tuesdays, March 6 and 20, 7-8pm, Fellowship Hall

Christianity from a world religion expert’s point of view

Whether you are a new Christian, new to the  United Church of Christ, or simply enjoy thinking about your faith in a new way, join this three part discussion.  Each week we’ll discuss one part of Huston Smith’s The Soul of Christianity.  Smith is a world-class scholar of comparative religions.
Fridays, Mar. 9, 16, 23, 6-7:30 pm
RSVP to the church office so we count you in for soup supper
A Gathering of Friends event

Our Congregational roots in Hawaii

When Steve and Marcy visited Hawaii, they explored the early Congregational mission churches.  That led to his discovery of Sarah Vowell's novel about those first missions, Unfamiliar Fishes .   Read the book in advance.  Steve will show slides of the churches they visited and we'll discuss the book in context.
Saturday, March 17, 7-9pm
No reservation necessary

A Gathering of Friends event

Friday, February 10, 2012

March SIS potluck: "The Power of Word"

In March Sisters in Spirit (women of CUCC) will gather on THURSDAY, instead of Tuesday, MARCH 29th. This is a variation from the fifth Tuesday rule but it is a fifth Thursday. Gray Woodard will be leading us in a discussion on "The Power of Word." Participants are invited to bring if they wish short favorite quotes, sayings or poems that mean something to them to share with others.We'll start with potluck at 7 in Hoffmann Room. All women of the church are invited.
- submitted by Marty Lamb
A Gathering of Friends event

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Money Talks discussion: New date Feb. 19, noon, Hoffmann Room

In our past discussions, we have shared thoughts about several areas including our "money autobiography", social investing, banking choices, financial advisors, major purchases, etc. The agenda has been open so we could focus on whatever concerns individuals bring to the meeting.

We hope you will join us and bring any questions, advice, and suggestions that you would like to share. Some of the areas that we could address if there is interest are:
Consumption and environmental imprints
Simplicity in our lifestyles
Dealing with "stuff" and "clutter - how to better reduce - reuse - recycle
Sharing skills, time and resources within the CUCC community
How are the "haves" and the "have nots" separated in our community?
How do we find "spiritual renewal" in a land of intense consumption?

There is, also, some interest in more fully exploring our "Money Autobiography" which we briefly looked at during our first meeting.

Posted for Shirley Birt
A Gathering of Friends event

"State of Wonder" soup & book discussion, Mar. 5

Join Suzette and Jane as we discuss Ann Patchett's newest book. Monday, March 5, 6pm in Pilgrim House. Jane is bringing vegetarian soup. If you can, bring cheese, crackers, bread, or dessert. RSVP to Jane so she knows how much to prepare.
A Gathering of Friends event

Monday, February 6, 2012

An evening of music for a good cause

Call a friend and head to the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Raleigh (UUFR) for a benefit concert to raise $ for the Coalition to Protect NC Families. Saturday, Feb. 18, 8-10 pm
Musicians include Someone’s Sister, the Triangle Gay Men’s Chorus, Rhythmicity, UUFR’s own interim minister Don Rollins & more! It will be a dynamic evening with speakers who passionately oppose the Amendment and its harms to NC families. Speakers include Reverend Jimmy Creech and organizers of RACE to the Ballot, the Coalition to Protect NC Families and UUFR. Suggested donations of $7 are appreciated at the door for the benefit.. Checks and credit card preferred. Let us celebrate our individuality and give recognition to this cause. Join us for good music, good speakers and good company. Invite your friends on FB! For information, contact: Tom ( or Bett ( / 787-6378
- posted for the Open and Affirming Task Force

"Eat less meat..." ? - a cryptic newsletter item


Reduce your carbon footprint and improve your health at the same time by eating less meat. Keep it simple: have a "meatless day" each week, eat meat only one meal a day most days. Or, use meat more to flavor a dish and/or use less meat in one.

Livestock production generates nearly a fifth of the world's greenhouse gases, more than transportation. Approximately one-third of the earth's ice-free land is directly or indirectly involved in livestock production. Also, livestock raised in industrial operations produce many times their weight in manure. In the US with five percent of the world's population, we grow and process nearly 10 billion animals a year, more than 15 percent the world's total.

Americans eat about eight ounces of meat, poultry, and fish a day, nearly twice the global average, and 25 percent more than 50 years ago. On average we consume 110 grams of protein a day, about twice the recommended daily requirement, and most of this protein comes from animal sources. (Dairy products are separate here, being barely significant in statistical terms.)

Want more info? Take a look at Michael Pollan's book, In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto, about how to change what we eat one meal at a time. Also, Food Rules, An Eater's Manual, now in a new edition illustrated by Maira Kalman; they were both at Quail Ridge this past week. (The Smiths have a copy of the latter you can borrow.)  But, you can just get the very small original paperback edition; he makes it easy to think about food differently. His website is:

Check a New York Times article by Mark Bittman "Re-Thinking the Meat Guzzler". Mark Bittman has also written two related books since then: Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating and The Food Matters Cookbook. He writes frequently about this and related issues in his blog and on his website,

Go to: 'Livestock's Long Shadow,' a report by the Food & Agricultural Organization of the UN.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Music is Monday Lunch Group Theme for most of February

The Monday Lunch Group sessions for February 6, 13, and 20 will be on singing as worship. These sessions will meet for the most part in the fellowship hall so we can make use of the TV screen and audio system. The primary resource will be YouTube because of the amazing extent and variety of video content available now via YouTube. The kinds of video we will view include ...
  • Singing of Psalms. (This was almost certainly a common practice of Jesus and his followers.)
  • Early church singing, including Greek and Eastern Orthodox music.
  • Latin chants and other Catholic music that provides the roots of our TaizĂ© worship.
  • An in-depth look at uses of Martin Luther's "A Mighty Fortress is Our God" (the signature hymn of the Reformation)
  • A couple of hymns (one from the 18th century and one from the 19th century) with an eye on how they have spread around the world and now provide a common musical heritage for a wide variety of cultures.
  • Pentecostal Worship (an American phenomenon which became popular in the early 20th century and remains widespread today, although in a somewhat different form from that of 100 years ago)
  • Praise Singing (common in today's charismatic churches)
During the series we'll do a little bit of singing ourselves (mostly during our meditation at the beginning of each session), but primarily we'll be watching and talking about the great variety of musical experience that makes up the Christian tradition.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Spring Stroll/Walk/Hike at Umstead: March 25

Join others on one of three walks through Umstead Park on Sunday, March 25. McCray Harris has charted a stroll, a walk and a hike; we'll all begin at 1:00, then peel off as we choose the length that suits us.  Carpool from CUCC at 12:45 or meet at Umstead at 1:00 after stopping somewhere to grab your picnic lunch.  We'll picnic at the old mill.

Come spend a leisurely spring afternoon walking/hiking the Inspiration Trail (an easy short 0.3 mile loop) and based on ability, continuing down to the Old Company Mill Site on Crabtree Creek [Option to return the way we came in for a short (2 miles) hike or the more adventurous may complete the Old Company Mill Trail loop (moderate 5.8 miles)]

Friends of all ages are welcome.  (Those under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.)
A Gathering of Friends Event