Monday, March 25, 2013

Easter worship March 31

6:30 am sunrise service at West Raleigh Presbyterian Church (Traditionally, we share sunrise worship with other neighborhood congregations.)

9:00am Taize' in the sanctuary

10:30am  traditional worship for all ages in the sanctuary*

*Remember to bring a flower or some greenery for the resurrection cross. 
Bring a camera to catch great family photos.

April 1 to May 19: Mission 4/1 Earth

Launching on Easter Monday, April 1, 2013, and continuing through the great 50 days of Eastertide, United Church of Christ congregations, colleges, seminaries, camps and outdoor ministries, and health and human service agencies will join together in a shared mission campaign to:

• Collectively offer more than ONE MILLION HOURS of engaged earth care, including clean up, advocacy, education, and behavioral changes that will impact the environment.

• Collectively plant more than 100,000 TREES locally and globally in partnership with the National Arbor Day Foundation and the UCC's denominational partners around the world.

• Collectively write and send more than 100,000 ADVOCACY LETTERS on environmental concerns to elected officials and local and national newspapers.

The Justice in a Changing Climate Task Force at CUCC invites you to add your hours/trees/advocacy letters to the national tally and to practice 50 days of earth care mindfulness. 
Monday 4/1 (day after Easter) to Sunday 5/19 (Pentecost)

While tallying our hours allows us to make visible our care for God's creation, we also have the opportunity to practice mindfulness throughout these 50 days.  As you pay attention to the actions that fill your day, hunting for minutes to tally, you'll be engaging in a spiritual practice of noticing the good earth and making small decisions that bring you a bit more into alignment with what you believe.  This is definitely a family-friendly campaign.

Tally cards will be in the Easter Sunday bulletin and Mike Schafale will explain more during the Mission Moment.  Cards will be available on the green board in the narthex throughout the 50 days.  During the 50 days, you can either drop off your card, picking up a new one, so we can keep the tally running OR you can bring one total card to worship on Pentecost Sunday, May 19.

What counts
Hours:  You decide what is "earth care" for you.  Taking out your recycling?  Researching and making a "green" purchase?  Trying an earth-friendly recipe?  Reading an earth-care book you've been meaning to read?  Taking a walk and deeply appreciating nature (and maybe picking up trash as you go)?  Spending time in prayer for earth carers or earth caring votes?  Planting your own garden?  Learn something new at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences?
Trees:  Plant a tree yourself or donate money to plant a tree.  The UCC site has some suggestions.
Advocacy:  Respond to some of those earth care emails that flood your inbox?  Like something on Facebook?  Attend an Earth Day rally?

CUCC Opportunities
Adult Forums April 7- May 5 are being sponsored by the Justice in a Changing Climate Initiative (1 hour each!)
1st Wednesday potlucks April 3 and May 1, 6:30pm:  Bring a dish with ingredients you chose thinking about caring for the earth.  (Count shopping, cooking and eating time!)
Creating CUCC's rain garden:  workday April 13, 9-noon (count 1-3 hours)
Tending the Plant-a-row garden
Sign a letter of advocacy after worship (most Sundays April 7-May 5)
Earth Sabbath Celebration April 23, 7pm (count 1.5 hours)
Help the group exploring whether CUCC should install solar panels (contact Gary Smith)
Submit an earth-care fun event at the CUCC auction (auction is April 20, 6pm)

- submitted by Jane Smith for the Justice in a Changing Climate Initiative

Yes, bring your children to Maundy Thursday worship

I talked with Rev. Diane Faires, Associate Minister at St. Paul's Christian Church, who is planning our joint worship for Maundy Thursday.  She said young children are definitely welcome and will find ways to connect in the worship service. 

Soup and bread dinner at 6:30pm in St. Paul's fellowship hall (dinner with vegetarian options is being provided)
Worship 7pm in St. Paul's sanctuary

What to expect:
The core of the service is a dramatic reading of the stories of Maundy Thursday, including Jesus's washing of his disciples feet and the eating of the meal which we now remember as communion.  While Diane didn't mention them, I believe they usually also include the stories of Judas betraying Jesus, Jesus' prayers in Gethsemane garden, and his arrest.  While the reading won't involve costumes or acting, multiple readers will be doing the reading and the stories are engaging.

After the reading, people will be invited to come forward for communion by intinction (dipping bread in grape juice) and to have their hands washed (instead of feet).  Just as at CUCC, at St. Paul's parents decide when their children are ready for communion.  Your children are welcome.

How to prepare your children:
Diane suggested that the night before (Wednesday night) you use a children's Bible or simply tell the children the stories of Maundy Thursday.  Look at John 13:1-20 for the footwashing story and Mark 14:12 to 52 for everything except the footwashing story.

Diane said there are two parts of the story which children might find confusing.
First, the bread and grape juice aren't really made of someone's body and blood.  These are symbols to help us remember Jesus.
Second, Jesus wasn't arrested because he was bad.  Sometimes people who work for justice get arrested, even though what they are doing is good.

- posted by Jane Smith

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Marge Eckels and Cy King - Forum

On March 17 at the Sunday Forum, Marge Eckels and Cy King engaged in a dialog moderated by Sue Cottle. The topic was their long involvement with social action issues in Raleigh. On behalf of the Social Justice Ministry, Edith requested that I record a video of the dialog. That video is now available and is part of our permanent archive found at The video is 63 minutes long. For more information about this video or other material in the archive, please feel free to contact me.

Lavon Page

Monday, March 18, 2013

Youth to lead worship Palm Sunday

The youth have been preparing for weeks to lead our worship this Sunday, March 24.  
Preparation has included a lock-in overnight (including tie-dying t-shirts) 

and a trip to Defy Gravity to get their creativity bounding.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Adding pink tape to your driver's license

This week, prayerfully consider adding a pink stripe to your driver's license, in solidarity with DACA immigrants and in protest of the NCDOT policy. - from the Social Justice Ministry

What is the pink stripe? The NC Department of Transportation has decided to offer a driver’s license to undocumented immigrants in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.  The new license has a pink stripe and the bold words “NO LAWFUL STATUS.”  

To be qualified for the DACA program, the immigrants must be younger than 30 and have graduated from high school or are currently in school or be an honorably discharged veteran; they can't have been convicted of any serious criminal offense.  If they qualify, they can apply for a Social Security card and be legally employed in the US.  The US Department of Homeland Security has said it is up to officials in each state to decide whether to issue DACA participants a driver’s license.”1  The NC Department of Motor Vehicles requested an opinion from NC Attorney General Roy Cooper.  In January “Cooper wrote that while these immigrants don't have legal ‘status,’ they are lawfully present. Thus, the DMV must issue a driver's license ‘of limited duration,’ to this group of immigrants who have valid documentation and meet other legal requirements.”2

The pink stripe and “NO LAWFUL STATUS” is the NC Department of Motor Vehicles compromise to promote driving safety, to allow DACA program participants to drive legally, and to respond to pressure from those who object to the DACA program.  NCDMV’s proposed license has been approved by Governor Pat McCrory.  Licenses are not yet being issued and there is a move in the NC legislature to delay implementation to give legislators an opportunity to block issuing licenses to DACA participants.

Why is Social Justice Ministry recommending I add a pink stripe to my license?
For several years, the Social Justice Ministry has been seeking to understand and act on the challenges faced by undocumented North Carolinians, and by the United States in deciding how to respond to their presence among us.  We are informed by the wisdom of the scriptures which charges us to welcome the stranger.  We seek to follow the example of Jesus and of the early church who extended the good news and the beloved community without regard to nationality.

However one interprets the potential citizenship of undocumented immigrants, that pink stripe creates privilege and shame, and increases the possibility that a whole people will live under suspicion.  Our faith, again and again, reassures us and challenges us that we are all children of God, brothers and sisters.  We choose not to allow the government of North Carolina to divide us.

Last week we learned that United Church of Chapel Hill had joined with Iglesia Unida de Chapel Hill and the Durham-based Judea Reform Congregation to invite members to add a pink stripe to their licenses.  Where the state of North Carolina seeks to divide us with this proposed license, this creative action allows us to choose to cross that boundary and blurr the distinction.

Things to consider before I add the stripe
·      Are there legal implications for adding the stripe?  United Church of Chapel Hill’s legal advisor found no statute which indicates we are breaking a law as long as we don’t cover any of the information on the license.  However, in the absence of precedent, we can’t guarantee there won’t be legal ramifications.
·      Be prepared.  Prepare a simple sentence to explain your decision to those who will see your license.  At your bank or check out line?  A traffic stop?  The airport?  These interactions are your opportunity to educate others.   You might find yourself delayed, so allow extra time.
·      Multiply the effect.  Adding a stripe to your license has limited impact if no one knows you’ve done it.  Here are ways we’ve thought of spreading the word.
  • o   When you pick up your stripe, sign a letter to Governor McCrory and to your legislators.
  • o   If you use Facebook, share CUCC’s post with your friends and invite them to join you. Like the post on the United Church of Chapel Hill page, too.  Post a note on the page for Pat McCrory (government official).
  • o   If you use email, invite friends to add pink stripes to their licenses.

On Sunday, we'll have letters to Governor McCrory and our legislators for you to sign.  Letter text - 
Today we have added a pink strip to our North Carolina driver’s licenses.

However one interprets the potential citizenship of undocumented immigrants, that pink stripe creates privilege and shame, and increases the possibility that a whole people will live under suspicion.

Our faith, again and again, reassures us and challenges us that we are all children of God, brothers and sisters.  We choose not to allow you to divide us.

We urge you to seek solutions to the immigration dilemma that do not stigmatize and divide.

Resources used for the background information in this article
1 “Pink stripe on NC illegal immigrant licenses eyed,” Michael Biesecker, Associated Press, Fri, Feb 22, 2013
2  “Roy Cooper to DMV: Some undocumented immigrants can be issued driver's licenses,”
3  Religious leaders protest license markings,” Ray Gronberg, Sun Mar 3, 2013 at 6:39PM

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Change of date: Rituals and resources family potluck

New date:  Sunday, March 17, 5-7 pm at Richard and Laurel's home

This date is a change from our previously scheduled date of March 10 (this Sunday).

Please RSVP to Richard and Laurel so they know how many people to plan to host.

This is a potluck dinner for families with younger-than-middle-school children; bring a dish your child enjoys and a toy to share.  While the children play, we'll share rituals that help us convey what we believe to our children.

A Gathering  of Friends event

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Living into our Economic Justice Covenant

The March Sunday Adult Forum series leads us to think about "Living into our Economic Justice Covenant."  All are welcome to attend:  Sundays, 9:15-10:15, Vaughan Fellowship Hall.

March 10 - Living into our Economic Justice Covenant I: In Living Well While Doing Good, Donna Schaper presents strategies “to ground and inspire sustainable passion for social and personal transformation” by simplifying money, domesticity, children, joy, and much more. Discussion of Donna Schaper’s short books will be led by Marty Lamb and Edith Sylla. 
March 17 - Living into our Economic Justice Covenant II: How can we ground and sustain social activism? Stories and reflections from long lives of activism by Marge Eckels and Cy King. Facilitator: Sue Cottle
March 24 - Living into our Economic Justice Covenant III: Living simply so that others may simply live. Being intentional in our earning and spending. Led by Mac and Peg Hulslander. 
March 31 – Happy Easter! No forum. 

Monday, March 4, 2013

First Wednesday Potlucks are Back!

Our next First Wednesday Night Potluck will be March 6, 6:30pm - 8:00pm.  These potlucks are a great time to meet, eat, and enjoy each other’s company.   Come and get to know fellow CUCCers in a relaxed setting. Everyone is invited.  To continue our theme of “healthy eating,” we will celebrate “National Nutrition Month.”  Bring your favorite nutritious dish to share, along with the recipe for those folks who have food allergies and who will also love your dish!
A Gathering of Friends event

All hands needed for Church Workday

Saturday, March 16, 9:00am - Noon  

The Property Ministry invites everyone to come help clean the sanctuary, Sunday School rooms, kitchen, and fellowship hall. Please come with dusting cloths, furniture polish, buckets, window cleaning supplies, rubber gloves, etc., to help with our first WORKDAY for 2013. There will be no outside work done this day. Please come out and help make your church sparkle!

Camp registration has begun

Śānti Matthews will be available to answer camp questions and provide registration forms and information on Sunday, March 10, at 10:00am in the youth room. All interested youth and parents who have questions, be sure to attend. Please contact Śānti at if you have questions and this timing does not work for you.

Luke Kurtis' art on exhibit this Saturday

Raleigh art collector Geraldine Bryan is proud to present muse, an intimate solo exhibition of new work by artist Luke Kurtis.  Please join her in the Hoffmann Room on Saturday, March 9, from 2:00-4:00pm, for the exhibition opening and to hear the artist discuss his work in a casual setting.  The exhibition will remain on view on the Art Wall until April 20, 2013, and is viewable by appointment (call 919-787-6422 or 919-787-8494).  

muse is a series of never-before-exhibited digital collage prints that evolved out of the artist’s Jordan’s Journey project.  Through a detailed process combining both digital and analogue techniques, Kurtis probes the areas of spirituality, history, science, and fashion. 

For past works by Kurtis, see his portfolio.

Luke Kurtis (also known as Jordan M. Scoggins) is a Georgia-born interdisciplinary artist focusing on the intersection of photography, writing, and design.  He is the partner of Geraldine’'s nephew, Andrew Jones.  They live and work in New York’s Greenwich Village.  Geraldine Bryan, a long-time member of CUCC, is an avid and experienced art collector and Raleigh resident.  She was a docent at the North Carolina Museum of Art for 18 years and is pleased to present the Raleigh debut of Kurtis'’ work.

Bowling Tonight

Okay, you asked for it!  And, here it is: The Welcoming, Fellowship, and Growth Ministry is hosting a "fun bowling night" on Monday, March 4, 2013.  Come join Robert Parrish for an evening of bowling at Western Lanes, 2512 Hillsborough Street (across from NC State) in Raleigh. The cost for the evening is $5.00 per person for unlimited bowling for up to two hours. Please meet Robert at the entrance of Western Lanes at 7:00pm. The entire family is invited to come and “have a bowl and a ball.”
- A Gathering of Friends event

Friday, March 1, 2013

“Micro Militarism" - topic for Forum this Sunday

Based on his article with this title, Michael Schwalbe, professor of Sociology at NCSU, will speak on pro-military practices squeezed into small cultural spaces, such as printing “support our troops” on bank receipts. This is related to efforts of Peace Action to move funds from military spending to meet human needs.

All are welcome to attend the Sunday Adult Forum - March 3, 9:15 to 10:15am, Vaughan Fellowship Hall.