Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Church Campout at Camp Lapihio (Umstead Park) May 9-10

Last Year's Outing

Camp Lapihio
Umstead Park
May 9 - 10

Come one! Come all, for some or all of our time. CUCC youth are organizing a camping trip to the Lakes and Pines campsite at Camp Lapihio at Umstead Park: May 9 at 4:00PM to May 10 at 4:00PM! Join us for any of the following: afternoon activities, dinner, games for all ages, a camp fire with songs and stories, cabin camping, morning prayers, and a hike. If you don’t want to camp, come for the evening! Or bring a side dish and come for activities and dinner! Or come for prayers and a hike on Saturday! Signup sheets are in the narthex. You can also ask questions or register by emailing Santi Matthews:

Submitted by and posted for Santi Matthews.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Spring Congregational Meeting - May 4

Our annual Spring Congregational Meeting will be Sunday, May 4, following the 10:30am worship service. This annual "spring" meeting is required by our bylaws. At regular meetings, the agenda is unrestricted. This means that any proposal on any topic can be presented to the congregation for consideration.  The agenda will include the following ...
  • Approval of minutes from the November, January, and March congregational meetings. 
  • A summary of recent steps toward purchase of the Lloyd property adjacent to the church (by Lavon Page and Frank Gailor)
  • A report from the Treasurer and Stewardship Ministry on management of the financial matters related to the purchase.
  • Deacons report on pastoral transition - Ellen Beidler, Chair of Deacons
  • A report on the survey regarding installation of solar panels - Gary Smith (for the JCC Task Force).
  • A proposal for authorizing anti-fracking signs on chuch property - Grady McCallie
If you plan to present a topic for discussion, it is helpful if you let the moderator (Lavon Page) know in advance.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

How politics makes us stupid

The article "How politics makes us stupid" was recommended to us by our niece who writes for the NY Times. Very counterintuitive, and excellent food for thought in a culture as highly polarized as our own. Here are some excerpts ...

People weren’t reasoning to get the right answer; they were reasoning to get the answer that they wanted to be right ...

... our reasoning becomes rationalizing when we’re dealing with questions where the answers could threaten our tribe — or at least our social standing in our tribe. And in those cases, Kahan says, we’re being perfectly sensible when we fool ourselves ...

Presented with this problem a funny thing happened: how good subjects were at math stopped predicting how well they did on the test. Now it was ideology that drove the answers. Liberals were extremely good at solving the problem when doing so proved that gun-control legislation reduced crime. But when presented with the version of the problem that suggested gun control had failed, their math skills stopped mattering. They tended to get the problem wrong no matter how good they were at math. Conservatives exhibited the same pattern — just in reverse. Being better at math didn’t just fail to help partisans converge on the right answer. It actually drove them further apart. ...  The smarter the person is, the dumber politics can make them.

May Forums, 9:15AM, Fellowship Hall

Sunday, May 4.      “The State of Public Schools in NC: Legislative Update”.  The last legislative session and its Appropriations Act of 2013 yielded sweeping changes to public education in NC such as implementing a voucher program, eliminating masters pay and career status for educators, and creating a contract system of employment.  Come and learn about the impact of these changes from Patty Williams, Communications Director with Public Schools First NC, and Jessica Holmes, Staff Attorney with NC Association of Educators (NCAE).
Sunday, May 11.      Eric Juth will show his film “Ghosts of Johnston County” which explores the links between a rural county in North Carolina and the CIA’s extraordinary rendition program. Organized by Mike Soboeiro.

Sunday, May 18.      “The State of Wake County Public Schools”. Patty Williams from Public Schools First NC and Jessica Holmes from NC Association of Educators (NCAE) will bring the impact of the Appropriations Act of 2013 home to the Wake County Public School System.  They will describe the unique challenges we face going into the 2014-2015 school year. 

Sunday, May 25.      Cancelled  The NBC special “Our Year ofExtremes: Did Climate Change Just Hit Home?" with Ann Curry will be shown by Gary Smith, who will then host an audience discussion.  The show is excellent.  It gives the viewer some things to get ahold of to show that the climate is changing and what that means for humans.  It also includes very nice interviews with some lucid atmospheric scientists who explain what they are seeing in ways that we can all understand it.  The show is well worth your 45 minutes.  We hope you can make it.  If not, you can also see  it at this link
This will be the end of Forum until the fall unless there is a reason to organize additional meetings, for instance in connection with Moral Mondays and the short session of the Legislature. If anyone wants to organize meetings at Forum time over the summer, please let your wishes be known.

- submitted by Edith Sylla for Forum Planning Committee

Friday, April 25, 2014

Friday Email - 25 APR 2014

CUCC Family Fun Auction Party – April 26, 6:30pm
Proxy Bid Form for CUCC Auction
Donations of Laundry Basket Items
Forum, Sunday, April 27, 9:15am – VFH
Youth Church School, Sunday, April 27
Sisters in Spirit (SIS) – Tuesday, April 29, 6:30pm
Pastors for Reform – Tuesday, April 29
Phone Banking for Democracy NC – Wednesday, April 30
OutRaleigh! Volunteers Needed, Saturday, May 3rd
Spring Congregational Meeting - May 4
Dedication of Bricks – Loaves and Fishes Gratitude Garden
Church-Wide Outdoor Event! – May 9 – May 10
Property Purchase Funds
Wake Federation of the Blind Yard Sale
Top Ten Reasons to come to the Auction

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Thank You, Cathy!

Today is designated "Administrative Professionals Day", and on this occasion the Church Council extends a hearty "Thank You" to Cathy Marshall, our trusty manager of the church office. This morning Cathy was presented with a bouquet from the Council and a note thanking her for her reliable service to the Council and to the church. Cathy, of course, is also a very active member of CUCC. And she does so many things that sometimes it's hard to ascertain where her "professional" church work ends and her volunteer church work begins. But in any case, it's hard to imagine where we would be without her.

Thank You, Cathy!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Congregational Meeting - May 4

The church bylaws specify that a "spring congregational meeting" be held annually. In recent years this meeting has generally taken place in May. The January meeting centers around passage of the final budget and election of officers and committees. The November meeting is always focused on formulation of the budget for the coming year. But the spring meeting has no special focus.

The May 4 meeting agenda will include a report from the Ad Hoc Property Committee on the final details of the purchase of the Lloyd property, which is scheduled to take place during the week following May 4. There will be a brief report on the financing of the purchase. Gary Smith will report for the JCC Task Force on the results of the survey on solar panels and the status of that dialog. And Ellen Beidler will make a brief report on behalf of the Deacons. If you have other items you would like to bring to the attention of the congregation, it would be a good idea to inform the moderator (Lavon Page) in advance.

Entrenched Poverty - Not So Easy to Fix

Kudos to those at CUCC who have been investigating poverty, economic injustice, and the roots of these maladies. (This includes our Social Justice Ministry, our Economic Justice Task Force, and our Sunday Forum.)

Recommended reading for all of the above (as well as anybody else troubled by the persistence of poverty) is found in Sunday's NY Times in an article entitled "50 Years into the War on Poverty". Here's an excerpt ...

McDowell County, the poorest in West Virginia, has been emblematic of entrenched American poverty for more than a half-century. John F. Kennedy campaigned here in 1960 and was so appalled that he promised to send help if elected president. His first executive order created the modern food stamp program, whose first recipients were McDowell County residents. When President Lyndon B. Johnson declared “unconditional war on poverty” in 1964, it was the squalor of Appalachia he had in mind. The federal programs that followed — Medicare, Medicaid, free school lunches and others — lifted tens of thousands above a subsistence standard of living.

But a half-century later, with the poverty rate again on the rise, hardship seems merely to have taken on a new face in McDowell County. The economy is declining along with the coal industry, towns are hollowed out as people flee, and communities are scarred by family dissolution, prescription drug abuse and a high rate of imprisonment.

Liberals look at this and say, "More government help is needed." Conservatives look and say, "If you're looking for evidence that welfare programs can't fix the problem, this is it." Read and draw your own conclusions. It's an interesting piece.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday Email - 18 APR 2014

Easter Sunrise Service
Flowers for the Resurrection Cross
No Forum on Easter Sunday, April 20
Property Purchase Funds
Earth Sabbath – Tuesday, April 22, Yates Mill Park, 7:00pm
CUCC Family Fun Auction Party – April 26, 6:30pm
Proxy Bids for CUCC Auction
Donations of Laundry Basket Items
Wright Center Meal
“Climate Change and the Old Testament” – Sunday, April 27
Sisters in Spirit (SIS) – Tuesday, April 29, 6:30pm
Say it with Flamingos!
Spring Congregational Meeting - May 4
Church-Wide Outdoor Event! – May 9 – May 10
PLM Families Together
Pray at the Legislature – Tuesdays, 12:30pm – 1:00pm
Pastors for Reform – Tuesday, April 29
Newsletter Deadline – Wednesday, April 23
Top Ten Reasons to come to the Auction & Donation Form

Friday, April 11, 2014

Discussion on natural gas and fracking

The following email discussion occurred spontaneously from April 7 to 8, 2014, among some members of CUCC’s Justice in a Changing Climate Task Force (JCC).  A member of the JCC forwarded to the task force an email exchange he had with a member of the NC General Assembly.  The JCC member urged others to write to their representatives to ask them to not support fracking as a way forward to meet North Carolina’s energy needs.  A question posed by one JCC member (member C) led to a forwarded email exchange and sparked an important and ongoing discussion about natural gas, recorded here with the writers’ permission.

Emails between CUCC member B and Legislator A

Dear Legislator A,
Drilling for shale gas and hydraulic fracturing (fracking) have contaminated drinking water sources and wells, and have caused air pollution and fractured communities in the states where they are occurring. A variety of health impacts to people and animals have been reported near shale gas development.
In North Carolina, the drinking water sources for millions, including hundreds of thousands of well users, could be at risk.
We, the undersigned, urge you to reinstate the permanent ban on fracking and horizontal drilling for shale gas in North Carolina and to continue the ban on underground toxic waste injection.
Thank you.
Sincerely, CUCC member B

Dear CUCC member B:
Thank you very much for your email.  I agree with you completely.   I do not believe North Carolina is ready for fracking, but if we do move forward with fracking, our citizens at the very least have a right to know what chemicals are being used.  I will continue to fight for our citizens' safety in North
I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts with me.
Legislator A

Friday Email - 11 APR 2014

All Church Workday Tomorrow Morning, Saturday, April 12th
April 11-12 Youth Spring Lock-in!
Joy Alford to lead 10:30am Worship Service with Palm Processional this Sunday
Annual Easter Egg Hunt and Egg Dying this Sunday, April 13
Forum for Sunday, April 13
A Theological Conference, Saturday, April 12, 2014
Property Purchase Funds
Caring Committee
Retirees’ Group
PFLAG Potluck and Special Guest Speaker 
Maundy Thursday Service
Good Friday Devotion
Easter Sunrise Service
Flowers for the Resurrection Cross
CUCC Family Fun Auction Party
 “Climate Change and the Old Testament”
Say it with Flamingos!
Spring Congregational Meeting - May 4

Change of topic for April 13 Forum

Dream People of the Amazon:  The documentary, "Dream People of the Amazon", tells the story of an indigenous people in the Amazon who are faced with the dilemma of protecting their environment and their way of life from the encroachment of multinational oil companies.   Their dreams collide with the dreams of outside companies.  The Amazon community is seeking solidarity with the outside world and this story is part of our global conversation about the health of our planet.

Join us at Forum, 9:15-10:15am, in the Vaughan Fellowship Hall.

- Submitted by Shirley Birt for the Forum planning committee

Thursday, April 10, 2014

COM establishes a new CUCC record for virtual meeting participation

The Communications Committee is proud to announce that on Tuesday, April 8, the Community Outreach Ministry set a new church record for attendance at a virtual meeting. While the COM has been holding occasional virtual meetings for some time, on April 8 the COM had 6 participants in its monthly meeting.
Furthermore, two of the participants had simultaneous child care duties, so their participation would have been impossible if the meeting had been a traditional meeting at the church. According to COM co-chair Jo Perry, the choice was either a face-to-face meeting with perhaps 3 people, or the virtual meeting which set the new attendance record this month. So "going virtual" not only enlarged participation, but also eliminated 50-100 miles of unnecessary driving and a couple of person-hours spent behind the wheel.

Chalk this up as a step in the right direction toward CUCC's goal of finding actions we can take in support of our climate initiative.

For more information about online video conference using Google technology, contact Jo Perry. The Communications Committee also is willing to provide help for groups wishing to step into the world of virtual meetings.

Monday, April 7, 2014


CUCC youth are organizing our 2nd annual church-wide camping trip to Umstead Park on May 9! Join us for any of the following: dinner, games for all ages, a camp fire, and/or cabin camping. Sign up sheet will be in the narthex beginning April 13, or you can email your response to Santi.

CUCC Adult Forum, April 2014

Learn from experts and prepare yourself for faithful action.  The Adult Forum meets each Sunday at 9:15am in the Vaughan Fellowship Hall.

Sunday, April 6: Preventing Gun Violence Gun Violence is a national epidemic. In North Carolina there are annually over 1,000 lives lost to gun violence and an estimated 3,000 more injured by firearms. Gail Neely, Executive Director of North Carolinians Against Gun Violence, will be speaking about what we can do to help prevent this ongoing problem.

Sunday, April 13:  Southern Workers' Assembly.  Our economy is keeping wages down and making it harder for many people to make a liveable income, but workers are coming together to speak out about job issues.  There is an upsurge of new energy in the South.  The Southern Workers' Assembly is helping people to organize, unite and transform labor power and to seek fairness and dignity in the workplace.  Dante Strobino, Field Organizer, from the Assembly will join us to share information about their work and how we can participate in this movement.

Sunday, April 20: Easter Sunday - No Forum.

Sunday, April 27: Prisoner Re-entry Members of the Prisoner Re-entry Task Group of the local Congregations for Social Justice group, of which CUCC is a member, will introduce some of the many problems faced by people who have finished serving their terms in prison and are attempting to re-enter civil society. Someone formerly incarcerated will tell her (or his) story.

An Invitation to All Women of the Church

 Tuesday, April 29th, 6:30pm, Hoffmann Room

All women of the church are invited to a potluck, followed by discussion of our favorite books, considering options coming up for summertime reads and learning a little more about each other.

- submitted by Marty Lamb

Maundy Thursday Dinner and Worship - April 17

We are hosting our friends from St. Paul’s Christian Church for a special dinner of delicious soups and breads at 6:30pm in the Vaughan Fellowship Hall, followed by Tenebrae worship at 7:15pm.  This quiet service is designed for people of all ages.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Friday Email - 4 APR 2014

Kerma Hazel
Food Bags Due This Sunday
We Welcome Ruth Pardue as Our Guest Musician this Sunday­
UCC Conference For LGBTQI Concerns
Forum, Sunday, April 6th
“One Great Hour of Sharing”
ONA Task Force Meeting Sunday, April 6th
“Groundswell Rising, Protecting Our Children's Air & Water”
Souls to the Polls – April 6, 2014
Life & Faith in Downtown Raleigh – April 8th
April 11-12 Youth Spring Lock-in! 
All Church Workday – Saturday, April 12th
Say it with Flamingos!
Congregations for Social Justice Conference
Property Purchase Funds
Save the Date! Annual Spring Auction
“Climate Change and the Old Testament”

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Souls to the Polls Logistics

More volunteers are welcome to help with a final push for Voter Registration this Sunday, April 6.  Contact Gray Woodard if you are able to help.  Here is a note on logistics from Gray.
"Thanks for signing up to do voter registration Sunday afternoon.  CUCC is partnering with Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Raleigh just down Wade Avenue from our church (directions).  They are going to serve us a light lunch of sandwiches, fruit, chips and cookies between 12:15 and 12:45. If you can be there in time for lunch, please do attend. If you want to bring something simple to add to the lunch table, you are welcome to do that.

After lunch (so, about 12:45-1 p.m.) Nancy Moxley will be doing a short training session for canvassers and providing maps and materials from Democracy-NC. Even if you cannot make it to lunch, you should plan to be at UUFR by 12:45 for training and canvass assignments.

We will meet it the upper level at their Peace Hall which is a reddish clapboard older building which is closer to Meredith.  You cannot turn left into that parking lot from Dixie Trail.  
Feel free to call or email me with questions and thanks for volunteering.  Your efforts will make a difference!
Gray Woodard"