Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Sabrina Reflects on Flight 17

Our niece, Sabrina Tavernise (daughter of Jo's sister Cindy) was one of the first reporters on the scene in eastern Ukraine when the plane with 298 people on board was shot down on July 17. She was visiting with us the weekend of July 4-6, and left to fly to Ukraine on July 6. While she has written most of the reports from the crash scene which have appeared in the NY Times since July 17, the most poignant commentary she has offered yet is to narrate a slide show of photos taken by Times photographer Mauricio Lima who was on the scene with her. The slide show is attached to the following article ...

Effort to Secure Malaysia Airline Crash Site Falters in Eastern Ukraine

Or you can go directly to the slide show ...

Slide Show

The text accompanying the slides was written by Sabrina. She sent me the link this morning.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Help Community Outreach Fill the Packs for PLM Families Together

During the month of August, the Community Outreach Ministry will be collecting school supplies for children supported through PLM Families Together.  Starting August 3, backpacks will be placed in the Narthex and the Vaughan Fellowship Hall.  Please use the school supply list below to help fill the backpacks!  Donations will be taken to PLM Families on August 24, 2014.
Items to include in the backpacks are:
College Ruled Paper              
Graphing Paper            
3 ring binders                        
Glue sticks

Friday, July 25, 2014

Friday Email - 25 JUL 2014

Party at Glenaire Retirement Community
Youth Group - “Human Beans Together” - Sunday, July 27
Inequality for All – Film and Discussion
Pray at the Legislature – Tuesdays, 12:30pm-1:00pm
Four-Week Summer Series Based on NOOMA Films
Help Community Outreach Fill the Packs for PLM Families Together
Emergency food bags Due Next Sunday
Change Agent Coin Holders Still Available
Godspell, Jr
Oak City Outreach Center Seeking Volunteers
Divestment by World Council of Churches from Fossil Fuels
No August Newsletter

Nature Walk - an Auction Event

Geri Bowen recently led an evening nature walk along the Neuse River. Here are some photos from that event. The description of the event provided by one of the participants reads as follows:

Moonrise over the Neuse River, taken on a sunset nature walk offered by one of our members at the 2014 Family Fun Auction.  We learned to hear the voices of four types of frogs/toads and witnessed a heron take flight and a mysterious water mammal swim into the sunset.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Inequality for All – Film and Discussion

On Tuesday, July 29, 7:30 pm, in the CUCC Sanctuary, the Social Justice Ministry will sponsor a showing of the documentary Inequality for All.  In the film, former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich makes a compelling case about the serious crisis the U.S. faces due to the widening economic gap.  Reich states, “Until we can take a step back and understand the big picture, we can’t do anything to get ourselves out of this mess. Our democracy as we know it depends on it.”  For questions or additional information, contact Joan McAllister.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Deacons' Letter

This letter is to let you know about the recent activities of the Deacons’ Ministry in planning for Steve’s departure at the end of the year. As you know, Pastor Steve on April 27 announced his decision to retire; and in doing so, generously allowed the congregational leadership ample time to plan for a call to a new full- time permanent pastor for Community UCC.

The first step was to inform ourselves of the resources and guidance available from the denomination. In May Nora Faust of Eastern North Carolina Association (ENCA) of the Southern Conference, United Church of Church met with Deacons and Church Council members with this information. It is through the auspices of the ENCA Board of Ministry that we will receive referrals and profiles (applications) of candidates – first, for an interim ministry position, and then, for the new CUCC pastorate.

The search and call process presented to us in that meeting is described in detail (for all contexts including the relevant one of retiring clergy) in a document available online or in our library. There are many information-gathering tasks over the next year, but our next step was a decision to choose among several options to provide pastoral support while we go about the task of searching for a new minister.

The Deacons reviewed options in our July meeting and decided the alternative that best suits CUCC is to hire an Intentional Interim Minister in early 2015. An Intentional Interim Minister is an individual who has received extensive training and has chosen this role as a career path for his or her ministry—to lead congregations in transition. As some of you may recall, our most recent experience with the search and call process led by an Intentional Interim Minister was with Rev. Carol Ripley-Moffitt. She served in the process leading to our calling Pastor Steve, who was installed here in early 2004.

To achieve the goal of having an Intentional Interim in place by early 2015 the Deacons would like to create a small, short term search committee for this purpose. The committee’s role will be to publicize the position, review profiles, interview candidates, and make a recommendation regarding selection. Please note, this is not the search committee to fill the permanent pastoral vacancy. That will come later.

If you are interested in serving on this Intentional Interim Search Committee, please let the Chair of the board of deacons, Ellen Beidler, know by August 7th. The Deacons will be meeting again on August 14th. We also encourage you to alert any potential candidates for the interim pastor position you may know about our process as the search committee is established and when our announcement is distributed.

Yours in Christ,
Bill Lamb on behalf of the Board of Deacons

Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday Email - 18 JUL 2014

Party at Glenaire Retirement Community
Youth:  Church School, Lunch, and Beyond
Youth Group - “Human Beans Together” - Sunday, July 27
Earth Sabbath Celebration – Tuesday, July 22, 7:00pm
Gardening Therapy at CUCC
Pray at the Legislature – Tuesdays, 12:30pm-1:00pm
Four-Week Summer Series Based on NOOMA Films
Inequality for All – Film and Discussion
Godspell, Jr
Oak City Outreach Center Seeking Volunteers
Divestment by World Council of Churches from Fossil Fuels
NEWSLETTER DEADLINE – Wednesday, July 23

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Friday Email - 10 JUL 2014

Church Office Closed Tomorrow, July 11, 2014
Four-Week Summer Series Based on NOOMA Films
Church Summer School Resumes this Sunday
Wednesday Evening Bible Study
Godspell, Jr
Pray at the Legislature – Tuesdays, 12:30pm-1:00pm
Oak City Outreach Center Seeking Volunteers
Sam and Jack Alcorn Support Affordable Housing with Bike & Build

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

RSVP today for short summer series to begin July 17

I will be facilitating a short summer series which will last 4 weeks.  The group will be a continuation of what I like to call Living our Questions in Living rooms. Depending on the number of interested people—it will either be held at the church or in the Raleigh Living room(s) of gracious and kind CUCC member(s).   The discussions will be based on NOOMA DVDs.

Noomas are somewhat like parables. They use the experiences of our lives to teach about the fullness of life through Jesus. Basically, I’d define this as a new format for spiritual formation.  The discussions will tackle issues like relationships, defining God, finding God, and living for God.  We will also cover discipleship, which includes acts of justice, periods of silence and unconditional love. These meaningful discussions will spark relevant questions and biblical references for our exploration. Rob Bell, a leading pastor and breakthrough communicator in the Christian community, is featured in our first series of NOOMAs. This is not a study on a book or a DVD. And it's not a CD nor is it a two-hour movie. It's a format called NOOMA which are short films, between 10 and 14 minutes long, about God and our lives.

I will choose 1-3 of these short films to watch each session. If needed, I’ll have some questions or comments prepared to keep the discussion going. No preparation is required on  your part- except to bring a brown bag meal or snacks to share for a light meal if you choose to do so each Thursday at 6pm.

You may choose to attend 1, 2, 3 or all 4 nights. I will give you the address(es) of the host home(s) with the dates after I get a final list of interested persons. The dates will be July 17, July 24, July 31 and August 7.  Peace and Love to you All--Joy Alford

Update from Joy:
The group will be held at the church (Community United Church of Christ) on the corner of Wade Ave and Dixie Trail in the Hoffman Room. We will gather at 6:00pm.  Please park on the Wade Ave. side as the other side may be full due to other events.  Also, due to the early start time, I encourage you to bring either your own brown bag type dinner or munchies to place on the table to share/pass around while watching DVD clips or discussing our topics.
Thank you to those of you who offered up your homes as host homes; however, because of the feedback about the location, I think the church will be the best place to hold our sessions each week. 
Peace ya’ll,

Cy King's Legacy

Jo and I were largely absent from the recent celebrations of Cy King's life and legacy because of travel and family commitments. However, I've kept my ear to the ground and tuned in whenever possible. One of Cy's most endearing features was his willingness to seek common ground with just about anybody if there appeared to be a chance of working for the common good. His outreach toward the President of Mt. Olive Pickle Company was a case in point. His interest in the welfare of workers at the Tar Heel NC plant of Smithfield Foods was another. It wouldn't be appropriate to say that Cy would have sought an alliance with the Devil, but Cy avoided calling anyone a "devil" if he thought he could find some good in them.

As far as I know, the last recorded interview anyone did with Cy was the 70-minute interview I recorded in his apartment on January 8, 2013. His health was beginning to wain by then, but his mind was sharp. And he had no reluctance to comment bluntly on a variety of topics. (He was never one to cover up his own perceived shortcomings or the blemishes in our church.)

When folks would pour unbridled praise on Cy, he would sometimes deflect the accolades by referring to "mistakes" he had made. I interpreted these references to be acknowledgement on Cy's part that many problems were of sufficient complexity to defy simple solutions proposed by signs displayed on street corners or in public demonstrations. But Cy persevered nevertheless because he knew that somebody had to keep these issues in the public eye.

Cy's work with Mt. Olive Pickle Co. and with Smithfield Foods was brought to mind by Ross Douthat's column Sunday in the NY Times about Hobby Lobby and the dilemma it poses for liberals. Hobby Lobby is a model company in about every way that Cy advocated. But Hobby Lobby clashes with the position that most liberals have taken in the current culture wars. While most liberals are now demonizing Hobby Lobby for the symbol it has become, I think Cy would have a more nuanced view of the situation. Hobby Lobby is in most respects a poster child for the kind of company that Cy advocated, i.e. a company with a conscience that treats its workers very well. The fly in the ointment is that their conscience doesn't match up perfectly with current liberal orthodoxy. And no matter how one comes down on this conflict, it's a conflict that pits the power and authority of government against fundamental concepts of religious freedom. No easy answers. Cy was good at living in a world with no easy answers. He was happy to share his opinion and then listen politely to someone whose opinion was 180 degrees opposite to his. When I brought my friend and neighbor Barb Walsh to speak at the Sunday Forum several years ago, I feared I was throwing Barb into a lion's den. Barb's topic was to explain to the Forum crowd why she had led the effort to defeat a certain Democrat from Cary serving on the Wake County School Board. Cy, who was self-defined as a yellow-dog Democrat, listened to Barb courteously and at the end of the Forum session graciously commented, "What Wake County needs is more people like Barb Walsh." Cy represents a vanishing breed in today's climate of polarization. May he rest in peace and may we all benefit from his memory and legacy.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Friday Email - 4 JUL 2014

This edition of Friday Email was distributed as a PDF file.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Tribute to Cy King from Jim Jenkins, Raleigh N&O

Raleigh’s Cy King, a soldier for peace and justice
(reprinted from Raleigh News and Observer, July 3, 2014)
(This article was also emailed on July 4 by the secretary of the Association of Retired Faculty at NCSU to all retired faculty and staff with the introductory comment, "Several of you have written to me kindly, with remembrances, in response to Cy King's death, and in case you missed it, I wanted to single-out this fine tribute from yesterday's newspaper, by his close friend, Jim Jenkins,")

Even as life was ebbing from the body, the spirit was as strong as ever. Yes, at the very last, Cy King was concerned about getting down to the Legislative Building for another Moral Monday demonstration. He was 92, and his last visit there had been in a wheelchair, but he was ready to go again.

It was not to be. Cy died last Wednesday in Raleigh, quietly, with dignity, at home and after a life dedicated to raising awareness of the needs of the less fortunate, the deprivations of rights for those of color, the consequences of war.

His friend and admirer William Friday, the late president emeritus of the University of North Carolina system and the state’s greatest native son, had a singular comment on the loss of people such as Cy King. As he is not here to deliver it, let the honors be done in his stead: A giant has fallen.