Friday, June 19, 2015

God With Us

(Many folks at CUCC have heard Jo and me tell stories about our old friend "Ab" who we were blessed to spend much time with during the 1970s when Jo was living in Spartanburg SC. Master herpetologist, Vietnam vet, and many other things, Ab has always been a prophetic voice. His Facebook posting yesterday is something that must be shared. Thanks to Bill Broom, another old Spartanburg friend, for bringing it to my attention. -- Lavon Page)

GOD WITH US (posted on Facebook by Clarence Abercrombie)

"Then the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever." REVELATION 11:15

I have never before quoted from the Book of Revelation, but today I must. Last night, 17 June 2015, a young white man walked into the Wednesday night Bible-study at Emanuel AME Church on Calhoun Street in Charleston, South Carolina. Of course the man was welcomed, as he would have been in any other Methodist Church, AME or United. He stayed for an hour—God knows his thoughts—then he killed the church’s pastor and eight parishioners. I cannot imagine the level of sadness and grief that must now permeate Emanuel AME. I do know that the murders have struck my heart with greater impact than any other event in my life: greater than the terrorism of 9/11, greater than my parents’ deaths, greater than the loss of my young comrades in Vietnam.

Most of my fellow South Carolinians understand the importance of Emanuel AME. For almost 200 years this church has been a beacon of freedom, shining with unquenchable grace upon my beloved Charleston, even when that city seemed a bastion of darkness. Furthermore, the ongoing, powerful presence of Emanuel AME transcends even the church’s singular historical significance. Empowerment, service, hope, and love: these heroic virtues abide in Emanuel’s outreach to Charleston and to the wider world, every day, no matter what.

Understandably some good people are already calling for the shooter’s death. But in my opinion this response to the temporal power of hate is short-sighted. Personally, I want the man to spend a very long life in prison. I want him to live to see that God always wins—not on our time-schedule, perhaps, but always! I want him to see what I know to be true: that the Lord of Life is already using this most evil act to magnify Emanuel’s power to transform Charleston. And when Charleston truly becomes a city of justice, freedom, and grace, she will transform South Carolina; then South Carolina will transform the whole United States, all the kingdoms of this world. Bet your soul on it; the Book of Revelation says it’s true.

P.S.: If I’m allowed a bit of irreverence, I can quote exactly what my daddy would say about the white-supremacist murderer who thought he could turn back the Kingdom: “Pray for that poor boy’s soul, ‘cause there are a bunch of people in heaven who deserve the opportunity to kick his sorry ass.”

P.P.S.: I do have a modest proposal. Why don’t y’all folks who are big on FaceBook, etc., consider a media blitz to get Charleston to rename Calhoun Street as Emanuel Street—because we sure enough do need God with Us.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

It's your history, too!

From your intentional interim pastor
June 19, 2015

            Your Transition Team has been very busy planning and preparing for the beginning of the Heritage part of the Intentional Interim Ministry process.  That sounds more formal than what is actually going to happen.  We hope that you really enjoy learning!  Mark your calendars for the upcoming dates.

HERITAGE: Merging Our Personal Histories with our Church History

June 28 – Introduction in worship
July 5 – beginning of weekly Heritage Moments in worship
Sunday, July 19 -- Kick-Off!!!  Worship will center around our heritage and after church we will share a light lunch and explain in more detail the entire process and begin the timeline. 
Saturday, August 15  - ICE CREAM SOCIAL/GAME NIGHT to help us learn about our church! 
Sunday, September 27 - we will celebrate and mark the end of our exploration of our history.
            I want to invite you to wander around our fabulous website and go into the CUCC scrapbook and archives.  Read the reflections of those who came before us.  Listen to former pastors preach.  Look at pictures.  In other words, explore your family history for if you are part of CUCC, these are your people, too.
            A lot of effort has been put into this website and the archives in order to keep up informed, engaged and connected.  I hope you appreciate it as much as I do.
Prayers for the journey,
Pastor Peg

Pastor Peg will be away from the office from noon on June 18 until June 30.  She will be in the office on July 1.  In case of pastoral emergencies, please contact the church office, Joy Alford or Rev. Robert Parrish.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Graduation Photos

The photos below are from the June 14 program honoring our graduates for this year ...

  Click any photo to view large versions of all photos  

Community Outreach Ministry Mixing Party and Dinner

Photos from the mixing party and luncheon (compliments of Suzette) are now available in the church photo gallery. The party took in $173 in contributions from participants (according to Jo Perry)

Mixing information from Toxic Free NC.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Confirmation photos by Suzette

Photos of the Confirmation Ceremony on June 7 taken by Suzette Roach are now available in the photo gallery portion of the church website.

Pray for Mac as he represents us at UCC meetings

map of UCC Conferences
Mac Hulslander will represent CUCC  June 18-20 in Greensboro at the annual meeting of the UCC’s Southern Conference (one of 38 conferences;  see larger map).  Then, June 26-30, in Cleveland, Ohio, Mac will be a delegate from the Southern Conference to the UCC’s biennial  national meeting (called the General Synod).

Watch gavel to gavel coverage of the General Synod.

The hearing on the "From Fossil Fuels to Renewable Energy" resolution for which Mac will be advocating will be held on Sunday evening.

- Submitted by Geri Bowen for Church Council

Thursday, June 11, 2015

CUCC is a happening place!

From your intentional interim pastor

            CUCC is a busy place!  I’m often awed and amazed by the energy and enthusiasm you all have when it comes to being in fellowship with each other or serving God and the community.  You are a glorious and wondrous community of faith.
            This coming Sunday we will celebrate the high school graduation of three of our own, send Mac Huslander off to the Southern Conference and bless Abby Smith as she goes to Indiana for a new job.
            After church I’m excited to be part of the picnic lunch prepared by Commnity Outreach and learn how to make non-toxic cleaning supplies.
            Third Tuesday Taize is June 16 at 7 pm in the sanctuary.  I absolutely love Taize worship and find it so meaningful. 
            Also, check out the children’s vegetable garden off the Dixie Trail parking lot   It is absolutely gorgeous!!!!!!
            These are just a few things we have going here.  Please check out the website for the upcoming events and activities.  We are a happening place!

See you in church,

Pastor Peg

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Confirmation Ceremony

The video of the complete Confirmation program from Sunday, June 7, is now available in the CUCC Archive.
View video of Confirmation Ceremony

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

What Makes a Woman?

As the resident maverick at CUCC I've been known to use the term "brain-dead liberal" to refer to our tendency to label alternatives as "liberal" or "conservative" and make the presumption that the "liberal" option is always our default preference.

The Sunday Review section of the NY Times yesterday features (as it's front page lead) a delicious story entitled "What Makes a Woman?".  What makes the article so delicious is that it highlights the absurdities that arise when two different forms of political correctness butt heads.

I highly recommend this article to everyone associated with CUCC. Until we can learn to laugh at ourselves, we have a long way to go.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Picnic with Bubbles? June 14, after worship

The Community Outreach Ministry is throwing a Mixing Party right after church on June 14.  Please join us for a picnic (thanks to help from Welcoming, Fellowship and Growth Ministry) and then we will use earth-friendly products to mix up some bottles of cleaning solution.  We will provide everything you need for lunch and for mixing, so just plan to stay for this fun event and leave with a bottle of cleanser with a label so you will know how to mix up your next batch.

Menu:  a variety of sandwiches, fruit and dessert.
Time commitment:  Time to eat your picnic lunch then about 10 minutes to mix up the ingredients for your bottle of cleanser, assembly-line style.

- submitted by Community Outreach Ministry

Memorial Service for Carol J. Powell

Carol J. Powell, age 59, long-time resident of Kensington, MD, died on April 21, 2015, in Hagerstown, MD. She worked for many years in the programming department at TV station WJLA (DC). Carol leaves behind her mother, Jocelyn Powell, and her well-loved children, Virginia and Jacob Rose; three brothers and their families; and many dear relatives and friends. A memorial service and reception celebrating her life will be held at Community United Church of Christ on Sunday, June 7, at 4:00 p.m. Those wishing to honor her memory with a gift may make a contribution to the Mayo Clinic Foundation or the Kidney Foundation. Flowers are also welcome.