Thursday, March 30, 2017

Pastoral Reflection

Time as the Train Track

On Sunday following worship, I headed home towards Durham at about 1:15pm as I normally do. On this particular day I needed to make a pit stop in Cary. Not knowing Cary very well, I put the name of the place into my map app on my phone and just listened to Siri dictate the steps I’d need to take to reach my destination. If only it were that easy? I discovered that there is more than one Motel 6 in Cary; and that, in fact, Cary is more of a paint splatter than a drop in the bucket. After about 30 minutes of driving around - in the wrong direction - my gas light dinged, so I had to look again at the map to find a gas station. At this point, I could see that I was nowhere near the Motel 6. After filling up, I headed back out again. As I continued driving, I noticed that I was paralleling an old train track; my car weaving left and right and around and back again to where I could see the straight, narrow tracks that continued steadily onward towards their destination.

As I sat still for a few moments at the red light the most amazing discovery lent itself to my musings. We are a people so accustomed to the freedoms we demand that losing our way has become a luxury. Sometimes we forget how important those tracks were to us in our earliest needs to navigate a brand new world. Helping us go the distance, forging ahead, but not having to sit in the driver’s seat. While we didn’t know exactly what we would find at the end of the rail, one thing was certain, we could trust the track to get us to where we were going.

We are called to a radical way of being together in this world: to a love that would upend much of what we have made our lives to be about. It is overwhelming to imagine all the changes that we need to make in order that this love might be realized by those who seem to dance on the margins of life outside of what society has deemed acceptable and worthy of love.

Perhaps we need to get back on the train for a while; forget about wandering to and fro; forget about navigating our own way; give up the driver’s seat and let the rituals, spiritual practices, and rhythms of life guide our steps.

After arriving at Motel 6, I sat waiting for another 1.5 hours attempting to offer a benevolent gift. It’s a good reminder that this call to radicalizing love is not a welcome one in a society that resists time as the train track.


     "God, give us the faith we need to let Spirit lead. Give us the grace we need to love ourselves through it, and give us the Hope we need to endure the journey. Amen."
May the spirit lead the way,

Rev. Jenny Shultz-Thomas



YOUTH LED WORSHIP, APRIL 2 - Bring A Food Bag Item To Youth Led Worship

Our Youth Led Worship will be on April 2. Please join us as we explore the question: What if everyone had enough? The Youth ask you to please bring a food bag item, or an entire food bag, on April 2, and help Urban Ministries Food Pantry provide our neighbors with enough food to eat this month. Please place your food contributions in the shopping cart in the narthex outside the Sanctuary. A bank to collect monetary contributions will also be in the grocery cart. A food bag costs about $20 to fill, and anything you can give is appreciated!

Each food bag contains:
1 lb. rice      
1 lb. grits    
1 lb. dried beans,
1 jar peanut butter       
2 cans tomatoes 
1 can carrots,                    
2 qts. dried milk 
2 cans or jars of applesauce 
2 boxes of mac & cheese
2 cans of navy, pinto, or kidney beans (NO GREEN BEANS).

Urban Ministries adds assorted meats, fresh veggies, canned foods, and other staples – enough to feed the household for a week. Thank you for supporting this important and vital
ministry.


Al Adams, former state lawmaker and lobbyist, dies at 85

Al Adams, former state lawmaker and lobbyist, dies at 85

By Charles Duncan, cduncan@newsobserver.com

J. Allen “Al” Adams, remembered as a longtime progressive voice in North Carolina politics, died Friday at his home in Raleigh’s Cameron Park neighborhood. He was 85.

Adams was an attorney and five-term member of the state House of Representatives. Colleagues and family remember him as a stalwart Democrat who fought for public education and helped integrate the Wake County Bar Association.

 Al Adams died at his home in Cameron Park in Raleigh on Friday.
Al Adams died at his home in Cameron Park in Raleigh on Friday. Parker Poe
“Al Adams was one of the finest progressive political leaders in North Carolina history,” former Gov. Jim Hunt said Saturday.

“He was always energized by a good political fight, which he generally won,” the former governor said, remembering the time they spent together during Hunt’s four terms as governor while Adams was first a state representative and then a lobbyist.

Lectionary for the Week of April 2, 2017

Lectionary for the Week of April 2, 2017:  Fifth Sunday in Lent - Violet
Ezekiel 37:1-14; Psalm 130; Romans 8:6-11; John 11:1-45

Easter Lilies in Memory or Honor of a Loved One

Purchase your Easter Lilies in Memory of a loved one. Cost is $10.00 per plant. Place your orders either at the office, with Carol Kepler or Binks Mew by Friday, April 7.   You can leave your check in the collection plate with 'lilies' in the memo line.  After the Easter service you may take your lilies home or they will be distributed to shut-in's."


Mini BYC Relationship and Sexuality Retreat

Registration for Mini BYC Relationship and Sexuality Retreat is due April 2, which is the Sunday of Youth-Led Worship! Please turn in registration forms and payment to Julie Robertson. 


Retreat will be May 5-7!

Parents, don't let your youth miss this excellent opportunity - it doesn't happen often, and we have hired an amazing and talented retreat leader who specializes in relationship and sexuality retreats for youth. This will not duplicate what your youth has been taught in school or learned through any other curriculum. 

This retreat will help youth:
strengthen self knowledge and self respect 
increase self confidence
create and maintain healthy relationships
set boundaries
communicate clearly
build community

Youth, don't miss this Mini-BYC Retreat!
Just like BYC: catch up with BYC friends!
Just like BYC: Be in the beauty of the natural world at Camp Chestnut Ridge!
Just like BYC: have geat discussions, play games, and learn from awesome BYC Youth Leader, Lyndsey Godwin! 
Unlike BYC: enjoy GREAT food all weekend!

Registration form 

Again - registration is due April 2!

Parents: There will be a Pre-Retreat Parent Meeting on Sunday, April 23, after worship, upstairs in Pilgrim House.

- submitted by Śānti Matthews

Drop in to Life & Faith - April 4

red paper comma with words Life and Faith
Look for the red comma
As always, this is a fluid group - just drop in!

Our next gathering will be
Tuesday, April 4, 6:30 PM to eat, 7PM conversation begins

O’Malley’s Pub and Restaurant
5228 Hollyridge Dr, Raleigh
Look for us at the long table in the room on the left.

The group's proposed April focus: In the 2003-2005 tv show, Joan of Arcadia, the title character kept running into God. Whether a passerby on the street or a teen at the store, God would speak to her, providing a challenge or a word of grace as she confronted some moral dilemma in her life.

Our Life & Faith discussions have continued to explore how we live as people of reconciliation and love in a time of harsh divisions.  This month we'll ask ourselves:  Where is God showing up in my life?  Where is my experience going to lead me?  How am I open to God in my experiences?  How do I know who I am seeing?

Read more about Life and Faith or talk to Jane Smith, the convener.

Glenaire 5K

COM invites you to join us in the Glenaire 5K (and 1 mile option) run/walk to support the Glenaire Foundation, which provides financial aid to residents with the crippling costs associated with aging.  April 1, 9am in Cary, www.glenaire5k.org.  There is an incentive (monetary) for the church that has the largest group.  When you register, please select the team "CUCC" (#745).  Please encourage your child to find a "buddy" of a different generation to walk with!

CUCC Family Fun Auction - April 22, 6:30pm - 9:30pm

Sunday, March 19, Jason Myers kicked off  our annual CUCC Family Fun Auction, April 22, from 6:30pm - 9:30pm, with a ministry moment from the Stewardship Ministry. 2017 auction donation forms were distributed in church and extras remain in the back of the sanctuary. 

Did you know you can let us know of an auction item or event you'd like to contribute to the cause from the comfort of your home? You can fill out the Online Submission Form in a jiffy. No muss; no fuss. 


birding with Lena
Now's the time to get the creative juices flowing. Popular auction items from the past have been yard rocks from Skip, birding hikes from Lena, plants and game nights from Mac and Peg, baked goods from Joan, weekends at the Lake from Carol, mystery boxes from Geraldine and babysitting from lots of folks. 

Let's get this event rolling! Think of what you might contribute and let us know on-line or hard copy. Then come to the event. It's loads of fun.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Climate Change Efforts Happening at CUCC

The “United Church of Christ News” published a wonderful article on the climate change efforts happening at CUCC and Congregational Church in Cumberland this week.  The article is entitled “Two UCC churches named ‘Cool Congregations’ for creation care projects”.  You can read it here
CUCC created the Justice in a Changing Climate Task Force (JCC) because the Church has a unique role in action and education on climate change.  According to the 2014 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), “Risks (from climate change) are unevenly distributed and are generally greater for disadvantaged people and communities in countries at all levels of development”.   This increased risk to the “least of these” demands that we must engage.  Forms of engagement will come from where our hearts call us, and hands-on action to help individuals, and advocacy to change systems in favor of the disadvantaged are both important.  In addition, loving conversations with those of faith who have not yet learned of climate change’s impact on the poor are also critical to enable them to find their heart’s calling and to engage as well. 

We would love for you to “engage” with the JCC.  If you’re interested, speak with any of us: Judy and Paul Kiel, Jason Myers, Maria Mayorga, Lena Gallitano, Marty Lamb, John and Adrienne Little, Grady McCallie, Jim Smith, Deb and Todd Lipman, Skip Stoddard, Ron Howell or Jane and Gary Smith.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Greeters needed for Health Care Town Hall at CUCC

On Tuesday, May 2, beginning at 7PM our own Cynthia Ball* will be hosting a Town Hall on Healthcare at CUCC - Let's Talk About Healthcare."  An expert panel will give brief presentations and field questions about health care affordability, delivery and reform in North Carolina.  Cynthia will be inviting people from the wider community.

First, mark your calendar to attend the event.

Second, if you would be willing to serve as a greeter, contact Jane Smith (smithjeg@mindspring.com).  With a crowd expected, we’ll need people at our parking lot entrances to direct cars to overflow parking, and at our doors to give directions to the sanctuary and bathrooms. We may even need to bring chairs from the fellowship hall!  Jane will need you to arrive by 6:15PM. Registration, handled by volunteers from Cynthia's team, will occur in the narthex beginning at 6:30 PM.   This is an opportunity for youth needing community service hours for school or a club.

What a great way to let the community see that CUCC supports health care for our neighbors.

*In addition to being a CUCC member, Cynthia serves District 49 in the NC House of Representatives.

- submitted by Jane Smith

What's new from Council? March 20 meeting

As promised, here is your update on what happened at our March Council meeting.

We continued the leadership support you requested for us.  Joe Retzer helped us think about community, connecting his comments to Hebrews 10:24-25.  We're planning a Council retreat for August 19 to spend time together doing some in-depth work.  We concluded the meeting with our traditional time to share celebrations and concerns.

We will be bringing you the recommendation that Robert Parrish serve as CUCC's official delegate to the UCC's Southern Conference Annual Meeting.  (You will vote at the June 11 congregational meeting.)  Robert will be joined by a team of folks (3 so far!) who can help him network with other congregations and bring resources and ideas back to CUCC.  You can help by contributing hotel rewards points or $ to help defray their costs.  This effort is toward your goal of building closer relationships with the UCC and local congregations.

Community Outreach Ministry enlisted our help in a new service endeavor - CUCC child/adult pairs walking in the Glenaire Foundation fundraising walk.  Funds assist residents who are experiencing crippling medical costs.  Consider inviting a CUCC child to walk with you!  Just as you requested - more ways to get people of different generations together.

During the transition you expressed a desire that CUCC improve how we help people find activities for learning and service that would interest them.  Pastor Jenny told us about Breeze,  a new database that CUCC will be using.  We'll be able to focus our emails to people who are interested in specific activities or service areas.  Look for more about Breeze throughout the summer.

The idea of a new photo directory came up - again.  Looks like it is time, folks.  If you would be interested in being on the team working on this project, please let me know.  Yet another way we are trying to get to know one another more easily - as you requested.

If you would be willing to serve as a co-chair of the Property Ministry, please contact Marty Lamb.  We have a great list of people signed up to do the work and a Property Technician who can handle emergency repairs.  What we need is a pair of co-chairs who will delegate throughout the year and organize 3 workdays.  If you are organized and a delegator, this is the job for you.  Absolutely no knowledge of how to do repairs or use a tool is needed.

Please take a moment to thank God for the gifted, funny, tenaciously dedicated, Spirit-centered people who serve on CUCC's Council.  If you see one of them, please thank them in person.

- submitted by Jane Smith, Moderator 2017

Taize' prayer and labyrinth walk

Our friends at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church invite us to a prayer service and labyrinth walk.

On Sunday, April 23 at 5:00 p.m. a Taize prayer service will be held in Poteat Chapel at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church. Following the service there will be time to walk the chapel labyrinth. The service will include music from and in the spirit of Taize, prayers, reflections, meditations and silence. This service offers a time to quiet ourselves in the midst of busy and sometimes stressful lives, find our spiritual center and open ourselves to God’s movement in our lives.  All are welcome.  For additional information or questions, contact Ginny Going at ginny.going@gmail.com or 919-412-3851.

Feedback requested: changes to SOC Constitution & Bylaws

The Board of Directors of the Southern Conference of the United Church of Christ will be proposing a number of changes to the constitution and bylaws at the Annual Meeting in Virginia Beach, Virginia June 22-24, 2017.  Prior to formally proposing the changes, the Executive Committee has decided to release a draft of the proposed changes for comment by any member of the Southern Conference.

Please send any feedback to Rev. Bob Thompson (D.Min.) at bob@corinthtoday.org by April 3, 2017.  Also, please copy Robert Parrish.  The Council is recommending that Robert serve as CUCC's voting delegate at the Annual Meeting. The congregation will vote on his approval at our June 11 congregational meeting, but in the meantime he is preparing by reviewing these proposed changes.

The formal proposal will be released but the Executive Committee by mid-April.

Changes to constitution/bylaws in pdf format
SOC Constitution/bylaws in pdf format

Hilton points or $ for our SOC team?

Do you have rewards points for the Hilton family of hotels that you could offer to CUCC?  Or would you make a financial contribution to defray the lodging costs of our team?

During our transition time, CUCC members expressed a desire to strengthen our relationship with the United Church of  Christ and the other congregations of the Southern Conference.  Toward that goal, Council has invited you to attend the Southern Conference Annual Meeting June 22-24 in Virginia Beach (there are still openings - contact Jane Smith if you are interested).  We want to send a team along with our one voting delegate.

One of the significant costs is the hotel (DoubleTree) at a negotiated rate of $199/night.  That's where you come in.  If you have points with the Hilton family of hotels, you can donate them to defray the costs of our team members.  Contact Jane Smith.

Alternatively, if you support the effort to connect to the UCC and our local churches, you can make a financial contribution.  Write "annual meeting" on the memo line and put your donation in the offering plate or drop it off in the church office.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Lenten Pastoral Reflection

      This week as we continue in the footsteps of Jesus' Lenten journey, we encounter a man who taught us that seeing means more than visually connecting with what is before our eyes.  Sometimes, truly seeing, means letting go of our sight that we might give birth to what is just below the surface, to what is being born again from the inside out. 

     Henri Nouwen, so beautifully calls this kind of intimate sight, "seeing God for others".

     He writes, "The experience of the fullness of time, during which God is so present, so real, so tangibly near that we can hardly believe that everyone does not see God as we do, is given to us to deepen our lives of prayer and strengthen our lives together. Having experienced God in the fullness of time, we have a lifelong desire to be with God and to proclaim to others the God we experienced.

     Peter, years after the death of Jesus, claims his Mount Tabor experience as the source for his witness. He says: "When we told you about the power and the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, we were not repeating cleverly invented myths; no, we had seen his majesty with our own eyes… when we were with him on the holy mountain" (2 Peter 1:16-18). Seeing God in the most intimate moments of our lives is seeing God for others." – Henri Nouwen
    
     God of our intimate moments, draw us close this week that we might
see You "in" and "for" others. Amen

                                                          - Rev. Jenny Shultz-Thomas    



Lectionary for the Week of March 26, 2017

Lectionary for the Week of March 26, 2017 - Fourth Sunday in Lent:
1 Samuel 16:1-13; Psalm 23; Ephesians 5:8-14; John 9:1-41 - Violet
One Great Hour of Sharing


An Invitation from West Raleigh Presbyterian Church


Concert & Psalms Art Exhibit Opening
April 2, 2017
West Raleigh Presbyterian Church
27 Horne St., Raleigh
Worship & Concert ~ 4 PM
Featuring FolkPsalm with Charles Pettee
BBQ Supper ~ 5 PM
Views of the Psalms Art Exhibit Opening
featuring NEW Psalms-based Musical Offerings ~ 5:30

The neighboring congregations and community are welcome to this FREE event!  Join us on “Marathon Sunday” for a late-afternoon music and art extravaganza!  We begin outdoors in the courtyard for a worship-centered concert featuring Charles Pettee and members of FolkPsalm:  Fiddlin’ Al McCanless, Robbie Link, and Terry Allebaugh.  A BBQ supper follows in the Fellowship Hall along with the opening of our new exhibit, “Views of the Psalms.”  Come enjoy more live music focused on the Psalms written and performed by members of West Raleigh.

Call for Artists in our Neighboring Congregations:  Artists are invited to create and contribute any work of art which responds to the poetry and prayers of the Psalms.   Deliver your creations to West Raleigh following worship this Sunday or by Tuesday, March 28.  See   http://westraleighpres.org/serve-your-neighbor/arts-ministry to download Artist Registration and Artist Statement forms. Contact the church office at 919-828-5468 or shelley@wrpc.org with questions.    

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA): We hope you have had a chance to check out the information collected to on CSA and "produce box" vendors available in Raleigh.  Participating in these provide  opportunities to decrease fossil fuel consumption by eating local, fresh, healthy food!  Please see the link for details.  We invite you to try one of these, or pair up and try with another person.  If you are able to "test" one of these, please let us know! Please contact Maria Mayorga or Jane Smith.
CREATIVE RESISTANCE; FIGHTING TOXINS/FOSSIL FUELS
 April 4, 7-9 PM, The Sonja Hanes Stone Center, UNC

                  
Likened to the Rachel Carson for our day, Dr. Sandra Steingraber, author, ecologist, and cancer survivor brings together her research on environmental toxins and cancer and personal story in an event co-sponsored by regional environmental groups and Breast Cancer Action.

Bio details: Steingraber.com
  

Monday, March 20, 2017

Gathering of Men and Women - March 21

CUCC's Jim Smith invites CUCC men and women to attend this opportunity.

Sharing Your Life’s Story: Lessons learned about Opening Up to Vulnerability, Trust and Deeper Connections

When:      Tuesday, March 21, 7:00 – 9:00 pm
What:       Monthly event for March, sponsored by The Triangle community of The Men’s Council (TMC) and Mankind Project (MKP)
Where:     Community United Church of Christ (Fellowship Hall) in Raleigh (Southeast corner of Wade Ave and Dixie Trail)

In this dynamic and interactive presentation, facilitated by Marilyn Shannon, we will explore our life stories and how to open up more deeply with greater vulnerability, revealing who we truly are.
Marilyn will focus on the power of a listening practice that will help us share our authentic selves, understand each other and live in peace.
               
Marilyn Shannon is a communications strategist, listening expert, mediator, Business/life coach, speaker, online TV host and Founder of Women’s Power Networking. She is the author of several books, including “In Just One Afternoon: Listening into the Heart of Men,” an anthology of stories told by men about their lives, journeys and learnings.

This event is open to all men and women – spread the word and bring a friend.

We hope you will join us for this special Gathering of Men and Women!

Considering using Dropbox? Help the UCC!

The Southern Conference of the United Church of Christ (SOC) uses Dropbox to store backups of our website - and we're trying to avoid a monthly payment for that cloud storage. If we refer friends to Dropbox who then join and install Dropbox for themselves or their church, we each get an additional 500MB of free Dropbox storage space on top of the free 2GB. For the SOC, that could mean a total of 16GB for free!

Dropbox can be a great place to store church policies and other documents, photographs - and website backups! Want to help? Be sure to use this link to join and install Dropbox, or start a new account.

- submitted by Jane Smith
(I saw this note on the Southern Conference's email and wondered if anyone at CUCC might be interested.  CUCC is not endorsing Dropbox; this is an opportunity pass-along message from me.)

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Interfaith dialog and advocacy card

Adrienne Little, our representative from Social Justice Ministry to Congregations for Social Justice, invites you to these two actions.

1 - Triangle Interfaith Alliance Interfaith Dialog Group - March 21 from Judye Jacobs <judyejacobs@gmail.com>
             Tuesday, March 21 - 10:30 AM
             Community United Church of Christ, Dixie Trail and Lake Boone Trail
The topic this month will focus on the positive.   What can we do to be more effective?  What are we each doing, what are we involved in to make the world a better place?
We know that in both good and troubling times it is important for people of all faiths to join together, to get to know one another, to share ideas and ideologies, and to find a space to express opinions openly and without judgment.  All faiths, no faith, everyone is welcome.
Call Judye or respond to her by email if you have any questions and concerns they might address.
               919/781-8490
               judyejacobs@gmail.com

2 -
  NC Advocacy Information Card from John Shuford <john@teamcrs.org>
Share this card to improve chances of contacting law makers as we advocate. It provides contact phone numbers for legislators at national and state level.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Ida - Lenten Film for Friday, March 24

Last night the 3rd Lenten film in this year's series was a joint Polish-French production which was mostly in Polish with a 90% Polish cast. It had 10 award nominations and won 3 major awards including the French César Award for best film and best director of 2016. The movie was very well received by the regular Lenten Film series buffs.

This coming week (March 24) we'll be mining for gold in the same vein. The movie will be Ida which had 83 award nominations and 67 wins. Mostly notably, Ida won the Oscar for the Best Foreign film of 2015. Continuing in the vein of this week, Ida is the story of a young nun in a Polish convent, and this time both the entire cast and the entire production crew are Polish, and of course language of the film is Polish.

This film was shown to Monday Lunch Group in 2015, which is the only reason that I have been hesitant to schedule it for this Lenten season. But the film makes such a natural followup to the one viewed last night that I can't resist revising the schedule and inserting it as the film for March 17. The folks in Monday Lunch Group loved the movie and several have expressed an interest in seeing it again. I invite you to join us on March 17 ...

  • Ida
  • 7 PM, Friday, March 24
  • Fellowship Hall
  • Popcorn and other snacks provided, feel free to bring snacks to share if you like

Release Date: 25 October 2013 (Poland)
Color: Black and White
Runtime: 82 min

Storyline (from IMDB): Poland, 1962. Anna, an orphan brought up by nuns in the convent, is a novice. She has to see Wanda, the only living relative, before she takes her vows. Wanda tells Anna about her Jewish roots. Both women start a journey not only to find their family's tragic story, but to see who they really are and where they belong.

Footnote: A year or so ago I saw this film with Karen Withem, our resident film expert. Karen had a good bit to say about the cinematic techniques used in this film, and I'll try to get Karen to come to this showing and comment on these after the film. The two still shots below from the movie illustrate these techniques. Each scene comes with a question. If we can get Karen to the movie, Karen can answer those questions.

In this scene with Ida kneeling and her aunt standing by the car,
why is the camera aiming at the sky rather than at the subjects?
This scene features a band playing in a nightclub.
Why are we viewing them from beyond an archway?

Friday, March 17, 2017

Lucky You! Parents' Night Out!


Friday, March 17, 5:00 - 8:00 PM, CUCC Fellowship Hall & Nursery
CUCC youth and adults will provide care for your young'uns while you have a night on the town - or a quiet evening at home - or dinner with other CUCC parents. Śānti Matthews, Sam and Joanna Woodrum, and Margaret Osborne will be present. Many children are already signed up for the fun. If you plan on your youth or children attending and you haven’t responded yet, please sign up by emailing education.cucc@gmail.com. This is a Youth fundraiser and all contributions will go toward our programming. Love offerings will be accepted ($20 suggested donation per family).          

Lectionary for the Week of March 19, 2017

Third Sunday in Lent: Exodus 17:1-7; Psalm 95;
Romans 5:1-11; John 4:5-42 - Violet
   

Contemplative Prayer Every Tuesday During Lent




Join Pastor Jenny every Tuesday during Lent for midday contemplative prayer. 12:30pm in the Courtyard.  We will move to the Sanctuary if the weather does not cooperate.


"Les Innocentes" is this week's Lenten Film - Friday, March 17

The third film in this year's Lenten film series is a 2016 joint French/Polish production in three languages (French, Polish, and Russian) with English subtitles. At the 2017 César Awards in France (sort of the French equivalent of the Oscars) this film was one of the nominees for best film, best director, best cinematography, and best original screenplay.

The showing will be in the fellowship hall at 7 PM with the usual popcorn and refreshments available. Following the movie we will discuss not only this film but the as yet unannounced fourth film in this Lenten film series.

March 17: Les Innocentes

In 1945 Poland, a young French Red Cross doctor who is sent to assist the survivors of the German camps discovers several nuns in advanced states of pregnancy during a visit to a nearby convent.

Director: Anne Fontaine
Writers: Sabrina B. Karine, Alice Vial
Stars: Lou de Laâge, Agata Buzek, Agata Kulesza
Country: France | Poland
Language: French | Polish | Russian (English subtitles)
Release Date: 10 February 2016 (France)
Runtime: 115 min


March 24 or 31: Film selection still under discussion

JCC Lenten Food Series 2017 Sundays at 7 PM March 12 to April 7

Please note that the Series is on Sundays at 7
not Mondays as originally published

 
Our diet and Climate Change:  How we can decrease the crisis with our forks.  
 
What we eat impacts the climate, our environment, our health and the ability of others to eat as well.  The Justice in a Changing Climate Task Force will provide 5 diverse offerings during lent to help us to think, learn and eat.  All events are open to everyone.


1.    March 12  at 7 PM:   “Meet Some Veg-heads”:  Skip Stoddard, Hillary Stoddard, Julie Robertson, Betsy Towler will kick off the series with an evening where they will discuss, provide information and answer questions on why they are vegetarian or vegan (Health, Environment, Ethics).  They will also provide a handout with list of books and films.  Vegetarian hors d’oeuvres will be served.
  • This was terrific last night!! If you missed it and want us to do it again, let Gary or Skip know.
2.    March 19 – April 9  at 7 PM:  Book study: “The Restore-Our-Planet Diet: Food Choices, Our Environment, and Our Health”. by Patricia Tallman PhD; led by Gary Smith.    The book provides information on the impacts of our diet on the climate, pollution and diseases, and it provides many low impact, tasty recipes.

March 19:  Discuss Chapter 1:  The Environmental Costs of Meat and Dairy Consumption

March 26:  Discuss Chapter 2:  The Health Impacts of Meat and Dairy Consumption

April 2:  Discuss Chapters 3 – 7 and their recipes:  “How Veganizing Beef, Pork or Chicken Recipes Environmental and Nutritional Parameters” and “What are Humans Designed to Eat?”

April 7:  Discuss Chapters 8 – 11 and their recipes:  Vegetables, beans, grains, Tofu, Dairy.  And discuss “Do I really want to, and can I do this?”  

3.   April 23 after worship:  “I love Food” Potluck:  Jane Smith and Maria Mayorga will host a potluck to allow everyone to show what they have learned and how good it tastes to eat in a lower impact way. For questions, contact Gary Smith at smithgk@mindspring.com

What happened February 20 at Council?

During the transition process, members of the congregation expressed a desire to improve how we train, support, and release church leaders.  

Your church council took another step toward that goal by combining orientation and business during its first meeting of the “class of 2017.”  Pastor Jenny helped us think strategically:  we are doing ____ “so that” _____. [You will hear “so that” more and more around CUCC.]  We paired up for a laugh-inducing game of Council Trivia to learn (and improve) the ways we do Council business.  [Congratulations to teams Gary/Grady and Maria/Susan on their trivia victory and prize.  I owe everyone on Council the traditional trivia-player’s beer!]   Treasurer Lavon filled us in on our financial health (good so far, but keep those pledged contributions coming) and Jane did a whirlwind introduction to ongoing business for 2017.

Also during the transition and at congregational meetings, members of the congregation expressed a desire to strengthen our relationship with the United Church of Christ.  

The Council urges you to consider being part of the group from CUCC who will be attending the Southern Conference annual meeting (June 22-24, Virginia Beach) or to soak up the atmosphere and resources at the denomination’s General Synod (June 30-July 4, Baltimore).

Not just a meeting of delegates, the Southern Conference’s annual meeting is a gathering of the members of the UCC in the south.  Traditionally congregations send large groups; attending together is part of the fun.  This year Council wants CUCC to send a group, too; let’s experience the meeting together to bring home a variety of impressions and ideas.

The Southern Conference is transforming.  Members of congregations who had been at odds with one another over past disagreements have done the hard work of healing – still a work in progress – and lines of theology, structure, and politics which divide us are being transcended within the family of Christ.  If you have been longing for a place to get to know people who are not like you, this is a perfect opportunity to learn from those who are paving the way toward healing and relationship building.  Yes, the annual meeting brings us together to discuss the business of the Conference, but more than that, it brings us together to delight in one another.

If you would be willing to be part of CUCC’s group attending the Southern Conference Annual Meeting, contact me (smithjeg@mindspring.com).  Let me know if you need financial assistance.  The registration form provides logistical details about the gathering.

[Council would be delighted if one or more people chose to attend the General Synod.   If that is your interest, contact me smithjeg@mindspring.com.]

- submitted by Jane Smith, Council Moderator

Housing for Health Care Defenders Needed

Health Action NC, a coalition of groups and individuals advocating for access to health care for all, will hold its annual lobbying day, Protect and Defend Our Health Care Day, April 4. The day begins at 8:30 a.m., so we are looking for families willing to house people from other parts of the state for the night of April 3. The coalition, formerly the Medicaid Expansion Coalition, will refer requests to CUCC. What we need is for people to offer up a room for one night for people who had to drive several hours to get here and who don't want to drive through the wee hours of the morning. 

Please contact Joan McAllister if you are willing to provide housing for one or more people the night of April 3.  919-851-9674.  It’s fun!  I have been housing Moral Monday folks for several years!

Economic Justice Task Force Meeting Sunday, March 19

The Economic Justice Task Force will meet Sunday at 12:00 in the Bradow Room.  Everyone is welcome to join us!   Find out what EJTF is doing and what you can do to help.

     “Recognizing that we live in a world where systems allow for an unsustainable gap between the wealthy and the poor, CUCC adopted an Economic Justice Covenant in June of 2012 stating that we would strive to work for a world where love, justice and mercy prevail and God's abundance is shared.” - from the communityucc.org website 


Lenten Pastoral Reflection

      This week, I am nestled in with extended family at a timeshare off of Lake Marion in Santee, South Carolina. Having never been here, I wondered what it was that could possibly be appealing about this location as we drove by a plethora of abandoned and under-nurtured properties, scattered throughout the many fast food and truck stop joints. Why was this a place of leisure and relaxation? Apart from the great lake, South Carolina’s largest, and the golf courses surrounding the time share, there was little motivation to leave the resort on a rainy day. We were far enough away from any major town, so any kid-friendly attraction beyond crawdad catching and puddle jumping would mean at least two hours in the car.

     On Monday morning, just after breakfast, I was out on the back balcony overlooking the lake drinking my coffee. I watched as hundreds of black long-necked birds, swiftly, yet gracefully plunged into the water, skating a great distance before finally landing and then diving immediately headfirst into the water.

     It was a sight! I stood watching for at least five minutes and the stream of birds continued - in the hundreds they came, gliding across the water from both directions.

     After doing some initial research, I came to understand these birds to be cormorants. As I watched their behaviors it was no surprise to me that these birds had been targeted by hunters and fishermen of the greater Lake Marion region to be competitors for the fish; and thus, the hunters and fishermen were granted a license to “kill” the birds who are known to eat half a ton of fish each within a 12 week period. 

     Between 2013 and 2014, the federal courts granted fisherman the opportunity to receive permits to devastate this population of “pesky” birds, killing upwards of 25,000 cormorants in under 2 years.  In May of 2016, however a U.S. court in Washington suspended the federal order giving these birds a new lease on life.

     As I considered my own musings as to the desirability of being nurtured by this unseemly location, I was reminded of Jesus’ encounter with an unknown woman who drew water from a well for which she was naive to its true purpose. Sometimes new life is just beneath the surface; and once we know it is there, I believe we, too, will come running from all directions.


May the Spirit continue to lead the way,

Rev. Jenny Shultz-Thomas
      
     As we continue the Lenten journey together, I invited you to view and share the following video with those who may have need of hearing of Jesus’ “living water”:  



Ida - Lenten film for Friday, March 24

See detailed info for the movie "Ida" to be shown on March 24 as the 4th Lenten film in this year's Lenten film series.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Workshop on immigration advocacy

Maria Mayorga invites all of us to attend "Immigration Advocacy:  Know Your Rights!" This workshop will be March 18, 12-3:30 at the NCSU main campus,  Mann Hall Room 216, 2501 Katharine Stinson Dr.  If you have been wondering how to assist friends who are immigrants or have been gathering information about being a "sanctuary,"  this might be a good source information.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Lenten Sermons for 2017

This Lenten season the CUCC website has been running special previews of Pastor Jenny Shultz-Thomas's sermons for the season. These short videos (of between 1 and 2 minutes) were directed and produced by our own Karen Withem with help from a crew that included video professionals who are friends of Karen. These professional quality video clips will remain as part of our Church Archive, and along with each video clip is an audio recording of the entire sermon that corresponds to the clip.

If you've missed any of this year's Lenten sermons, you can check them out at any time at their permanent location in the church archive ...

cuccarchive.blogspot.com/2017/03/lenten-sermon-previews-2017.html

Monday, March 13, 2017

Volunteers needed to help with flood recovery in WV

Friends from CUCC's Appalachia Service Project teams, Bill and Rosemary Pate, continue to organize adult-only weekends to rebuild homes damaged in the 2016 floods in West Virginia.  These are well-organized weekends and they are experienced and delightful leaders.

If you have wanted to get your hands dirty to make a difference in a life, this might be just the thing for you.

From Bill and Rosemary
The next opportunity to help with flood recovery for families impacted by the floods of June 2016 in Rainelle, WV will be April 6-9. The volunteer fee is $40.  There are still many homes  in need of extensive repairs in this small town.  The families are very appreciative of the help we can provide.

If you are interested in joining this trip to Rainelle please contact Bill at 919 215 7426 or Rosemary Pate at 919 215 5635 or at rosemaryandbill@gmail.com

To register online you will need the group # 6443. Here is the link to the registration page.

We hope you will consider joining us.

Rosemary and Bill

- submitted by Jane Smith

CUCCer films documentary at ACP protest

CUCC member Carson Roach-Howell joined colleagues from Goodbye Productions to film the protests against development of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.  Read about the protest and see a photo of Carson at work.

Raise the age - March 12 Ministry Moment

During 10:30 worship on March 12, Mike Soboeiro brought Social Justice Ministry's request that each of us consider contacting our state legislators to support HB 280, the Juvenile Justice Reinvestment Act.

The following information is from his  ministry moment.

Representative Chuck McGrady has introduced HB 280. The bill establishes that a 16 year old will be tried as a juvenile and not as an adult. This will be for nonviolent crimes. Violent felons and some drug offenders will still be considered in adult court. North Carolina is one of two states that prosecutes all 16 and 17 year olds as adults with no exceptions.

As of now, it's looking very promising for passage of HB280.  There are currently 68 sponsors/co-sponsors (almost enough to pass it!!) both Democrats and Republicans.

In Wake County all representatives except Nelson Dollar have signed on as co-sponsors, so calls and emails to Representative Dollar would be good. This is especially important if he represents you.

Also, ask your representative to vote for HB 280.  Contact your senator to indicate that the bill will soon move to the Senate and he/she needs to support this legislation.

Look up the contact information for your legislators here.

- submitted by CUCC's Social Justice Ministry

BYC Summer Camp Registration Begins

BYC Summer Camp Registration has begun! Julie Robertson is collecting forms and payments.

Attached please find all 3 necessary forms. Camp requires that they be completed in their entirety.
BYC Medical Information, Authorization, and Release
BYC Youth and Family Covenant
BYC Youth Registration Form

You may have to get health info from your youth's doctor so start early! Registration is due by Monday, April 10. Final payment is due by May 7.

BYC is a phenomenal church camp experience in the NC mountains with like minded churches from all over the country. I have participated in curriculum planning and leadership at this camp for 14 years. Many of our youth have attended this camp (we had 17 participants last year). The dates are Sunday, July 2- Friday, July 7.

The camp is open to our current 6th graders (this summer's rising 7th graders) through this years' high school graduates.

The cost is $330 per camper. (That covers transportation there and back, and all camp meals and lodging, and is well worth it!) Scholarships are available. Don't let the cost keep you from coming!

If you think your youth might be interested and want to know more, please let me know.

I can't say enough good things about both the fun and the deeply profound spiritual opportunities that this camp offers.

Peace,
Śānti Matthews

What's new for Agape groups?

You might have been hearing about Agape Groups or you might be already participating. The Caring Committee has been working on getting these going as a focus of our caring support. We have seven groups going now in various forms. The idea is fairly simple really. We wanted to be able to organize the care and support we provide to members and friends of CUCC by forming groups somewhat geographical/somewhat with natural linkages. These groups are supposed to be a smaller group of the CUCC membership and help facilitate communication to and from the Caring Committee. The Caring Committee usually meets on the 2nd Sunday of each month and we plan to poll the Agape Group leaders about issues in their membership.

At the same time Agape Groups also afford members an opportunity to expand community at CUCC. They can be another system of support in good times and not so good times. Some groups are holding regular social gatherings at church, at restaurants or in member’s homes. Card showers on special occasions have been triggered. No limits are placed on the creative muses at CUCC.

The Caring Committee is going to let our groups find their own path this year and will be evaluating this effort at the end of the year to see what we might want to keep, change or discard. If you have not been assigned to an Agape Group or you would like to join another, get in touch with the church office. If you have feedback positive or negative about this effort get in touch with Bill Lamb or Bev Stolarick, the co-chairs of the Caring Committee.

- submitted by Bill Lamb for the Caring Committee

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Juvenile justice, sanctuary, pipeline & interfaith welcome

Adrienne Little represents CUCC's Social Justice Ministry at Congregations for Social Justice.  She shares these justice opportunities.  Our presence swells the voice of our neighbors.

1 - Support the Raise-the-age bill - HB 280 from the CSJ Criminal Justice Task Force by Adrienne Little
The Criminal Justice Task Force of CSJ discussed HB 280 filed by Rep. Chuck McGrady on March 8. The bill establishes that a 16 year old will be tried as a juvenile and not as an adult. This will be for nonviolent crimes. Violent felons and some drug offenders will still be considered in adult court. North Carolina is one of two states that prosecutes all 16 and 17 year olds as adults with no exceptions.
     Please notify your representative to vote for HB 280.
     Please let your senator know he/she needs to support this legislation.
Click HERE to see the News and Observer story on this topic by Lauren Hirsch.
Raise-the-age bill gains steam in one of the last states to prosecute 16-year-olds as adults

2 - #SanctuaryEverywhere Action from John Shuford
More information here

3 - Follow-Up (from Wed AM) on Atlantic Coast Pipeline from Gary Blank
Here is the link for the EIS multi-part draft for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline:

The EJ parts people should be interested in and examine are Volume 1, section 4.9.9, pages 4-411 to 4-413 and Appendix U, which is located in Volume 3, part 2, pages 92-98.
Upon further examination of the discussion, I am uncertain that a better way exists to conduct the examination.

4 - Muslim Americans: Today's Reality from Joe Burton jburton41@nc.rr.com>
       March 21 at 7:00 PM
       Highland United Methodist Church
       1901 Ridge Road, Raleigh
Learn what it is like to be a Muslim American today.
We will also discuss ways that we as the Peace Community can stand with and support our Muslim brothers and sisters to rise above the atmosphere of hate and fear and bring about understanding.
Speakers:
     Imam Mohamed AbuTaleb, Islamic Association of Raleigh
     Dr. Sameh Mubarak – Pres. of Muslim American Society
More information


No weather cancellations

Morning worship, classes and meetings* will proceed as planned.  (*If the meeting chair called you to cancel, then your meeting is cancelled.)  We look forward to seeing you this morning!

Please use your discretion as you decide whether to drive to worship.  We come from a wide geographical area and weather conditions where you live may be different from those at Dixie Trail.  We have not pre-treated sidewalks, so be very careful as you walk into the building.

Don't forget - daylight savings time began while we all slept.

(Updated:  7:41AM, Sunday, March 12)

Friday, March 10, 2017

Spring Forward - Daylight Savings Time Begins Sunday, March 12, 2017




    Daylight Savings
        Time begins 
   Sunday, March 12

From the Pastor

Whom Shall We Fear?
Talitha Arnold
March 9, 2017
"The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life, of whom shall I be afraid?" - Psalm 27:1

Psalm 27 starts out full of confidence. Sure of God's presence, light, and salvation, the Psalmist proclaims "the Lord is the stronghold of my life, of whom shall I be afraid?" If ancient Hebrew had punctuation marks, he probably would have ended with an exclamation point, not a question mark!

Overflowing with spit and vinegar, the Psalmist lists all the things that could have made him afraid but didn't faze him in the least. Evildoers, adversaries, foes, false witnesses, an enemy encamped against him, war—the Psalmist could face them all because he knew God would shelter and protect him. God was with him. "Whom shall I fear?" indeed.

But then the confident tone changes. The Psalmist names the one thing that he does fear. "Do not hide your face from me," he pleads in the second half of the Psalm. "Do not turn away from me or cast me off." There's no reason given for the change. Perhaps the second part was written later in the Psalmist's life, after he'd known God as much by absence as by presence. "Do not forsake me," he cries.

For Christians in Lent, the Psalmist's fear has particular resonance. We've embarked on a journey that leads to a cross and a cry of "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" The paradox of our faith is that Jesus' story of greatest abandonment has become for us the assurance of God's greatest presence. Even when we are most afraid or forsaken, we can trust there is One who has faced that same fear and whose presence gives us the courage to face it as well.

Prayer

Give us the strength, Lord, to face our fears and the courage to trust your presence. Amen.

Sisters in Spirit (SIS)

Next SIS (Sisters in Spirit) meeting
March 28th 6:30 P.M919-782-8100

Vivian Hunter’s house potluck with charades and sing-along. Y'all come.  

Looking ahead:  The SIS beach weekend will be Friday, May 5th through Sunday May, 7th. The theme this year will be "Heightening Senses." Please let Marty Lamb know ASAP if you wish to attend.