Friday, June 30, 2017

Church Office Closed, Tuesday, July 4, 2017

   The Church Office will be closed on Tuesday, July 4, 2017, in celebration of the Fourth of July Holiday.  We hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable Fourth.


Dear Friends,

Eighteen of us, thirteen youth and four chaperones, are preparing to leave for BYC (Youth Camp) on Sunday, July 2: Cooper Atkinson, Mason Atkinson, Aubrey Shannon Barrick, Alex Bowen, Zenna Bryan, Rebekah Fairbrother, Sophie Flynn, Tsegawit Gebremedhin, Julia Langenderfer, Ella Powell, John Robertson, Marybeth Worley, Terry Worley, Olivia Worters, Bill Bryan, Paul Kiel, Annaka Sikkink, and Śānti Matthews.

BYC is a church camp in Laurel Springs, North Carolina, that is organized and supported by eleven churches (eight Alliance of Baptist Churches and three UCC Churches) who covenant together to provide a safe, nurturing, fun and creative space for youth to learn more about God, themselves, and community. Youth get to spend the week with roughly 100 other youth from like-minded churches all over the country. This will be the 8th year that CUCC has participated. We can't say enough good things about both the deeply profound spiritual opportunities, the community building, and the sheer fun that this camp offers.

We are also aware of how much we need and cherish your prayers, your thoughts, your support, and your care. It’s my hope that CUCC will pray for us in worship, and throughout the week of July 2, as we leave for camp and as we spend time learning and growing and understanding each other, and God more deeply and truly. We will study Sabbath this summer, and we will work to understand and honor Sabbath time, and accept grace filled possibilities for rest and renewal.

We look forward to telling you all about our transformative experiences and adventures when we return. Peace, Śānti


From the Pastor






Dear CUCC Friends, 

One of the joys of being part of a progressive denomination in the life of faith is the
opportunity to be joined with so many others from around the country who are working tirelessly in their own communities towards a more just and peaceful world. Over the next several days, I will be meeting with my UCC Next Generation Leadership Initiative (NGLI) cohort in Baltimore, Maryland, as we discuss our own plans to that end as young professionals serving in faith communities across this nation; a nation which is currently under seize. I ask that you hold us in the light as we discern next steps, as well as offering your prayers and presence “for peace,” as our nations leaders
deliberate over the state of healthcare in this country. God, in your mercy…

Over the weekend, we will be joined by thousands of others at the UCC General Synod event where delegates and UCC National Leaders will address several resolutions
that we hope will move us, as advocates of equality, inclusivity, and wholeness for all persons, closer to building the Beloved Community. If you would like to follow the news of General Synod events and/or follow the progress of a resolution, you can download the “UCC Events” app on your smart phones. I will look forward to sharing with you about my experiences and about the progress of the UCC over the next several months. Blessings and Peace! 

May the Spirit lead the way,


Rev. Jenny Shultz-Thomas


This Week's Opportunities

                        
Sunday          7/02     9:00am          Taizé Worship – Sanctuary
                                   9:30am          Adult Bible Study - Bradow Room
                                 10:30am          Worship Service with Communion - Sanctuary
                                 10:45am          Children’s Church School - Sunday School Rooms
                                 11:45am          Fellowship - Vaughan Fellowship Hall
                                   4:00pm          Covenant Community - Bradow Room
                                                         Food Bags Due
                                                                                                                                                                                  
Monday         7/03    12:15pm         Monday Lunch Group - Hoffmann Room
                                                                                                                                                                                          
Tuesday         7/04                          Church Office Closed - 4th of July Holiday
                                                                                                                                   
Wednesday    7/05    9:30am          Tai Chi – Vaughan Fellowship Hall
                                   6:30pm          Bible Study - Pilgrim House
                                                                                                                    
Thursday       7/06     7:00pm         Deacons Ministry Meeting - Hoffmann Room

Saturday        7/08    9:30am          Saturday Morning Book Club – Library
                                                                                                                                                                                               
Sunday          7/09     9:00am          Taizé Worship – Sanctuary
                                   9:30am          Choir Practice - Sanctuary
                                   9:30am          Adult Sunday School - Bradow Room
                                 10:30am          Worship Service - Sanctuary
                                 10:45am          Children’s Church - Sunday School Room
                                 10:45am          Youth Church School - Youth Room
                                 11:45am          Fellowship - P2E! - Vaughan Fellowship Hall
                                   4:00pm          Covenant Community - Bradow Room


Lectionary for the Week of July 2, 2017

Lectionary for the Week of July 2, 2017 - Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Green
Genesis 22:1-14; Psalm 13 or Jeremiah 28:5-9; Psalm 89:1-4, 15-18;
Romans 6:12-23; Matthew 10:40-42


See Karen's movie "A Rude Awakening" July 5

Karen Withem is a member of CUCC and a regular at Sunday's Taize' worship.  We're excited about the showing of her first film and invite you to attend this film festival in Cary.

Here's a note from Karen.

Hi all, my first film "A Rude Awakening," will screen July 5 at the Cary Theatre. It's an evening of shorts featuring one locally made film, plus shorts from all over the world, and the programs I've seen have been very good.

"A Rude Awakening" was an Official Selection and won the Audience Choice Award at the Great Lakes International Film Festival in 2016.


Come and bring your friends!

Best regards,
Karen Withem

Motion for Pictures Screening Series
July 5, 7PM
Cost: $3 to $5
Cary Theater
122 E. Chatham Street
Cary, NC  27511


Sunday School News!

Our garden is growing! After a seed failure early in the spring, our garden is up and coming! We have tomatoes, peppers, squash and eggplant this year. Many thanks to Mr. Bill (Lamb) who continues to donate to PLANT A ROW from his garden and to Carol Clark who donated and planted more eggplant and pepper plants in the garden.
The new soaker hose is missing from our garden. If you happened to borrow it please return it by placing it back in the garden as it was. Thank you.
It is easy for you to donate to PLANT A ROW. Just take your veggies to the check out counter at Logan’s Garden Shop, 707 Semart Dr., Raleigh, and tell them the donation is from CUCC. You will receive a receipt which you can drop by the Sunday School room and we will add your donation to our tally. All donations are appreciated.
I look forward to seeing the children whenever they are here this summer. Safe travels everyone!
Anne Bailey


Wright Center Meal

Thanks to Maria Mayorga & Jason Myers and their kids for preparing and serving the Wright Center meal Sunday June 18. They went over and beyond the call of duty doing it all on Father's Day.

There are openings for November 19 and Dec 17 if you would like to help serve or prepare food for the Wright Center. Please contact Laura Upchurch by email at laura.lewis3@twc.com or call  919-616-8285.


Emergency Resolution from the UCC

As you know, President Trump has said that he will pull the US from the Paris Climate Accords.  This is a very sad and dangerous decision.  Today, I am proud of the leaders the Southern Conference of the UCC because last week they signed on to a UCC emergency resolution in opposition to our withdrawal.  The resolution will be presented at the General Synod later this summer http://uccfiles.com/synod/resolutions/The-Earth-is-the%20Lords-Not-Ours-to-Wreck-Imperatives-for-a-New-Moral-Era-v-DDA.pdf.. 

Some of the key aspects include
“...RESOLVED, that the Thirty-first General Synod of the United Church of Christ calls upon the whole of the church to prayerfully engage the following imperatives as we seek to initiate a new moral era:
  • Let our clergy accept the mantle of moral leadership:  Now is the time for clergy to speak from their pulpits about the moral obligation of our generation to protect God’s creation. Let the world know that whatever the current American administration may say or do, we who follow Jesus will not back away from God’s call to protect our common home.
  • Let all of us incarnate the changes we long for:  Now is the time for congregations and for every person of faith to set a moral example through our own words and actions. As individuals and as communities, let us commit to making decisions of integrity in our energy choices, even as we commit to hold our political leaders accountable to do the same.
  • Let us proclaim truth in the public square:  We are now living in a John 18:37 moment, in which we must hold to the truth we understand from our two Testaments and from the sacred book of nature, recognizing that when truth is compromised, only power prevails.
    • Let our communities of faith be bold and courageous as we address the greatest moral challenge that the world has ever faced.
    • Let us commit to resist all expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure and demand new sources of renewable energy that are accessible to all communities.
    • Let us do all we can to change America's understanding of the story that our generation is writing. Let us begin a new story – a story that is not dependent on fossil fuel or on wealth for the few and misery for the many.”
Submitted by Gary Smith

Fundraiser for refugee resettlement agencies

Sunday, July 9, 2017 - 5:00pm - 8:00pm

Please join Lutheran Services Carolinas at Big Boss Brewing Company as we celebrate diversity through food.  Your refugee neighbors, and our clients, will be cooking dishes native to their country of origin.  Enjoy this family friendly event with games, t-shirts, food, speakers and community connections - register here to be part of the celebration! Contact Joan McAllister for additional information at joan_mcallister@att.net. 




Friday, June 23, 2017

Graduation Celebration for JaCarrie Elizabeth Spurlock, Saturday, June 24th

Please Join Us in Celebrating
the Graduation of

JaCarrie Elizabeth Spurlock

Saturday, June 24th, 
2:00pm to 4:00pm

Community United Church of Christ
814 Dixie Trail
Raleigh, NC 27607

Vaughan Fellowship Hall

Heavy Hors D'oeuvres



RSVP to Cara at 919-702-5070
CUCC Members Making a Difference

Austin Osborne-Newman, who was raised and confirmed at CUCC, participated in the 2017 Trailblaze Challenge to raise money for Make-a-wish.

Austin and his girlfriend, Mandy Hough, set a goal to raise $5000 for Make-a-wish, and they would very much appreciate support from CUCC folks.

If you would like to learn more or/and to support them, please follow the link.
http://trailblazechallenge.kintera.org/2017spring/austinmandy

Austin and Mandy thank you for your support of this terrific cause.


Pastoral Letter

The Journey
One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice--
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do--
determined to save
the only life you could save.
                     - Mary Oliver

This afternoon as I sat outside Joe Van Gogh Coffee Shop sermonizing; a man walked out of  the door: coffee in one hand and a bicycle helmet in the other. There was another man sitting at a table opposite me who asked him about his bike, and then I heard the bicyclist say, "Yes, this bike saved my life. I thought I was losing something when I lost my car, but in fact I was gaining a life I never knew was possible." He explained that after a DUI, prison time, a failed relationship, and so many other losses, he was gifted with the opportunity to live life from the bottom up. So often in our lives, we mistake life and "truly living" for all the comforts and expressions of a life well-lived. I wonder what we might need to "lose" in order to gain "life"? 

          May the Spirit lead the way, 


          Rev. Jenny Shultz-Thomas 




Lectionary for the Week of June 25, 2017

Lectionary for the Week of June 25, 2017 - Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time -(Third Sunday after Pentecost) Green - Genesis 21:8-21; Psalm 86:1-10, 16-17 OR Jeremiah 20:7-13; Psalm 69:7-10, (11-15), 16-18; Romans 6:1b-11; Matthew 10:24-39
Ramadan Ends - 60th Anniversary of the United Church of Christ


This Week's Opportunities

Sunday          6/25    60th Anniversary of the United Church of Christ
                                   9:00am          Taizé Worship – Sanctuary
                                   9:30am          Choir Practice - Sanctuary
                                   9:30am          Adult Bible Study - Bradow Room
                                 10:30am          Worship Service - Sanctuary
                                 10:45am          Children’s Church School - Sunday School Rooms
                                 10:45am          No Youth Church School - First Sunday
                                 11:45am          Fellowship - Vaughan Fellowship Hall
                                 12:00pm          Economic Justice Task Force - Bradow Room
                                 12:00pm          Stewardship Ministry Meeting - Library
                                   4:00pm          Covenant Community - Bradow Room
                                                                                                                                                                                              
Monday         6/26    12:15pm          Monday Lunch Group - Hoffmann Room
                                                                                                                                                                                          
Tuesday        6/27    10:00am          Office Staff Meeting - Pilgrim House
                                                         Deadline for July Bulletins & Announcements
                                                                                                                                   
Wednesday   6/28     9:30am          Tai Chi – Vaughan Fellowship Hall
                                                                                                                                
Saturday        7/01     9:30am          Saturday Morning Book Club – Library
                                                                                                                                                                                               
Sunday          7/02     9:00am          Taizé Worship – Sanctuary
                                   9:30am          Adult Sunday School - Bradow Room
                                 10:30am          Worship Service with Communion - Sanctuary
                                                            Commissioning of BYC Participants
                                 10:45am          Children’s Church - Sunday School Room
                                 10:45am          Youth Church School - Youth Room
                                 11:45am          Fellowship - Vaughan Fellowship Hall
                                   4:00pm          Covenant Community - Bradow Room
                                                         Urban Ministries Food Bags Due



Monday, June 19, 2017

Cary residents: Support Habitat in Cary June 22, 6PM

At the last Congregations for Social Justice meeting on June 14th, Rachel representing Habitat for Humanity spoke for seven houses they would like to build in Cary. So far citizens have opposed the construction even with their cutting back on the number they want to build. Now Habitat for Humanity is seeking R8 zoning the same as across the street.

On June 22nd at the town council meeting people who see the need for low cost housing are asked to get a Habitat t shirt at the parking garage at 6 o'clock and come to the meeting at 6:30. Residents from Cary are asked to speak at the meeting.

Adrienne Little

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Specks and Logs

Whenever I hear friends pontificating about "hate", I always cringe a bit. I know it's not "us" that they're talking about. Hate is very easy to spot in those who disagree with us. The Bible affirms that when it asks, "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?"

That plank whopped us over the head this week. But the same week in which I heard much talk among friends about the 2nd anniversary of the shootings at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston and the 1st anniversary of the shootings at the Orlando nightclub, we were strangely silent in church today about the shootings on the ball field in Alexandria this week. And the scary thing about the shootings in Alexandria is that the shooter's profile seems so normal to us.

In today's NY Times, Ross Douthat makes that very observation ...

So Hodgkinson’s seeming normalcy, his angry but relatively mainstream Democratic views, might be a warning sign for the future of our politics. The turmoil of the 1960s and 1970s generated segregationist terrorism on the right and a revolutionary underground on the left, but it did not produce much partisan terrorism, violence inspired simply by fear and hatred of the opposition party. Now, though, we hate each other simply for being Democrats and Republicans more than ever — and violence inspired simply by the polarization of the major parties would be a unique and novel threat. 

The second thing to say is that a murderous attack on Republicans by an angry liberal should be an important reminder for our media-cultural establishment that societies can be pulled apart from the left as easily as from the right. Of course, network anchors and magazine editors and editorial boards know this on an intellectual level. But because our centrist elites are actually center-left there is a constant, involuntary tug toward emphasizing what’s wrong on the right-wing side of the spectrum and excusing what’s wrong on the other.

It's our responsibility to recognize hate within our own ranks. Otherwise, we're simply the pot calling the kettle black.

Full op-ed piece by Ross Douthat:
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/17/opinion/notes-on-a-political-shooting.html

Thursday, June 15, 2017

From the Pastor

Dear Beloved Community, 

On this Monday, June 12, 2017, I am at a loss for words, which is pretty rare for me—as you have already witnessed. I have been with you for 148 days, nearly 5 months, serving as your Pastor at Community United Church of Christ. Some of the days and weeks have been long, yes, but most have been filled to overflowing. I find myself overwhelmed with peace and joy as the excitement and energy from being in your midst ushers me from one page to the next—expectantly. I am sitting now at my own kitchen table, with the soft humming of the dishwasher in the background, birdsongs bouncing off the glass behind me, the natural light competing with the chandelier above my head to illuminate this space. My daughter is home sick today with a virus that warms her tiny body to the point of tears. She is sleeping now, and I am thankful. I am overwhelmed with gratitude today for many things; but mostly for how the Spirit has blessed my family with the incredible gifts of you. 
———————
Each community has a personality as does each Pastor; we are learning one another in these filled to overflowing days. I am a high-energy, extrovert with thoughtful opinions about most things, yet a contemplative Spirit for whom quiet and calm are a necessity if I am to be present and prepared. You are a beautiful, diverse, blend of humor and cynicism, of playfulness and sensitivity, of deep faithfulness and an enduring optimism; your heart beats for the least of these and bleeds for All of God’s creatures. Your silent reverence, your steady and simple expressions of God’s many faces and names invite children to dream and wonder, and paint the stars both above and beneath their feet. Yours is a table that both feeds the hungry and well-fed and invites others to serve and be served. The food you offer becomes the source of all that binds you together; your hands, feet, heart and souls are poured out as if an endless array of God’s abundant love and care. 

In reading scripture this morning, Spirit pointed me to 2 Corinthians: 
Surely we do not need, as some do, letters of recommendation to you or from you, do we? You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, to be known and read by all; and you show that you are a letter of Christ, prepared by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.

I had two occasions this past week to be among former friends and colleagues where I received many blessings, and comments about having a “glowing radiance” and a “contagious joy” about myself…Friends asking “what’s in the Raleigh water?” I did not have to hesitate in my response. “Spirit," I exclaimed! 

Spirit is rising in Raleigh, and especially at Community UCC. You are the water, you are the letter…and you were written on my heart even before I knew you. 

May the Spirit continue to bind us together in love,

~Rev. Jenny Shultz-Thomas


Joy & Amy are Getting Married Saturday! And You're Invited!!


Newcomers’ Coffee, Sunday, June 18

Newcomers’ Coffee
Sunday, June 18

In the Library after
the 10:30am
Worship Service


Anyone interested in learning more about CUCC is invited to join us for casual conversation and refreshments. Hope to see you there!


"The Sacred You" - June 20, 2017

Please join us Tuesday, June 20th, as we share with each other.

“The Sacred You” - More than a support group, The Sacred You invites Queer folk and their friends, family, and allies to experience true community within a spiritually rich safe space. Let’s celebrate who we are together!!

Open to LGBTQ and their friends, families, and allies.
Place:  Community UCC - Vaughan Fellowship Hall
Time:   7:00pm, Third Tuesdays
For additional questions or information, contact Pastor Jenny at 919-809-8850.


This Week's Opportunities

                                                                                                
Sunday          6/18     9:00am          Taizé Worship – Sanctuary
                                   9:30am          Adult Bible Study - Bradow Room
                                 10:30am          Worship Service - Sanctuary
                                 10:45am          Children’s Church School - Sunday School Rooms
                                 10:45am          Youth Church School - Youth Room
                                 11:45am          Fellowship - Vaughan Fellowship Hall
                                 12:00pm          Newcomer’s Coffee - Hoffmann Room
                                   4:00pm          Covenant Community - Bradow Room
                                                         Wright Center Meal - Provided by Youth
                                                                                                                                                                                               
Monday         6/19   12:15pm          Monday Lunch Group - Hoffmann Room
                                                                                                                                                                                          
Tuesday        6/20   10:00am          Office Staff Meeting - Pilgrim House
                                10:30am          Triangle Interfaith Alliance - Hoffmann Room
                                  7:00pm          “The Sacred You” - Bradow Room
                                                                                                                                   
Wednesday   6/21     9:30am          Tai Chi – Vaughan Fellowship Hall
                                   6:00pm          Bible Study - Pilgrim House
                                   7:30pm          PFLAG - Vaughan Fellowship Hall
                                                                                                                    
Saturday        6/24     9:30am          Saturday Morning Book Club – Library
                                                                                                                                                                                               
Sunday          6/25     9:00am          Taizé Worship – Sanctuary
                                   9:30am          Choir Practice - Sanctuary
                                   9:30am          Adult Sunday School - Bradow Room
                                 10:30am          Worship Service - Sanctuary
                                 10:45am          Children’s Church - Sunday School Room
                                 10:45am          Youth Church School - Youth Room
                                 11:45am          Fellowship - Vaughan Fellowship Hall
                                 12:00pm          Economic Justice Task Force Meeting - Bradow Room
                                 12:00pm          Stewardship Ministry Meeting - Library
                                   4:00pm          Covenant Community - Bradow Room