Monday, August 21, 2017

Save the date - Welcoming Sunday

Mark your calendar for worship and an extended fellowship time afterwards on Sunday, September 10, as we gather for Welcoming Sunday.  More details coming soon!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

From Pastor Jenny

Dear Community UCC Family, 

     Seven months ago I began dreaming with you about where Spirit was calling us: calling us to listen, to move and breathe, to shift and make new, to curate and procure spaces--both physical and metaphorical--so that we could extend God's extravagant, inclusive, abundant welcome to the least of these, and those least likely to enter our doors. 
     This weekend marks two very important moments for us in our life together as friends, family and people of a shared and particular story committed to that extravagant welcome. Tomorrow, I will participate in a retreat with a few of you who serve our congregation in leadership, telling our stories and in making room that others might enter in. I am beyond hopeful, giddy really, at the opportunities that await us as we listen deeper, move closer and work to widen the door through which all might come to know and feel God's love.
     Last weekend we celebrated as Alex, Diane, Autumn and Charles joined in fellowship and in covenant with CUCC, pledging to love and be loved, and to add their own lights of hope and faithfulness to a light already shining in this place. Several months ago, JM invited us to re-imagine what making room looks like, what the realm of God calls us to in our efforts to love and be loved. There is an ever growing list of others who are eager to join us in our work to bring a just, peaceful, and emboldened witness to Raleigh, to North Carolina, and to God's people and her created world.
     As we continue bearing witness to this call, we will gather on Sunday for worship services at 9:00am, 10:30am, and then again at 4:00pm. Don't blink twice or you'll be a Baptist before you know it! As is customary in our tradition once a new pastor has been called to the local church, the Association, in our case, the Eastern North Carolina Association, installs the new pastor in a ritual of blessing and covenant celebrated within a worship service. This day, in your history, marks "the next faithful step" in our
communal life together. You have faithfully discerned your gifts, as well as your desires and call as a community of people committed to one another and to loving and serving others. It has been to my great fortune that the call of Spirit brought us together in the place where hopes and dreams are formed, and love is watered and grown. Thus, I could not be more thankful to share in this moment with you!
     It seems only appropriate to be together for this occasion at this particular time in history. Every day I begin with the thought that I am part of something much greater than myself, which allows me to breathe a little deeper, and sit a little longer, especially on days filled with so much pain and turmoil.
     This something is a love that draws me close, that fills me with peace and a longing to be the most honest reflection of that love that I can be; and I am compelled to share it with others. I believe this Love to be of our Creator, of the divine, that each one of us bears; whether we choose to listen to, or dismiss it, this Love pursues us with a gentle, unassuming light that neither coerces nor condemns us. This love, however, weeps when we do, and yearns as we do for the day when each of her beautiful ones is drawn close, is made whole, and begets wholeness.
     As we gather together in LOVE, as Spirit calls us forth, my prayer is that we shall be made whole as one body, covenanting together for the long journey ahead, neither being dismayed by the brokenness of this fractured world or forgetting or "erasing" our history, but choosing instead to fix our gaze on the love which propels us onward. I pray we will choose love--remembering as Jesus taught and lived that,
"There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out all fear.”
                                                            
Spirit is leading the way,

Rev. Jenny Shultz-Thomas


Installation - August 20

Rev. Jenny Shultz-Thomas preaching at a pulpit
On August 20, 2017 Community United Church of Christ will celebrate the Installation of its newest Pastor, Rev. Jenny Shultz-Thomas, who began her ministry at CUCC on January 1, 2017. In the United Church of Christ the “Installation is the liturgical celebration of the covenantal relationship among an ordained minister; the local church; and the Association.”

At a time such as this when even the ground beneath our feet seems to shift and burn with the tides, we as a nation are more hungry than ever for a word of HOPE. It has been said that religion in
the West is failing...dying, and that the political landscape of our time will siphon off what is left of organized religion. In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, jr., who said, “Those who love peace must learn to organize as effectively as those who love war,” we remember that it is not for religion that we must organize, but peace.

As we continue in the stead of the many who have gone before us, including Dr. Martin Luther King, jr., Mohandas “Mahatma” Gandhi, the late Madiba (Nelson Mandela) and the Mother of prayer and servanthood, Mother Theresa, as well as our own modern day prophets such as Rev. Dr. William Barber, we gather in one Spirit, in covenant with all of Creation, towards a new religious ecology; called to love and serve that all might experience the love of God.

As a faith community who takes seriously the call to witness to and for the breadth of God’s extravagant and inclusive love Community United Church of Christ hosts this celebration in partnership with our community and invites you: local neighbors, friends and families of all faiths and manifestations of the Spirit to join us for this joyous occasion.

Please join us on Sunday, August 20 at 4:00pm 
for a Service of Installation and Reception 
for Rev. Jenny Shultz-Thomas
Community United Church of Christ 
814 Dixie Trail
Raleigh, NC 27607

Parking Request for the Installation Service

right turn only road sign
Remember to TURN RIGHT
when exiting the Wade Avenue
parking lot!   Stay safe.
CUCC family, please park in the Wade Avenue lot or on the street.

We anticipate many visitors and would like them to be able to use the Dixie Trail parking lot.

CUCC drivers needing a handicap parking spot or have trouble walking are welcome to use either parking lot.

There will be a drop off zone along the curb by Pilgrim House in case you prefer to drop off your car-full and then park on the street.


Church-Wide Work Day - Saturday, August 26.

Church - Wide Work Day
Saturday, August 26, 2017, 9:00am - Noon

Whether you have only one hour or can stay all three, bring your energy to the workday.  Jobs for all ages.  We've got inside and outside tasks to do, so this is rain or shine.  (ex. sanitizing toys, washing windows, removing pine straw from roof).

Tools you might bring:  water-proof gloves, bucket, newspaper, rake, gardening gloves, pruning shears.  Don't have any of those - come anyway.  We'll have
extras.


Lectionary for the Week of August 20, 2017

Lectionary for the Week of August 20, 2017 - Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Green
Genesis 45:1-15; Psalm 133 or Isaiah 56:1, 6-8; Psalm 67;
Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32; Matthew 15:(10-20), 21-28


This Week's Opportunities

Sunday 8/20
  9:00am      Taizé Worship – Sanctuary
  9:30am       Newcomer’s Coffee - Library
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
     4:00pm      Covenant Community - Bradow Room
     4:00pm      Service of Installation & Reception for Rev. Shultz-Thomas
                                                                                                                                                               
Monday 8/21        
12:15pm      Monday Lunch Group - Hoffmann Room
                                                                                                                                                                                          
Tuesday 8/22        
10:30am      Office Staff Meeting - Pilgrim House
10:30am      Retirees’ Luncheon - Vaughan Fellowship Hall
                                                                                                                               
Wednesday 8/23    
  9:30am       Tai Chi – Vaughan Fellowship Hall
                                          
Saturday 8/26        
  9:00am       Church-Wide Work Day - CUCC
  9:30am       Saturday Morning Book Club – Library
                                                                                                                                                                                               
Sunday 8/27  
  9:00am       Taizé Worship – Sanctuary
  9:30am       Choir Practice - Sanctuary
  9:30am       Adult Sunday School - Bradow Room
  9:30am       Sunday School Parent Information Meeting - S.S. Classroom
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      Social Justice Ministry Meeting - Bradow Room
12:00pm      Stewardship Ministry Meeting - Library
  4:00pm      Covenant Community - Bradow Room
    



Youth Ministries - Upcoming Events

Youth Ministries
This will be a stellar year for CUCC Youth!  So many activities and events to look forward to - too many to list here; they are all listed on the CUCC website (communityucc.org).  But here are a few highlights:

September 10: Beginning September 10, the Youth Group will meet every 2nd Sunday (We will skip Oct. & Jan. due to lock-ins)
September 17: Church School begins.  Confirmation class begins.
September 19: Peace Picnic 5:30-6:30pm at Loaves & Fishes
September 22: Parent Youth Kick-Off Meeting, 5:30-6:30pm, VFH
September 22 - 24: Youth Beach Retreat Weekend
October 8: Walk for Hope
October 15: Blessing of the Animals
October 21: Octoberfest (Church-wide)
October 22: CROP Walk, 3:00pm, Broughton HS
October 27-28:  Youth Lock-In


Sunday School Parent Information Meeting

Sunday School Parent Information Meeting

An informational meeting for parents and Sunday School volunteers will be held at 9:30 AM on
August 27, in the elementary classroom. Parents and volunteers please plan to attend to learn
about our Sunday School rotation and how the preschool and elementary classes will interact.
Use the link here to print Sunday School registration forms or pick them up in the elementary
classroom.  A registration form is needed for each child. http://tinyurl.com/SundaySchool2017


Sunday School News - Fall 2017


Children are welcome at CUCC!  On Sunday mornings we offer childcare and Sunday School classes.

The nursery is available from 9:00 AM until the conclusion of our worship service.  Children from birth through children turning 3 after August 31 attend the nursery.

Our preschool class is for children who turn 3 by August 31 through Kindergartners.

First graders through fifth graders attend our elementary class. Sixth graders move to the youth program.

Preschoolers, elementary children and youth participate in our worship service with their family and move from worship to Sunday School following the “Children’s Message” in the service. Parents pick up nursery, preschool and elementary children in their classrooms following worship.

An informational meeting for parents and Sunday School volunteers will be held at 9:30 AM on August 27 in the elementary classroom. Parents and volunteers please plan to attend to learn about our Sunday School rotation and how the preschool and elementary classes will interact.

Use the link here to print Sunday School registration forms or pick them up in the elementary classroom. A registration form is needed for each child. http://tinyurl.com/SundaySchool2017

Welcoming Sunday at CUCC is September 10. Please join us for a morning of worship, fellowship, fun and games for all ages as we end the summer schedule.  Everyone is welcome!!!

Special dates to remember for our children:
August 27:  9:30AM - Informational meeting for parents and volunteers.

September 10: Welcoming Sunday

September 17: Fall Sunday School Begins

September 17: Bible presentation during worship. Third graders and children who have not previously received a Bible will receive their Bibles during the “Children’s Message.”

October 15: 4:00 PM - The Blessing of the Animals in the courtyard. All pets are welcome and will receive a blessing from Pastor Jenny. In case of rain we will meet in the fellowship hall.

October 22: Cooking with Ms. Susan M. During Sunday School, we will begin preparing and freezing our treats for the following Sunday when we provide snacks for fellowship.

October 29: Cooking with Ms. Susan. Children provide snacks for fellowship. Parents assist with clean up.

November 26: Children and youth make ornaments for the church Christmas tree. Begin assigning roles and costumes for the Christmas Pageant.

December 3: Pageant Practice, role and costume assignment continues. – 5:00pm - Family Advent Workshop in the fellowship hall. Join us for crafts, fun, and a pizza dinner. All ages are welcome! Please bring a plate of cookies to share.

December 10: Christmas Pageant. All children and youth are welcome to participate. Visitors, grandchildren, friends, neighbors, nieces, nephews, etc. are all welcome. We have plenty of costumes.

December 17: Preschool and elementary children meet together and share the Christmas story.

December 24: No Sunday School

December 31: No Sunday School
Seven Steps to Becoming a Better Ally

Have you ever noticed that, even in our work for social justice, we often end up working alongside people who are largely similar to ourselves? Similar in terms of class, race, education level, culture, religion, etc.? Although we usually agree that diverse coalitions are more just and more effective, getting there can be hard.

This series will explore what it means to be an ally--to work in solidarity with others from different backgrounds than ourselves to reach social justice goals. We will explore the internal work of understanding our own biases and privileges, and the external work of finding ally partners and building fair and responsible relationships. Participants will receive a copy of my forthcoming self-published book: The Education of a Novice Ally: Learning to be a Middle Class Ally in the Work to End Poverty. (Reading the book is not required to participate.) My ideas about allyship come from my experience working across class lines on economic justice and anti-poverty issues, but allyship is relevant to any social justice issue and any barriers of social division.

September 17 thru November 5, 9:30-10:15AM, Fellowship Hall
Sponsored by: Economic Justice Task Force, Social Justice Ministry
and Racial Justice Group
Facilitated by:  Annaka Sikkink

If you would like to request a complimentary copy of Annaka’s book (available September 17), please email her at asikkink@gmail.com or sign up in the fellowship hall after church.


Exciting Changes to Urban Ministry Food Bags!

Exciting Changes to Urban Ministry Food Bags!

Urban Ministries has introduced a “client choice model”.  This means that instead of pre-packaging groceries, they allow clients to pick out their own groceries. This helps clients with meal planning, creates less food waste, and restores dignity to many families in tough situations.

How do our basic bags fit into this new system? The basic bag is great! All of the foods that are included in a basic bag are still needed. Once the basic bags arrive, they simply restock the items on the shelves. This means all items on the original list are great, but other items are good too!  See list of items below.

We are still collecting food or monetary donations on the first Sunday of each month.
Food items to donate: Canned beans (e.g. navy, pinto, kidney); Canned vegetables (e.g. tomatoes, carrots, green beans); Juice; Healthy Snacks (e.g. applesauce); Staples (e.g. dried rice, grits, dried beans, mac & cheese); Peanut butter; Dried milk.

For questions, contact Maria Mayorga. For more information about client choice, go to


Have You Been to this Exhibit Yet - Race: Are We So Different?

Have you Been to This Exhibit Yet? 
Race: Are We So Different?
NC Museum of Natural Sciences
We are all reeling from continued racial injustices and unrest in our country. As one peaceful
response, consider joining the CUCC Racial Justice Group (the group that studied the UCC's White Privilege:  Let's Talk Curriculum) as we explore: 
Saturday, September 16, 10:30AM
NC Museum of Natural Sciences, 
11 West Jones Street, Raleigh.  
                             Contact Ṥānti Matthews to carpool from the church at 10:00AM.



Sanctuary Workshop at CUCC - "Sanctuary Matters:Testimony and Best Practices"

Invite your friends from the community who have expressed an interest in how they might be involved in a group effort to provide sanctuary.  Register here

Sanctuary Matters: Testimony and Best Practices
Sunday, September 17, 2-5 p.m.
Community United Church of Christ
814 Dixie Trail, Raleigh

In light of recent events involving the deportation and fears of our immigrant brothers and sisters throughout the state, the NC Council of Churches' annual Faith and Immigration Summit will focus on the topic of sanctuary this year.

photo of Rev. Noel Anderson
Rev. Noel Andersen
The Sunday afternoon training session at Community UCC is for congregations and clergy leaders interested in providing support and sanctuary for vulnerable individuals in North Carolina. We will discuss the many ways that your congregation can stand up against hate and dehumanization at this moment. Topics will include Rev. Noel Andersen, Grassroots Organizer for Church World Service out of the Washington, D.C. office.
testimony from people who have been in sanctuary and congregations that have opened their doors as sanctuaries, as well as training for congregations that are in the discernment process. The keynote speaker is

Registration costs $5, which can be paid by clicking here. (No lunch will be served.)

Can't make it Sunday?  The same workshop is being presented on Saturday morning in Chapel Hill.  The Saturday Chapel Hills workshop registration costs $10 and includes a Peruvian lunch, which can be paid by clicking here.

Saturday, September 16, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. 
United Church of Chapel Hill
1321 Martin Luther King Boulevard, Chapel Hill

On Sunday, September 17, Rev. Andersen will preach at the United Church of Chapel Hill at the 8:45 and 11 a.m. services with music offered by his wife, Nina Marie Fernando, a singer-songwriter with a jazzy-folk sound. He will also lead the Adult Forum at 10 a.m., speaking about "A Conversation on Creating Sacred Space in Social Action."

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Time to take a deep breath ...

Amidst the violence in Charlottesville and the rage in Durham, David Brooks suggests in today's NY Times that a little dose of modesty would do us all some good.

"But throughout history the wiser minds have understood that anger and moral posturing are not a good antidote to rage and fanaticism. Competing vitriols only build on each other ...

... the most powerful answer to fanaticism is modesty. Modesty is an epistemology directly opposed to the conspiracy mongering mind-set ...

Progress is not made by crushing some swarm of malevolent foes; it’s made by finding balance between competing truths ...

Modesty means having the courage to rest in anxiety and not try to quickly escape it. Modesty means being tough enough to endure the pain of uncertainty and coming to appreciate that pain. Uncertainty and anxiety throw you off the smug island of certainty and force you into the free waters of creativity and learning.

Over the next few months I’m hoping to write several columns on why modesty and moderation are superior to the spiraling purity movements we see today. It seems like a good time for assertive modesty to take a stand."

Link to entire op-ed piece: How to roll back fanaticism

Monday, August 14, 2017

Durham - Monday, August 13

This video is displayed for informational purposes only. Better to know than not know.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Lectionary for the Week of August 13, 2017

Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Green
Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28; Psalm 105:1-6, 16-22, 45b or 1 Kings 19:9-18; 
Psalm 85:8-13; Romans 10:5-15; Matthew 14:22-33


THIS WEEK’S OPPORTUNITIES

   Sunday - 8/13      
  9:00am Taizé Worship – Sanctuary
  9:30am Choir Practice - Sanctuary
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 Caring Committee - Bradow Room
12:00pm Community Outreach Ministry Meeting - Hoffmann Room
12:00pm Economic Justice Task Force - Library
12:00pm Religious Education Ministry Meeting - Pilgrim House
  4:00pm Covenant Community - Bradow Room
 
Monday - 8/14
12:15pm Monday Lunch Group - Hoffmann Room
          
Tuesday - 8/15 1
10:30am Office Staff Meeting - Pilgrim House
10:30am Triangle Interfaith Alliance - Hoffmann Room
       
Wednesday - 8/16  
  9:30am Tai Chi – Vaughan Fellowship Hall
  6:00pm Bible Study - Pilgrim House
  7:30pm PFLAG - Vaughan Fellowship Hall

Saturday - 8/19   
  9:30am Saturday Morning Book Club – Library
    
Sunday - 8/20  
  9:00am Taizé Worship – Sanctuary
  9:30am Adult Sunday School - Bradow Room
  9:30am Newcomer’s Coffee - Library
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
  4:00pm Covenant Community - Bradow Room   
  4:00pm Service of Installation & Reception for Rev. Jenny Shultz-Thomas


Loaves and Fishes has Moved!


Monday, August 7, 2017

Got an "a-thon," a concert, or a collection to tell us about?

Now there is a place to post your invitation to all of us to support you in what you do outside of CUCC!  Look for the bulletin board next to the nursery labeled "You extend CUCC's work into the world."  A handwritten sign works just fine.

bulleting board with signs and plastic bags attached
Your message goes here
Selling Girl Scout cookies?
Running in a race to support a cause dear to your heart?
Collecting eyeglasses for a charity?
Performing in a play or concert or championship game?
Testifying at a public hearing and need some friends in the audience?
Co-hosting a support group?

One request:  Put your name on whatever you post.    

Ongoing requests will rotate so there is room for everyone.
facebook icon

You are using your talents to shine God's love in the world.  Thank you!

PS  You can also post directly on CUCC's Facebook page.  

Pray for Council - August 19

CUCC's Council will be on retreat Saturday, August 19, 1-7PM.  If you are willing to commit to praying for us during that time, please let me know so I can tell Council.  Knowing you are holding us in God's Light at some point during the day will be an encouragement.

We are:
Pastor:  Jenny Shultz-Thomas
Moderator:  Jane Smith
Past Moderator:  Frank Gailor
Moderator-Elect:  Grady McCallie
Clerk:  Megan Fackler-Bretz
Treasurer:  Lavon Page
Community Outreach Ministry Chair:  Maria Mayorga
Deacons Chair:  Joe Retzer
Property Chair:  Skip Stoddard
Religious Education Chair:  Suzette Roach
Social Justice Co-Chair:  Gary Smith
Welcoming and Fellowship Chair:  Susan Atkinson

Bill Lamb (Stewardship Chair) will be with us in spirit.

- submitted by Jane Smith, Moderator  smithjeg@mindspring.com

Friday, August 4, 2017

August Summer*Daze Cancelled

August Summer*Daze is cancelled
Have you noticed how hot is has gotten?  The Summer*Daze crew has and predictions are that the heat wave will continue for the next few weeks.

August Summer*Daze is cancelled.

Lectionary for the Week of August 6, 2017

Lectionary for the Week of August 6, 2017 - Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Green
Genesis 32:22-31; Psalm 17:1-7, 15 or Isaiah 55:1-5; Psalm 145:8-9, 14-21;
Romans 9:1-5; Matthew 14:13-21
Hiroshima Day of Remembrance


Opportunities for the Week of August 6, 2017

Sunday 8/06     
  9:00am - Taizé Worship – Sanctuary
  9:30am - Adult Sunday School - Bradow Room
10:30am - Worship Service with Communion - Sanctuary
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
                                                                                                                                                                
Monday 8/07  
12:15pm - Monday Lunch Group - Hoffmann Room
                                                                                                                                                                                          
Tuesday 8/08
10:30am - Office Staff Meeting - Pilgrim House  
                                                                                                                      
Wednesday 8/09   
  9:30am - Tai Chi – Vaughan Fellowship Hall
                                                       
Saturday 8/12   
  9:30am - Saturday Morning Book Club – Library
                                                                                                                                                                                              
Sunday 8/13    
  9:00am - Taizé Worship – Sanctuary
  9:30am - Adult Sunday School - Bradow Room
  9:30am - Choir Practice - Sanctuary
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 - Caring Committee - Bradow Room
12:00pm - Community Outreach Ministry - Hoffmann Room
12:00pm - Economic Justice Task Force Meeting - Library
  4:00pm - Covenant Community - Bradow Room


Sunday School News

Sunday School News
 
The garden is producing eggplant, peppers, tomatoes and squash. We have donated a little over 80 pounds to Plant a Row . Thank you to Carol Clark and Bill Lamb for donating from their gardens. Anyone can donate; just drop your vegetables off at the cash register at Logan's and tell them you are donating for CUCC. It will help our total and help feed the hungry!

Preschool This Fall
This fall we will be adding a preschool Sunday School class for children 3-K. We follow the Wake County Schools cutoff date for enrollment. A child must be three by August 31st to move from the nursery to the preschool class. We are excited to be able to offer this class. Our volunteers in the nursery, preschool and elementary class make it possible for us to do this. If you are interested in working with our children a couple of times a year please let Jenny know.
 
Third Grade Bibles
Traditionally the church presents Bibles to rising third graders. If you have a rising third grader please be sure you have sent Anne Bailey the name as you would like it printed on the Bible.  If you have an older child who has not received a Bible you may send his or her name to Anne Bailey also. We will be ordering Bibles the first week of August. The date of the presentation will be announced as soon as it is determined.