Thursday, August 31, 2017

This Sunday, September 3, is "Sundae Sunday"!

Join us this Sunday, September 3, during fellowship after the 10:30am worship service as we celebrate the eve of Labor Day with ice cream and toppings of your choice.  Bring your favorite topping to share if you wish.  

Hurricane Harvey from a Texas Native's Perspective

Dear CUCC family and friends,

Please read this news from Texas native and  new CUCCer, Mike Cline about details in the greater Houston area post Hurricane Harvey and the many avenues through which we can respond to disaster relief efforts there:

"My friends and family are so far okay. Grace is in San Antonio and luckily San Antonio didn't get much of the storm as they had expected.  My ex-wife, Amy, is in League City which is near Galveston.  As of yesterday evening she was safe and dry.

Houston is so spread out that what one person can experience is so much different than the other.  But most are with 1) dry for now but watching as the rain comes down and the water rises hoping that there will be a lull in the storm and just stuck in their house waiting everything out; 2) having to evacuate to higher ground (our Rabbi and his family had to evacuate their home and break into the 2 story unoccupied house next door and then were eventually rescued by a boat crew from California); 3) bringing in others to their own home; 4) working in the shelters or other rescue efforts.  
Houston is on flat land and there is just not anywhere for the water to go. And then when you experience your yearly total of water in just a few days, well, there is just nowhere that can handle that volume. 
In perspective, there are about 10 million people living in North Carolina today.  The Houston metro area is about 6.8 million total.  A little more than 4 million live in Harris County (the central city county) and a little more than 2 million live in Houston.  
If people want to help out, here is a list of groups in Houston that are either working on the immediate impacts or will be helping in the recovery effort after the storm:"

Spirit is leading the way,

Rev. Jenny Shultz-Thomas

This Week's Opportunities

Sunday  9/03      
  9:00am  Taizé Worship – Sanctuary
  9:30am  Adult Sunday School - Bradow Room
10:30am  Worship Service  - Sanctuary - Rev. Michael Evans preaching
10:45am  Children’s Church - Sunday School Room
10:45am  No Youth Church School (First Sunday)
11:45am  Fellowship - Vaughan Fellowship Hall
                                      Come and enjoy “Sunday Sundaes” on this Labor Day Eve.
  4:00pm Covenant Community - Bradow Room

Monday   9/04   Labor Day Holiday
12:15pm Monday Lunch Group - Hoffmann Room
Tuesday   9/05 
10:30am Office Staff Meeting - Pilgrim House
Wednesday   9/06   
  9:30am Tai Chi – Vaughan Fellowship Hall
  6:00pm Bible Study - Pilgrim House
Thursday   9/07    
   7:00pm Deacons’ Ministry Meeting - Hoffmann Room

Saturday   9/09   
   9:30am Saturday Morning Book Club – Library
 10:00am CUCC Staff Retreat - Pastor Jenny’s home
Sunday     9/10  
  9:00am Taizé Worship – Sanctuary
  9:30am Choir Practice - Sanctuary
  9:30am Adult Sunday School - Bradow Room
10:30am Worship Service  - Welcoming Sunday
  4:00pm Covenant Community - Bradow Room
  5:00pm Youth Group - Youth Room, Fellowship Hall, Kitchen

Lectionary for the Week of September 3, 2017

Lectionary for the Week of September 3, 2017 - Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time - Green - Exodus 3:1-15; Psalm 105:1-6, 23-26, 45b or Jeremiah 15:15-21; Psalm 26:1-8
Romans 12:9-21; Matthew 16:21-28

It's time to sign the PFLAG Triangle IndyWeek Ad

Dear Friends of PFLAG,
Last year's Ad in IndyWeekPFLAG Triangle once again will sponsor a Signature Ad in the Pride issue of Independent Weekly on September 27th, 2017. This is our only fundraiser of the year, and these funds enable PFLAG to carry out its mission.

Our goal is to show that people across the Triangle support the LGBTQ community. We invite you again to join us in making this our most successful ad. In previous years, over 200 individuals and families, faith communities, businesses, and organizations participated in this signature ad.

Contributions to PFLAG Triangle enable our work on behalf of the LGBTQ community with: Support: to end discrimination and secure equal civil rights; Education: to enlighten ourselves and others; and Advocacy: to promote healthy loving relationships.

This year PFLAG members delivered educational packets to Wake/Durham high school GSA advisors and counselors, made presentations to Red Hat, Athens High School, and the UNC LGBTQ Resource Fair, participated in OUTRaleigh!, NCPride and the Transgender Day of Remembrance, and continued to sponsor monthly support meetings in Raleigh and Durham.

Our message is simple: “We the undersigned affirm the lives of gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer, and transgender people. We condemn acts of bigotry and hatred. We join PFLAG in celebrating the lives of those we love and admire; acceptance and love … family values for a lifetime.”

To send a powerful message of support of LGBTQ people, signatures will be organized by religious congregations, other organizations, businesses, and individuals advocating on behalf of our LGBTQ loved ones. We are requesting a donation of $15.00 per individual, household, or non-profit organization and $30.00 per business. If you wish to charge your donation, please use this link:

The Deadline is September 18, 2017.
Click or Tap to Sign the Indy Ad
We have made the ad signing process even easier this year; it is now possible to complete your donation entirely online. You may also choose to mail your check directly to PFLAG Triangle instead.
Click or Tap for More Information
We thank you for supporting PFLAG Triangle and our LGBTQ loved ones. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact And if you have already signed this year's ad, we thank you VERY much!
PFLAG Triangle

(CUCC has been a supporter of PFLAG and the PFLAG Signature ad for many years.  For more information, or to give a donation, contact Cathy Marshall in the church office or Joan McAllister.)
Copyright © 2017 PFLAG Triangle, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you have supported PFLAG Triangle in the past.

Our mailing address is:
PFLAG Triangle
PO Box 51776
DurhamNC 27717

Urban Ministry Food Bag Donations due Sunday, September 3

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

Welcoming Sunday is Sunday, September 10, 10:30am

Life & Faith canceled for the Month of September

Life & Faith Canceled for the Month of September

Life & Faith will not meet in September.  We will meet again on October 3, 6:30pm, at O'Malley's Pub & Restaurant, 5228 Hollyridge Dr, Raleigh, NC 27612.  Looking to forward
to seeing everyone on Tuesday, October 3.

Don't Throw away your eclipse glasses.

Do you still have your eclipse glasses?  CUCC will collect them to send to a project just announced by Astronomers Without Borders.  There will be a purple bag on the bulletin board in the hallway just past the bathrooms where you can put your glasses.  The plan is to send eclipse glasses to schools in South America for their 2019 eclipse!

Battery and Light Bulb Collection - hand to hand

green recycle symbol superimposed with various types of florescent bulbs
Hand your bulb directly to Jane or Gary
The Justice in a Changing Climate Task Force will take your small batteries and florescent light bulbs (curly or long tube) to the hazardous waste disposal site.  Our next run is September 16.
Hand your batteries and bulbs to Jane or Gary Smith.  DO NOT leave them at CUCC.  These are hazardous; we don't want anyone to get hurt.

Animate Faith

Seven Big Conversations about Faith
This adult education course imaginatively explores central topics of Christianity.

9:30-10:15AM Sundays, September 17 - October 29, Hoffmann Room

This group will be facilitated by Suzette Roach and Julie Robertson. In each of the seven sessions, the group will watch a video featuring a leading contemporary voice from the Christian faith, spend time on personal reflection and journaling, and share ideas with the group.

Each video blends live action with animation to introduce a question, provide a thought-provoking perspective, and beckon viewers to participate in the dialogue. The curriculum features perspectives on God, religion, Jesus, salvation, the cross, the Bible, and church from Christian thought leaders. Each session encourages participants to discuss, sketch, doodle, create, and share. A journal will be provided for reflection and prayer.

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.

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.

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:

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

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 or sign up in the fellowship hall after church.

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 (  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

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Words of Gratitude from Pastor Jenny

Dear Community UCC friends, neighbors and family,

There are no words to express my gratitude for all of the love and support offered and showered upon our togetherness during the Installation celebration, but I want to say "thank you", nonetheless. For those who prepared the space, donned it with flowers and food, chairs and fresh scents and glistening floors & walls, for those who sent words of love and affirmation in your absence, those who have prayed for and welcomed me and my family into this community, for the kindness and extravagant welcome extended to our larger community, I give God thanks and praise and pray continually for the continued blessings of relationship.   

It is even more clear to me that Spirit has woven us together in this work, which both inspires and challenges us as we look to the present-future of CUCC's role in our greater community, and in continuing to share sacred stories and space with one another. 

Spirit is leading the way, 
Rev. Jenny Shultz-Thomas

The story behind vandalization of a mosque

A few months ago our niece Sabrina talked at some length to Jo and me about an odd story she was working on in Arkansas. It was to be about the family of a blue collar 20-year old young man who was involved in vandalism of a mosque. The story she told was so intimate it sounded as if she was almost living with the young man's family.

Today that article appeared in the NY Times. It's long. Very long. (On my large monitor it's 31 screenfuls, but that includes lots of photos.) But those of you who have met Sabrina on any of her visits with us will find this an interesting read. And it's also an interesting article from the standpoint of "how do you explain the inexplicable"?

[Email from Sabrina at 9:24 AMIt is essentially a story of redemption (a white high school dropout helps vandalize a mosque, regrets it, writes a letter to them from jail, and is forgiven -- i distilled 7,000 words!!) and i'm hoping that is something of a tonic in this time of shouting.]

[Note Added: This article consumed most of the top half of the front page of the Sunday NY Times on Aug. 27, as well as 4 full additional pages in the front section.]

Sabrina Tavernise
The Two Americans
Abraham never fit in. Hisham finally felt at home. Then their worlds collided in western Arkansas.

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

Lectionary for the Week of August 27, 2017

Lectionary for the Week of August 27, 2017 - Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time - Green
Exodus 1:8-2:10; Psalm 124 or Isaiah 51:1-6; Psalm 138
Romans 12:1-8; Matthew 16:13-20

Opportunities This Week - August 27, 2017

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   
Monday  8/28 
Traditional Public Schools begin
1 2:15pm Monday Lunch Group - Hoffmann Room
Tuesday  8/29  
10:30am Office Staff Meeting - Pilgrim House
Wednesday  8/30   
 9:30am Tai Chi – Vaughan Fellowship Hall
Saturday 9/02     
9:30am Saturday Morning Book Club – Library
Sunday 9/03    
  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 with Communion  - Sanctuary - Rev. Michael Evans preaching
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