DECEMBER 2017 - In This Issue:
(exceptions noted below) 
December 3
"Prophets Without Honor"

Rev. Thom Belote, preaching
Across virtually all religious traditions, one thing is certain: when a prophet arrives people won't listen. In fact, usually the prophet will be ridiculed, mocked, and scorned. Often the prophet will be persecuted. (Just ask Jesus.) As we enter the advent season of preparation, what do we need to keep in mind to truly hear the prophets?

December 10
Children's Pageant
Glenn Mehrbach, Music Director
This year's children's holiday pageant will be a reprise and updating of the 2012 pageant, "Through the Time Portal (or how the first Christmas almost came to Chapel Hill)." Mary and Joseph find themselves in our community and desperately look for a way home. All with music and songs and the traditional final tableaux with a host of lambs, shepherds and Angels.

December 17
"Magnificat" Choir Sunday
Glenn Mehrbach, Music Director
Your Community Church Choir, accompanied by a 15 piece orchestra, will perform this Baroque masterpiece in its' entirety, with soloists drawn from the choir. The music is uplifting, glorious and deliciously complex, exemplifying Bach's belief that the greatest expression of the human spirit is to have many individual voices work together to achieve a common goal. Come to lift your Christmas spirit to new heights.

December 24
Christmas Eve Services, 5:00 p.m. & 10:00 p.m.
Led by Rev. Thom Belote
(There will be no morning services on Christmas Eve.)  
Join us on Christmas Eve for two worship services. The 5:00 service is multi-generational and shaped for a younger audience. The 10:00 service will have more of a peaceful feel. Both services will be led by the minister and feature traditional readings, favorite carols, and Silent Night by Candlelight. Share the Plate at both services will benefit Habitat for Humanity.
December 31
One Service at 10:30 a.m.
"Janus is a Two-Faced God"
Rev. Thom Belote, preaching
In Roman mythology, Janus, the god of beginnings and transitions, is often depicted as having two faces. One face looks backward towards the past while the other looks ahead towards the future. Join us for our last worship service of 2017 as we look towards our past and future.

12/2 Greening of the Church  
Starting at 4:30, followed by the annual  
Chili Supper at 5:30.
12/3 Holiday Bazaar
Get a jump on your holiday shopping
after each service this Sunday.  
12/10 Holiday Pageant  
During regular services at 9:15 and 11 a.m.
12/15 Grinch Supper  
(note updated date) 
All-Church Dinner from 6:00-7:00 p.m.  
Dinner will be followed by a reading of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," then a Holiday Carol Sing.
12/17 Choir Sunday  
The Community Church Choir will 
perform the glorious "Magnificat" by J. S. Bach, complete with a 16 piece chamber orchestra.

12/24 Christmas Eve Services  
Early service at 5:00 p.m., late service at 10 p.m. There will be no morning services on Christmas Eve. Share the Plate on 12/24 will benefit  
Habitat for Humanity.

12/31 New Year's Eve  
Single service at 10:30 a.m., followed by the  
De-Greening of the church.  
Community Church is definitely full of sUUper heroes! More than 150 adults and children gathered for the 2017 Service Auction on November 11th. The final auction catalog had 182 items to choose from in 10 different categories ranging from art to our first magical YoUUth donation. We had great food to nibble on while having fun with members and friends of our congregation. With help from a village of donors, buyers, and volunteers, we raised over $17,500 for the annual budget. Wow! Thank you for your part in this successful event! To find out what you bought and who bought what you offered, log onto and select My Statement from the menu bar at the top of the page. Enjoy the coming year of community building auction interactions that you sold or purchased - and begin planning what you can offer in 2018! Questions??? Contact Susan/Don Blanchard; 919-237-2401. 

January 7, 2018 Congregational Meeting
  •  Immediately following the 2nd service in the Sanctuary
  • Come enjoy coffee hour BEFORE the second service
  • Learn about the very exciting Building on our Legacy events that will unfold in 2018
What's Up with the Building Project?
Many of you have come by the display/table, taken mini-tours, participated in treasure hunts or weekly discussion opportunities, and/or visited our webpages over the past four months. Now what? The Building Task Force is analyzing all of your comments having potential design implications and working with the architect to produce some further-refined conceptual plans. We will unveil the new conceptual drawings, which incorporate some of your suggestions, at the January 7 congregational meeting. This meeting will be an exciting step toward realization of the vision for renovation and new construction in the Jones Building, providing accessibility and more available spaces for adult meetings throughout the week and for Sunday religious education. Please plan to attend!
Update on Building Project Comments
In the past few months, many people have looked at and discussed the draft conceptual plans for the Jones Building project addressing the church's highest priority needs for accessible adult meeting space throughout the week, and religious education space for children and youth on Sundays.   We are grateful for the approximately 400 thoughtful, constructive, enthusiastic questions and comments we've received!
In addition to personal responses to individual questions, we have made a compilation, categorized by various elements such as "doors," "restrooms," "storage," etc. This compilation is now posted in the Building on Our Legacy section of the church website.
We encourage your curious exploration of this compilation, and will gladly respond to further questions and comments as we continue along this exciting path together.
End-of-Year Giving
Building on our Legacy: Donating Stock or Securities
The 2017 tax year is quickly drawing to a close. As you think about your annual charitable giving, please consider making an early gift to the upcoming Capital Campaign. Cash is always welcome, but d onations of stock or other securities are also encouraged. To make a transfer to the church's Capital Fund, you need to find out from your institution what form or letter is required and to provide The Community Church of Chapel Hill account information to them: Charles Schwab & Company, account #2451-9267. You also need to notify Andrea Sordean-Mintzer ( or 919-942-2050) if you transfer stock or securities so she can be looking for the transaction. Ivy Brezina 415-663-8703, Paige Smith 919-618-1748, or Cathy Cole 919-967-3422 will be happy to discuss your gift with you or to provide further assistance.
Saturday, December 2: CD release concert and reception for "Within These Walls: Music from the Community Church". CD features not only our wonderful choir, but many stellar musicians from the church, including Danny Gotham, Erich Lieth, Richard Edwards and Eric Bannan. 8:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary and Commons.

Sunday, December 17: J.S. Bach's immortal "Magnificat," with 15 piece orchestra and the Community Church Choir, performed at both services.
Mark your calendars for the biggest all-church, all-ages event of the year. On Saturday, December 2 starting at 4:30 p.m. we'll begin decorating the Sanctuary and Commons. We'll hang garlands, trim trees and jazz up wreaths with ribbons and sparkling ornaments. Meanwhile, there will be lots of crafts to engage the kids.  
During this time we'll also make gift baskets for IFC's "Homestart" shelter. Promptly at 5:30, we'll gather for the traditional chili, cornbread and salad supper. Then we'll round off the evening with a sing-a-long of holiday tunes.
Questions? Email Ruth Leopold or call 919-537-8853.
The Grinch is coming to town! Dinner followed by Scott Provan's wonderful reading of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" in costume as the Grinch.  And then singing carols with Danny Gotham.  Please join us Friday, December 15th for All Church Dinner from 6:00-7:00. A main dish and dessert (with vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options) are provided for $3/person. Please bring a side (vegetable, salad, bread, etc.) to share. RSVP by 3 p.m. on Wednesday the 13th  by clicking here. This is popular event is fun for all ages. The reading of Dr. Suess' "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" begins at 7:00 and lasts for about 20 minutes.
Nifty Gifty--Holiday Gift Making for Ages 6-11
Saturday December 16  10:00 AM-1:00 PM
$15 per child, $30 max per family (scholarships available)
Registration by * December 13th* required so supplies can be procured.  
Register here.  ~space is limited~

Would your children enjoy making gifts for special family or friends? Would you enjoy having 3 hours to do errands, shop, go to the gym, or have coffee with a friend? Send them to Nifty Gifty at The Community Church!

*Four options for homemade gifts to make - choose one or all
* Gift wrap those gifts
* Snack and lunch provided
* Play inside or outside
* Watch a short holiday movie
* Lots of supervision
Get to know a child in our church!  Be a Special bUUddy!

The annual  Special bUUddy  Breakfast is coming up! The Breakfast is a great way for adults in the church to get to  know a child in the church and make a new friend. This is an inter-generational event for children (ages 5-11) and adults in the church.  

The  Special  bUUddy  Breakfast is a Valentine tradition at the Community Church in which a child and an adult get to know each other. First, adults receive the name of a child in January. They contact the parents of the child first, and then they call and correspond with their new young friend for several weeks in a structured and easy way. Then they meet that child for a festive group breakfast at church for conversation and games. 

The Breakfast is Sunday, February 11th at 10:15 am, between the services in the Community Building. The deadline for adults to sign up for the Special bUUddy Program is Sunday January 21th, 2018. If you have a child aged 5-11 (K-5th grade) who would like to participate in the Breakfast, the deadline for children signing up is 1/14/18. There will be sign ups after the services in January.  You also can sign up by contacting Marion Hirsch  at .
A New Ministry: Spouse Loss Grief Support
Every year, several members and friends of our congregation suffer the devastating loss of a spouse.  Local hospice organizations offer grief support groups that meet for a short period of time.  The Caring Ministry, with Rev. Thom's support, has decided to sponsor a Spouse Loss Grief Support Group for members and friends of Community Church. Our hope is that this new ministry will offer newly bereaved spouses an opportunity to deepen connections with others in our church which will help to sustain them over time.  
Our group will meet on ten Tuesdays, from 2:00-4:00, beginning on January 16.  The group will be facilitated by Carolyn Holt, using materials developed by Alan Wolfelt, Ph.D.  Our workshop text, and an accompanying journal, will be handed out at the first meeting.  Together they provide a most useful guide to the complex journey through grief.  Both Rev. Thom and the head of our Caring Ministry, Mary George, will be at our January 16 meeting to provide support and answer questions.  
Register to take part in our Spouse Loss Grief Support Group by contacting Carolyn Holt:
Organizing Against  Racism Training Grant
The Endowment Committee is recommending congregational approval of an Endowment Fund Grant of $4425.00 to provide Organizing Against Racism training for an additional 25-27  church leaders, youth and young adults in 2018.  A limited number of church staff and members have already participated in this excellent training.  Expanding this learning opportunity for other leaders and future leaders will better inform our efforts to meet our Mission to "effect change through our love for the world" by promoting racial equity.   The grant will be led by  Marion Hirsch, Director of Lifespan Religious Education, in collaboration with the Youth Ministry Team and Rev Thom Belote.  Training will be provided through the Racial Equity Institute with other participants and leaders from across our local community to support genuine engagement and reflection with a diverse group to further understand how we all have a role to play in dismantling racism.  
NOTE:  The congregation will be asked to approve this grant at the January 7, 2018 Congregational Meeting.

In December permanent signs will designate the front circle and back lot for handicapped (HC) and limited mobility parking for Sundays and events.
  • People congregate during the same time span for services and events.  At times we have more HC users than spaces so it's important that others use regular parking spaces. 
  • Limited mobility users are those who need to park closer due to a temporary or permanent illness or condition.  (If you need to unload items, please do; then move your vehicle.)
  • One space per lot is designated for HC van with ramp; another is "van accessible".  The open space between is essential to extend the ramp to unload/load motorized wheelchairs.
Sunday, October 29, three drivers didn't find parking and left the area entirely.  This happens other Sundays, too. To be more welcoming, we need more volunteers to use alternative parking, carpooling or reserved parking ( so spaces are available.  
First Sunday Recyclables December 3: (at the ECO table during coffee hour) Recycle your holiday lights (working or not). Also batteries (AAA-D, button, rechargeable), natural and synthetic corks, tiny bits of metal (paper clips, nails, screws, etc.).
Show your love for Mother Earth over the holidays. Check out the ECO tips for a greener holiday here.
The Race between the Solar-Battery Breakthrough and Climate Chaos is the topic of NC WARN's Annual Meeting on Saturday, December 9, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Eno River UU Fellowship , 4907 Garrett Rd, Durham . Join NC WARN for a hopeful discussion on NC Clean Path 2025 , a strategy to replace fossil fuels with solar energy and battery storage and slow the climate crisis. Lunch and refreshments provided. Please RSVP by December 6: 919-416-5077 . For information on NC Clean Path 2025, visit the ECO table on Dec. 3.
The public is invited to attend two-day Hearings of the North Carolina Commission of Inquiry on Torture 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday, November 30 and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Friday, December 1, Raleigh Convention Center, 500 South Salisbury Street.  
The 11 Commissioners will evaluate the testimonies of almost 20individuals who will provide credible evidence. On December 3, when the Peace and Justice Committee holds a Share The Plate for NCCIT, the congregation has the opportunity to support financially the completion of its work after the Hearings. The significance of the  Commissioners' report due in June 2018 will be its expected providing transparency,  advocating for justice for those North Carolinians enabling torture, seeking restitution to the victims and/or their families, and establishment that torture is unacceptable, against the law, ineffective, and immoral.
For more than 35 years, Planned Parenthood South Atlantic has served the residents of Orange and Durham Counties with compassionate, nonjudgmental health care and programs including preventive services like birth control, cancer screenings, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, and sexual health education for both youth and their caregivers.
Planned Parenthood is one of the largest providers of contraceptives and reproductive health care in our communities and this is what the December 17 Share the Plate will help support. In the face of threatened and probable cuts in the federal funding that provides reimbursement for services to patients who cannot afford to pay, your gift will ensure that patients receive the care that they need and deserve-no matter what.
Please give generously to ensure that women, men, and young people in our community can continue to access Planned Parenthood services.

STP - DECEMBER 24     
Our church continues to partner with Habitat for Humanity and other churches to ensure that all individuals and families can afford to live in our high-cost community.  Church partners provide half the construction costs; Habitat the other half.  Families repay the Habitat share in mortgage payments which are then put towards constructing more homes.  Church members work alongside family members in constructing each house.   
Please share generously on Christmas Eve and support affordable housing in our community. Unable to make it to church? Please send your contribution to the church office.  Make checks payable to The Community Church of Chapel Hill UU.  Put "Habitat for Humanity" in the memo line.
Community Clickers use needles, hooks, and yarn to create comfort and warmth for our community. During December, some of us will be knitting or crocheting red hats for babies born in February as part of the Little Hats, Big Hearts™ project. We will also deliver a lap blanket (pictured) to Meals on Wheels in Durham and will provide scarves for the women at Homestart who are the recipients of this year's greening service project. Our ongoing project is to create shawls for UNC Hospice. These are made with 7" x 9" knitted and crocheted blocks of washable acrylic, #4 worsted weight yarn, and donated blocks are greatly appreciated! Join us on Wednesday December 6th from 2-4 p.m. in the Commons Area. Can't knit or crochet? Come learn or help sew! The next meeting of the Clickers will be from 7-9 p.m. on January 15th. Contact for more information.
Curious about Covenant Groups?  Try-it-Out Covenant Groups will be available throughout the church year for those interested in checking out what all the fun is about!  Covenant groups are about deep listening and connecting with others . We especially welcome newcomers but groups are open to all.  Sign up for one or more; there'll be a different focus topic each time.  Try-It-Out groups will be on Sundays in the sanctuary from 3-430 on the following dates:  Dec 3rd, Jan 21st, March 4th, and April 22nd. Sign Up for Next Try-It-Out Group Here.  Questions?  Email Heather Simmons Alexander with Covenant Group in the Subject line.
Skills Workshops for Talking Across the Political Divide
On Nov. 20 and 21, the Sanctuary for Dialogue team held workshops to help participants prepare for conversations with family and friends over the holidays.   It goes without saying that when there are large political differences in opinion, these conversations can be difficult and not very satisfying - if they happen at all.   We had a "full house" (limited by space constraints) of 14 participants plus instructors and observers each night.   Participants learned about and practiced listening and speaking skills such as paraphrasing, asking questions for understanding, using "I" statements and more.   We look forward to hearing how those conversations went after the Thanksgiving holidays.   Many people wanted to participate but couldn't, so we hope to schedule more workshops before the winter holidays. You can learn more about Sanctuary for Dialogue at  

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If you would like to learn more about joining the Community Church of Chapel Hill, please contact our Membership Director, Rachel Rose, by calling the office (919) 942-2050, emailing, or find her at one of our Sunday services. Whether you are brand new or a longtime attendee, and whatever your beliefs or background, we welcome you to our community of friendship and ideals.