FEBRUARY 2016 - In This Issue:
"You Are So Loved" by Katie Daisy, etsy.com
9:15 AM & 11:00 AM
January 31      "Islamophobia"
Rev. Thom Belote
The heated political rhetoric in our nation has contributed to fear of Muslims living in our country and has even helped to promote violence against our Muslim neighbors. In this worship service we'll explore what it means to be a Muslim in America and what our role can be in helping to promote respect for religious diversity in our community.
February 7     "Lent for Unitarian Universalists"
Rev. Thom Belote
 Lent - the season of the Christian liturgical calendar preceding Easter - is often observed with acts of self-denial and self-discipline. As Unitarian Universalists, what spiritual lessons does Lent have to teach us?
February 14     "Love Fools"
Rev. Thom Belote
If lyrics to pop songs are to be believed, falling in love is the ultimate act of foolishness. "Wise men say only fools rush in, but I can't help falling in love with you," Elvis sang.  Does loving someone enough to bare your soul to loving justice require a bit of foolishness? Does loving justice or peace so much that you give your life over to fighting for it? Join us in multigenerational worship as we explore the connection between love and foolishness. This morning we will also welcome new members who've joined the church over the past several months.
February 21      Annual Campus Ministry Service
Our worship service this morning will be created by the UU Campus Ministry at UNC Chapel Hill.
February 28     "Wherever Two or Three are Gathered"
Rev. Thom Belote
In contemporary American life there is a great longing for community. Authentic, affirming, life-giving, justice-creating community. But learning how to be in community in intentional and healthy ways isn't easy. Join us this morning as we explore the theology of being in community.

There's a great passage in the Gospels where Jesus give the instruction to "Love your neighbor as yourself." One commentary I've read on this passage notes that it presumes a healthy amount of self-love. If you don't actually love yourself, you're going to have a hard time loving others.
According to the text this instruction is met with a challenge. Someone asks Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" As your minister, I make it a point to spend time not only getting to know those within our church community, but our neighbors in the wider community. One of the biggest ways those doors have been opened for me is through my connection with interfaith work in our community, especially Moral Mondays, HKonJ, and Justice United.
On February 13 I'll be joining hundreds of UUs and thousands of neighbors from other faith groups in the annual Historic Thousands on Jones Street march in Raleigh. I hope you'll join me!
If you are interested in meeting our neighbors even closer to home, I invite you join me on February 3 for a community meeting to plan outreach to low-wage workers at UNC hospital.
What would Martin Luther King Jr say about economic justice in Chapel Hill today? UNC Health Systems, a close neighbor of the Community Church, employs over 1,800 full and part time workers who keep the economic engines of our community running but who cannot afford to live here. 
I invite members of the Community Church to join me in meeting these workers to learn more about their experience of working in the community, but not being a part of it. Our aim is for these conversations to lead towards action on tangible issues to create a more economically just society. 
Our first step is to get together on February 3, from 7:00 - 9:00 pm in the Jones Building to discuss outreach to hospital workers and engage in some organizing training with Orange County Justice United. Our goal is to get 25 members of the church to attend this meeting and to commit to this outreach effort. 
To RSVP please contact Rev. Thom or click here.  

It's coming on fast; the time for the Church's annual Pledge Campaign is nearly here. Those of you who are new members of The Community Church may have some questions about why, when, how and how much you're expected to pledge. Even folks who've been with us for a while may have some confusion about certain aspects of pledging, so here are some answers to FAQs:

Why should I pledge? Pledging is vital to the church. Pledges make up 75% of the church's income. The rest comes from rentals and fundraisers. The Board needs to know how much income to expect for the next fiscal year's budget which pays for our staff, buildings and programs.

When is the Pledge Drive? The drive will run from March 6th - 27th. Cottage meetings will be held between March 6th and March 19th. Details about the meetings will follow soon.

Where do I pledge? Paper pledge forms will be available on February 28th and online pledging will begin on March 19th.

How much should I give? Think about your financial resources and decide what percentage of those you can afford to pledge. For those who've pledged in past years, if you can increase the amount, it would be wonderful.

Who should pledge? Anyone who has signed the Membership book is required to support the church financially. Associates of the church are not obligated to pledge; however, many of them do pledge and for this we are very grateful.

What is this year's theme? The theme is "Growing Our Garden". Watch as flowers bloom in our Commons throughout March. We hope we can generously support our outstanding staff so that all the church's programs can grow.

Who do I contact with questions? Maureen O'Rourke; email morourke916@gmail.com or phone 919-428-4440.
Thoughtful Generosity
Last September, generosity consultant Mark Ewart visited The Community Church. He conducted a series of interviews with various groups to learn more about us and how we view our church. The Board and the Annual Budget Drive team are working with Mark this year for the next phase to help us learn to be more thoughtful when we consider how to support the church financially. To that end, cottage meetings will be conducted from March 6-19 in homes and at church. Each meeting will have a trained facilitator, host and assistant to lead us through thoughtful discernment of our giving. We will consider our levels of commitment from supporter to sustainer, to visionary, to transformer. We will have the opportunity to talk in small groups about what the church means to us and why we support it. This is the time for open discussion, to meet new friends, and to catch up with old friends. It is a chance to spend quality time with interesting people and a way to strengthen ties with fellow congregants. Stop by the Budget Drive Team table throughout Feb to sign up for a cottage meeting. Questions? Contact Maureen O'Rourke at morourke916@gmail.com  or phone 919-428-4440.

February 13
When National Geographic wanted to photograph endangered waterfowl for their reference collection, they came to Scotland Neck, NC. There is no better where and when to see - and photograph! - waterfowl at the height of their breeding plumage. Hand-feed flamingos and parakeets, throw in dinner at what may be the best restaurant in NC and it's worth the trip.For more info visit their site
or contact:
On Saturday, February 27, 7 p.m. in the Sanctuary, the Music Team will present the 2016 Music Gala. See article at right, or contact Glenn Mehrbach for more information.
Fill a space in a beautiful way.  
~Georgia O'Keeffe
Save the date: Saturday, February 27, at  7p.m. in the Sanctuary, the Music Team will present the 2016 Music Gala:

j O i N t   V e N t UU r E s
A Celebration of Collaboration

Each year the Music Team invites the musicians of the church to share their gifts in an informal evening of music and song, usually built around a very specific theme. This year we're thinking a bit different. We're asking participants to choose one or more fellow music makers to collaborate with, and encouraging them to make bold and unlikely choices in their co-conspirators. Ideas are already pouring in, and it looks to be an evening filled with imagination, surprise and delight. We're also limiting the gala to one act, and saving the wonderful desserts and refreshments until AFTER the show, where your gustatory adventures will be accompanied by an ever-changing band of church musicians.

Admission is free, although we do suggest a $20 donation. All donations will fund sound and lighting improvements in the sanctuary, including replacing the now ancient Hearing Assist system, and eventually purchasing a much needed digital sound board.

Childcare available on request.  And if you'd like to participate, contact music director Glenn Mehrbach.
Generally the church puts on a musical every other year.  2016 will be an off year for the musical and we will be performing a drama.  We are planning to perform Arthur Miller's classic play, The Crucible. The play calls for 10 men and 10 women (including parts that are appropriate for youth). Before we decide to do this play, we need to know if we will be able to fill these roles.  If you think you will be interested in participating in this show, please contact the director, Marni Goldshlag, at marnig@nc.rr.com or 919-220-2135.  This doesn't commit you to the show, it only shows interest.  Auditions will be in early June, rehearsals will begin in September, and performances will be November 18 -20, 2016.  Rehearsals will be scheduled according to the schedules of participants. HERE is more information about the play.
January 9 through February 28 a show by Eng Pua:  "Far and Near" featuring  watercolor paintings inspired by Singapore, Cambodia, Malaysia and Burma and by local waterscapes including Jordan Lake, Morgan Creek, University Lake, and New Hope Creek.

Eng Pua creates detailed and realistic renditions of landscape, waterscape, and cityscape of local and faraway places, using light, shadow, color and strong design to produce an immediacy of experience.

Born in Singapore, he moved to North Carolina in 1985.  He was trained as a scientist and worked as a software professional before retiring to paint full time.  He is a member of several watercolor societies and is on the board of the Watercolor Society of North Carolina.

See our own Joan Meade's sculptural acrylic paintings in the Commons.

Joan has been a painter for most of her life, starting in oils, and discovering acrylics in the 1970's. She studied art while pursuing an architecture degree at Cornell University in upstate New York, and continued her art education at Colorado College. She has exhibited widely in the Southeast US, including Cameron Art Museum in Wilmington, NC and the Annapolis Maritime Museum in Annapolis MD. Her works are in private and public collections throughout the continental US and in the UK. They can currently be seen at her studio gallery in Chapel Hill, NC, by appointment.

Did you know that approximately 30% of Chapel Hill-Carrboro elementary school children qualify for subsidized school meals? The same is true for 24% of middle schoolers and an average of 72% of preschoolers in the area. But what happens on weekends when schools are closed and they do not have access to this food? TABLE provides healthy, emergency food aid every week to these children through The Weekend Meal Backpack Program, and is now serving just over 500 local kids, ages 3-14 years.

Other programs include Snack Chef, which sends volunteers to local after school programs to teach children how to make healthy snacks to share with their families, and Summer TABLE, which provides weekly food aid for 6-8 weeks during the summer months. Donations to the Share the Plate collection are used to support these efforts.
Charles House is a well-established daytime eldercare home for seniors who have physical or mental limitations. It is now located off Sunrise Rd., at the edge of the Carol Woods campus, but is a totally independent non-profit. Elders can come for varying numbers of days in the week and for varying hours depending on the needs of their family. This allows family members to go to work or to have much needed respite time. There is a high ratio of staff to participants, supplemented by volunteers and UNC students in the health care fields. The day's program includes small group, ability-appropriate activities, as well as times for individual choice or rest. Continuing interaction with the family helps the staff to make the day better fit the individual. Our contributions go to their financial assistance fund, so that a wider range of people can attend this quality program.
Great news!  Circles Chatham is starting the new year with a very generous STP donation total of $1,581 collected at the December 20 services. Thank you so much!!! These funds will help people living in poverty in Chatham County.  More specifically, the money will be used to support a new leadership class for adults and a new "champion kids" program both beginning in March.  Also, some of the funds will be used to help "circle graduates" have access to an emergency fund when future crises arise.  The graduates will work to rebuild the fund after the crisis is resolved. Many volunteer opportunities are available with this wonderful organization.   Check their website for more details.
The Moral March, Historic Thousands on Jones St. ( HKonJ) happens on Saturday, February 13, 2016.  The focus of the rally will be on getting out the vote. It's our time, it's our vote! We get out the vote because that's how we can have an effect on the issues that matter to us:
  • Voting rights
  • Economic sustainability & labor rights
  • Health care for all
  • Equality in education
  • Equal protection under the law (LGBTQ, womens rights, Black Lives Matter, Latino/immigration reform, etc.)
C3HUU will have a bus going to the rally. Sign up and pay for your seat at our Standing on the Side of Love table (online sign up will be available as well). Let's get a lot of folks to Raleigh!
First Sunday Recyclables February 7: Cell phones, including chargers, greeting cards, holiday lights. For cards, we can't take Hallmark, American Greeting, or Disney cards. No writing on inside front, no photo cards. As every month, ECO is also collecting batteries (AAA - D, button, rechargeable), corks (natural and synthetic), plastic pencils, pens, and markers.
"Food Sustainability" is the January/February focus of ECO's theme "CARING FOR THE EARTH STARTS WITH US." Sustainable foods are real foods that our bodies were designed to eat. They are healthy for us, the soil, and the animals, do not harm the environment, are humane for both workers and animals, provide a fair wage to farmers without the use of government subsidies, and support the local economy instead of large corporations. See ECO website for suggestions on how to eat sustainably (including a useful link for finding local restaurants and markets with sustainable food).

Join us at SEA in February as we continue with our program of spiritually focused classes. Susan McDaniel will lead "Understanding Prejudice and Discrimination" on Thursday evenings February 11, 18, 25, and March 3 from 7 until 9 p.m. This course will allow a safe space to explore prejudices and how unknowing discrimination can occur. Readings for this class will be from the anthology "Understanding Prejudice and Discrimination" edited by Scott Plous, see understandingprejudice.org for more details. 

Later in the spring, SEA will offer Tai Chi ( March 10, 17, 24, April 7, and 14), Reverend Thom's Preaching Practicum ( March 10, 17, 24, April 7), a discussion on the book "Between the World and Me", Build Your Own Theology, and the Northwest Earth Institute course "Seeing Systems: Peace, Justice, and Sustainability." Please sign up after service at SEA's table or online on the church website.
Sanctuary for Dialogue will hold its second dialogue on January 29th and February 1st. We had such an overwhelming response that we had to expand to a second night. The topic for this Dialogue will be, "Should we be concerned that when individuals within our church community express their opinions in matters of religion or politics it leaves others in our community feeling excluded or even demeaned?"
Interest and participation is growing within our congregation, revealing a need for more facilitators.We currently have three facilitators and our plan is to have several more individuals trained at the next training session to be held in Boston in April. We're excited that a number of people have expressed an interest in becoming trained as facilitators.
Our next Dialogue will be in April, with the topic and date to be determined. If you are interested in participating in future Dialogues or in becoming a facilitator, please email Steve Warshaw.


Ivy Brezina has been the Caring Ministry chair on and off for the last 9 years and is ready to pass the baton. Mary George has graciously agreed to become our new chair beginning February 1st. Mary is a retired faculty member from the UNC School of Dentistry where she taught and served as Director of the Allied Dental Education programs. Over the past year, she has been serving as one of our pastoral visitors. You can find her picture on the bulletin board in the Commons, and the Caring Ministry will have a table at coffee hour in the month of February so you can meet her.
Would you be a better badger if you had a nice new badge?

The better to share the warmth of our beloved community, we are all encouraged to be friendly badgers, and wear our badges at church and coffee hour.

If you are a Visitor or Newcomer, we will gladly give you a special, hand-lettered name badge, so we can warmly welcome you.
If you are a Member or Associate who did not pick up your NEW name badge in January, please stop by the Visitors table in the Commons the next time you come to church.
We want everybody to have a badge they are happy to wear!


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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 c3hmembership@gmail.com, 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.