MARCH 2016 - In This Issue:
9:15 AM & 11:00 AM
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.

March 6
"Growing Our Garden"
Rev. Thom Belote, preaching
Part of our mission as a church is to nurture spiritual growth. Similarly, one of our UU principles states that congregations ought to encourage spiritual growth. How do we know if we are actually encouraging spiritual growth? Join us this morning as we explore what spiritual growth and maturity might mean.

March 13
"Help is the Hardest Word"
Rev. Thom, leading worship
Whether it is stubborn pride or willful self-reliance, it can be very, very hard to ask for help. This can be true of children but even more true of adults. But, in lived community, it is our ability to ask for and accept help that creates community. This morning we'll explore how to ask for help as a multigenerational community. This service will feature a special visit from the Frog & Toad puppeteers!

March 20
"Resisting Fascism"
Rev. Thom, preaching
2,000 years ago, Jesus' Palm Sunday procession into Jerusalem was an act of defiance and resistance against the empire of Caesar. Today, some are sounding the alarm about a resurgence of demonization and militarism. What does faithful resistance and defiance look like for us today?

March 27
Easter Sunday
"Who's Afraid of Resurrection?"
Rev. Thom, preaching
While Easter is a singularly joyful holy day in the Christian tradition - Hallelujah! - the gospels tell of Jesus' followers having a different sort of emotional reaction. They are afraid, startled, and terrified. As humans, we can react to what's impossible, unimaginable, new, or liberating in just such a fearful way. Alternately, we can grow beyond our fears. (Due to Easter occurring very early this year, we'll be holding both Easter services indoors. Please join us for outside services at the Memorial Rock amphitheater on Sunday, 4/24 and 5/8.)

In this newsletter - and throughout the month of March - you'll be hearing from the leaders of this year's Annual Pledge Drive. You've been invited to attend cottage meetings to talk about what this church community means to us. You'll hear testimonials from diverse members of our congregation explaining why it is that they give generously to support the church. You'll be asked to be thoughtful about your own generosity.
But in this month's column I want to share with you about our hopes for what our budget will be able to fund.
The annual pledge drive funds all the ministries and activities that are essential for a thriving church: Lifespan religious education, caring, fellowship, campus ministry, worship, social justice, music, spiritual deepening, youth programs, community service, connection, learning. Your pledge makes it all possible. To put it simply, the annual pledge drive funds all the ministries and programs of the church, compensates the staff, and keeps our church building clean and functioning.
Additionally, there are some new things we hope to fund in the coming year. Through expanding hours for some of our part-time staff, we hope to be able to strengthen communications and expand our membership programs. Our budget restores funding that was cut several years ago from our religious education and music budgets. And, our budget funds new ministries such as Sanctuary for Dialogue and the Mental Health Ministry.
Thank you for your generosity!  

An Anomaly or "Why is That?"
The Community Church of Chapel Hill Unitarian Universalist is extraordinary in many ways. We are led by a Minister who draws us together in worship and whose messages, on a wide range of subjects, provoke deep thought and move us to action. Our music program encompasses a myriad of genres with our choirs singing everything from classical pieces to Do-wop. Our performers run the gamut from seasoned pros to the very young under the expert direction of Glenn Mehrbach.

Those of us who've been members for years have witnessed astonishing growth in the church's Religious Education Program. Our children's program is bursting at the seams. There is a thriving group of UUs on the UNC campus thanks to our wonderful Marion Hirsch and others in our church's leadership. Religious Education for Adults covers many topics from sound ecological practices, to understanding our religious history, to understanding and combating discrimination.

We worship in beautiful surroundings, we showcase the works of artists; we "stand on the side of love" and we reach out to the larger community.

However, there is one area in which we are not so extraordinary. When it comes to pledging to support the church, Community Church members are only average in their giving according to the Unitarian Universalist Association. Why is that?

Perhaps our pledging has become a bit automatic. When the Pledge Drive rolls around, we look at what we usually give, (or gave last year), and pledge the same amount. We need to change this pattern in 2016.
This year, when our Pledge Drive begins on March 6th, we'll be holding a series of Cottage Meetings. These will be social affairs, and are a chance to interact with church members and associates we might not know. We'll share foods and various libations and stories. We'll talk about what first drew us to the Community Church and recount experiences that have been meaningful to us. We'll talk about the programs we enjoy and support. The hope is to engage in thoughtful giving.

Your Pledge Drive Stewards urges you to sign up for one of the Cottage Meetings which will take place in the afternoon or evening. You may sign up in the Jones building after Sunday services or sign up on-line at the church's website.

When the Pledge Drive ends on March 27th, we hope we'll be like the children of Lake Wobegon - all above average.
You have a chance to meet, sing, argue and worship with thousands of UUs. This year's General Assembly is in Columbus, Ohio June 22 - 26. The theme is Heart Land: Where faiths Connect. In a time when the world seems divided by religion we will be celebrating the diversity and richness of many faith communities. Attending General Assembly, learning, worshiping and making policy for our denomination can be a powerful experience whether you are a new UU or a long time member. The cost can be kept reasonable - it is possible to drive (7 hours), dorm rooms will be available, the UUA has financial aid, and our church has funds available. Make this year the year that you go and experience General Assembly. If you are interested, it is vital to sign up for housing immediately. Go to for more information call Bill Rote at 919-904-0397 or brotes@yahoo. com or Marion Hirsch at 919-942-2050 or hirsch.communitychurch @ .
On Wednesday evenings, March 16 & 23, we'll be offering a two-session Exploring Membership class.

The class will provide an introduction to Unitarian Universalism and our congregation, cover the meaning of membership, provide an opportunity for reflecting on our spiritual journeys, and give you chance to meet others who are newer to The Community Church.

Classes will be held from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. in the Kirby Room at the church. Please RSVP by sending an email to Rev. Thom Belote or Rachel Rose. Childcare is available upon request. Let Thom or Rachel know if you'll be needing childcare.
April 2 & 3  
The Worship Ministry is excited to announce that Rev. John Crestwell will be visiting us the first weekend in April. See article at right for details and mark your calendars!
Friday, April 22, 6:30. Celebrate 3000 years of commitment to freedom. Good food, a little(?) wine, lots of laughs. Speaking parts and prizes for kids. Learn why applejack is a really good addition to Haroset and why Matzoh is truly the Bread of Affliction. Reservations:
Please note the office will be closed Friday March 25 and Monday March 28 in observance of the Easter holiday. 
The Worship Ministry is excited to announce that Rev. John Crestwell will be visiting us on April 2 and 3.

Rev. John Crestwell is the Associate Minister at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Annapolis and lead Minister of AWAKE ministries where he seeks to broaden the emotional literacy and intercultural competencies of children and adults through contemporary worship, mentoring, life coaching, and community service. John was the Sunday morning worship leader at the UUA General Assembly in 2012.

The entire congregation is invited to attend an upbeat, inspiring, and moving congregational singing workshop on Saturday, April 2 from 10:00 to 12:00. Rev. Crestwell will preach at both worship services on Sunday, April 3.

Artist Nancy Smith will exhibit her paintings in the sanctuary March 6 - April 24, 2016 in a show titled "On the Wild Side." Inspired by a sailboat trip to Cape Lookout and Shackleford Banks, Nancy captures the beauty of past intertwined with present found at the North Carolina Outer Banks. Her portrayal of this area's animals and seascapes demonstrates her unique style of creating mixed media art using numerous layers of transparent paint in a variety of techniques. Her inclusion of nautical charts and found objects of the area results in a delightful array of new discoveries in each piece that will captivate the viewer and engage the senses. 
Due to not enough interest and the fact that Playmakers will be producing The Crucible next season, we will not be doing The Crucible at C3HUU. We are looking for another play and will let you all know when we know what it is.
The Annual Pledge Drive is upon us.  Each year in March we adults celebrate and reflect on the importance of our congregation in our lives and then make financial commitments for the upcoming year to support the church and its work.  
What you might not know is that we also celebrate Stewardship in the Children's Ministry Program in March.  Why?  Do kids really think the money part of church is interesting?  The first time we talked about Stewardship with the children, I thought they might be very bored.  Was I surprised!  Child ren love to know how things work, including our church.  
They think it is cool that the members including their parents together pay for the church.  The kids do a weekly offering too so they are already familiar with the fact that the offering partly goes to support the church.  
One of the activities  we do that inspires the most discussion is brainstorming about the church budget -- thinking about all the things that cost money, thinking about what things are most important.  We teach Stewardship because it is important that our children know church works for all kinds of reasons. 
I find teaching Stewardship reminds me how amazing it is that this church exists because we all make sure of it together.  It reminds me because our kids' interest, amazement and pleasure at finding out how it all works and it is something we do together, reconnects me the joy of being part of a democratic community that creates and supports itself year after year. 

~  Marion Hirsch, Director of Religious Education

The annual Chapel Hill/Carrboro CROP Walk will be held Sunday, April 10 at 2:30 p.m. The four-mile loop begins at the Carrboro Farmers' Market; a shorter loop is usually available. People of all ages participate. This community effort to raise money fights hunger globally through Church World Service and locally through the IFC.

For 20+ years our church has had a participating team, but the church has been unable to find one person or a small team to lead in 2016. Instead, you are encouraged to walk as individuals and to donate to individual walkers. More information is available at the IFC website.

The CROP Walk project is mainly concentrated in 3 months in the spring and in the past has brought in considerable money to fight hunger. Anyone interested in helping to revive the church team for 2017 should email the Community Service Ministry.
Detailed records are available to assist new leaders. 
After over 1700 UUs from nearly 100 congregations, including 45 from our church, signed the petition calling on the UUA Endowment to avoid investing in 5 companies that are critically involved in the occupation of Palestine, the UUA put the issue on the agenda for General Assembly this June. These principles drive the resolution: 
  • The fundamental human rights of Palestinians are being severely abused under Israel's military occupation.
  • Five major corporations are critically involved in maintaining the occupation and its abuses.
  • Unitarian Universalists should neither support nor profit from these abuses by maintaining investments in these companies.
For some this is a difficult subject, but in the words of Martin Luther King, "There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because his conscience tells him it is right."

THE WANTED 18: Charles M, Jones Peace and Justice Committee and Balance & Accuracy in Journalism (BAJ) screen this Canadian-Palestinian animated documentary about a tiny village next to Bethlehem that attempts to have a small local dairy industry during the First Intifada (1987-1993), hiding a herd of 18 dairy cows from Israeli security forces when the dairy collective was considered a danger to Israel.

Enjoy this 2014 film (75 min) that includes archival footage, drawings, black-and-white stop-motion animation, and re-enactments. 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 9, Church sanctuary. Co-directed by Canadian filmmaker Paul Cowan and Palestinian visual artist and director Amer Shomali, the film was Palestinian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 88th Academy Awards. Watch the trailer here, read a review here.
For information call 919-942-2535 or 919-542-2139.
In September, we have the opportunity to build our 21st Habitat home right here in Chapel Hill, in the historic Northside neighborhood. The March 20 Share the Plate collection will help provide funds for our share of this house. Our church has a strong history of partnering with Habitat for Humanity and other churches to provide homes for community families who are cost-burdened and may live in substandard or overcrowded housing. Church partners pay half the house construction costs; Habitat the other half. Families repay the Habitat share in mortgage payments. Church members help the family with construction. Your donation in the March 20 Share the Plate will fund our 21st Habitat house. (Not here March 20? 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.) Thank you.
The CSM would like to thank the congregation for its very generous donation of $1,604.75 to TABLE. TABLE is the only area non-profit to focus exclusively on childhood hunger by providing healthy, emergency food aid to 500 Chapel Hill/Carrboro children, ages 3-14, every week. In addition to the Weekend Meal Backpack Program, TABLE also supports Snack Chef, which sends volunteers to local after school programs to teach children how to make healthy snacks to share with their families. Summer TABLE, an extension of the Weekend Meal Backpack Program, delivers weekly nutritious food, including fresh produce from local farms, to kids for 6-8 weeks during the summer months. Our STP collection will be used to support TABLE's hunger relief and educational programs.
First Sunday Recyclables March 6: Greeting cards (all occasion including thank you cards. No Hallmark, American Greeting, or Disney cards. No writing on inside front, no photo cards.), gently used children's books. As every month, ECO is also collecting batteries (AAA - D, button, rechargeable), corks (natural and synthetic), plastic pencils, pens, and markers. Note that ECO will be tabling in the Commons as part of the Ministry Fair on March 6, when we will collect recyclables and provide information on our work. Stop by and see us!
Update on Earth Day 2015 Share the Plate recipient: Last April the congregation contributed very generously to the organization Trees, Water & People. TWP planted 215,910 trees in Central America and Haiti and built 6,377 clean cook stoves in 2015. To see what other conservation work they accomplished, thanks partly to Community Church support, visit their website.

The first dialogue was held on January 29 and February 1, 2016. The subject of this dialogue was "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?" Nineteen  church members participated, with Steve Warshaw, Peter Bird, and Laura Gilliom facilitating and Cecilia Warshaw supporting. Our next dialogue will be held in April or May, with the date and topic TBD. Groups can request a dialogue, or individuals can suggest topics for future dialogues by emailing us .
We're excited to announce that four individuals will be trained as facilitators at the next Public Conversations Project training session in April. They are They are Dan Hill, Caroline Sherman, George Thompson and Brenda Ungerland. Please visit our webpage for a link to more information on PCP. 
SEA will sail into the Spring with fresh course offerings! Ivy Brezina will lead Tai Chi on Thursday evenings March 10, 17, 24, 31, April 7 and 14 from 7 until 9 pm. Tai Chi is a Chinese system of exercise for health and self-defense, this class will teach the first third of the gentle and flowing Yang style short form. 

In April, Rev. Thom will lead a discussion on Ta-Nehisi Coates' latest book Between the World and Me ( Thursday evenings April 14, 21, and 28 from 7 until 8:30 OR Thursday afternoons April 14 and 21 from 3 until 4:30).  Also in April is Building Your Own Theology (14, 21, 28, May 5 and 12) and the Northwest Earth Institute's discussion course "Seeing Systems: Peace, Justice and Sustainability" (28, May 5, 12, 19, 26).

If you have questions or to register, please visit the SEA table following service.
On Saturday, March 19, at 10:30 in the Kirby Room, Ivy
Brezina will lead our discussion of Bone to Pick: Of Forgiveness, Reconciliation, Reparation, and Revenge (2004) by Ellis Cose. A profound meditation on reconciliation as a path to peace for both troubled nations and troubled souls. 
In April we are reading The Haves and the Have-Nots: A Brief and Idiosyncratic History of Global Inequality, by Branko Milanovic. Marya Ilgen-Lieth will be leading our discussion of this educational and entertaining book.
Check our page on the church's website to see our selections to date of reads linked to our UU principles, and join us to talk about those which most interest you. 
An Evening of Song will be held at the Manse on Monday, March 7 beginning at 7:00 p.m.  We will sing songs we all know and love, accompanied by ukulele and other instruments. Bring your drum, guitar or other musical instruments and especially your voice.
We will have some copies of "Rise Up Singing"
so we can see the words.  Even if think you can't sing, be sure to come! The purpose is to have a good time with friends, singing some great songs.Coordinators are Linda Thompson, Melva Okun and Joann Haggerty.  RSVP by emailing Linda Thompson or calling 919-408-6061.

B&G Update:   We continue upgrading general safety and cleaning around our campus. Repairs are complete on Sanctuary, Jones and Office roofs, bring on the spring rains! Covenant Group Leaders (Kirby), Community Services Ministries (Kitchen) and Caring Ministries (Doors) are the latest of a half dozen groups doing deep maintenance on parts of our campus, more are planned soon. Two portable projection screens were repaired and Mark Smith installed WiFi in the Kirby Room. And if you use the Manse, it smells so much better since the ductwork was cleaned. Sign your group up for your piece of Spring Cleaning season. Just email or catch Brad at church to sign up or to report a needed repair. We all appreciate the results. Finally, some breaking news: Three Eagle Scout projects are starting up this spring at Memorial Rock to expand seating. Prepare to be amazed!
Mental illness is rarely discussed even though it is more common than heart disease and cancer combined. Services continue to be cut, families are isolated and those affected go without treatment and support. There are two opportunities in March to learn how you can become part of the solution.
BREAKING THE MENTAL HEALTH PIPELINE TO PRISON, THE ANNUAL LEGISLATIVE BREAKFAST: March 19, 8:30-11:30 a.m. at the Friday Center. Keynote Speaker - W. David Guice, Commissioner, NC Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice, Featured Speaker - Rep. Graig Meyer (D)-Orange County. Suggested donation: $20.00. Click here for more information. 
GROWING UP WITH MENTAL ILLNESS: The annual Faith Connections on Mental Illness conference will take place on April 1, from 8:30-4:30 at St. Thomas More Church. The conference is $35.00 until March 14, then the fee goes up to $45.00. Early registration is required. The theme will involve mental illness and adolescents. For more information visit their website.


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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.