MARCH 2018 - In This Issue:
9:15 A.M. & 11:00 A.M.  
March 4
"The Christians"
Rev. Thom Belote, preaching
"The Christians" - currently playing at Playmakers and featuring our own Glenn Mehrbach and The Community Church Choir - explores a church schism that results from the minister adopting a universalist theology and telling the congregation that there is no Hell. Rev. Thom will preach about the play and about true stories of preachers who became universalists.
Music Notes: The Community Church Choir will be singing much of the music they've been singing for the Playmakers production of "The Christians," along with "Go Out!," a joyful piece by Elizabeth Alexander with words adapted from the words of early American minister John Murray. The choir will also help the congregation in singing one of Rev. Jason Shelton's newest hymns, "Love Has Already Won." 
March 11
"This is Good and This Will Change. This is Bad and This Will Change"
Rev. Thom, preaching
The famous nineteenth century Unitarian minister Theodore Parker argued that just about everything was transient: always changing, mutable, and impermanent. We can react to this idea of transience as threatening and tragic. Or, we can find it liberating. This sermon talks about what this piece of classic Unitarian theology might mean for us today.
March 18
"It Matters"
Rev. Thom, preaching
One of my favorite UU "elevator speeches," by Laila Ibrahim, begins, "It matters what we do with our lives." This sermon will be all about what honestly, truly matters and about why our beloved community matters.
March 25
"Living Things First"
Guest Preache
Join us this Sunday for a special sermon by a special guest preacher.

The combined Annual Pledge Drive and Building on Our Legacy Capital Campaign kicked off on February 24th with a dinner prepared, by the youth, and a show, featuring the amazing talent of both our youth and adults. Many thanks to the 45 or so volunteers and 100+ folks who made this event so festive and fun!

The heart of our fundraising effort this year is sharing our stories about love for and connections to the church, either in visits with stewards or in small groups at cottage meetings. We want to thank everyone who has or is meeting with a steward and to encourage everyone else to sign up for a cottage meeting.

It is important to understand that we're not just fundraising this month, we're building community-by getting together to talk about why this church is important to us, by fully understanding the space needs of our congregation, and by everyone helping to raise the money to meet these needs. When you attend a cottage meeting, you will learn about the budget necessary for our church to continue offering the inspiring and supportive programming that we have come to expect, the planned renovations and new construction to upgrade our facilities, and how you can join others in financially supporting the church. In addition, you just might hear a story that moves you to increase your financial gifts to the church.
Community Church Concerts is proud to present the inimitable Cheryl Wheeler in concert Friday, March 2, 2018, 8 p.m. at the church with our usual, fabulous gourmet desserts/coffee/tea at intermission! Cheryl: a poet, songwriter, and comic will both entertain, make you laugh, and touch your heartstrings!  Tickets available here.  Don't miss!!
March 10. Spring Ephemerals at Their Finest. Trout Lilies, Spring Beauties, Hepatica, Blood Root,Toothwort. Old Friends? Greet them. New Friends? Meet them - at Johnston Mill Preserve, 300 nearby acres boasting the largest known (to me) sub-species of Trout Lily. Meet at the church at 10:00, save room for lunch at Mama Dip's.
Wednesday evenings, March 21 & March 28, 7:00-8:30 p.m.
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. Please RSVP by sending an email to Rev. Thom Belote or Rachel Rose. Childcare is available upon request. Let Rachel know ASAP if you need childcare to be able to attend.
Sign up now!
Each spring Rev. Thom offers a sermon writing class to a small group of church members. Those members then deliver their sermons on Sundays during June and July. The class is a transformational experience. Preaching Practicum 2018 meets on Thursday evenings from 3/29-4/26. If you are interested, please email Rev. Thom.
by Glenn Mehrbach, Music Director

I n keeping with the proximity to "Earth Day," this year's Music Gala, tentatively titled "The Big BlUUe Marble: Exploring the Earth," will be held on Saturday, April 21, at 7:30pm in the Sanctuary. We'll be continuing our one-act 90 minute format, with desserts, drinks and dancing to a live band afterwards in the Jones Building. And, in the spirit of collaboration and community, we're once again asking for "NO SOLOS." So grab a partner (or two, or three...), choose a song relating to the earth (it's a pretty big subject), and contact Music Director Glenn Mehrbach  to sign up. Otherwise, save the date for what will certainly be an earth-shaking event.

In other news, the Community Church Choir will be singing "The World Beloved: A Bluegrass Mass" as their spring Choir Sunday piece for both services on May 6, accompanied by a 5 piece bluegrass band. The piece, with words by Marisha Chamberlain and music by Carol Barnett, seamlessly blends the worlds of classical choral music and bluegrass with stunning results.
Alyssa Hinton's show, Earth Consciousness and Cultural Revelations, will be on exhibit in the sanctuary during March and April. Internationally trained, and of mixed heritage, Alyssa draws on an eclectic background. This has allowed her to create art with universal appeal, investigating on many levels and challenging conventional parameters of "expected" Indian imagery. Her recent themes reflect an attempt to untangle a complicated web of events pertaining to the displacement of her Tuscarora (Eastern North Carolina) and Osage (Missouri/Kansas) ancestors.
These narrative earth-conscious works speak to the preservation of both the ecology and indigenous spiritual traditions. They bring to light aspects of a distinct but under-represented southeastern Native experience, one whose basic worldview is rooted in ancient Mississippian mound culture. On a more personal note, by uncovering what has been denied or seemingly lost, the work also chronicles the artist's 'inner restoration.'

Facility improvements are on tap for 2018. We are hard at work on a courtyard lighting project. We will see new shingles on the Jones and Office buildings (not under the solar array) to address leaks, as well as remove the rotting chimney (the root cause of many leaks) down to the roofline. Finally, while working on engineering and permitting for a new sewer line for the Manse, we are collaborating with the Sanctuary Committee to do Manse cleaning and repairs. It must be spring!

NEWSFLASH: Our new Church Gardeners, including Val Vickers, Maggie Scarborough and Julie Worth, want you to join them as they revitalize our garden spaces this spring. See Val or Brad for info.

And always remember, YOUR JOB is to email or catch Brad at church whenever you see something amiss. Early reports save $$$!!!
Applications now open for Endowment Fund Grant Proposal! 
Over the past year, our invested funds have achieved sufficient growth to allow for a small distribution of the proceeds to support special church-sponsored projects during the 2018-19 Fiscal Year. Up to $3,500 is available for distribution to the congregation this cycle.  Deadline for applications is March 30, 2018.  Awards will be finalized by a congregational vote at their Annual Meeting in June 2018. The funding will become available beginning July 2018. See our page on the church website for further information and the application form.  If you are uncertain about whether your project falls within the scope of what the Endowment Committee funds, please contact an Endowment Committee member.
First Sunday Recyclables : March 4 during coffee hour: gently used children's books. As every month, ECO is also collecting batteries (AAA - D, button, rechargeable), corks (natural and synthetic), and tiny bits of metal (paper clips, nails, screws, etc.).
Church Solar Panels: People often ask about the solar panels on our roof. They were installed in 2014 using a community funding model initiated by ECO. They are producing electricity (sent to the grid) equivalent to roughly 30% of the church's usage. Over the 25+ years of their lifespan they should reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 400 metric tons! To see the panels' daily output, click here . For more about the funding and the panels, see .
Improved Efficiency: Thanks to Mark Smith, the screens in the Commons now automatically go dark at night and come back on in the morning, using at least 33% less energy overall.
Can you imagine how much food it takes to fill over 650 bags each week for local kids at risk for hunger? Our Share the Plate for TABLE on February 4 raised $1,873! This very generous donation from our caring congregation will help keep TABLE's shelves and refrigerators stocked and is enough money to fill 156 bags with nutritious food so that area children will have something healthy and nutritious to eat on weekends when they don't have access to their free school meals. Thank you so much for your continued support of TABLE! For more information on TABLE, as well as volunteer opportunities, please go to
  Come join the Community Clickers as we use needles and yarn to create co mfort and warmth for our community. Our projects are made with 7" x 9" knitted and crocheted blocks of washable acrylic, #4 worsted weight yarn. Our ongoing projects are to make shawls for UNC Hospice Home in Pittsboro (including patriotic ones for veterans) and an afghan for the 2018 fall auction. It takes 18 blocks to make each shawl, and 49 (coordinated) blocks to make the afghan. Join us on Wednesday March 7th from 2-4 pm in the Commons Area and on Monday March 19th from 7-9 pm in the Straley Room. We generally spend some time working on a group project and then click and chat, but some attendees click and chat the entire time! Can't knit or crochet? Come learn! Donate finished blocks at our table on October 15th. Contact for more information.
Compassion Fatigue support session March 18, 12:30 PM - after the second service

Sometimes dealing with the mental illness of a loved one is exhausting and overwhelming. We seem to be members of a club that no one understands. If this sounds familiar, consider attending the Compassion Fatigue workshop sponsored by the Church's Mental Health Ministry on March 18 after the second service.  We will begin with an informal pizza lunch and continue with an interactive workshop led by hospital chaplain Carl Clark and Jodi Simmons.  This interactive session is a place where family members and loved ones of individuals with a mental illness can get support and learn how to better take care of themselves. 

Please RSVP (so we can order pizza) to Susan Spalt or Julie Worth by  Wednesday, March 14.  Contact Susan or Julie with any questions or to find out if this session is one that would help you.  We hope you will join us.
Faith Connections on Mental Illness
The annual conference of Faith Connections on Mental Illness will be held on Friday, April 13 at the St. Thomas More Church in Chapel Hill. The focus this year is on how individuals and families can experience hope and healing while living with mental illnesses. Speakers will cover topics including substance use disorders and addiction, depression in the elderly, and breaking the stigma of mental illness in faith communities. Click here for more information or to register.

You can register for these classes now either during tabling or online:

In the Belly of the Whale: Is That You Down There? Led by Karen Jessee, Thursdays 7-9 PM 2/15, 2/22, 3/1.

Spiritual Practice: Meditation. Led by Karen Rossie, Thursdays 7-9 PM 3/8, 3/15, 3/22.

Tai Chi. Led by Joe Swain. Walk-ins welcome. Wednesdays 7-8 pm.

Transform Negative Judgement and Hate to Joy and Love through Dragon Dao Yin: An ancient Qigong Form. Led by Dave Gulick, 7-8 PM4/5, 4/12, 4/19 and 5/3 and 5/10.

Creative Time to Connect with Your Inner Spirit. Presented by Steevie Jane Parks, Thursday 7-9 PM 4/26.

Voluntary Simplicity. Facilitated by Marion Hirsch, 7-9 PM 5/3, 5/10, 5/17, 5/24, 5/31.

Vegetarianism from a Spiritual Perspective. Rondy Elliott, 7-9 PM 5/17, 5/24, 5/31. Register online here.


On Saturday, March 17 at 10:30 a.m., UU Readers will be discussing We Were Eight Years in Power by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Coates is a McArthur genius award winner, whose previous work was Between the World and Me. The new book is a series of essays written during the Obama years and connected with personal commentaries. Mary LeMay will be leading our discussion. Join us in the Kirby Room to share your insights. Drop-ins are welcome.

WomenCircle invites you to make some Truffles!
March 17, 2:00 pm at Nancy Mayer's house  

You will learn how to make delicious truffles and take home a boxful to enjoy, and if you are really sweet, to share. We request that you make a reservation ( click on this link or call Nancy at 919-491-9296 by March 15 because the truffle mixture ingredients have to made ahead of time and we want to be sure we have enough.

Due to space limitations there is a limit of 20 Truffle Makers, so register sooner rather than later! Nancy's house is accessible and seating is available for women who may have trouble standing while they work. Participants are asked to bring $10 to pay for the materials, and as always, may ask Rev. Thom for assistance if the cost is an obstacle. Parking is limited so please carpool if possible.
2018 Fall Auction - SAVE THE DATE!!!
The Community Church's annual Fall Auction of dinners/events, food, treasures, services, vacation places, and more will be on Saturday, October 27th! Mark your calendars and plan to attend! This is the church's largest fundraiser (and FUN-raiser) in support of the annual operating budget. We will follow the same format as last year (opening at 4:30 pm with silent auction bidding beginning at 5 pm) so start planning your auction donations and fabulous finger foods for munching on while bidding! For more information and to volunteer to help, contact Don and Susan Blanchard. Check out the auction website for updates and to get ideas from previous auctions.
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The C3HUU Board wants to hear from you! Click here to share with us your thoughts, comments, concerns, and questions. Click here to learn more about the Board, including viewing the Board and Congregational Meeting minutes.  
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.