MAY 2017 - In This Issue:

April 30
"This is Water: The White Supremacy Teach-In"
Rev. Thom Belote, preaching
This Sunday we'll join more than 600 Unitarian Universalist congregations across the country in dedicating our service to exploring and teaching about how white supremacy exists within our larger culture and within even our faith institutions. For more information, check out 
Music Notes: Bianca Rodriguez will sing a new version of the Sam Cooke classic "A Change is Gonna Come," and the Community Church Singers will contribute "Action," a brand new song by Merrill Garbus of "tUnE-yArDs," written for Mavis Staples.
May 7
Choir Sunday
Glenn Mehrbach, Music Director
For the May 7th services the Community Church Choir will be presenting concert selections from Leonard Bernstein's "MASS," accompanied by a 16 piece chamber orchestra. With text drawn from the Liturgy of the Roman Mass, combined with original text from Stephen Schwartz and Mr. Bernstein (and a couplet by Paul Simon), the piece is an exploration of faith, the nature of God, the questioning of authority and a search for peace. By turns deeply spiritual, wildly passionate and transcendently beautiful, "MASS" is bound to be a deeply moving experience, which the choir and I are excited to share with this congregation.

May 14
"Poetry is Resistance"
Rev. Thom Belote, preaching
Each year Thom designs a service in May celebrating poetry and featuring poems and poets who are providing inspiration. This Sunday we'll celebrate the place of truth-telling and expressions of conscience that are at the very core of all art forms.

May 21

Coming Of Age Service
Led by Rev. Thom Belote and Marion Hirsch
This is a service that is always moving and memorable as our 14-15 year olds share their beliefs and journeys. All year long they have been discussing important religious, theological, ethical, and spiritual questions about life, meaning-making, and death, as well as meeting with their adult mentors. Come hear them speak their "credos!"

May 28, 10:30 a.m.
Rev. Thom Belote, preaching
This Sunday we switch to our summer worship schedule with a single worship service at 10:30. Rev. Thom will be in the pulpit this Sunday.
Since last October, Community Church members and friends have enjoyed (or will enjoy) theme dinners, game nights, cooking classes, walking tours, crafting parties, and more. They have exchanged food and goods, shared experiences, and bUUilt comUUnity through the many offers that were donated and purchased at the 2016 auction.   Help ensure another successful auction by beginning now to plan your donations for Community Church's November 11, 2017 auction. Check out the 2016 catalog at and imagine what you might be able to share with others. This year's theme is SUUper Heroes so you can come dressed as your favorite UU, another hero you consider to be super, or your super self. For more information and to volunteer to help, contact Don and Susan Blanchard.

Outdoor Connections May 5-7, Peaks of Otter Lodge. Annual pilgrimage to the closest and perhaps most beautiful spot on the Parkway at the peak time for Warbler Migration along internationally famous Warbler Road, trillium grandiflorum by the banks full, and pink lady slippers by good fortune.

Saturday, November 11. Mark your calendars now for this all-church fundraising event! See article above for more details.
"A little Madness in the Spring, 
Is wholesome even for the King." 
-  Emily Dickinson
by Glenn Mehrbach, Music Director

For the May 7th services the Community Church Choir will be presenting concert selections from Leonard Bernstein's "MASS," accompanied by a 16 piece chamber orchestra. With text drawn from the Liturgy of the Roman Mass, combined with original text from Stephen Schwartz and Mr. Bernstein (and a couplet by Paul Simon), the piece is an exploration of faith, the nature of God, the questioning of authority and a search for peace. I've loved the complete version of "MASS" since I first heard it, but was daunted by the forces required to perform it. Now editor Doreen Rao has created a "greatest hits" version adapted for churches and schools.

To quote from her introduction: "MASS is a mixture of styles and a synthesis between Rock & Pop and the Concert Hall. While some critics found this mélange "cheap and vulgar," others said MASS was "the greatest music Bernstein has ever written." And, as Bernstein's biographer Humphrey Barton writes, "at the heart of MASS was Bernstein's passion for peace."

By turns deeply spiritual, wildly passionate and transcendently beautiful, "MASS" is bound to be a deeply moving experience, which the choir and I are excited to share with this congregation.


The musical "Oliver!" has been chosen as the Community Church musical for the fall of 2017. Auditions will take place May 20-21 and May 27-28. You can sign up for auditions  here. Please put any character preference in the "Comments" section. Performances will take place the weekend of November 17-19.

Auditions will be held at 15 minute intervals. Please bring a song of your choosing, including the sheet music, and be prepared to read from the script. You will not be asked to dance. If you have trouble finding a song or sheet music, contact director  Glenn Mehrbach for help.

Information about the show can be found  here. For a full list and description of all the characters, click on " FULL CAST INFO."

Family  Dinner Followed by All Ages Handchimes Workshop -- May 6

Saturday May 6,  5: 00-6: 00 PM.  Jones Building.  Followed by an All Ages Handchimes workshop led by our very own Glenn Mehrbach from 6:00-6:30.   Dinner  will by $3 per person which includes pasta entree and a dessert.  You bring a side dish to share.  RSVP here.

Handchimes Workshop: We are considering adding handchimes to our congregation's musical repertoire.  They are a super easy, fun way for all ages to get involved with music making.  Come and try them out with your kids and help us decide with Glenn leading us.

This event is 
family  friendly -- early start time, fun multigenerational programming geared towards younger children, high chairs provided.

Be Kind to the Earth.    Bring your own plastic plates, water bottles and utensils from home and take them home to wash.  We will have paper plates, cups and plastic utensils for folks who don't want to bring dishes from home. 
"Hogwarts on the Hill" -- A magical summer mini-camp experience 
August 11-13, 2017

At "Hogwarts on the Hill"  church children and youth will  explore community, UU values, and fun In the spirit and ambiance of Harry Potter's Hogwarts -- complete with costumes. sorting. opening Feast, house ghosts, common rooms, quidditch, and wands.  Wizarding classes will include Potions, Transfiguration, Divination, and Charms.  Rising 1st-6th graders attend HotH as students. Rising 7th-12th experience the fun as prefects and assistant professors.

Register here. Priority Registration is open to Community Church children and youth until May 1. More information about the event including tuition and deadlines.

Camp Schedule
   8/11, Friday Evening, 5:30-8 PM  (Opening Feast, Sorting, Exploring the School, House Bonding)
   8/12, Saturday, 9:30-4 PM (Wizarding classes and activities, Lunch, Quidditch Practice)
   8/13 Sunday Morning, 9:00-10:00 AM (Closing Breakfast with parents before church.)  
Seeking creative souls with magic in their hearts to bring UU values to life in a new way this  August 11-13 . Following in the footsteps of other UU congregations, we are developing a Hogwarts/Harry Potter-themed mini-camp for church children and youth. We need adults to shop, decorate, and create the ambiance, to teach the classes, and to serve as heads of house, cooks, ghosts, music leaders, and headmaster or headmistress. We need middle-schoolers to serve a Prefects, and High Schoolers to serve as Apprentice Professors and other roles. Have you ever wanted to teach a Potions class?  Help a budding young wizard choose a wand? Dish up a gillyweed/slug sandwich (vegan, of course!)? We would like your help to create our own Hogwarts on the Hill!.    If interested, contact Selden Holt (  or  919-260-1842 ) or Marion Hirsch ( ).

TABLE Fundraiser: The Mediterranean Deli, on 410 W. Franklin in Chapel Hill, will host a fundraiser for TABLE on May 7 from 5:30-7:30pm. Your $45 donation includes an evening of delicious mediterranean hors d'oeuvres, a variety of wine and beer and music. All proceeds from this event will go to TABLE and will help provide nutritious food to at risk kids in Chapel Hill and Carrboro.   Go to for more information and to reserve your ticket!
First Sunday Recyclables
May 7 Cell phones (including chargers) to be donated to the Orange County Rape Crisis Center . B atteries (AAA - D, button, rechargeable), corks (natural and synthetic), plastic pencils, pens, and markers.

Film Screening 
The ECO Committee, along with the UU Non-Fiction Readers, is hosting a screening of the film "This Changes Everything," based on Naomi Klein's book by the same name. If you care about social justice and the environment, you will not want to miss this movie. It explains how "confronting the climate change crisis may also be the best chance we'll ever get to build a better world." The screening will be at the Varsity Theater at 7:30 on May 23. We need to sell 56 more tickets to make this event go. To buy a ticket, go to . Please share this link with family and friends. 
The Share the Plate (STP) Steering Committee is now accepting applications for Sunday collections for July-December 2017.  Deadline for applications is May 17, 2017.  The STP program supports the outreach ministry of our UU congregation with Sunday service collections for specific causes/organizations that reflect the interests/passions of the congregation.  Please refer to the guidelines for applications on the STP webpage under Justice and Service.  Only the most current application form will be accepted; a link to the form is on the webpage.  Send applications to: 
Questions? Email Jill Baker or Jane Provan.
Last month, our Church celebrated the completion of its 21st Habitat Home!  However, our support in providing affordable housing in Orange County continues.  The May 7th Share the Plate collection will provide funds to begin construction of a new Habitat home as we continue partnering 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.  Church members work alongside family members in constructing the home. 

Please share generously on May 7th as we prepare to build our 22nd Habitat home. Unable to make it to church on May 7, 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.
STP - MAY 21
The Joe and Lucy Straley Fund for Youth Travel was established to fund youth from the Community Church to travel for peace, justice, and service. The Straley Fund has supported over 70 youth trips from our church in the last decade, to the General Assembly, Unitarian Universalist Service Committee Workshops, Ecuador, New Orleans and Nicaragua. Church support means that youth of modest means can take these trips which would otherwise cost prohibitive, and it conveys to our youth our values and commitment to their future. The fund honors Joe and Lucy Straley - founding and stalwart members of the Community Church and prominent activists for civil rights, peace and justice here in North Carolina and around the world.
Are you new to the church or feeling new?
Looking for a way to Connect?  If so mark your calendar for May 7 at 7:00 p.m. for the "Try It Out" Covenant Group. Please sign up in advance, as the group does have a maximum number of participants.  Covenant Groups are a great way to get to know people at church and deepen spiritually.  Our year-long covenant groups will re-form in the fall. In the meantime, Try-it-Out groups are a great way to meet people plus learn more about covenant groups and the deep listening process they use.  Covenant Groups provide each group member an opportunity to develop connections within the church, as well as to explore some of the major issues of life. A typical meeting combines centering readings, personal check-ins and individual sharing focused on a particular theme. 
The meeting will last 1.5-2 hours.  To sign up contact Marion Hirsch or sign up on-line HERE.  For more information about Covenant Groups, please see the church website

The Sanctuary for Dialogue team is looking forward to its next dialogue, which will be on May 7. Marion has invited us to lead a dialogue for members of the High School Youth group.  We are working with her on plans, including the topic of "issues related to controversial speakers on campuses."  We are also excited about our first dialogue with the broader Triangle community. This will be next fall on the topic of immigration.

SEA will offer the following courses in May!

Join us at SEA as we offer Karen Jessee's course "My Portion, My Shield: God's Gift of Refuge in the Judeo-Christian Tradition" on Thursday Evening May 4, 11, and 18 from 7-9 pm. This course will allow participants a rich encounter with the Judeo-Christian faith by exploring how grounding in a spiritual life leads us to an experience of safety and sufficiency. Please sign up online or after service at the SEA table.
On Saturday, May 20, at 10:30 in the Kirby Room, Ed Steffes will be leading our discussion of Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future .  Written by Martin Ford, founder of a Silicon Valley-based software development firm, with more than twenty-five years of experience in computer design and software development, this best-selling book paints a dramatic picture of a technology-driven future and the economic havoc likely to result.
Like last month's read-Naomi Klein's This Changes Everything:  Capitalism vs. The Climate -Ford's book proposes fundamental changes between our government and its citizens.  Join us for a stimulating discussion.  UU Readers welcomes folks on a drop-in basis.
Join us from 2-4 PM on Wednesday May 3rd and/or from 7-9 PM on Monday May 15th in the Commons area to click, chat, and design shawls. It takes 18 blocks (7" x 9" made from washable acrylic, #4 worsted weight yarn) to make each shawl that is donated to UNC Hospice in Pittsboro. The shawls are used by patients for warmth and comfort and remain with their families. Patterns for blocks can be found at by clicking on the link under "Patterns for most projects may be found here." Can't knit or crochet? We will teach you! Have leftover yarn or needles and hooks you no longer use? We will take them! Meeting attendance is not required. Donate finished blocks at our table on the third Sunday of each month (5/14).   Email Susan Blanchard or call 919-237-2401 for more information.
Have you recently joined The Community Church? Are you looking for a deeper spiritual connection? Would you like to be more involved with worship services? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, the Worship Ministry team is the place for you. The Worship Associates assist with Sunday services including "Call To Worship", "Welcome & Announcements", and readings. At our meetings, Rev. Thom shares insight on how to construct a prayer or a call to worship. We learn about different inspirational writers and worship leaders. For new associates, we have mentors, training, and shadowing. Please contact Becky Waibel or Rev. Thom for more information about joining the Worship Ministry.


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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.