SEPTEMBER 2015 - In This Issue:
Sunday Services - Note Time Changes!
10:30 AM
September 6        "Those Who Can, Teach. Those Who Can't Pass Laws About Teaching"
Rev. Thom, preaching
Join us the Sunday before Labor Day as we explore the current state of the educational labor force in North Carolina. How is it for those who teach in our preschools, grade schools, colleges, and universities? What are their struggles? Rev. Thom is the son of two high school teachers and will share his story about what the educational labor movement means to him.
9:15 AM & 11:00 AM
September 13      "Killing in the Name of God"
Rev. Thom, preaching
History is full of examples of religiously motivated violence or of people claiming religious reasons as a justification for violence. We can all think of many horrifying examples. But, are there times when killing in the name of God is justified? This morning, Rev. Thom will offer a challenging message on this subject.
September 20      "Forgiveness 70 X 7"
Rev. Thom, preaching
Peter asks Jesus how often he should forgive his brother. Seven times? Jesus answers, "Not seven times, but seventy times seven." There may be no religious topic more challenging than forgiveness. The world's great religious traditions are unified in teaching the necessity of forgiveness. We come together during the Jewish high holy days of Yom Kippur to remember the art of forgiveness.
September 27      "Membership Matters"
Rev. Thom, preaching
Join us for a special service as we celebrate those who've newly joined The Community Church in the past several months. Rev. Thom will deliver a sermon about the meaning of membership in the free church tradition. And the Membership Team will host special activities between and after the worship services.
Message From the Minister
Dear Beloved Congregants,
As we begin another church year together, I want to use the newsletter column to offer a few basic reminders about how to contact me and about the ministry we share.
I try my best to be available to the congregation. The best ways to reach me are by email ( and by phone or text (919-259-2009.) I try to answer emails within 48 hours, but if you're waiting for a response, just send me a gentle reminder. My usual office hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 8:30 to 4:00. Call me to schedule an appointment if you'd like to visit with me. We can meet in my office, at a restaurant or coffee shop, or at your home. I am also happy to schedule a time to meet with you outside of my regular office hours.  Monday is my day off and Friday is my writing day.
At the August meeting of the Church Council I reminded the leaders of all of our committees about our "Congregational Covenant" and asked them to revisit this document at a future meeting of their respective ministries, teams, and committees. I'd encourage everyone to re-familiarize themselves with it. It has a lot of great stuff about the true building blocks of beloved community: compassionate communication, active listening, valuing diversity, and direct communication. You can find the Congregational Covenant HERE
I always look forward to hearing from you!
Rev. Thom

Haunted Auction
Our goods and services auction, our largest fundraiser and FUNraiser, returns on Saturday, October 24 .
The Church Auction is happening on October 24, so we're giving it a bit of Halloween spirit.
Treats for all, and no tricks, because we're using Volunteer Spot to organize the Planning Teams.
(Later we'll post Volunteer Spots for specific tasks to be done on and around the 24th.) 
To get in on this spooky fun, click this link. Or you may call Ruth Gibson (919-259-2894) for a computer-free assignment.
Look in your in-boxes for an email the first week of September with how to donate items. 
Here are some ideas to help you think about what you might want to offer:

Vacation Homes: 
 A week or weekend at a vacation home.

Parties and Dinners: 
A fancy 5-course dinner for 6 or a backyard cookout for 60,
a Chili Superbowl party, or a Mardi Gras themed party.

                                              DPAC tickets, UNC or Duke basketball tickets.

                                  Babysitting, pet sitting, rides to the airport or around town,
                                  household repairs, yard work, varied professional services.

                                                 Artisan Crafts
                                                  Handmade jewelry, knit items, handcrafted bags
                                            or other interesting items. (No yard sale stuff, please!)

                                                 See you on October 24!

All-Church Potluck Picnic
Please join us for an evening of fun and fellowship at New Hope Camp & Conference Center, 4805 NC 86 Chapel Hill, NC 27516.  Saturday, August 29, 2015, 5:00 - 8:00 p.m.  More information and to sign up here. 
All-Church Camping Trip
Join us for fellowship, fun, and a campfire! October 2-4 at Falls Lake State Recreation Area.  All are welcome.  Click here for more info.
On Sundays when parking is tight at church, there is usually ample free weekend parking in UNC lots close to the church. If you are physically able to walk a little further, consider joining our minister in parking off-site to help save our spaces for those who need to park closer and those who are visiting for the first time.
CLICK HERE to see a map of free Sunday spaces.
With fall fast approaching, there are reminders all around us that a new church year is beginning. That means a great opportunity to become involved in one of the many musical and theatrical activities at the Community Church. We have 4 choirs for all ages and levels of experience, a ukulele group, and this year, a full production of a Broadway musical.
Membership is all of the choirs is open to all, without audition. You can find out more about each choir on our web site. Feel free to contact Glenn Mehrbach if you have any questions. The Community Church Choir meets weekly on Wednesday evenings, but all of the other choirs only meet on average twice a month.
This is also the year of our church musical, and this year we're doing that perennial favorite, "Fiddler on the Roof." Although all the actors in the show have already been cast, we still have a need for many "backstage" folks, including costumers, prop builders, stage managers, sound and lighting people, painters, etc.  The church musical is a great way to meet other congregation members and contribute to what is bound to be an amazing production. No experience necessary.


Starting September 1, Tuesday Night Meditation will meet weekly in the Sanctuary at 7:15 pm. It usually includes introductory words, 25 minutes of silence and closing . We may try some experimenting with other formats this year. All are welcome! If you have questions click to contact Delia Keefe or Joan Meade.

We are most fortunate to be showing, "Life Reflections", by master water colorist David Stickel, Sept.13 - Nov 1. David is known for representational paintings of reflections in windows and water "in which we see the context around us... but also the images inside." He likens this to how, as we journey through life, coming across the familiar and unfamiliar, we are changed and "reflect our surroundings as well as what's inside our hearts and minds", citing Proverbs 27:19 "As water reflects a face, so a man's heart reflects the man."

In 2014, one of David's paintings
 reached the 3rd and final stage of 'The World of Watercolour Competition' in Narbonne, France. His was one of twenty-three paintings chosen from nearly 2000 artists representing 82 countries.
It will be truly exciting to have David's work displayed in our sanctuary.
Online Registration is open for our Fall Program!  The Fall program begins Sunday September 13thRegister on-line here.

 Middle School and High School Youth Group Begins Sunday September 13. T here is a dinner for all Middle School and High School Youth and their families at 5:45 PM in the Jones Building.  Middle School Youth Group meets before the dinner from 4:30-5:45 PM concurrently with the Middle School Parent Meeting.  High School Youth Group meets after the dinner from 6:30-8:00 concurrently with the High School Parent Meeting.  This is a great way to start the year, meet people, and learn about about our youth programs.   On-line Sign Up for Dinner is here .

Every fall we have youth retreats at Shelter Neck UU Camp in Pender County NC for our Middle School and High School Youth to begin the year with fun and bonding. The Middle School Shelter Neck Retreat is  September 18-20   and High School Retreat is   October 16-18 .
The Our Whole Lives Lifespan Sexuality Education Program, known as OWL for short, is a well respected sexuality education curriculum which was co-sponsored in 1993 by the Unitarian Universalist Association and the United Church of Christ. The program has curricula for 6 age groups: grades K-1, grades 4-6, grades 7-9, grades 10-12, young adult, and adult.  The Community Church offers most of the OWL curricula on a regular basis. More information about our OWL offerings can be found here.
Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC), since its inception in the mid-1960's, has built a faith and social justice movement to support the work of organizing migrant farm workers into a union that gives them the right to bargain collectively for fair wages, medical care, and decent and safe working conditions. The campaign to negotiate a worker contract with tobacco giant R. J. Reynolds for workers who pick tobacco continues.

Unitarian Universalists for a Just Economic Community (UUJEC) is an independent, nationwide, grassroots network whose mission is to engage, educate, and activate UUs to work for economic justice. UJUEC initiated the Congregational Study Action Issue, Escalating Inequality, adopted in 2014, and its Inequality Study Guide. Issues UUJEC currently addresses are removing money from politics, a Living Wage Certification, and accountability and transparency in the financial industry.

The Inter-Faith Council for Social Service meets basic needs and helps individuals and families achieve their goals. We provide shelter, food, direct services, advocacy and information to people in need. We accomplish this through strong partnerships with volunteers, staff and those we serve. We rely on the active involvement of caring individuals, congregations and other community organizations.

20 Habitat homes in 20 years! Help reach our 20:20 Vision with your donation in the September 27 Share the Plate collection. Many of our cost-burdened neighbors live in substandard, overcrowded housing. Our church has a strong history of partnering with Habitat for Humanity of Orange County and other churches to provide homes for our community family. Church partners pay half the construction costs; Habitat the other half. Families repay the Habitat share in mortgage payments. Church members help the family with construction.


We completed our 19th Habitat home, thanks to your generosity. Your donation in the September 27 Share the Plate will fund our 20th Habitat house, which we will begin in September. (Not here September 27? 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 Share the Plate Steering Committee accepts nominations for non-profit causes that are consistent with the mission of The Community Church twice a year. The deadline for the next submission is Oct. 25th.  E-mail applications to either Barb Chapman or Current nomination forms can be found on the church website.  Committee members are Jill Baker, Barb Chapman, Jena Kaizen, John Leopold, Jane Provan, Bill Rote, and Susan Spalt  


THE NEW CHARLES HOUSE Starting on Aug. 31st the 25 year old adult day care program of Charles House will be in a new location on Sunrise Road, at the edge of the campus of Carol Woods. It is leasing a former child care center that has been renovated. These new facilities are considerably larger and eventually will accommodate 40 people at a time. To begin they hope to serve about 25 at a time, just a few more than in Carrboro, and increase with experience. Nearly all of the present participants and staff will move to the new location. Some residents of Carol Woods who need more help during the day will come and be treated like everyone else. Charles House and Carol Woods are definitely two separate operations. Additional volunteers will be needed. Contact Sue Brewer for information, without commitment.

UU's at NC Pride Fest, Saturday Sept. 26, 2015.  For years, we have collaborated with other UU's in the Triangle area to muster a UU presence at the annual State-wide Pride fest.  The area UU congregations share the cost and preparation for an information/activity booth at the event. For two years we've entered a float and printed an ad in the event brochure, and last year a rhythm band joined the marchers.  We hope you will save the date and show up in your Love shirts to march in the parade or cheer from the sidelines.  We also need volunteers to communicate during the summer with counterparts from the other UU churches, so that we'll have a well organized action plan for the booth and the float construction. Volunteers willing to help with Sunday Tabling will also be needed.  To help, please contact Ruth Gibson.


First Sunday Recyclables: Sept. 6 at the ECO table: Gently used books, suitable for children, grades K-5, for Book Harvest; batteries
(AAA - D, button, rechargeable); natural and synthetic corks; plastic pencils, pens, and markers.
Composting classes.: Two composting classes will be offered this fall by Orange County Solid Waste Management. Click here for information. 
Recyclers ROCK: Orange County Solid Waste Management needs recyclers to collect bottles, cans, and paper and pick up any errant trash at the Carrboro Music Festival, Sunday September 27 and at Festifall, the Chapel Hill Arts and Music Festival on Sunday October 4. Carrboro Music Fest Recycling Team shifts are 12-3:30PM, 3-6:30PM, and 6-9PM. Recyclers will receive a Carrboro Volunteer t-shirt AND a Music Festival t-shirt. Festifall Recycling Team shifts are 11AM-3PM and 3-7PM. Volunteers will receive a t-shirt and a voucher for lunch. If you are interested, contact

Update on El Centro Hispano : On April 26, 2015 El Centro opened the Center for Employment and Leadership (CEL) to provide professional development opportunities for day workers. With a total contribution of $5,637 from the Fiesta Latina and Share the Plate, our church contributed over ⅓ of the funds. At the core of the church's involvement is Community Service Ministry member, CEL task force member, and Fiesta coordinator Marilyn Alexander. After joining the task force, Alexander planned the Fiesta Latina at the Community Church to raise the funds to build the CEL.

The CEL is already assisting clients and offering ESL courses and is still working to get the word out to workers that need its services. While it continues to grow, it is successfully connecting many workers to employment and providing professional development opportunities, thanks in largely to Marilyn Alexander's vision, many volunteers, and support from Community Church.
Covenant Groups are a great way to get to know people at church and deepen spiritually.  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.  Members agree on how they will relate to each other-- a covenant. What unites the members is a desire for connection with others and a deeper spiritual connection in their lives.  Our groups have 7 to 10 members with a trained facilitator.  Traditional covenant groups meet monthly at a regular time for 1.5 to 2 hours.   Here is more information about covenant groups and on-line sign up.
Spiritual Explorations for Adults (SEA) launches anew on Thursday September 10 at 6 pm with a dinner and the talk "Sunday Morning Main Event: Theism vs. Humanism" led by Rev. Thom! The Mexican-themed dinner will be $5 per person and will offer vegetarian friendly options as well.
The following four Thursdays (Sept. 17, 24, Oct. 1, 8) join Rev. Thom from 7 to 9 pm as he leads a reading group on Tim Wise's book "White Like Me."
Mona Dakouri will offer "Understanding Islam" on Sept. 17, 24, Oct. 1, and 8 at 6:30 to 8:30 pm. Ms. Dakouri will discuss the historical background of Islam, traditions, gender issues, and common misconceptions. 
SEA will also offer a Sunday afternoon course (Sept. 20, 27, and Oct. 4 12:30 - 2 pm) "Spiritual Practice in Thought and Motion". This course will be held at the NC Botanical Gardens and on church grounds.
Later in the fall, Rev. Thom will offer a Thursday afternoon course, "Channing's Unitarianism", and Joe Swain will offer a course on Secularism and Ethics. To register for any of these courses, visit the SEA website or stop by our table following service at coffee hour. 
On September 19, Saturday at 10:30, in the Kirby Room, Steve McNeary will lead our discussion of Dogs of God: Columbus, the Inquisition, and the Defeat of the Moors, James Reston ' s readable history of the events in 1492 that shaped our modern world.
Our October meeting will move up to the month's 2nd Saturday. We shift from history ' s global focus to the person-centered focus of biography, reading Margaret Fuller: A New American Life, by Megan Marshall. Carolyn Holt will be facilitating on October 10
If one of these books interests you, please read it and join us for an interesting discussion.

The nominating committee is beginning the process of putting together a slate of candidates for the upcoming Bord of Trustees election.  We're looking for a few good people who will join the current board members to carry out the vital business of our church. We will be electing two new Trustees plus a Vice President.
The Board is entrusted with discerning our mission and vision, setting goals, making strategic choices, creating written policies to guide our collective ministry, promoting transparency, collaboration and inclusiveness in the work of the church, and monitoring and evaluating the leadership of the church. We need all perspectives and skills on the Board, so please consider offering your voice and expertise.

How much time does it take? 
·  one 2-hour meeting per month 
·  one retreat per year  
·  a commitment to work on at least one project each year  

Please click to contact:
FAMILY-TO-FAMILY  is a free 12-week class offered by the local affiliates of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) for family members and close friends of people living with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Panic Disorder, and other mental illnesses.   In a confidential setting, family members and friends of people with mental illness will learn about:
  • How mental illness affects your loved one
  • Eye-opening current brain research related to mental illness
  • Being an advocate for better treatments for your loved one
  • Medication issues and the latest treatment options
  • Strategies for dealing with stress and worry to help you take care of yourself while supporting your loved one 
The Chapel Hill class meets Thursdays, September 3-November 19, 2015 from 6-8:30 p.m. at the Seymour Center; contact Nancy Brickman at 919-818-8065 or  to register. The Durham class meets Tuesdays, August 25-November 17, 2015 from 7-9:30 p.m.; contact Violette Blumenthal at 919-358-6788 or  to register.


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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.