SEPTEMBER 2016 - In This Issue:
"Watching the Clouds Go By" by Jennifer Lommers
September 4
"In Defense of Transcendentalists" Rev. Thom Belote, preaching
For a long time the Transcendentalists - luminaries like Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Margaret Fuller - were regarded as Unitarian heroes. But lately, historians have been critical of their legacy. Join us this morning as we explore what lessons the Transcendentalists still have to teach.
September 11
"Will Listening Save Us?" Rev. Thom, preaching
Religious liberals often call for conversation as a response to polarization. We promote active listening as a way to promote change. We imagine that dialogue can help to bridge our differences. But in a world as polarized as ours, a world in which extremist ideologies are becoming increasingly mainstream, what is the role of dialogue? Come hear what Rev. Thom has to say; whether you listen is up to you.
September 18
"A Moral Movement for Our Time" Rev. Thom, preaching
William Barber's newest book, "The Third Reconstruction," has been named as this year's UUA Common Read. As all Unitarian Universalists across the country are being asked to read Barber's book, we'll celebrate this movement and rededicate ourselves to moral and prophetic witness.
September 25
"Be Transformed" Membership Sunday, Rev. Thom, preaching
Join us this Sunday as we welcome our newest cohort of new members and celebrate those joining our beloved church community. Rev. Thom will preach a message about the transformation that happens through religious community.
Frolicking, FrightfUUl, FUUndraising
OCTOBER 29, 2016 
6:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. 
Donating: AUCTION The Services Auction is both our biggest fundraiser and biggest fun-raiser. Yours for the asking (or right price) - fabulous parties, delicious dinners, vacation stays, outings, concert tickets, professional services, and much, much more. Each service is donated by members of the congregation. To date we have vacations in the mountains and at the beach, four season tickets to the Community Church Concert Series, reserved parking space on Sunday morning, desserts, soups, babysitting, etc. Simply go to and make your donation today. Deadline for donations is October 16.

Volunteering: There are more than 50 volunteer opportunities for eager helping hands: advance ticket sales, registration, set up, decorations, food and beverage servers, childcare, live auction, silent auction, and cleanup. Contact Ivy Brezina at 415-663-8703 or and select the perfect fit for your talents.

Attending: Tickets are $10 and will go on sale in the Jones Building following church services beginning on September 25.   We are encouraging attendees to don their favorite Halloween costume and be ready for a truly spUUky and fUUn evening. Note: childcare and children's activities will be provided.
Donate to the 2016 Services Auction Today!

The Nominating Committee needs candidates to serve
on the Board of Trustees.

Two elected Board members will serve for standard 3-year terms, and one will serve of just 2 years, starting in January. The person elected as Vice President for 2017 will then succeed as President for 2018, and as Past President for 2019.

The ability of the Board to make plans and goals that include our diverse perspectives depends on you. The Nominating Committee is looking for Members who are interested in making decisions about our plans for growth, preserving our fiduciary stability and realizing our vision.
While the time commitment is significant, the opportunity to learn more about our Church, contribute your own ideas, and share a deep sense of community with your fellow trustees is incredibly fulfilling.
Please consider offering your voice, expertise and time.

Please stop by the Nominating Committee table at Coffee Hour to learn more. Or contact a member or the Nominating Committee - Elsbeth Van Tongeren, Steve Warshaw, Joe Farinola and Mike Gilliom.

All-Church Potluck Picnic
September 10th, 5-8 p.m.
Camp New Hope
Click HERE for more information
Weekly meditation practice will resume meeting regularly on Tuesday evenings beginning Tuesday, September 6.  Please join us in the sanctuary, 7:15pm - 7:50pm.  For more information email Delia Keefe.
It's never too soon to mark your calendar for this year's Services Auction! Put a circle around October 29, and plan to join the fun at this important church fundraiser. See the article above for more information!
"Constant Viewing"

Debra Wuliger (website, email), an expressive figurative painter, enters communities to discover its people and to reflect the community back to itself through portraits. Her current body of work, 'Capturing Caldwell' was completed between June 2015 and February 2016. This series of watercolor portraits grew out of her work collecting both oral stories and photographic images of the people in Caldwell County, North Carolina. Debra asked people to share a memory of something that happened to them in Caldwell County. She then painted their portraits, capturing in color and brushwork their emotional depth.
Her earlier body of work "Coffee Talk" is also on display.
Caldwell's unifying color palette was chosen after observing the greens, browns and ochers of the stones in the bottom of a mountain stream while hiking near Wilson Creek, NC. This color palette joined the people of Caldwell County to the place where they live.
Our fall play is coming!
November 11-13
"LITTLE WOMEN," adapted by Marisha Chamberlain, will be performed in the sanctuary. The classic children's book was written by Louisa May Alcott.  Alcott was a prolific writer and a member of the group of influential Unitarian Transcendentalist thinkers living in Concord, Massachusetts in the mid-19th century which included neighbors Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson. The novel follows the lives of four sisters - Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy March - detailing their coming of age and is loosely based on Alcott and her sisters' youth.  The play is directed by church member Marni Goldshlag.  If you are interested in being involved with the show, please email Marni.  

Saturday, November 5, 10-Noon
In celebration of our church's production of Little Women, come share some tea and cookies and discuss the novel. Our discussion will be led by Marion Hirsch who has read the book more times than she can count.  The book is widely available in libraries, bookstores and on the internet.
                                    COME JOIN THE CHOIR (OR THE BAND)
As another church year begins, it's a great time to try new things. And I'm hoping that one of them will be contributing to the music program at the Community Church. We have a wealth of opportunities for all ages, levels of experience, and commitment levels. And (wait for it) making music is good for you. Look it up. A quick Google search brought this up from "Mother Nature Network" (

10 Reasons Why Making Music is Good for Your Brain
1. Enriches connections between the left and right brain
2. Boosts exe cutive brain function
3. Strengthens speech processing
4. Magnifies memory
5. Promotes empathy
6. Slows brain aging
7. Fosters math and science ability
8. Improves motor skills
9. Elevates mental health
10. Sharpens self-esteem

Oh, they forgot one thing: IT'S FUN!

So whether you have years of experience singing in choirs or have only sung in the shower, whether you are an instrumental virtuoso or happy plunking away on a ukulele, whether you are just starting kindergarten or retired decades ago, the Community Church music program has something to offer.

If you want more information, there's a brochure in the Commons. Or feel free to shoot me an email. I'd be thrilled to hear from you, and to help you find YOUR place making music at Community Church.

Glenn Mehrbach, Music Director

The Fall program for children and youth begins Sunday
September 11 
REGISTER your child here
Information about the CHILDREN'S program is here.
Information about the YOUTH program is here.


This year we will be offering 4 modules of the very well regarded Our Whole Lives (OWL) Sexuality Education Program:  K-1st Grade, 5th Grade, 8th Grade and 10th-12th Grade.   For more information about our OWL program, see our church website.  If you are interesting in exploring being an OWL teacher, please contact our OWL team leader, Jenny Warnasch at


For Youth and Parents - Sunday September 11 at 4:30-6:30 
This is an event recommended for all Middle and High School Families.  Great programing for both youth and parents to start the year.
For Youth--   T he event is the   Skullduggery  or  a "puzzle  hunt  like a scavenger  hunt , but with puzzles to solve along the way.  Participants will work in teams, racing against other teams, to solve a variety of puzzles of many different types.  .  It's an activity that is sure to creatively engage your minds and bodies in a little friendly team competition.  Led by puzzle master Mike Ling.
For Parents -- A orientation meeting about this year's youth program.  And then an opportunity to gather and a get to know other parents.  Led by the Youth Ministry Team.
For All --A big pot luck dinner at 6:00 for all.  Bring a side dish to share.  Pizza will be the main course.  Sign up for potluck here.
Coming of Age (COA) is for 9th and 10th graders and is similar to confirmation or a bar/bat mitzvah. The youth spend 8 months learning about the great religious questions and exploring their own beliefs or "credos". Each is assigned a mentor from the congregation who partners with them. The year culminates with a service where the youth share their "credos" with the congregation.  Then in June the youth take a "UU pilgrimage" trip to Boston.

We are excited this year to offer a Bridging Program for the first time to our seniors.  Bridging is a year long program which helps prepare youth for the transition to young adulthood.  Our Bridging Program will be led by Agatha Buell Eggers a lifelong UU and experienced leader who has led Coming of Age programs, UU youth summer camp, leadership programs and youth groups.

New program for children
This year we will begin each Sunday with 15 minutes of singing and music provided by musicians in the congregation.  Singing is one of the great joys of being part of a church.  Kids love it too.  If you would like to be one of our guest musicians please contact Glenn Mehrbach or Marion Hirsch.  

Each year we start our youth program with weekend retreats at Shelter Neck Camp.  Getting away for bonding, games, campfires, and worship is a great way to get to know other youth. Information about the Middle School Retreat is here and the High School retreat is here.

Each year our high school youth have an opportunity to participate in the Sarah Insch Leadership Program which offers a structured opportunity for youth to participate in church leadership by participating in concrete and satisfying ways.  Through this program youth build connections with the congregation and are able to give back to their church community. These connections also support their becoming lifelong Unitarian Universalists. The program also provides youth the opportunity to mentor other church youth in their leadership experience.  This program was created to honor the memory of beloved church member Sarah Insch who was a life long UU and a great supporter of children and youth.  More information about Sarah Insch and the leadership program can be found here.

Let's go together!   The Orange County Justice United Fall Assembly will be held on Thursday, September 15 , from 7-9 pm at St. Thomas More Church.  Each member congregation is asked to send a delegation so that we may credibly call upon our elected officials and local community leaders to work with us on issues of citizen concern.  
  • We are asking local law enforcement to commit to negotiated solutions that improve relationships with immigrants and people of color.
  •  We are asking community leaders to set up affordable housing action this winter.   
We are founding members Justice United.  Our participation and support have made a real difference in the past; it will be heartening to hear about the good work being done now.  To learn more, please click here.  If you plan to attend the assembly, please contact Ruth Gibson  before September 6, so she can reserve a seat for you.  
Enrich English Language Learning (Enrich ELL) seeks to empower the Chapel Hill and Carrboro community by enhancing English literacy and fostering cross-cultural understanding. Enrich ELL is a UNC student-run English tutoring program for non-native adults in the Chapel Hill/Carrboro community. As a program, we serve our area through one-on-one tutoring relationships and community building events. W e hold year-round classes twice per week for one hour at Carrboro Elementary School. We applied for Share the Plate to both request the support of the UU community in our mission and because the school system charges us hourly for renting the Carrboro cafeteria. While we are looking for ways to get around the fees for our space, we hope to continue holding classes for our nearly 50 daily participants. For more information visit, find Enrich ELL UNC on Facebook, or email .

Plans are moving ahead on the Food First building which will remain at the present site on Main Street. The building will house the Community Kitchen, Food Pantry along with other services provided by IFC. Some members of the Community Service Ministry will be attending this month a Support Circles Training to provide assistance to men and women coming out of homeless shelters. Look for further information in October's newsletter. NEW LOCATION of the IFC shopping cart has been upgraded to a blue cart and moved to the right corner as you exit the Commons and enter the breezeway. Please be as generous as you have been in the past to IFC on Sunday September 18th.

This fall we have the opportunity to participate in building our 21st Habitat home right here in Chapel Hill, in the historic Northside neighborhood! The Oct. 2 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. If you can't be here on Oct. 2 you may drop off or send your contribution to the church office. Please make checks payable to The Community Church of Chapel Hill UU and put Habitat for Humanity in the memo line. Thank you!


. On Saturday, September 24 Triangle area UU's will again have a booth, a float and a marching group in the annual statewide PRIDE festival in Durham, celebrating our LGBT community. This year our church will coordinate our area UU presence in the festival. If you're interested in helping, look for opportunities at the SOSL table, sign up  online   or email Margaret Cox. 

SYRIAN REFUGEE COMMUNITY Last spring we partnered with Sangeeta Swamy's Sound Mind School of Music on a benefit concert for Syrian refugees. Half the funds raised were to go to Doctors Without Borders. The other half would go to Project Refugee Smiles, organized by the late UNC student Dean Barakat, to bring dental care to Syrian families. Unfortunately Dean Barakat's organization is no longer in operation and cannot receive the $1410.00 we wished to send. However Chuck Jabr, our contact with the Syrian Refugee community, tells us that 30 Syrian families have been given asylum and are now living in our area. We have agreed to use the funds to help these families with resettlement. Mr. Jabr tells us they plan to use the funds toward purchase of a used laptop for each family, and they thank us all for our help and warm hearts. Our funds will supply about seven families. If anyone has a used laptop in good condition they would like to add to this good cause, or would like to help plan a party or potluck to help welcome our new neighbors, please email Joyce Allen or call 919-632-0322.

First Sunday Recyclables - September 4:
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.
"Help Bring Nature Back Home" is the fall focus of ECO's theme "CARING FOR THE EARTH STARTS WITH US." Click here for ideas for your yard.
The North Carolina Botanical Garden presents a Saving Our Birds exhibit from now until mid-December. The exhibit highlights our native birds and the native plants they rely on and includes workshops, classes, and lectures, including children's activities. Visit this page for more information. 

Learn how to create a pollinator garden. The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will offer a pollinator conservation workshop and garden tour in Pittsboro on 3 different dates: Monday September 12;Saturday September 17; and Tuesday September 20. Click here for more information.
ECO is excited to announce the first-ever environmental collaboratory of North Carolina UUs, to be held on Saturday, October 8 from 10:30-4:00 at the Community Church. UUs from all over the state will come together to collaborate on ways to put the Seventh Principle into practice in our state.

ECO would welcome your help with logistics, such as, offering your home for a Friday night stay for those traveling a long way, helping to serve and/or clean up lunch if needed, and, of course, being your welcoming selves. If you are interested in working on environmental issues in North Carolina, we hope you will attend as a participant.

Please e-mail ECO at or come to the ECO table on September 4 to learn more or to volunteer. This is a great opportunity to meet other UUs and to mutually share our ideas and goals for "respecting the interdependent web" in our state.

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.  Covenant groups meet monthly at a regular time for 1.5 to 2 hours.  In addition to the regular monthly groups there are also several themed groups for parents and young adults. Here is more information about covenant groups and on-line sign up for open group is here.
Join us at SEA as we kick off the new church year on September 15 at 6 p.m. with a $5 taco dinner followed by Rev. Thom's discussion on "Politics and Religion." Register at the SEA table by September 4.

Rev. Thom will also lead a course based on John Buehrens' book "Understanding the Bible: An Introduction for Skeptics, Seekers, and Religious Liberals" (9/22, 29, 10/6, 13, 20, 7-9pm). This class will allow participants to develop a liberal and liberating interpretation of Jewish and Christian scriptures.

Build Your Own Theology returns in September (9/22, 29, 10/6, 13, 20, 7-9 p.m.).  This course addresses important questions for the spiritual quest and involves completing assignments for group discussion.

We will also offer the Northwest Earth Institute course "Seeing Systems" (9/22, 29, 10/6, 13, 20, 7-9 p.m.). This does involve purchasing a $28 book, scholarship money is available by inquiring at the SEA table. For more information, visit
On Saturday, September 17, at 10:30 in the Kirby Room, 
Kathryn Carroll will lead our discussion of Uncertain Justice: The Roberts Court and the Constitution , by Lawrence Tribe and Joshua Matz.  "No one knows the Supreme Court like Laurence Tribe, and no one brings its decisions to life like Tribe and Joshua Matz.   Uncertain Justice is spellbinding-whether you care about gay marriage, health care, NSA surveillance, or gun control, this magnificent book will widen and deepen your understanding of our constitutional landscape."  
In October we will be reading Radical: My Journey Out of Islamist Extremism , by Maajid Nawaz.   You can find our reads for the rest of the year on the church's website.   Join us to talk about those which most interest you.

Join us at Memorial Rock for Poetry and Pie on
Monday, September 12 , at 7:00 p.m. Bring your favorite poem to read (or recite) and share as evening falls in our lovely outdoor space.  To enrich our bodies as well as our souls, pie will be served.  If you would like to bring a pie, please email Ruth Gibson to RSVP . Note: In case of rain, we will meet in the Manse.

Join us in the Commons area from 2-4 PM on September 7th (first Wednesday) and/or September 19th (third Monday, NEW!) to click, chat, and help piece together shawls. It takes 18 blocks (7" x 9" made from washable acrylic, #4 worsted weight yarn) to make each shawl that we will donate to UNC Hospice in Pittsboro. The shawls will be used by patients for warmth and comfort and will remain with their families. We are patterning our group after Clicking for a Cause at Eno River UU Fellowship where ideas for patterns can be found . Can't knit or crochet? We will teach you! Have leftover yarn or needles and hooks you no longer use? We will take them! Don't want to come to a meeting? Donate finished blocks at our table on the third Sunday of each month (9/18)!   Email Susan Blanchard or call 919-237-2401 for more information.

Hold the Date: October 16
TABLE will be hosting its fourth annual Empty Bowls event on Sunday, October 16, 2016, from 3:30 pm - 7:00 pm at Weaver Street Market in Downtown Carrboro. 100% of the proceeds will go to help TABLE provide emergency food aid to local hungry children. With your ticket, you will enjoy live music from local group Americana and Bluegrass musicians Guilty Pleasures, and receive a meal of hearty soup, sandwiches, and a dessert, as well as a locally made pottery bowl. Beer and wine are available for purchase. For ticket information, go to TABLE's website at and click on events. Hope to see you there!
Partnering with other church groups is one of our most effective means of maintaining and improving our religious home. From the Commons Improvement project led by Membership, to advising ECO on their Parking Initiative, to sponsoring numerous wall-cleaning parties, we are moving forward on many fronts to improve our church.
We have also restarted the core B&G team that meets for our monthly WorkPARTY to do routine maintenance on buildings and grounds. Please consider joining us for a morning of "hands-on meeting-free progress" followed by lunch at a local restaurant. As the days get cooler, we will shift from indoor chores to fall gardening and groundskeeping outdoors in our fabulous Carolina fall weather.
NOTE!!! Our next WorkPARTY is on the SECOND Monday, 9/12 in deference to Labor Day.
See something amiss? Email or catch Brad at church.
If you have a loved one with mental illness, the NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illness) Family-to-Family course will provide support and information.  This free series of 12 weekly classes is taught by trained NAMI members who also have loved ones with mental illness. In a confidential setting, family members will learn about:
  • How mental illness affects your loved one
  • 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 
Chapel Hill class: Thursdays, 6:00-8:30 pm, Sept. 8 - Dec. 1Email Nancy Brickman or call 919-818-8065.
Durham class:  Tuesdays, 7-9:30 pm, Aug. 30 - Nov.22Email Violette Blumenthal or call 919-358-6788 .

September is Suicide Prevention Month. Suicide is one of the topics most of us least like to think about, yet only by thinking and talking about it can we begin to make a real difference in prevention. Note that the term currently used is "lost to suicide" rather than committing suicide. There are steps all of us can take. First be aware of the signs-for example talking about death, talking about feeling hopeless or becoming withdrawn. Second, go to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and learn more about what you can do. Third, add the Suicide Prevention Hotline number to your phone: 800-273-8255. Share it with family and friends. Fourth, add the Text Crisis Line-741-741 number to your phone. Both of these resources have trained counselors on hand 24/7 to help in a crisis.
For more information contact the Church's Mental Health Ministry. 
We welcome all to share the light, warmth and fire of our church community. A collaborative effort has been addressing how the Commons space can better communicate our message, while effectively serving its numerous functions. 

You may have noticed the cleaned carpet and fresh paint, the modest but cheerfully functional and coordinated cabinets, and the "Connections Showcase" in the rear hallway. Remaining elements will be completed over the next few weeks: a digital "Announcements" Center; a mural of "Our Story" that will present lovingly gathered, old and new facts and photos; and a surprise transformation of the pillar.   

The Commons space being key to the mission of the Membership Team, Rachel Rose and members of that Team will actively oversee keeping things nice. Please enjoy the new features, and help by being gentle on the furnishings and considerate with your stuff. Questions or comments? Contact Gail McKinley or Rachel Rose.

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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.