Holy Covenant United Church of Christ
A progressive Christian church
Weekly News & Announcements through
Week ending June 12 , 2016

In This Issue
HC Happenings
UCC Weekly News
Prayer Concerns
Participant Reminders
 Church Information
(Staff details below)

 Office Hours: 8AM-4PM
Monday through Friday
Phone: 704-599-9810

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Flat Nancy celebrates Youth/Graduate Sunday
with Karen Long, Faye Humphrey and Riley Long

Election cycles are infamous for visualizing our nation as a conglomerate of categories, each deserving a message crafted to elicit voter support. If I can coin a phrase, we experience the labelization of America: Republican, Democrat, Independent; Protestant, Catholic, Jew,  Muslim; Northerner,  Southerner; white, black, Hispanic, Asian, Native American; white collar, blue collar; liberal, conservative, etc.etc.

Those who design campaign strategy expect that each of us will fit the normative definition of whatever category we are in. Sociologists and politicians may engage in such societal splintering, but it does a great disservice to our humanity. We are not so neatly known.

There is nothing new about this process. In Jesus' time, one could be identified as an urbane sophisticate from the capital city of Jerusalem or a country bumpkin from northern Galilee, Jesus' home. One could be a learned Pharisee or a violence-prone Zealot, an aristocratic Sadducee or a member of the vast segment of Jewish society known as the "Am-haaretz," (the "people of the land," a generally illiterate labor force.) To place a person in a category robs them of their uniqueness and, in the worst of all scenarios, their humanity. Tyrants have historically been very adept at dehumanizing those they wish to eradicate. It is easier to hate a category than it is an individual.

Categories leave no room for variations, those intensely personal qualities that make me me and you you. For example, I might be categorized as a retired, white, middle-class, married, graduate school educated Protestant clergy who is a member of a progressive Christian congregation living in a southern state. That is eight categories, each possessing its own definition. The sum of them, however, would still not do justice to who we are. We are always more than the sum of our parts. For instance, Holy Covenant advertises itself as a "progressive Christian church," but it would be naive to assume that every member of our church thinks and believes in the same progressive manner. There are always variations on a theme.

To be sure, to understand a culture one must appreciate its numerous groups. One walks on dangerous ground, however, if it is assumed that the generally accepted characteristics of any group are definitive. That is why Jesus used a despised Roman centurion and an equally despised Samaritan as the heroes in two stories. He was fracturing the destructive tendency to define a person by membership in a category or categories.
~Steve Garvey
Holy Covenant Happenings

In honor of our Centennial, your Hospitality Team will be coordinating a printed version of a cook book, compiled of the favorite recipes from Holy Covenant and Pilgrim Congregational UCC members! Please submit any tried and true favorite recipe, of any food category, by July 15. Send your recipe to Judi Lord, jklord@gmail.com or Linda Carver, 2547A Stockbridge Drive, Charlotte NC 28210.  This is a fundraiser for benefit of outreach missions. Details are in progress and more, including date and cost, will be announced in the near future. 

The Sojourners would like to again thank Rich Midkiff for his presentation on religious discrimination in the military.  Out of that discussion, the subject of "toxic charity" was raised, so the Sojourners will start a study next Sunday of a book entitled "Toxic Charity: How Churches and Charities Hurt Those They Help, and How to Reverse It." Veteran urban activist, Robert Lupton, reveals the shockingly toxic effects that modern charity has upon the very people meant to benefit from it. Toxic Charity provides proven new models for charitable groups who want to help those whom they desire to serve. Toxic Charity shows us how to start serving needy and impoverished members of our communities in a way that will lead to lasting, real-world change. Buy a copy (cheap for used on Amazon) and join us on Sunday, June 12, for our first discussion of the book. All are welcome -- no preparation necessary!

The Book Club will be meeting on Monday, June 13, at 1:30 pm at the Sharon campus to discuss Annie Dillard's Pulitzer Prize winning title,  Pilgrim at Tinker Creek . Diane Burleson will be leading our discussion of this work. 
Our next meeting is tentatively set for July 18, at 1:30 pm at the Sharon campus.  We are considering Matthew Desmond's  Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City .

Charlotte PRIDE, the third-largest LGBTQ Pride organization in the American Southeast, will hold its annual festival August 19, 20 & 21. We need all members of Holy Covenant to volunteer in helping Holy Covenant be present throughout the weekend. Please contact Phil Kaveler to let him know when you can volunteer.

Once every 4-6 weeks, groceries that have been contributed to the food drive needs to be transported to a local food pantry.  Are you able to help?  Times and dates are flexible. Contact the church office if you are willing to help with this important ministry.

Keeping You Posted

The United Church of Christ has a weekly electronic newsletter, ongoing blog, and website to share information about where we've been and were we are going as a collective church.   KYP Keeping You Posted  topics today include "White Privilege, Let's Talk"; and "Assisting a Bold Step into the Future". How do you be the church in an ever-changing religious climate? 

You can sign up for the regular email, or to receive a daily devotional, learn about happening  social  justice events. and more! Click here   to get connected and chose your preferences
Prayer Concerns
Paul Bomely, Gail Bushman, Leanne Bushman, 
Ginny & Bob Fisher, Marianne Gannon, Karen Griffin, 
Chuck Johnson, Helen Lambert,  Irene Mikkelson, 
Deb & Yvette Ross, Dave Stoimenoff & Jim Germann,
Mamie Stokes, Jean Washburn
Friends & Family Members
Rose Bouchonville (John Maze),
Charlotte Carbone, Matthew Christian, (Beth Sharp),
Bill Funderburk (Donna Collins), Frances Helms (Lynn Helms),
Mike Hinson (Kathi Smith), CD & Alice Huskins (Jared Fischer), 
John Jacobsen (Holly Middleton), Aaron Johnson (Joy Johnson),
Barbara Lees (Donna Collins), Pat & JoAnn Murphey (Laura Murphey),
Candy Propes (Sue Rettberg), Luz Soto (Aida Marcial)

Participant Reminders For Sunday
Greeters: Kevin Edwards-Knight, Sue Godfrey, Tom Magraw, Barbara Rutelonis
Ushers: Carl Johnson, Phyllis Johnson
Media: Brian Hankins, Joe Craig
Tabulators: Sally McLester, Kathleen Smith
ELDER FOR JUNE: Yvette Ross, phoenixprojectsr@gmail.com or 704-953-4324
Over the Counter Medicine Available for Uninsured
Free Over the Counter Medicine Give Away
items include cold, cough, and flu medicines, bandages, 
pain and allergy relief, vitamins, and much more.
Friday, July 29 9AM - 2PM
NC MedAssist 704-350-3574
Holy Covenant United Church of Christ
3501 West W.T. Harris Blvd, Charlotte, NC, 28269
 704 599-9810
Dawn Simmons, Executive Assistant:  office@holycovenantucc.org
Nancy Ellett Allison, Pastor: Pastor@holycovenantucc.org  704-621-0235
Steven Burleson, Youth Pastor: YouthMin@holycovenantucc.org  704-706-4170
Jared Fischer, Director of Music: music@holycovenantucc.org 423-443-1676

No matter who you are, or where you are on life's journey,

you are welcome here.

Thanks to our wonderful Hospitality Team for the great
picnic in celebration of Youth/Graduate Sunday!