Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas Eve Service 2014

The Christmas Eve service in 2014 features music performed by the choir led by Anne Moorman-Smith, the youth, Doug Barrick (organ and piano), Amy Jensen (flute), and Mike Schafale (hammer dulcimer). The candlelight singing of Silent Night has become a tradition at CUCC.

This year is the first time the entire service has been captured on video (via help from Karen Withem). The audio track was recorded separately and the multi-camera setup allowed multiple views of the service. Thanks to the entire congregation and the excellent congregational participation for making this an event to remember. (This video is about 40-minutes long. Only transitional periods in the service have been edited out. The video is available in high definition via clicking the HD button to make it blue.) - posted by Lavon Page

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Christmas Cantata - Christmas in the Southwest

Christmas Cantata performed at Community UCC on December 21, 2014. This was the 3rd performance of this cantata in the past 15 years, and the performance was to honor the many years that Pastor Steve Halsted has spent living in the southwest.

Ave Maria - performed by Amy Jensen and Doug Barrick as Offertory - Dec. 21, 2014

Ave Maria (Gounod, Bach) performed by Amy Jensen and Doug Barrick.

Prelude - Joseph Dearest, Joseph Mine - Dec. 21, 2014

Performed by Amy Jensen and Doug Barrick.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Festival of Lights - Welcome

The "Festival of Lights" program was held at Community UCC in Raleigh NC on November 30, 2014 (the first Sunday of Advent). Speakers from diverse religious traditions (Bahai, Buddhist, Hindu, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim) reflected on the symbolism of "light" within their own faith traditions. The welcome and opening remarks were given by Pastor Steve Halsted.

Festival of Lights - Prelude (Flute, Organ, and Choir)

The "Festival of Lights" program was held at Community UCC in Raleigh NC on November 30, 2014 (the first Sunday of Advent). Amy Jensen (flute), Doug Barrick (organ), and the CUCC Choir presented this prelude.

Festival of Lights - Prayer of Invocation

The "Festival of Lights" program was held at Community UCC in Raleigh NC on November 30, 2014 (the first Sunday of Advent). Pastor Steve Halsted here delivers the Prayer of Invocation.

Festival of Lights - Liturgical Dance

The "Festival of Lights" program was held at Community UCC in Raleigh NC on November 30, 2014 (the first Sunday of Advent). This 4-minute liturgical dance was performed by Alex Cox, Brooke Lipman, and Emily Perkins as part of the Festival of Lights service and may be viewed in full screen HD.

Festival of Lights - Children's Sermon

The "Festival of Lights" program was held at Community UCC in Raleigh NC on November 30, 2014 (the first Sunday of Advent).  This children's sermon given by Pastor Steve Halsted was a part of the Festival of Lights service.

Festival of Lights - Guest Speakers

The "Festival of Lights" program was held at Community UCC in Raleigh NC on November 30, 2014 (the first Sunday of Advent). Speakers from diverse religious traditions (Bahai, Buddhist, Hindu, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim) reflected on the symbolism of "light" within their own faith traditions. Those diverse reflections are encompassed in this 42-minute video (which may be viewed in full screen HD). The speakers are Mehran Ghofrani, Venerable Choekyi Lhamo, Bhupender Gupta, Janet Mayer, Rev. Steve Halsted, and Zubaida Khan.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Festival of Lights - Closing Music

The "Festival of Lights" program was held at Community UCC in Raleigh NC on November 30, 2014 (the first Sunday of Advent). The choir and congregation sing the response "Masithi", the hymn "O Splendor of God's Glory Bright," and the benediction response "We are Walking a Path of Light."

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Stewardship Sermon

Stewardship sermon for the pledge campaign leading up toward adoption of the church budget for 2015. Presented by Pastor Steve Halsted on November 16, 2014.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Geraldine Bryan's 90th Birthday Celebration - Monday Lunch Group

On October 27, 2014, Monday Lunch Group celebrated Geraldine's 90th birthday with cake and ice cream and a program that honored her years at CUCC and all the wisdom she has shared in so many different settings. The group viewed selections from Geraldine's Noah video produced in 2006 with help from Lavon Page. And folks shared anecdotes about Geraldine as varied as trips abroad and rides on a zip line. Mostly, however, it was a wonderful opportunity for friends of Geraldine (including Judy Smallwood and Sally Cook and Peggy Hoffmann's daughter Rosemary) to get together and enjoy celebrating this remarkable woman and spiritual leader.

Celebrating Geraldine Bryan's 90th birthday - Monday Lunch Group

The program included a prayer by Pastor Steve Halsted which is reprinted below.



Prayer/Poem in Celebration of Geraldine’s 90th Birthday

Most High, All Powerful, Ever-present Spirit of “All that Is”, we humbly bow before your loving presence.  You have blessed us with the gift of life and established an altar of praise in our hearts. We are thankful beyond measure for all the goodness that you have shared with us; for family and friends, for freedom and expression in our faith, for food, clothing, shelter, and good health that provide for our every need; for all this and so much more we are eternally grateful.

Today we are moved to lift up one of your saintly souls among us, our friend and fellow spiritual pilgrim, Geraldine Bryan.  Bless Geraldine as she turns 90 years of age.  She blesses us each week at our Monday lunch group with her wit and her wisdom and her heart of gold which is forever young. In the spirit of the biblical proverbs, we proclaim:  

“A good crone, who can find?  She is far more precious than jewels.  The hearts of her friends trust in her and we will have no lack of gain.  She opens her doors sharing Kabbalah wisdom, nurturing the hearts of the spiritually hungry.  Strength and dignity are her clothing and she laughs at the time to come.  Her family and friends rise up and call her blessed; many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all. Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who reveres the Lord is to be praised.”  

O Great Spirit, give her the fruit of her vast experiences in life, and let Geraldine’s works praise her in your eternal now!  All this we pray in humble reverence.  AMEN

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Climate Change Vigil

On September 21, 2014, a national climate change rally was held in New York. In support of that rally, the Triangle Interfaith Alliance held a supportive vigil at Community UCC to coincide with the New York demonstration of support for national action on climate change. Representatives from a wide spectrum of Triangle religious groups participated in the vigil, which was led by CUCC Pastor Steve Halsted. The vigil lasted for approximately an hour. The video included here is a 10-minute condensation that shows the breadth and scope of the vigil. In order to make the vigil as "public" as possible, the vigil was held on the corner of Wade Avenue and Dixie Trail on the lawn in front of the church. Thus there is considerable traffic noise in the background. (Filmed by Lavon Page and Karen Withem.)

Monday, September 8, 2014

Welcoming Sunday - 2014

Welcoming Sunday in 2014 was held on September 7. The theme was "An Extravagant Welcome". Here's the 7-minute video that features the activities of Welcoming Sunday 2014.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Dog Walk and Blessing the Animals

On August 23, 2014, Śānti Matthews and church youth organized a dog walk which included a blessing of the animals. This event took place at Lake Johnson in Raleigh, and the dog walk explored the western half of the Lake Johnson loop, a scenic part of the trail about 2 miles in length.  The blessing of the animals was held about half way through that 2-mile loop.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Confirmation - June 8, 2014

Confirmation ceremonies were held on June 8, 2014. Those confirmed in the 2014 ceremony were Greer Eckard, Corinne Lipman, Cammy Riemann, and Teresa Worley. The entire ceremony, including remarks by Pastor Steve Halsted and confirmation teachers KayJay Covington-Jones and Deborah Lipman and presentations by the confirmands, is included here (30 minutes). Thanks to Śānti Matthews who leads the youth program and who helped guide the confirmation program.

Pentecost Sunday - Children's Sermon

On June 8, 2014, Betsy Towler gave the children's sermon for Pentecost Sunday.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Acquisition of Lloyd Property - May 2014

The Community Church Low-Income Housing Corporation became a meaningful reality today as the closing on the purchase of the Lloyd property took place around 2 PM at Hodge and Kittrell Realty in north Raleigh. Everette Noland represented CUCC presenting the details of the contract, and Treasurer Carol Kepler signed for the purchase on behalf of the church. Assistant Treasurer Carol Clark was also present. Anne Bailey Zschau served as the church's real estate agent.

Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd, the sellers, were present and engaged in a long conversation with us. The had owned the property for about 30 years. Mr. Lloyd served on a Liberty ship during the early stages of World War II. And indeed his brother perished on a Liberty ship when the convoy of 30 ships was attacked by German U-Boats on its way to Murmansk, Russia. Only 11 of the boats returned.

Mr. Lloyd is a delightful gentleman who had a long career employed by the Raleigh fire department. And he is very proud to have rented the house on Dixie Trail (beside Pilgrim House) in 1983 and to never have raised the rent in the following 31 years.
--- Lavon Page
May 9, 2014
  Click any photo to view large versions of all photos  
Preparing the documents for signing
Examining the survey
Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd sign for the sale
The CUCC contingent confers

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Resolution on Fracking

On May 4, 2014, at the annual spring congregational meeting, the congregation passed a motion calling on the Southern Conference Annual Meeting to pass a proposed resolution on fracking. The text of the resolution is available here.

Text of fracking resolution

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Discerning Our Callings

On April 27, 2014, Pastor Steve Halsted announced that in January 2015 he will be retiring after 13 years of ministry at Community UCC. The long lead time in announcing this is intended to give the Deacons ample time to plan for pastoral transition.

Steve's sermon was entitled "Discerning Our Callings," and in it Steve gave a moving overview of his ministry in the UCC spanning more than 30 years. By chance, a recording was made (using a mobile phone), and the message in its entirety is available here shown with a montage composed of photos made at CUCC during Steve's tenure here. This is included in the CUCC Archive as a way of sharing Steve's message and honoring his long term ministry at CUCC.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Lord of the Dance - Easter Sunday, 2014

Brooke Lipman performed a liturgical dance while the CUCC Choir sang "Lord of the Dance" during the Easter Sunday service at CUCC, April 20, 2014.

Alleluia - Easter Sunday 2014

This is the opening to the Easter Sunday Service in 2014. Performed by the CUCC Choir.

Sing to the Lord a Joyful Song - Easter Sunday 2014

The CUCC Choir performed "Sing to the Lord a Joyful Song" as the anthem during the Easter Sunday worship service on April 20, 2014.

The Pumbo Family - What a friend we have in Jesus (Ngala)

"What a friend we have in Jesus" (sung in Ngala) was recorded on Easter Sunday 2014.

Easter Sunday Offertory - Jill Sherling on French Horn

Jill Sherling performed with Doug Barrick during the offertory on Easter Sunday, 2014.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Maundy Thursday Music - 2014

On April 17, 2014, the CUCC Maundy Thursday service was held jointly with St. Paul's Christian Church in the CUCC sanctuary. The choirs of the two churches joined to form a choir of about 20 people who sang under the direction of CUCC Director of Music Anne Moorman-Smith. Doug Barrick was the organist for the evening, and Amy Jensen played flute in the prelude and hymns.

Maundy Thursday Complete Service - April 17, 2014

On April 17, 2014, CUCC hosted the Maundy Thursday service presented by members and choir from both CUCC and St. Paul's Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). The video shown here is the entire service except for the fact that the serving of communion has been condensed in the video. The video runs approximately 57 minutes.



Were You There? - Maundy Thursday Service, 2014

"Were You There" performed by the combined choirs of Community UCC and St. Paul's Christian, April 17, 2014

Amy Jensen and Doug Barrick - Maundy Thursday 2014

The prelude performed by Amy Jensen on flute and Doug Barrick on organ for the Maundy Thursday service, April 17, 2014.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Joy Alford - Palm Sunday, April 13, 2014

Joy Alford presented the sermon for the Palm Sunday service on April 13. 2014. She also brought the children forward for a short children's sermon. Both are included here and may be seen by viewing the entire article.

Choir Special for Palm Sunday - 2014

The CUCC Choir performed "Hosanna! Hosanna!" as the anthem during the 10:30 worship service on Palm Sunday, April 13, 2014.

All Glory, Laud, and Honor - Palm Sunday

Singing the hymn "All Glory, Laud, and Honor" on Palm Sunday 2014.

Introit for Palm Sunday

At Community UCC there is a long tradition of celebrating Palm Sunday by waving palm branches during a processional into the sanctuary. Participants include Sunday worshipers as well as the choir which leads the way. In 2014 Palm Sunday fell on April 13, and the processional is shown here.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Carolyn and Cy King Peace and Justice Award - April 8, 2018

Community United Church of Christ presented its Carolyn and Cy King Peace and Justice Award on Sunday, April 8, to John Paar, Lib Hutchby, and Adrienne and John Little during the 10:30 AM worship service.  The award is issued annually to people who embody spirits of service and grace and demonstrate commitments to addressing issues of justice and peace in our community and world.   Congratulations to this year’s recipients of the Carolyn and Cy King Peace and Justice Award.

John Paar was unable to join us for the ceremony, but sent an acceptance letter which was excerpted during the ceremony.  Read John's acceptance letter (full text)


Lib Hutchby
Lib Hutchby is a teacher of conflict resolution and nonviolent resistance.  Whether she is singing with the Raging Grannies at movement gatherings around the state, being arrested for justice (four times so far), or telling stories, she prepares us and leads us in the work at hand.

Lib worked alongside Carolyn King in the integration of the state's parks in the 1960s through the United Church Camp held at Umstead Park.  She was the first white teacher at Jefferys Grove Elementary School, teaching fourth grade as Wake County's public schools integrated.  Her thesis for her master's degree on conflict resolution was on nonviolence in children's literature.  Lib put that training to use when she was called on to help counsel and mediate following the killings of the Greensboro Five.  Lib and Carolyn again connected as overnight volunteers in the early days of the Ark Shelter for men (now the Helen Wright Center serving homeless women).  In 1989 she began volunteering to resettle refugees and eventually worked for ten years on staff with Lutheran Family Services.


Before Lib knew she would be receiving the Award,
she created this gratitude artwork
which we passed around during the ceremony.
Currently Lib's work has turned to caring for creation and ensuring that it will be healthy and justice for the next generations.  Whether she is singing with the Raging Grannies or volunteering with Frack Free NC, Clean Water for NC, or 350.org - Triangle, Lib is an advocate for the earth.  Lib is a member of Pullen Memorial Baptist Church and active in their Care of Creation group.

You can support Lib by sitting in the gallery during her April 24 hearing.  She was arrested at a sit-in outside Governor Cooper's office protesting the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (see Lib holding the sign in the video of the Raging Grannies).


Lib Hutchby's justice bio

John and Adrienne Little
John and Adrienne Little
The Littles exemplify the virtue of showing up when justice work is needed.  Both are life-long educators (John as a professor of history at St. Augustine's University; Adrienne teaching grade school to children in low-wealth schools in Raleigh, the NC mountains, and Guam).  At Loaves and Fishes they continue this work as tutor volunteers and have built a close relationship with the entire family who have become an important part of their lives.  Adrienne has opened her home to refugees and served as "mother and grandmother" to children and adults in a new land.  She has recently been a fixture at the NC General Assembly, joining other activists in successfully advocating for criminal justice reforms.  John is has sought to live out his commitment to racial justice, especially in the educational sphere.  They are diligent advocates for stewardship of God's creation, for economic justice, and for a world without violence - whether from wars or from gun violence.  At Cy King's last attendance of HKonJ, John navigated Cy's wheelchair in the crowds during the March. Community UCC is glad that they have been long-time members of the congregation and leaders in the Social Justice Ministry and Economic Justice Task Force of our church.  John chaired the Social Justice Ministry for several years, overlapping with Cy's time on SJM.

John Paar
John Paar
Dr. John Paar, longtime Raleigh resident, cardiologist and person of faith, has been a key figure in the Raleigh peace and justice network since the 1980’s.

John’s life-long commitment has been to use his expertise as a cardiologist to improve medical care for those who lack access.
And his work is characterized by the personal connections he makes with colleagues and with patients, working with compassion and respect.

In Raleigh John has been an advocate for affordable medical care for the poor of Wake County, and in his roles at Wake Med. Recognizing that family members of those from out of town being treated for severe heart ailments incurred great expense while staying with their loved ones, John was an early supporter of Samaritan Inn, a Lutheran project to provide free lodging for those family members. He was a charter doctor at the Urban Ministries Open Door Clinic. His medical work with those living on low incomes led him to be a key figure in starting Raleigh’s first shelter for homeless families at what is now called Families Together. During the 1980s Overground Railroad effort to assist Central American refugees in moving through the US to asylum in Canada, John provided
shelter and support, including medical aid when needed, for refugees coming through Raleigh.

In Nicaragua John went to Nicaragua in the 80’s as part of Witness for Peace to stand between the
Contras and the Nicaraguan army to prevent killing. Viewing the experience through the eyes of a physician, he started Project Health for Leon (PHL) with Dr. John Rose. This organization seeks to improve the options for cardiac care at the hospital in Leon by sending experts from the US to teach and treat and by bringing Nicaraguan medical practitioners to the US to further their studies.

Throughout his life, John’s work has been nourished by his deep faith and the call it places on him to act for justice.

Award Namesakes Carolyn and Cy King

Carolyn and Cy King
Carolyn and Cy King were members of the congregation who were noted for their service to bettering the Raleigh community, the state of North Carolina, and the nation.  They were inducted into the Raleigh City Hall of Fame in 2009.  Listen to an interview with the Kings full of stories about their justice work and their life together.

The award was created in their honor in 2012 and celebrates people who exemplify a similar gracious spirit in their work for justice.  You can read about past recipients here.


Friday, April 4, 2014

Kerma Hazel (1924-2014)

Kerma Hazel joined the forerunner of Community UCC with her husband Bob in 1953. Bob died in November 2013, and Kerma died only four and a half months later. Kerma was in ill health at the time of Bob's death, and Bob's memorial service effectively served as a memorial for both of them.

Excerpt from Kerma's obituary ...

Kerma was born to Landis and Sarah Greninger November 24, 1924 in Tylersville, PA. She spent an active childhood in the farm country of the mountains of central Pennsylvania. She was involved in the life of her school, played softball and served as Drum Major. Following high school graduation and the outbreak of WWII, she answered the call and like "Rosie the Riveter", helped build aircraft for the war effort at Piper Aircraft. Following the war, she married the love of her life, the late Robert B. Hazel and enjoyed 68 years of raising four children, camping, fishing, and making many return trips to the mountains of Pennsylvania to visit friends and relatives and help on the family farm.

Complete obituary of Kerma Hazel

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Youth Sunday 2014

On March 23, 2014, the CUCC Youth presented their annual 10:30 worship service. Youth leader Śānti Matthews helped the youth in planning the program. The video shown here is a 30-minute condensed version of the service but which retains all the main parts.

CUCC Choir singing on Youth Sunday - March 23, 2014

This anthem was provided by the Choir as part of the Youth Sunday service on March 23, 2014. It was a rare opportunity to film the choir since they're normally hidden in the choir loft. The anthem is entitled "Because You Came".

Youth Sunday Quartet - March 23, 2014

This quartet performed as part of the Youth Sunday program on May 23, 2014. The selection is called "Hallelujah".

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Grady McCallie on "Cleaning up N.C.'s toxic coal ash ponds"

In February 2014, Duke Energy Company experienced a major coal ash spill into the Dan River. Grady McCallie, long time CUCC member who works with the NC Conservation Network, spoke to the issues involved with this spill.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Rev. Gaylord Noyce reflects on his pastorate 1954 to 1960

The Rev. Gaylord Noyce served United Church from 1954 to 1960.  In a letter written in 1983 to Wilma C. Peebles of Community UCC he describes two primary activities of his ministry:  the Institute of Religion and the integrated vacation church school.  The latter led to the desegregation of North Carolina's state parks.

Brief histories of CUCC

Anne Elleman, CUCC's historian, wrote and collected brief histories for the congregation's work around 1976.  This may have been in preparation for the search for a new pastor.  Anne was also gathering items for the time capsule in cornerstone for the Vaughan Fellowship Hall wing (dedicated December 20, 1977).

Untitled history
Found in records donated by CUCC historian Anne Elleman (circa 1976)
May have been written for the pastoral search?

Notes on our Church's History
Found in records donated by CUCC historian Anne Elleman (circa 1976)

Attached to Notes on our Church's History - 3 published histories focusing on different aspects of United Church and the letterhead for Institute of Religion which lists some past speakers:

Strength Through Union:  The United Church of Raleigh, North Carolina has fused three groups will [sic] conquering a pestiferous debt and expanding its social and religious horizons.
Advance (July 1945)
Author:  unknown, but possibly Peggy Hoffmann

How Big Can a Little Church Be
International Journal of Religious Education (December 1954)
Author:  Mrs. Arnold E. (Peggy) Hoffmann

Our deacons will babysit
Advance  (January 12, 1955)
Author:  Peggy Hoffmann

Institute of Religion letterhead

Carolyn and Cy King Peace and Justice Award - Feb. 9, 2014

In June 2012 Carolyn and Cy King were presented with a special award for their service in the cause of peace and justice. The video from that occasion is available in this archive. Following that event, an annual award was established in their names. Carolyn died in the fall of 2012, but Cy was present in February 2014 for presentation of the annual award for 2014 to Bill Towe, Slater Newman, and Peg and Mac Hulslander.

A special song that Cy loves is "Precious Lord, Take My Hand." Julia Robertson, Tim Jensen, and Mike Schafale sang the song for Cy at the Feb. 9, 2014, awards ceremony. And they ended the service with a brief version of "What Does the Lord Require of You?.



Precious Lord, Take My Hand




What Does the Lord Require of You?

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Carolyn and Cy King Peace and Justice Awards - Feb. 9, 2014

Peg and Mac Hulslander
accept awards at the 2014 ceremony
The Carolyn & Cy King Peace and Justice Awards was established in 2012. On February 9, 2014, the awards for 2014 were presented during the 10:30 worship service.

This year's honorees were Peg and Mac Hulslander, Slater Newman, and Bill Towe (posthumous award accepted by his son Christopher). Cynthia Ball managed the ceremony, with help from Sue Cottle, John Little, and Frank Gailor.

The video below runs for 35 minutes.

Cy King addresses CUCC Forum - February 9, 2014

On February 9, 2014, the annual Carolyn & Cy King Peace and Justice Awards were to be presented during the 10:30 worship service. In conjunction with that even, Cy himself was invited to speak to the Sunday Morning Forum. The resulting crowd at the Forum was one of the largest to attend a Forum session within memory.

The recording below includes almost all of that Forum session. The video runs for 49 minutes and was filmed in the Vaughan Fellowship Hall by a stationary camera.