March 6th is the beginning of Lent and there are many opportunities to observe this season of reflection with our community! All of these will be at the church, sharing soup and bread. Please contact Fellowship@cuccboulder.org if you can bring a pot of soup or loaf of bread.
Wed March 6th Intergenerational Ash Wednesday of the Cosmos 5:30 - 7 p.m.
This is a fresh take on a Christian ritual in collaboration with the Community in Discernment of the Ecumenical Catholics. Join us for an all-ages Ash Wednesday experience designed to engage all of the senses. This service will include eating, singing and a chance to touch all four elements.
Wed March 20th & Wed April 3rd Why Religion? Dinner and Discussion 6:30 - 8 p.m.
In this fast-paced culture, where we often skim the surface of our lives, you are invited for some slow food and deep conversation. Join us for two sessions on Why Religion? Using the work of religious scholar Elaine Pagels, we will explore how we make meaning out of all that unfolds in our lives. How can our religious traditions hold us back? How can they help us heal?
Join us for soup, bread, rich conversation and radically inclusive community! If you would like to help with set up, come at 6 to the CUCC Fellowship Hall. The program will go from 6:30-8 p.m. To RSVP and/or help with refreshments, contact Fellowship@cuccboulder.org
Thursday April 18th Dinner Church 6:30-8 p.m.
Remember Jesus’ last meal with his chosen family and meet a revolutionary, a healer and one who believed in Beloved Community. Join us for delicious food, friends, singing and prayer on a holy night.
From the Minister
February has been a month jam-packed with action and fun! I have delighted in all of your “yeses” to my invitations. Thank you for all of the ways you show up- for social action, for Caring Ministry, to connect with one other, to plan a retreat, to plan worship, to share spiritual journeys, to build Beloved Community! Thank you! March is shaping up to be very exciting, with an intergenerational Ash Wednesday of the Cosmos, Soup Suppers and on Sunday the 31st, we will officially welcome new members! As Spring makes its way to us, I am celebrating each new sprig of life within our community and beyond.
In hope, Nicole
3/31 Official Welcoming Ceremony for New Members On Sunday March 31st, during worship we will have an official Welcoming Ceremony for those wishing to join Community UCC as full members. Please email Nicole for the membership packet and more information.
Upcoming Community Office Hours Saturday March 9th 10-12 at CUCC Thursday March 21st 11-1 at Caffe Sole Tuesday April 2nd 9:30-11 a.m. at Frasier Meadows
From Progressive Christian Education
What gifts to we want to give our children? And the intention of the question is to encompass our children, not just the ones I call my own. Even if the children I call my own are numbered in the dozens upon dozens (my daughter, my nieces and nephews, the children and youth of CUCC, the children, some now teenagers, who were in my care at my Chicago child care, and so many others) that still doesn’t seem inclusive enough. I believe there are gifts that we as a society can give our children.
Maybe a good way to consider the question is: what is essential to thrive in life? The upcoming season of Lent asks all of us to ponder what is essential. CUCC will begin our Lenten journey with an Ash Wednesday of the Cosmos service on Wednesday, March 6th at 5:30. We will start with a basic and delicious meal of soup and bread and then transition to a shared experiential worship intended to include all, from youngest to oldest, in the question of what is essential. There is so much surrounding us, whatever age, that distracts from our appreciation of the essential gifts that are present each day. By bringing a visceral awareness of the joy that comes from clean air, fresh water, sustaining earth, and comforting warmth, my prayer would be that we leave the shared experience ready to appreciate what is essential for all to thrive and do what is needed to equitably share and steward these gifts.
Please bring your children to share in this worship experience with their church community. And as we journey through Lent together in March and April, leading to Easter, I feel we will all have opportunities to consider what is essential to our family life and what can be laid by the wayside. What a liberating exercise to let go of what is distracting us and weighing us down in order to focus on what helps all of us to thrive.
Peace and love, Heather
CUCC at Boulder County Community Peace Camp June 10-14, 9am-1pm Youth 4yrs old-8th grade are invited to a week of building our peacemaking skills. The host site this summer is UCC Longmont. Register now for all the traditional summer day camp fun of games, crafts, and music with an emphasis on how to be a peacemaker! PEACE CAMP REGISTRATION Contact Heather Bowler at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
From the Minister in the Community and Poet in Residence
Dearest People of CUCC,
This coming Sunday, I will not be with you because I will be going out to the Bay Area to do a candidating weekend with a church there. After the worship service, the congregation will vote on whether to offer me a call to an associate pastor position. As I look toward this transition in my life, I am so excited!
But as I think of leaving you, suddenly I am so sad.
So this seems like a good time, whether I end up receiving a call or not, to thank you for being such a powerful, wonderful community of faith.
I have been with you through three pastors (Welcome, Nicole!) and two interims. Through the election of our first African American president and the election of Trump. We have seen beloved members of our community die, and babies come into our fold. A fiftieth anniversary. A flood.
You have embraced me though joblessness and divorce, but also through ordination and a new marriage. As I have come to love the homeless community in Boulder, I’ve watched you open your arms to vulnerable people, responding with care and energy to their needs. I have felt your support and affection at every turn. Your role in my life has been so healing and affirmative.
Through everything, I have always been impressed that CUCC is unstoppable. We are grateful for our good and loving pastors, but we flourish as a community with or without them! It is a miraculous thing to experience God’s love in your midst, to see this church imagine justice and hope within God’s creation. Your example is so heartening.
As I go forward, I will keep you posted, but know that you are dear to me and that I feel unimaginably blessed to live in faith with you.
Peace and grace, Elizabeth
WE ROCK! DOUBLE SUCCESS Community UCC hosted the 2018 Boulder County CROP Hunger Walk (10/21/18) and won the SANDAL Award for having raised the greatest amount of funds ($6463) for fighting hunger PLUS a second SANDAL Award for having the most walkers (35) at this year's 2018 walk! Organizers Phil Goerner and Sue Ericson stand with CUCC Recruiters Janet Hoaglund and Pete Terpenning on 2/10/19 receiving the Sandal trophies on behalf of CUCC. Phil Goerner states, “We are very grateful for your incredible efforts to help raise funds for those suffering from Hunger and Poverty in Boulder County and around the world.” The Walk raised $28,645 overall. We are very grateful for CUCC’s generosity and teamwork!
Social Action News
There are a number of things happening under Social Action in the coming month:
EFAA food drive - Were you inspired by Val & Spence Havlick sharing their experiences volunteering at EFAA during the service last Sunday? Emergency Family Aid Association (EFAA) has been a community safety net for Boulder families since 1918!! In 2017, EFAA distributed over 717,989 pounds of food worth $1,199,042. They also help with paying rent, utility, transportation and medical bills. EFAA is the only organization in Boulder County that provides short-term housing to families with children with their 57 short term or transitional housing units throughout Boulder County. CUCC supports EFAA with our annual food drive as well as a financial contribution from our Community Mission budget. Check the e-blast for a shopping list or pick up a bag and list in church on Sunday. We will be collecting through March 31st. You can learn more at efaa.org.
Gun Violence - CUCC is a member of Colorado Faith Communities United Against Gun Violence. As part of this, we have developed a list of congregants who would like to notified when important legislation is being looked at, usually at the state level. If you would like to be on this list, please email email@example.com. The current legislation that is of particular concern is HB19-1177: Concerning Creation of an Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO). This is the first major piece of proactive gun violence prevention legislation to be introduced since 2013 that has a chance to get to the floor and get a vote. ERPO was introduced last year but was killed in a committee hearing by just three pro-gun votes. It is paramount that as people of faith that we put action to our prayers and thoughts and make our voices heard letting our legislators know that we have their backs in supporting and passing this life saving bill. We cannot be complacent and assume that the bill will pass because Democrats control the House, Senate, and Governor. The opposition to the bill is very strong. This bill has passed out of the House Judiciary Committee and has been referred to Appropriations. If you aren’t sure who your state legislator is, go to https://leg.colorado.gov/find-my-legislator. Because of the history of recalls after gun legislation, all of our legislators need to hear our support.
CUCC and the Environment - in the past, CUCC had a committee that focused on environmental issues. After awhile, the group lost leadership and no longer meets. With the ever present threat of Climate Change, the refusal to act at the federal level, and the Green New Deal, there is now an interest in bringing a group together. There is not yet a clear vision of what this will look like, but if you are interested in being involved, let firstname.lastname@example.org know! In the meantime, watch for some ideas from CCC on what individuals can do during Lent this year.
CCC: Book Club
A small group of us has met for the last year or so to discuss books. There are a few reasons why this proves very satisfying. For one, we pick books, fiction and non-fiction because it stimulates our thinking, our curiosity, and our imaginations. We seem to talk a lot about what we can learn from history and scientific ideas. When I was in college, the rage was to try making all areas of study a scientific enterprise. This was true of history and literature as well as economics and physics. It was an age of literary criticism and scientific criticism. I remember a history textbook by a man named Geoffrey Barraclough called “The Science of History.” At that time the Chicago School of Economics taught that people behaved rationally in their own best interest. There is much being written now to suggest otherwise, and that the logical parts of our brains are usually overwhelmed by the more passionate side of ourselves. People are enormously influenced by the stories they tell usually in groups, often for good purposes and sometimes to control them and make them subservient or characterless.
This makes discussions about various books invariably very rich. Recently we read a novel (“Prague Spring”) which talked about what it was like to live under the shadow of Soviet repression, but the four people in the story are tied together in quite accidental ways as they face this stressful climax in their histories. How susceptible are we to the stories we are told (caravans of murderers and rapists or we are a rational people). We all had our own stories to tell in reacting to this story. We are all influenced by the stories people tell to bind people into communities.
For our March 4 meeting, we agreed to read a piece of non-fiction: Harari: “Twenty-one Lessons for the Twenty-first Century”. We are will probably talk about his thoughts concerning Artifical Intelligence as the world increasingly is run by robots and computers, displacing people from time-honored jobs. What will happen to people as they face their own “irrelevance?” He feels it is important to increasingly talk about people rather than jobs. He gives an example of orthodox men in Israel who are seventy-five per cent unemployed by choice and live reading scriptures in communities of like-minded people supported by government subsidies and the labor of their wives. They are quite happy in their own communities. Maybe we should look at happiness more through their eyes than our own.
It isn’t a large step to look at peoples’ spiritual lives, often dependent on their membership in groups. The discussions often give us a chance to look at what is meaningful in our lives, to do it together, and create a lovely kind of fellowship.
We hope you will consider joining us. Let John Tilton or me know if you’re interested. If there is enough interest we can always create additional groups.
Peter Kleinman John Tilton