December and Advent begin together this year, and are almost upon us!

Gift giving ideas

 CUCC ministries have these recommendations as you consider gift giving.

Celebrations, Reflection, and Gatherings

Welcome in the Season of Advent - December 1st

Bring back the excitement of waiting for Christmas!  Everybody is welcome to come to the Vaughan Fellowship Hall at 5:00 pm, December 1st, to celebrate the first day of the church year (yes, really), the first day of the last month, and the first day of Advent. This will be a group participation worship service for everyone (parents of those under 6 may opt for child care, available on request). We will begin with a brief introduction to the "When, What and Why of Advent" (including scriptures), then hear Geri Bowen sing "Todo la Tierra."  Doug Barrick will be enhancing our time together at various times.  We'll hear stories of Advent from hither and yon, near and far, and will sing Advent songs.  Cookies and cider will be available as we assemble a new Advent candle wreath for the sanctuary. This will be brought into the sanctuary by Pastor Steve as we sing and light candles in celebration.  Parents may pick up children in child care on the way to the sanctuary.  We expect to conclude by 6:30.  (Sponsored by the Deacons. Contact Vandy Bradow.)

Advent Reflections & Taize' Worship - December 3 and 10

Join us as we share scripture, meditation with soothing music, centering silence and prayer, and singing and sharing with each other what Advent means to us. It will be an opportunity to relax and renew one’s spirit as we journey toward the Light of Christ being birthed into our lives and our world! Tuesday, Dec. 3, and Tuesday, Dec. 10, 7:00pm in the Vaughan Fellowship Hall.

Movie "Into Great Silence" - December 6

The Deacons are sponsoring a viewing of the film "Into Great Silence" as an introduction to the Advent season. The film will be shown in the fellowship hall starting at 7 PM. The film follows the routine of monks of the Grande Chartreuse who have taken a vow of silence. There is no dialogue, though the chants and sounds of daily life provide a sound track for your own quiet time. The film is three hours long. During a short break midway through the showing, the famous herbal Grande Chartreuse liqueur will be served with snacks. Put this unique Advent event on your calendar! Here's the description of the film provided by Netflix.

Director Philip Gröning's study of the Grande Chartreuse monastery introduces a world of austere beauty as it follows the daily activities of the resident monks, whose silence is broken only by prayer and song. With no sound save the natural rhythms of age-old routines, the documentary -- a Special Jury Prize winner at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival -- captures the simplicity and profundity of lives lived with absolute purpose and presence.

(Contact Vandy Bradow for more info about this event.)

Forums on the Common Good - December 1, 8, and 15

This has been a difficult year.  We have experienced deep divisions in our political and cultural lives.  These disturbing divisions seem to threaten our very democracy and our futures.  We seem to have lost a unifying vision in our communities and in our public life. Is it possible to reclaim the value of the Common Good?  The first three forums in December will concern Restoring the Common Good.  They will be facilitated by Elizabeth Queen, an intern at NC Justice Center and a student completing degrees at Duke Divinity School and at UNC School of Social Work.  Details on each week

Family Advent Workshop - December 8

This workshop beginning at 5 PM will feature a pizza dinner and a cookie swap for children, youth, and families.  This gathering will serve as our December Family Potluck.

Christmas Pageant - December 8

Presented by the children and youth of the church during the 10:30 worship service. Directed by Anne Bailey Zschau.

Advent Life & Faith in Downtown Raleigh - December 10

Let’s get together halfway through Advent to take a deep breath and do any necessary course corrections.  Where is your life intersecting with the anticipation of Advent?  Join others for casual conversation on Tuesday, Dec. 10, at Tyler’s Tap Room.  Look for the red “Life & Faith” comma at our corner round table.  Arrive at 6:30pm if you want to order dinner, at 7pm for beverages-only. Dutch treat.  For more info, contact Jane Smith.

CUCC Christmas Party - December 14

Christmas will be here soon and the annual CUCC Christmas dinner is just around the corner. Plans are now being made for this celebration which will include a social hour, a catered meal from Mitch’s Tavern, and holiday entertainment. The Christmas celebration will be held on Saturday, December 14th.  Social hour begins at 6:30pm, with dinner at 7:15pm.  The cost for the meal is $8.00 per person.   Please sign up for this event by Monday, December 2nd, through the church office (919)787-6422.  Let us know if you need child care.

Christmas Special by CUCC Choir - December 15

This year's Christmas special will be a performance of traditional Christmas music arranged by CUCC's own Peggy Hoffmann.

Christmas Eve Service - December 24

Come join us on Christmas Eve at 5pm as all ages join together to welcome Jesus.  Expect  to sing Carols, listen to sacred music presented by musicians and choir and soloists, and watch a readers theatre of the Holy Birth Story, poetry, and the story behind the Carol “Silent Night.”  The service will be in candlelight with a special lighting of the Christ Candle followed by a candle light circle as we sing “Silent Night” to close.

Dress casually or in your Christmas finery; you are welcome just as you are. 

We invite you to join us afterward for hot cider in the Fellowship Hall.

Until then, listen to the music from the 2012 Christmas eve worship.