An Open and Affirming, Just Peace Congregation in Columbia, Maryland

CUCC Newsletter







This Week’s “Pastor’s Pondering”

Missing Mr. Rogers
When the monthly Kiwanis magazine arrives in the mail, I usually send it to the recycling bin without ever opening it. It isn’t that I am disinterested in the various topics each publication addresses or seeks to tackle; rather, with limited time to spend on such matters, I have to choose what I have to read and what I want to read. That said, when I saw a picture of Fred Rogers on the cover of this month’s edition in a red sweater with the word “Kindness” on the front, I decided I was going to make the time to read about something all of us desperately need more of.


Maxwell King, who once was the Director of the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media at Saint Vincent College, was quoted as saying, “Human kindness was probably the single most important thing to Fred Rogers. You know how athletes or speakers will sometimes do a visioning exercise to think about what’s coming up and how they are going to play the game or do the speech or conduct the class they’re teaching? Fred Rogers would do that for the day he was about to enter into. But you know what he was doing it about? He was thinking about who he would see at work. Who he would see at lunch. Who he’d see at a meeting that afternoon. And how was he going to be prepared to be as thoughtful and kind as he could be?” (bold face type and underlining are mine).

Compare that with the tweets we read from various individuals—especially individuals we have historically admired. Contrast the way Mr. Rogers prepared for the day with the politician who tweets vile things about everyone he considers an opponent. Whereas many consider kindness to be a weakness, Mr. Rogers demonstrated that it is actually a strength. One man who grew up watching Mr. Rogers, and who now leads “Wonder Workshop” (events that motivate and inspire attendees to rebel against “how things are” to “create the world as it should be”) said, “I think there’s a part of us that doesn’t want to believe he was real.” Then, a bit later,“I think he gave me as a child and is still giving me as a grown man an image of gentleness as boldness.” 

An act of kindness toward others, especially strangers, is the best gift any of us can give to someone this Christmas.

With Gratitude,



No Christmas Brunch After This Sunday’s Service 

We erroneously published an announcement about a potluck lunch following this coming Sunday’s worship service.  There is no potluck lunch after the service.


Phil Out of Town December 17 through 21

Phil will be away from Monday, December 17th, through Thursday evening, December 21st to tend to family matters. Worship services for December 23rd and 24th are already well prepared. If you would like to reach Phil as he travels, please call him at (301) 514-2742.

Mission Trip Update:

We have a good number of folks who have expressed interest in next summer’s mission trip.  The organization we are working with is Brethren Disaster Ministries and our assigned week is August 11th through 17th.  Most likely, we will travel to one of the Carolinas, and, of course, we will communicate more detailed information as we get closer to the date.

As we talked at the first meeting in November, if we cannot fill the fifteen or sixteen openings allotted to us with CUCC folks, we will extend an invitation to the other faith communities within the Meeting House to see if there is interest from them.  Please let Phil know by January 30th  if you are interested; if needed, he will begin reaching out to the other congregations in early February.

This Week at CUCC:

This week is our final opportunity to participate in CUCC’s “Adopt a Resident” program in support of Earl’s Place. 

If you would like to donate a gift or gifts, then please signup via this link:

  CUCC “Adopt a Resident” for Christmas


Mark’s wish list includes:

  • Men’s backpack
  • Large ski cap
  • Reversible (black/brown) belt size 42”
  • Boxer Underwear size Lg
  • Socks size 9 -12

Steve’s wish list includes:

  • All-weather winter boots size 8 regular
  • Sweats (pant/shirt) size medium
  • Casual dress slacks, blue or black, size 33-34/29
  • Thermal winter face mask
  • Winter socks
  • Earbuds for phone

In addition, personal items such as toothpaste, lotion, shampoo, bar soap, razors, and deodorant are always appreciated as well as calendars, AA batteries, heavy socks, hats, gloves and gift cards.

Please wrap the gifts and label them with the resident’s name.  We will deliver the gifts to Earl’s Place on Tuesday, December 18.  Questions?  Please contact Sue Nicholson.

At The Interfaith Center:

Last Chance for SERRV Sale!

There is one more opportunity to take advantage of the SERRV Sale, December 16th at the Interfaith Center from 10 am to 12:30 pm. SERRV has been a nonprofit, fair-trade organization since 1949. It empowers small-scale artisans and farmers to earn a fair-trade living, breaking the cycle of poverty and building strong communities world-wide. Gifts are handmade and reasonably priced.  Cash and Checks ONLY are accepted.

Upcoming Events:

Our Christmas Eve Candlelight Service will soon be upon us!  On December 24th please join us at the Oakland Mills Interfaith Center, Room 100 at 6:30 pm for a meaningful time of Scripture, Song and Light.

It is our tradition for us to have cookies afterwards, Please sign up to make or bring some cookies for all to share.

Merry Christmas!