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

CUCC Newsletter






Pastor’s Pondering –

Grateful for Good News…
It is so easy; so, so easy to be waylaid by the crushing waves of bad news that we hear, read, and see every single day. Every. Single. Day. And, as way of confession, there are moments when I find myself standing on Depression’s front porch ready to knock on the door. “May I come in?”  From separated families to tax policies that favor the already wealthy to all of the “isms” raising their heads as a county school board considers a plan that promises to be more equitable.

If, as you read these words, you find that you’ve made your way into the place where Depression resides, please reach out to someone (i.e. mental health professional) who can help you move on to a lighter way of living. The kind of depression I referenced earlier isn’t necessarily the clinical kind; rather, it is the kind that can be chased away by a good word or a piece of good news. In case you missed it, or your favorite news program or paper didn’t cover it, do a web search on “Memphis High School Students Gift New Clothes.” The video is more inspiring than my words that seek to describe it; but allow me to frame the story so as to remind us that, contrary to what we may sometimes think and feel, there is goodness in this world.

So, a freshman (new to a particular Memphis high school) found himself bullied for wearing the same clothes every day. The young man’s mother could not afford to buy him new clothes, he said, “because I’m growing too fast.” Who knows if that is the real reason, or if it is something he felt like he had to say so as not to reveal the true depth of his family’s dire financial situation.

Well, two of the school’s football players, a year or so ahead of the freshman, decided they were going to try and help make the bullied boy’s life a little easier. One day, as all of them were standing at their lockers, the football players pulled from their backpacks and other bags some of their own clothes and a new pair of sneakers. From the initial word of this act of kindness, the news story has gone viral to the point others are reaching out to help kids in similar situations.

These stories, of course, do not give us permission to ignore the racist tweets, hurtful social media postings, and mean-spirited rhetoric that comes from “friends” on Facebook all the way to the Oval Office, but such stories do remind us that there is good in this world. In spite of how it feels sometimes, all is not lost. Neighbors help neighbors and total strangers reach out to assist in times of great distress. Indeed, I am grateful for good news that neutralizes and keeps in check stories that threaten to weigh us down.



Announcements – 

October 20th Stewardship Kick-Off Sunday
Receive your Stewardship pamphlet!*
Learn about the “Increasing CUCC’s Online Presence Fund”!

October 27th Time & Talent Brunch
Find out how your talents can be used at CUCC!
Light brunch and fellowship as you visit committee tables!
Look for sign-up Genius to help with brunch.

November 3rd Pledge Dedication Sunday
Bring your pledge and time & talent survey to worship!
Let’s have a 100% response by this date!

*If you’re not present on the 20th, your pamphlet will
Be mailed to you.

At last, a candidate we can ALL get behind! Pastor Phil was nominated as one of Howard County’s best clergypersons in the annual Best of Howard Competition. Voting is open now and ends Fri., Sept. 27th at 5pm. Results will be announced in December. To vote for Phil, use the following link and locate the section titled “Clergyperson.” VOTE EARLY AND OFTEN!:


PROJECT HOPE IS PROVIDING HUMANITARIAN RELIEF IN THE WAKE OF HURRICANE DORIAN: Hurricane Dorian caused massive destruction in the Bahamas. Your gift today helps us respond to emergencies and save lives around the world.


Founded in 1958, Project HOPE is a renowned global health and humanitarian relief organization.  For more information about Project Hope, use the following link:

Green Team Gathering – September 22 after Sunday Worship

Worship Committee Meeting – September 22 after Sunday Worship

CUCC Annual Beach Retreat – September 27-29

Upcoming Events –

CUCC Beach Retreat is September 27th through the 29th: The fee schedule includes housing, all meals on Saturday and breakfast on Sunday. Please send your RSVP to Christina McGarvey at

  • Adults and age 16 and over – $160 per person
  • Children ages 5-15 – $80 per person
  • Children under five – No Charge


In Our Community –

Join Busboys and Poets + Sojourners Wednesday, September 25th for a conversation between author Jim Wallis (Christ in Crisis) and Rev Bishop Michael Curry.

The event will run from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., at National City Christian Church on Thomas Circle.  New York Times bestselling author and Christian activist Jim Wallis urges America to return to the tenets of Jesus once again as the means to save us from the polarizing bitterness and anger of our tribal nation. Episcopal Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, in the foreword for the book, observes that, “With Christ in Crisis, Rev. Wallis creates an unprecedented spiritual field guide for Christians and those of different faiths—or no faith at all—who are trying to survive the polarizing bitterness and anger of our divided nation and move forward in the post-2016 political context.” Books are available for pre-purchase (pre-sale tickets include preferential seating) and will also be available for sale at the event. To register and for more information, please visit this page. (Phil is planning to leave OMI at 4:45 pm and has room for 2 folks in his car!)

Join us as we celebrate new beginnings for the men of Earl’s Place as they change their lives and move from homeless to housed. All proceeds benefit Earl’s Place: Tickets: $75/person or $560 for a table of 8 before 9/23; $80/person or $600/table after 9/22. To purchase tickets online:    For more information: 410-522-0225 or

Thursday, October 10, 2019
6 pm – 10 pm
Dinner and Auction

Shriner’s Boumi Temple
5050 King Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21237

At Oakland mills Interfaith Center –

Hospitality Center Back to School Dinner: Date – 09/23/2019 (Mon.) Time – 5:30pm – 8:00pm EDT Location – Oakland Mills IFC. We’re back to school this month with a simple pasta dinner.  It’s pretty straightforward, but here are some basics: Please help yourself to foil pans in our cabinet at OMI.  These are the right size for the steam trays and using them saves the waste of recycling odd-sized pans. Please try to bring your food ready to serve on the evening of the dinner.  If you need to bring something early, let Bev know where it will be and if it needs to be heated or prepped. ( Please review the available slots below and click to sign up. Thank you! Sign Up