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

CUCC Newsletter






Pastor’s Pondering –

Affirmation Four During Holy Week and the Ashes

As you might recall, I jumped over the fourth affirmation found in the text I’ve been using for this space in the e-letter. Though there are various pieces of art in the gathering area of the Interfaith Center, we tend to be more cerebral and desire things to make sense more than we are drawn to liturgy and mystery. That is not any kind of judgment, just an observation. And, though there are various themes of art in the gathering area of the building where we meet, besides the beautiful cloths placed on the table every week, there is little other, if any, artwork.

So, the fourth affirmation reads“As Christians, we strive to respond to God’s artistry in Creation by integrating the arts in worship, education, and proclamation.  We encourage the reclaiming of artistry and artistic expression in all Christian endeavors, both personal and communal.

We affirm that the Path of Jesus is found where Christ’s followers make sincere and vibrant worship of God as central to the life of their community as Jesus did.  We further affirm artistic expression as a way of reflecting God’s creativity, joy, and prophetic voice in what may be seen, heard, felt, tasted, sung, and spoken.”

Then, as there are with all the others, there is a confession.“We confess that we have moved away from Christ’s Path when we have failed to make worship the product of our best efforts to experience and express love for God, neighbor, and self in community with others.  We have moved farther from the Path when we have considered the arts as trivial or merely tangential to the life of a mature Christian community.”

The morning after the fire at the Cathedral of Notre Dame, I heard Jon Meacham, a presidential biographer, say of the tragedy that cathedrals were built to inspire awe and to make those in it feel small. I heard others speak of how beautiful the stained glass rose window was in the cathedral. Artwork that inspires our imaginations holds the capacity to draw us closer to the holy and sacred.

See you Sunday!


Announcements – 

Special Things Are Planned To Occur At CUCC On The Following Dates:  

April 18, 2019—Maundy Thursday, 7 pm Love Feast and Foot-Washing Service

April 21, 2019—Easter

April 27, 2019—Annual CUCC Auction at 6pm

April 28, 2019—Recognition of Earth Sunday, Rev. Alex Vishio preaching

May 5, 2019—Hymn Sing

May 19, 2019—Guest Preacher (TBD)

June 23, 2019—ONA Sunday, Rev. Doug Hunt preaching.


CUCC Auction Update!  Food for our annual auction on Saturday April 27 at 6 pm will be potluck. Please sign up to bring appetizers or desserts. Food should be delivered by 5:30 pm

To make donations or to volunteer for helping with our annual auction, contact Matthew Bucksell  (

Upcoming Events –


How cool is your congregation?

Learn 25 ways under $25 to transform your church into a greener space.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019 2 p.m. 

This year, we are sponsoring a year full of learning with free, one-hour webinars that are designed exclusively for clergy and lay leadership of United Church of Christ congregations and ministries. Topics will include expert discussion and information on a range of subjects, including church finances, building projects and renovations, and more! Pastors, church administrators, and lay leadership are invited to attend.
Join us for a FREE interactive webinar for a discussion with Sarah Paulos, Program & Outreach Coordinator for Interfaith Power & Light. For more than a decade, Sarah has trained nearly 500 green teams at churches across the country to help them reduce their energy use as an act of faith.

At The Meeting House –

The Meeting House Gallery presents “Many Visions” through June 15, 2019. The exhibition features work by Steele Hill (acrylic), Jim Klumpner (acrylic), Dominic Newsome (pen and pencil), Susan Nicholson (ceramics), Zina Poliszuk (watercolor), and Carol Jo Roeder (acrylic miniatures). Meet the artists at a reception with light refreshments and live music on Saturday, June 1, 2019 from 1:00-3:00 pm. The exhibition is free and open daily from 8:00 am to 9:00 pm. The Gallery is closed on Federal holidays. The Meeting House Gallery, 5885 Robert Oliver Place, Columbia MD,



In Our Community –

Earth Forum of Howard County:  The last Earth Forum of this season will be on Sunday, April 28, 2019, the fourth Sunday of the month instead of the third Sunday. We will be celebrating our 10th Anniversary with special speakers and presentations and, of course, celebratory food.  This Tenth Anniversary Season represents a decade of listening, learning, and acting with community activists, faith communities, government representatives, and interested individuals. The program will start at 2 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church of Howard County, 9325 Presbyterian Circle, Columbia, MD. The program is open to all interested persons, is free, and childcare is provided for infants and toddlers by calling the church office (410-730-3545).  Additional information available on and

  • April 28 11AM-11:30 Sacred Waters Workshop, Church of the Ascension, 205 S Summit Ave, Gaithersburg.  Share this flyer.
  • Volunteer Need:  With Denominational Conventions coming up in May and June we could use help to staff our informational tables for 1-2 hour shifts to share ways congregations can help to restore creation. If you are interested in helping in this way please email, call her at 443-799-0349 or click below to sign-up.  Volunteer Here

VBS Baltimore



Register today for “God’s Water Heroes” Workshop! Inspire and train Youth & Faith Formation Leaders in this Creation Care Vacation Bible School/Sunday School curriculum. Workshop offered on May 18th from 10AM-2PM at Gwynn Oaks United Methodist Church, 5024 Gwynn Oak Ave Baltimore, MD 21207

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Saturday, May 18th 2019, 9:00am – 5:00pm at Wilde Lake High School – Cafeteria (light breakfast & coffee at 8:30am, lunch provided). Registration required at  For additional information, contact Katie at 410-531-6006, ext. 1761 The Safe Space training has been designed by Grassroots as a suicide prevention and intervention model that focuses on the LGBTQ+ population and their increased risk for suicide. The training program combines cultural competence with prevention and intervention strategies to reduce stigma, reduce suicidality, and ultimately save lives. Safe Space is free for Howard County students, residents and individuals that work in Howard County. Students must be 16 years of age or accompanied by an adult if younger than 16. Service hours are available for students. CEUs are available for adults.