The 2016 Church Women United Arts & Crafts Fair and Bake Sale October 29 from 10 AM – 3 PM. Please click here for more details.
Now is the time to register and mark your calendars.
For an ad or flyer to post about the event, Please click here.
by: Ginny Going
I knew nothing of the realities of homelessness until getting to know Darryl and Jeanette. This is a couple who were sleeping in the doorway of the Hope Center last summer and fall. Regardless of how this came to be, what was clear to me from the beginning of our friendship was their love for each other and their strong determination to move out of homelessness and build a future off the streets. I saw their deeply rooted faith in God, the enormous amount of time and energy it took each day to navigate the necessities of life AND find and engage with organizations that might assist. Walking everywhere, carrying their belongings, trying to stay warm as the weather turned cold, encountering confusing, conflicting information about where and how to get help – this was their daily reality. One episode that sticks in my mind is going with them to a church-based food pantry whose long list of requirements to receive one bag of groceries seemed unnecessarily invasive and dehumanizing to me
There were wonderful moments of celebrating, too – both of them getting jobs as Salvation Army bell ringers at Christmas, their move into an efficiency apartment with help from government “rapid rehousing” funds (they are not rapid!), part-time jobs for Darryl and Jeanette through Jeanette’s church. (But to get to these jobs required several bus trips and walking long distances home late at night). And they both experienced serious health problems during this time. Then this summer a car from Wheels for Hope! I’ve been richly blessed by this friendship and grateful for what I’ve learned.
For details, please read the job description here: The Hope Center Executive Director Position
Please join us for the North Carolina premiere of CARE, a stunning 1-hour documentary on the challenges faced by three aging Americans, their families and the people who care for them. The event is free.
When: Thursday, September 8, 6 PM
Where: Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Raleigh, 3313 Wade Ave.
The film will be immediately followed by a panel discussion featuring:
CARE offers a rare and intimate glimpse into the people and relationships that make up the world of paid home care. Undocumented Vilma lovingly cares for her 93-year-old Dee – a long-time independent businesswoman – who grapples with dementia 3,000 miles away from her closest family. Hurricane Sandy survivor, Delores patiently and expertly serves her clients, even as she faces homelessness. Peter was a reporter and CBS executive until a vicious form of Parkinson’s ended his work life. He and his wife Toni were looking forward to retirement and travel. Now the struggle to keep Peter home and to protect themselves from financial ruin.
After such a hot summer, we are all ready for cooler weather! During the Fall, we watch the leaves turn as the season changes. At Wheels4Hope, we experience the change a vehicle can make in someone’s life. Some of our recipients shared with us some changes that having safe reliable transportation were going to make in their lives:
We all experience change…
Is it time for a vehicle change for you?
Join us; volunteer and participate in changing lives.
We are turning donated cars into local blessings for our community.
For more information go to www.wheels4hope.org or call 919-832-1941.
Parents, volunteers, and youth, please click here and fill out this form.
Parents and Youth will gather on Wednesday, August 31 at 6 PM for a community meal and a kick-off to Youth Group Activities and Events. The event will feature games for youth while parents learn about the calendar year’s lock-in, retreats, service events, Sunday Group curriculum, and parent resource group. Volunteers are welcome. Please email email@example.com for volunteer opportunities.
If you were a member of Pullen between the fall of 1996 and the fall of 2004, you will remember well the phenomenon that overtook the church each Advent, instigated and enthusiastically supported by Mary Ruth Crook. Members acquired the habit of donating barnyard animals to their Christmas gift recipients through Heifer International. Each donor received a gift card to send to their recipient. (You will, too!)
Heifer International is a charity that began over 70 years ago as a way to address world hunger. It now supports sustainability and care of the earth as well. “Passing on the Gift” is the Heifer way. Heifer provides a pregnant goat or pig or sheep or heifer to a food-insecure family along with training in how to keep the animal healthy. The first offspring is given to a second family, along with the training. The second family provides its first offspring to a third family and so on, so that the original gift is multiplied many times in helping poor families have milk or wool or eggs or in helping them earn income to send their children to school.
Heifer works in 125 countries and has helped lift over 25 million families out of poverty. It has a three-star rating from Charity Navigator.
You may have noticed on the wall near the church office a row of nine colorful plaques, all but one representing the gift of an ark, a $5,000 yearly contribution Pullen made to Heifer between 1996 and 2004. The dark, carved wood plaque represents the year 2000, when we as a congregation gave two arks or $10,000 to Heifer.
While Heifer has been one of our Advent offering options in recent years, the project has not generated nearly the enthusiasm and support it had in Mary Ruth’s day. Her influence persists, however. One Pullen member, upon receiving an inheritance, donated an ark to Heifer.
Pullen Mission Women are sponsoring a congregation-wide appeal to raise the $5,000 in funds for an ark in Mary Ruth’s memory. It seems a fitting tribute to this saint among us who put us on the Heifer path. Our campaign begins today and will continue until we reach our goal.
If you would like to contribute to this effort, please make your check payable to Pullen and mark “Ark for Mary Ruth” on the memo line. We will keep you up to date on our progress. Thank you in advance for your generosity!
-Pullen Mission Women
Please save the date for one of the following workshops this fall across North Carolina. Registration is limited to the first 50 people at each site. Workshops will run from 10 am–2 pm:
Tuesday, September 20; St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 401 East 4th Street, Greenville
Wednesday, September 21; First Presbyterian, 305 East Main Street, Durham
Thursday, September 22; Selwyn Presbyterian, 2929 Selwyn Avenue, Charlotte
Friday, September 23; First United Church of Christ, 20 Oak Street, Asheville
The polarization of our nation and our communities in this election year is perplexing and painful. Adding to the frustration for many of us are the troubling and sometimes bizarre ways politics and religion are entangled. The North Carolina Council of Churches believes that when churches are used for political purposes and when politics is used to advance contentious religious dogma the integrity of both is undermined. We have, therefore, partnered with Americans United for Separation of Church and State to offer faith leaders a workshop on Church and State relations. “Keeping Sacred Spaces Sacred” will engage the following issues:
What can faith communities and faith leaders legally discuss about the social/political issues of this campaign season?
What current legislation is pending in the US Congress and in the NC General Assembly that pertains to the relationship of church and state?
How can those called to be faith leaders enable their communities to see the “political” issues through the lens of faith and become advocates for the good of all, especially for “the least of these”?
Registration is $15 to cover coffee, lunch, and snacks. Please use this link, which includes payment options: http://goo.gl/forms/XHtkxlxcq6x2LA2u1.
Please join your ecumenical and interfaith colleagues for this important discussion at this critical time for our country.
Jennifer E. Copeland Bill Mefford
Executive Director Faith Outreach Specialist
North Carolina Council of Churches Americans United
for Separation of Church and State
“Yeah, you’re kinda scrappy,” the voice boomed over me as I faked an injury from a hand shake that was, in all reality, more firm than normal. As our laughter subsided, this young gentleman began to tell me about his promise as a college basketball player, his struggle with academic expectations and his current job prospects. His story was filled with adversity while demonstrating a resilience needed for daily life in housing instability. “Alright preacher, you keep on keepin’” enveloped me as our bodies leaned in and embraced. Continuing my greeting of guests escaping from Raleigh summer, I noticed the young man had not left, and I watched him move about the room pouring coffee for a woman whose hands prevented her from holding a cup steady; I heard him offer soft words of encouragement to another young man heavy ladened with street life; and I saw him rub the head of a small infant before offering a small kiss to the baby’s forehead. I couldn’t help but think, “No, you keep on keepin’.”
The Round Table at Pullen is host to many similar scenarios as we feed people experiencing various stages of adversity in our community. Guests are welcomed and provided a meal, a snack packet of food to take as they leave, and a low-cost bus ticket subsidized by the congregation. Volunteers spend countless hours preparing snack packets, picking up food from local vendors, cooking, and cleaning so Tuesday and Thursday can provide respite and care for lives so often denied such solace. The summer heat has seen an increase in our Round Table guests with as many as 80 to 90 attendees. Regardless of the heat, there is ample food and an abundance of people caring about other people.
When I bare witness to such events I am reminded of Genesis 4 dialogue between Yahweh and Cain. Fueled by greed, Cain commits an unfathomable murder and then arrogantly asks the Divine Counselor, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Not to be outsmarted, Yahweh retorts with a poignant question, “What have you done?” There is silence. At Pullen, we answer this call daily as we strive to serve compassion, love, peace and justice into our congregation, our local community, our state and our world. These are our light-giving prayers that embody the work of our hands, and this is the soul food that breaks forth from our communion tables and feeds the world.
During my first week at Pullen, I have been around many tables, some of them are square. The shape is really insignificant as what occurs around the table is no less than beautiful. The Round Table gathers people from all walks of life around a table to serve compassion and care. The Support Circle gathers Jewish, Hindu, Catholic and Protestant people around the table to work for the life stability of single women. The house table covered with lovely food united our young people committed to registering communities to vote. The Lectionary Table gathers a variety of people committed to living their faith inspired by the Hebrew Scripture and New Testament. The miracle of these tables is that there is always room for more, and I personally invite you to join me in some aspect of Pullen’s work. There will always be hands to shake and smiles to give; there will be envelopes to stuff or forms to highlight; there will be food pick-up routes to drive; there will be seats to fill at city council meetings; and there will be all of us serving compassion, love, justice and light. And, when we continually hear the Divine Provocateur ask, “What have you done?” then together, we can answer, “We just keep on keepin’.”
Pullen Memorial Baptist Church is a community of people seeking to be more human, knowing that we are created in the image of God. We are seekers with many questions embracing that we can transform and be transformed. Our community welcomes all: The Certain and the Doubtful; The Excluded and the Included; Rich, Poor and In Between; Divorced, Partnered, Single and Widowed; Atheist, Agnostic, Buddhist, Catholic, Protestant, Islamic, Hindu, Jewish or Nothing; Heterosexual, Homosexual and Transgender; Black, White, Asian, Latino; Citizens and Guests. We celebrate unique gifts and embrace our challenges.
All are welcome here. Come here to be who you are.
Loving God and loving our neighbors propel our missions and ministries. We seek to comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable. Our faith calls us to stand up for the poor, oppressed, and marginalized.
Simply put, we are ordinary people called to do extraordinary acts in our community, our neighborhoods, our state and in our world.
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