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GNOUU is a local cluster of UU churches who are revitalizing their faith while rebuilding their city.

Welcome to Community Church

Community Church's Sunday services and children's religious education are held weekly at 11:00 a.m.

 

CCUU
6690 Fleur de Lis Drive
New Orleans, Louisiana 70124
in Lakeview
All are welcome - casual attire.
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Rev. Jim VanderWeeleWe believe that we are all family and we all have value.

The purpose of Community Church is to form a community to practice and advance a free and responsible search for truth and meaning, the inherent worth and dignity of every person and a commitment to ethical living.

We invite you to visit us on Sunday mornings to explore our spirituality together.  All are welcome.

October Services at CCUU PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 20 September 2016 00:00
Our October theme is “healing”

October 2 Healing is a Partner
. In times of ill health, when ailing claims its inevitable pause to the pace of our lives, we can more clearly perceive our views of our work …and perhaps also its impact on our health. This month’s theme, of healing, asks, “Do we allow ourselves to heal? Do we make a way for it? Has it taken hold? Is it absent? Is healing something we are doing? If so, how much attention do we give to our partner-inlife, this ability of ours to heal?” Rev. Jim.

October 9 Self-reflection. The ability to look at our self is featured in The Four Agreements: A Toltec Wisdom Book. Don Miguel Ruiz, formerly a doctor, now a nagual (shaman), noted as one of the 100 Most Spiritually Influential Living People in 2014 once wrote, “Life can be very easy when love is your way of life,” and “Love will give you inner peace.” Rev. Jim’s message connects to the monthly theme of healing.

October 16 What Do We Know About Noah? The sixth chapter of Genesis shares the tale of Noah, a person of faith who built an Ark in his backyard. Rev. Jim will look at more than the tale of the ark, more than the animals who boarded two by two, more than Noah’s nudity after the ark landed, and at the legacy of Shem, Ham, and Japheth (his 3 sons) and all that we have made of their legacy in this world in which we live.

October 23 Lizzy Jenkins & Donna Jean Loy’s will feature the end-of-the-month celebration of Samhain, the pagan New Year. The name Samhain is derived from Old Irish and means roughly "summer`s end". A harvest festival with ancient roots in Celtic polytheism, it was linked to festivals held around the same time in other Celtic cultures, and continued to be celebrated in late medieval times. A modernized version of this festival continues today in some of the traditions of the Catholic All Souls Day, the secular Halloween, and in folk practices of Samhain itself in the Celtic Nations.

October 30 Cynthia Ramirez, our Unitarian Universalist United Nations Organization (UU-UNO) envoy, will lead us in our annual celebration of the close ties this congregation has with UU-UNO. That relationship was highlighted this past year when we received a plaque for our continued recognition of their good work at our General Assembly. This service will also lead into the appearance of Bruce Knotts, director of the UUUNO office, as a speaker at CCUU on October 31, 7pm.


 
Economic Inequality PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 04 November 2015 13:31
Economic inequality…income inequality…wealth inequality.  It’s a popular topic right now, with newspaper columns and blogs considering it and the UUA adopting it as a study issue.  Is it really a problem?  If so, what does the problem look like?  What’s causing it?  What can be done about it?

 

Your economic inequality ministry – Shirley Peak, Bruce Blenkarn, Suzy Mague – have been studying the materials available and will lead study sessions for CCUU members and friends; members and friends of the other GNOUU churches; and members of the general public who want to join us.  We have scheduled two sessions:  Monday night, November 30, 7 p.m.; Monday night, January 11, 7 p.m., both at the church. A third session is anticipated during March. At our first session we will consider current economic conditions, focusing on a list of questions.  Two examples:  How does the pay of the average CEO compare to the pay of the average worker in the same firm?  Did the income of the average American increase or decrease, adjusted for inflation, between 2009 and 2012?  Having reviewed the information, we anticipate a thoughtful discussion of whether this situation is a problem, and if so, why?

We invite you to join us to explore this important topic.  Please talk with any one of us if you have questions.
 
CCUU Day of Gratitude Presentation PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 17 September 2015 13:35
These presentations are the same. The PowerPoint version is in slide show format but is a large file. The PDF version is a set of individual slides but a much smaller file.


CCUU Day of Gratitude presentation--27Mb PowerPoint

CCUU Day of Gratitude presentation-4.2Mb pdf
 

 

 
About Ten Years Ago PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 22 August 2015 17:48
I see friends shaking hands, sayin', “How do you do?”
They're really sayin', “I love you.”
George David Weiss, George Douglas, Bob Thiele (but sung by Louie Armstrong) 

It was about 10 years ago that Louisiana’s UU ministers met on a Thursday and had a wide-ranging discussion on local issues but nobody mentioned Katrina. On the very next day the storm’s clouds had covered the Gulf and its winds had shifted direction. Our city, the center of jazz, gumbo, Mardi Gras, and joie de vivre could only surrender when the levee failures let loose a surge of water.

I recall when the National Guard allowed us back in to see the devastation. The Reverend Aaron Payson of the UU Trauma Ministry Team accompanied me on my first return to the city. We already knew that 80% of the homes were flooded but it was so difficult to see the water surrounding the homes in the neighborhood of our church.

The National Guard allowed people back to the city 60 days later and we learned that UU church membership was halved and our buildings were all damaged. Many UUs rebuilt their homes as they rebuilt their churches. The rebuilding focus led to the establishment of the Greater New Orleans Unitarian Universalist (GNOUU) cluster, a special gift that continues to gain strength over the years.

I serve at Community Church Unitarian Universalist. Its members met in three churches and a synagogue from 2005 to 2007 before buying and saving the house next door. We worshipped in this “annex” for four years while raising money and making our plans for rebuilding. Church members gave much but could not do it all. They are most grateful for the help of UUs around the country. The magnificent results of the special collection thrilled us. But we share a special thanks to our partner congregations: Fox Valley UU Fellowship, Appleton, WI; Community Church of New York UU, New York, NY; UU Congregation at Montclair, Montclair, NJ; Universalist Church of West Hartford, West Hartford, CT; Williamsburg UUs, Williamsburg, VA; and Pacific Unitarian Church, Ranchos Palos Verdes, CA. Their members helped CCUU build a passive solar, solar-powered, 21st century building—a church that is very close to net zero in energy use.

There is much more to church life than rebuilding although rebuilding seemed a major concern at all three of our congregations until our churches were serviceable. But those at CCUU noticed three vexations in our struggle toward justice and equity: patriarchy, heterosexism, and racism. We looked for people to help whose needs were greater than ours, found community partners, and supported the Center for Ethical Living and Social Justice Renewal. Here are a few of our partners:

  • The Greater Seventh Ward Social Aid and Pleasure Club—we helped their youth spend after school hours sewing Mardi Gras Indian costumes, keeping them off our city’s streets. 
  • The Days for Girls program helps young African women—we sew and send sanitary kits to young women who want to go to school through an entire month.
  • The music program in Mamou, LA—we helped fund their school band. 
  • Unity for the Homeless—we assist in their efforts to reduce homelessness in New Orleans. 
  • The Shepherd Center—our tenants, who provide activities for senior citizens. 
  • The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond—for their anti-racism training.
  • Justice and Beyond—where we join African American leaders in dialogue on justice and righteousness for all citizens. 
  • The Louisiana Transgender Association—where we support members in its leadership.
  • Saturday breakfasts for day laborers—where members bring food, assistance, and leadership.
  • The League of Women Voters—continuing to provide information and voter registration.
  • Planned Parenthood—where several have joined in work their valiant effort to erect a new health care clinic. 

Despite the federal flood of 2005, and a swarm of difficulties that have followed, we are grateful for the journey. Those gray clouds led to a silver lining. Our commitment—to “live loving; love living”—guides us as we engage with this interdependent web of existence of which we are a part. And we still love the City of New Orleans, the Birthplace of Jazz, sight of Plessy v. Ferguson, where we are now involved in efforts to remove Confederate monuments.

There is work that remains here, yes there is. But one of the benefits to our Unitarian Universalist community is that you have supported a group of UUs who are joining in the fight. We appreciate your help whether it was through a donation or time at the Center for Ethical Living and Social Justice Renewal. Your support has allowed us the precious gift of revitalizing our churches, our lives, our city, and our world.

Most gratefully yours,

Rev. Jim VanderWeele
 
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