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Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Swannanoa Valley
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Monthly News for April 2015
From the Minister

Spring is Here!
...And not a moment too soon! New life beckons out of the ashes of the old. Spring Is Here! New ways of being, seeing, thinking, and speaking.  Who says Life does not give second chances?  Somehow this past February made me appreciate Spring so much more this year. We are risen!  New Life has risen! We roll away the stone from our hearts and love springs forth in all its glory and magnificence. I love this time of year (except for the hay fever symptoms I must endure). Birth, death, and rebirth, the cycle continues, always reminding us of these three words --- Life Goes On!  I give thanks for Springtime. Long Live Life! Long Live Spring!
                                                                                   read more  
Sunday Services 
April 5th, 11:00 am
Rev. Michael Carter:  "Universalism and Easter"
The Small Ensemble Singers

Flower Communion included - bring a few blooms!
For many UUs, Easter is a tricky holiday. First of all, it is a traditionally orthodox Christian story in the sense that many of us feel that we are asked to believe a story of high strangeness on penalty of being burned in a very hot place. My goodness! A human being being raised from the dead! All of this when some of us are still trying to wrap our minds around a virgin birth... But all of that aside, Easter is really about the cycles of birth, death, and rebirth, and our tradition encourages us to interpret this in our own personal ways. To be sure, this cycle surrounds our life each and every day--- we’re already swimming in it. Our Universalist history has a say in this story as well. Lets explore. See you at church!

April 12, 11:00 am
Rev. Michael Carter:  "Interdependence"

Most of us have heard the saying, that if we give someone a fish, we feed them for a day. But if we teach them to fish, we feed them for a lifetime. The late UU minister, The Rev. Lee Reid, says this is not enough. She says that we also have to make room at the pond for other people. Today’ssermon will explore what the childhood story of The Little Red Hen, can teach us about interdependence. See you at church!
 
April 19, 11:00 am
Guest speaker:  Michael Carter (not our minister)
"So Long, and Thanks for All the FIsh"
The title is derived from a well-known Douglas Adams satire challenging the way we complicate our lives through the assumptions we make about ourselves and our institutions. The key lyric from “Me and Bobby McGee” serves as a navigational guide to a more freewheeling and authentic path. Mike Carter is a graduate of Emory University’s Candler School of Theology and the University of Kentucky. Included among his many careers is his service for the United Methodist Church, working with the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles, and running a consultancy that works with start-up and early stage companies. In addition, he has taught in the lifelong learning programs at Brevard College, Furman University and Coastal Carolina University.
  
April 26, 11:00 am
Rev. Michael Carter: “Free Radicals or Us vs Them”
Our UU tradition places tremendous emphasis on social justice activism and rightly so. We have much to be proud of as we affirm our right to speak and act freely in the creation of what some have called, “The Beloved Community.” We are free radicals. Are there ways to make our activism even more powerful and effective? Are there things we need to be reminded of as we go about creating this beloved community? Goethe was correct when he said that there is nothing as powerful as an idea whose time has come, and perhaps Eckert Tolle has a piece of the puzzle as well when we are asked to examine the power of our intentions. Let’s explore these questions just in time for the national Stand Against Racism Weekend here in Asheville…see you on Sunday!
 
May 3, 11:00 am
Rev. Michael Carter will be in the pulpit.  
Coming of Age Update
From Heidi Blozon:  One of the things I love about working with young people is that they keep me up to date! I'm working from my smart phone because I am locked out of the desk top and the technology experts (teenagers) are both recovering from hiking up Lookout Mountain in the dark or going cat fishing at last night.
So, the brevity of this update is partly due to the small screen I'm working on.  But hey, ask me about swyping!
 
Our fund raising goal for COA is $6,400. Because of your generosity we have already raised $5,400!  We currently have two more events planned. On Sunday April 26 after the service and during the potluck we will hold a CAR WASH in the church parking lot. All you need to do is bring your car to be washed and your donation. The youth with support of mentors will do the rest!  Then on Friday May 1 Diana McCall and the COA youth will be serving an Indian Cuisine dinner back at the Biscuit Company! Mark your calendar and invite your friends and neighbors! Details to come.
 
In addition to the fundraising for the entire group each family will be contributing $500 / youth. We are accepting donations for the Scholarship Fund as well. Please see Heidi or Patricia if you would like to make this type of donation.  Thank you for all of your enthusiastic support!
Dialogue on Race 
Four Part Series a Success!  Recent events in our nation regarding the murder of unarmed African American men by our nation’s police departments (that continue to this very day), attempted roll backs of our nation’s hard fought for Voting Rights (Civil and Human Rights) laws, as well as the 50 year Anniversary of what has come to be know as “Bloody Sunday”, or The March to Selma, prompted Black Mountain community leaders to act. Our very own Roberta Madden, The Rev. Wayne Purcell of the AME Zion Church, Thomas Chapel, and The Rev. Michael Carter decided to hold a “Dialogue on Race Series” that was held at UUCSV.

The “dialogues” were held on Tuesday evenings, from 6:30 pm until 8:30 pm at the church. Stories were shared, films were shown, relationships were and are still being cultivated. On the first evening, February 24th, 37 souls attended. Baptists, Quakers, Methodists, UUs, and Humanists gathered to make their voices heard. We had 27 people attend the second evening which was March 3rd, 33 people attended on March 10th. Clearly a spirit is moving in Black Mountain.  Honest, heart felt, and difficult conversations were being heard. Thanks and Blessings to all who participated!
Dialogue on Race - continued 
Where Do We Go From Here?  Following a four-week Community Dialogue on Race series at our church, about a dozen of the 35 participants have met to consider followup activities. People from several churches have taken part in the planning. We are starting with a potluck/picnic for the community on Saturday, April 25 from noon to 2 pm in the Town Square. We are calling the group Black Mountain Stand Against Racism, as a part of the national YWCA observance. Everyone is invited to participate. There will be music, including a church choir, speakers, and good food and fellowship. Y'all come!
Autumn Adventure!
The "Appalachian Autumn Adventure"  is a UUCSV fund-raising project conceived and managed by Carolyn Shorkey and approved by the UUCSV Board of Trustees.  The concept is to create a weekend Asheville getaway that would be of interest to UUs from other areas.  The congregation will offer home hospitality, a welcome reception for all the participants, and optional excursions (hikes, shows, tours, etc) lead by our congregants.  Our Sunday service for that weekend will also focus on the Appalachian experience.  Money raised will go to UUCSV projects. 
 
Planning for the weekend is underway.  Carolyn reports that 20 congregants responded to a survey offering to help with the weekend; some offered to help with more than one task.
  10 are willing to home host  (we might need a few more bedrooms)
   8 volunteered to lead a hike
   3 volunteered to lead a brewery tour
   6 volunteered to help with a welcome reception/food event 
   5 volunteered to host an evening supper for guests
   2 volunteered to accompany ticket holders to L.E.A.F.
   2 have offered to give a tour of Earth Haven Eco Village
Mark your calendars now for October  14 - 16, 2015.   Please
contact Carolyn Shorkey at 299­ 945 or c14shorkey@gmail.com if you are interested in providing input for the preliminary planning of the weekend during the month of April. She especially invites your 
thoughts about setting a price to charge the incoming participants and advice on advertising the weekend.
Open Table - all invited
Open Table Welcomes Guests for Lunch Every Wednesday   Another way to connect with our local community isThe Open Table, a new project supported by several local churches.  Lunch is served at the Black Mountain United Methodist Church, 11:30 am to 1:00 pm. It is a free lunch, but donations to cover expenses are gratefully accepted. Eight UUs are among the volunteers on the project. The meal is a simple one. Everyone is welcome to dine and to meet people from the community. (Photo: Herb Way)
The ERA is Moving
The Equal Rights Amendment, long considered a dead issue, is alive and kicking now. For the first time since 1982, the North Carolina General Assembly will consider the ERA this year. Rep. Carla Cunningham of Charlotte has introduced House Bill 166, which now has four primary sponsors and 28 cosponsors—in all, nearly a third of the House members. The measure has been referred to House Judiciary 1 Committee. Senators Floyd McKissick and Terry Van Duyn have introduced a similar measure, Senate Bill 184, which now has two cosponsors. It has been assigned to the Senate Rules Committee, which is not considered friendly to the legislation (an
understatement).
 
An excellent front-page article in the Asheville Citizen-Times recently highlighted current North Carolina efforts to enshrine gender equality in the U.S. Constitution. The national ERA Coalition, recently organized, sponsored a major ERA rally in Washington last fall. The event drew women from more than 30 states, including North Carolina. Meanwhile legislation to ratify the amendment is moving in Illinois, Virginia, Florida, North Carolina, and Nevada. 
 
For information, see www.era-nc.org or contact Roberta Madden at robertamadden@yahoo.com.
From the Minister, continued
"Spring"
By Max Coots
...For us April rain is not always kind. We like its washing out of Winter, But, even so, it shows so much that should be hid, and was till now. Caught in broken stems, wedged in around the lilac’s base, or scattered where the grass has not yet grown its green, are so many lost, forgotten, shabby things. It makes our lawns look like our lives: unkind memories, old guilts, and last year’s shames...
 
Spring is a finishing, but it is a beginning too.
We’ve come to be so clever and so high born with all of our rituals that we’ve forgotten how it was the shapes of gods were made. We celebrate our Easter times and talk of resurrected gods and men in our forgetfulness. Its only right that such ideas should come in Spring. We forgot, and didn’t have our priests walk out across the earth and see it waking up. We didn’t go ourselves, like children in the mud, to see what things the Winter left and what the Spring was sneaking in behind our words. We didn’t stop in April rain to touch the earth, to crack the hard, dry husk of old theologies, and let the green of life reach out.
 
"In Time Of Silver Rain"
By Langston Hughes
 
In time of silver rain,
The earth puts forth new life again,
Green grasses grow
And flowers lift their heads,
And all over the plain
The wonder spreads.
 
Of Life
Of Life
Of Life
 
In time of silver rain
The butterflies lift the silken wings
To catch a rainbow cry,
And trees put forth new leaves to sing
In joy beneath the sky. 
As down the roadway
Passing boys and girls
Go singing too.
 
In time of silver rain, when Spring
And life,
Are new.
In this issue:
New Members!
 
Mary Armstrong
recently moved to Black Mountain from Houston, Texas and lives at Earthaven. Born in Louisiana, Mary moved with her family to Houston as a young teen. She has five children, ten grand-children and five great-grandchildren, all in the Houston area. Mary owns a business and also enjoys sewing, quilting, and crafts.  She is especially interested in the Women’s Group at UUCSV.  This is her first time as a member of a Unitarian Universalist Church.  Welcome, Mary!
Anny Bestel is also a new member of UUCSV. She and her partner, Herb Way, moved to Black Mountain in July of 2014.
Anny was born is Paris, France and from there lived in Brooklyn, NY and Princeton, NJ before coming to Black Mountain. She is an executive interviewer and continues to do this on a part time basis.Her major interests are gardening, reading, traveling, and she is an avid Scrabble player. Anny and Herb also care for their two animals, Katie the cat and Nelly; their newly adopted dog. While in Princeton Anny attended the UU church there. She was an active participant in the recent Dialogues on Race that were facilitated by Rev. Carter. Welcome to Anny and Herb!
 
Choir News
We had a fun and busy month of March, with many of us participating in Talent Night which raised money for the Coming of Age program.   In April, the UUCSV Choir will perform on the 26th.   We will meet to rehearse on April 19th at 12:15 after the service, on the next Wednesday the 22nd at 7 PM, and then on the day of performance, Sunday the 26th at 10 AM.   A number of us will be attending the UU Arts conference in on April 25th in Hendersonville, getting some new ideas for songs.   Come sing with us!
                  Linda Metzner
                  Choir Director
Friday Fling
April’s Friday Fling, a fun party for grown-ups,  will be held on 17 April at the church. Red and white refreshments will be provided; please bring a potluck dish to share. The movie “It’s Complicated” (2009; Meryl Streep, Steve Martin, Alec Baldwin; a comedy of marriage, divorce, and complications) will be shown. Potluck begins at 6:30. For further information call Norm Kowal (458-4537).
Coffee Donations
It costs about $10 each Sunday to offer coffee hour after the service, while the budget covers $5/week. 
 
 
The cash donations you put into the jar on the coffee table help to close the gap and allows us to offer locally roasted Fair Trade coffee.
We appreciate your cash contributions and the lovely food you bring. 
 
Please extend a thank you to the folks who donate their time to make the coffee, set up and take down the tables: Cilla Becker, Jean and Alan Brown, Mark and Angie Manuel, Milt Warden and newly trained hosts, Carla and Bob Taylor. They make it possible for us to have a time of fellowship after the service every Sunday! 
New Women's Group 
Recently a new "Women's Group" has been organized at UUCSV. Primarily a discussion group, we explore a wide variety of topics and experiences. Participants take turns choosing a topic, sharing background, and facilitating the session. The group meets monthly, currently on the second Friday at 1:00 pm.  Gatherings may be held in members' homes, at the church, or in other venues. We also plan to have occasional extra outings (a hike, concert, museum, etc.) for which scheduling is completely open. If you would like to know more, please contact Sue Miller to be added to the mailing list. 
Room in the Inn
UPDATE!  Many thanks to all of our volunteers who signed up to help out with Room in the Inn on Friday, April 3. UUCSV has participated in this Black Mountain program for a number of years; we couldn't do it without the support from our members. Another Room in the Inn event will be held later in the year at the Black Mountain Presbyterian Church. Once the date is set, we'll post a notice about the volunteer slots. 
Connie Krochmal, Room in the Inn Coordinator 
News Contributions?
CONTRIBUTIONS? No, not dollars but words! 
Your communications team would love to publish occasional spotlights on teams or committees of the church. As we wind up our fiscal year, how about sharing what your group has accomplished, why you love doing it, and what your hopes are for the coming year?   
 
And images! For news and also for our website and FB page, we need new photos of activities and people at UUCSV.  Shutterbugs, please check your files.  These do not need to be extrememly high resolution shots, as it's only for email or web. 
Canvass Progress
Thanks to the hard-working UUCSV Canvass team, and congratulations to all of us for rapid progress toward our goal!

UUCSV  •  500 Montreat Road  •  Black Mountain, NC 28711

http://uusv.org

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