Yea!!! We reached our canvas goal of $80,000. Thanks to all of you who committed your time, talents, and treasure. We are eternally grateful. We are on the move now as a congregation and we have earned it. Allow me to take this time to let you know that we are having our New Member Sunday Service on June 14th, 2015. We are also grateful for the beautiful weather we are having as we head into the month of May. Mother’s Day and Memorial Day are coming up and that means that summer is not far behind. In the meantime rain or shine, we take each day as it comes as we attempt to live life to the fullest and to stay mindful for all that is our life. We are mindful. We are grateful. We have our UU principles and the wisdom of the world’s religions, not to mention our own experiences to guide us on what some First Nations Brothers and Sisters refer to as the Earth Walk. There is really nothing that we cannot face together. From the Minister, continued
|/May 3, 11:00 am|
Rev. Michael Carter: "Words"
We have all heard the saying, that thoughts are things. We have also heard about the power of words. Many of us have seen and felt the power of words in our own lives when we have said something that we wished we could have taken back, or when we have witnessed or felt how our words or those of someone else can soothe and heal our wounds and the wounds of others. A wise rabbi once said that its not the things that go into us but the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart and these things can sometimes defile us and our thoughts and actions. As UUs, what words can we use unite instead of divide, to heal rather than to hurt, to invite rather than shut out? We’ll see on Sunday
May 10, 11:00 am
Rev. Michael Carter: "A Mother's Day Celebration"
This will be my third Mother’s Day Sermon since arriving at UUCSV. I know some ministers who refuse to do a Mom’s Day sermon as they find it to be just a sales gimmick — a commercial manipulation of our emotions and sentiments by the retailing industry to boost profits. I feel that Mother’s Day is what we make it. We can be both sentimental and truthful about our childhood. Join me as we take another peak at what this holiday really means and how the most primary relationship of our lives affects us for the rest of our lives. See you at church!
May 17, 11:00 am
Our Coming of Age Program: "Credo Sunday"
UUCSV String Band
The middle and high school youth of our congregation have spent the past half year exploring their own beliefs and the tenets of Unitarian Universalism, both in group discussions and with their mentors. The year culminates in a special morning of sharing with the congregation. The middle school members will read “I Am” poems they have written, and the high school members will share their credos, statements of their beliefs. We welcome them into the congregation as young adults beginning a lifelong journey.
May 24, 11:00 am
Rev. Michael Carter:
"Memories of War"
Here we are again, celebrating ( perhaps “acknowledging” is a better word) Memorial Day while our country continues to wage perpetual war. How do we decide collectively as a nation and individually as citizens, what emotions to embrace? How do we move past who was right and who was wrong as we observe this holiday. Plato reminds us that only the dead have seen the end of war. How true his insight is. One thing is for certain; historical amnesia is not the answer. It never is, for the first casualty in war--- is the Truth!
May 30, 11:00 am
Rev. Scott Hardin-Nieri:
"Climate Change: Crisis and Hope"
Small Ensemble Singers
The human family is grappling with a complex and overwhelming confluence of factors that are threatening creatures great and small. Climate change is at the top of a very long list associated with the environmental challenges facing us today. You know the list. The very glance at the list can paralyze people into hopelessness, bitterness, isolation and inaction. At our best, our spiritual communities are at the heart of the movement for global wholeness. In this time of great transition, we have the opportunity to lead and collaborate with others with a deep sense courage and love in a time of great change.
June 7, 11:00 am
"World Changing 101"
David LaMotte is an award-winning songwriter, speaker, author, and activist. He has produced 11 CDs and performed 2500 concerts on 5 continents. He has published two illustrated children’s books, S.S. Bathtub, a rhyming book for small children based on his award-winning song of the same name, and White Flour, a whimsical introduction to nonviolence, based on true events. David’s most recent projects include his new book Worldchanging 101: Challenging the Myth of Powerlessness, and PickOne.org, a web site that nourishes positive change by inspiring and empowering people to take action on issues they care about.
|You may have noticed a fenced circle containing leaves and other yard “litter” between the building and Montreat road. This is the "Leaves to Mushrooms Project" brought to you by the Green Sanctuary/Social Action Committee/UUCSV. The objectives of this effort include:|
1) Making use of natural on-site occurring organic matter
2) Reducing labor by keeping this natural product on-site
3) Producing food
4) Demonstrating of our commitment to the environment
5) Improving the soil health under our precious trees
6) Working with the natural cycle of life
Our Board of Trustees approved this project and it has been funded by contributions from members beyond their annual pledge. Supporters include: Mary Soyenova, Geoff & Sue Stone, Heidi Blozan, Tina Rosato and Phil Evanzo, John Ackerson, Jim Carrillon. Other consultants include: Diana McCall, Will Blozan.
Sue attended a workshop on mushrooms and got a recommendation from an expert on what mushroom would be appropriate for our situation. “Blewit” (Clitocybe nuda) was suggested. Spawn was purchased from Field and Forest Products, Inc. This was introduced to the leaf pile on 04/26/15. The instructions provided suggest sprinkling occasionally w/ water to keep the pile moist and then forget it for 24 months.
An aspect of “objective #4” is to encourage others to learn from the project and hopefully be inspired to duplicate the effort at other locations. Please contact Geoff or Mary if you are interested in helping with the project at UUCSV or want help duplicating the effort at home. Geoffrey Stone
Photo no. 12798 © Jaroslav Maly, NaturePhoto-CZ
At a Congregation Meeting on October 13, 2013 UUCSV members
voted to implement a 5 Year Plan prepared by our Long Range Planning Committee. The plan’s ultimate purpose was to help us grow to a point where we can support a fulltime minister. Its near term purpose was to fulfill a requirement for our application for a Chalice Lighter Grant. Here are the plan’s key points:
1. 70% of the congregation wanted a fulltime minister, but our current membership and pledge income were insufficient to support one.
2. We hoped in 5 years to grow to a point where pledge income will.
support a fulltime minister. Rev. Carter is willing to be gradually brought up to fulltime status over this period.
Our fellow UU’s in the Southeast District pledged to support us out
of their own pockets, by sending money to the Chalice Lighter Grant Program to help us meet our goal of having a full time minister. They
contributed more money than had ever been contributed for a call to help a congregation grow - $27,000! The money is being used to help us increase Rev. Carter’s working hours.
Thanks to Rev. Carter, the hard working Membership Committee, to
each of you who helps make a visitor feel welcome, pay your pledge money, and volunteer, we are achieving our growth goals.
5 Year Plan Update, continued
|From the Minister (continued)|
|It is a radical act to accept what happens in our lives exactly as it is. This is the beginning of healing. Besides, this is what we are all called to do and to be on some level. Healers. Wounded, but healers nevertheless.|
Oftentimes, you have heard me say from the pulpit that one of the ways we evolve as human beings, one of the ways we change our consciousness or awareness is to be aware of when we are choosing love instead of fear in any given situation. Easier said than done, right? Right. But once you know that you are fearful, you know that any decision you make while in a fear state will be counterproductive. The only constructive action one can make is to recognize the fear and begin to work through it. So let me give you some concrete suggestions on how to at least catch ourselves slipping into fear mode. These are 4 simple steps:
1. Recognize the fear. Notice the rapid, shallow breathing, pounding heart, anxiety, attack thoughts, anger, and hurt. Don’t judge it or even try to change it. Just acknowledge it and if another person is involved, let them know what’s going on.
2. Recognize that the solution that your ego is offering you is one of fear and is motivated as such. When you listen to the ego’s solution, you don’t feel anymore peaceful. The ego cannot bring you peace.In fact, you may feel even more upset and suspicious of other people.
3. Accept your fear! It’s okay to be afraid. Just be with it and try to see and feel where it is coming from. Don’t get all up into your head and get analytical about this. Stay in the emotional body and see what’s there. You may not have a solution just yet but you may begin to feel a bit more at peace.
4. Tell yourself, I don’t have to decide anything right now. I can wait until the fear subsides and then make a decision if I have to. Out of this compassionate place, a non-fearful solution may be found. Do not pressure yourself, for that is just more fear coming up. Be patient. Be gentle with yourself.
Wishing you all a gentle peace...Live Long & Prosper.
|Growth Plan Update (continued)|
|Membership: As of April 14, 2015 we have 130 active members and friends, exceeding our growth goal by 9.|
Pledge Drive: For the upcoming 201516 fiscal year, we now have 87 pledging units, an increase of 15 pledging units from the previous year. The total amount pledged is $81,288 an increase from the previous year of $5,889. This is the most successful pledge drive in our history.
Minister’s Time: As per our 5 year Growth Plan our Chalice Lighter Grant money has been used to pay Rev. Carter to work 70% of a 40 hour work week during the current 201415 Fiscal Year. On April 20, 2015 the Board of Trustees voted to present to the congregation a budget increasing Rev. Carter’s time from 70% to 75% in the FY 201516 as per our 5 year Growth Plan.
Attendance: We exceeded the number of Rev. Carter’s pulpit visits from a planned 28 visits to a total of 30 visits this fiscal year.
From December 2014 to April 12, 2015 our average Sunday attendance for Rev. Carter’s Sunday Services is 81. That is an increase from 79 in 2013. There is an increase of the number of adults who cannot attend the Sunday Services due to the need for them to teach in the expanding Children’s RE program.
Strength of Unitarian Universalism in Our Community:
Reverend Carter has led 14 Adult Religious Education classes thus far
during this fiscal year, including 4 UU History classes. In response to the shooting of unarmed African American men in our country UUCSV
congregants, led by Rev. Carter, decided to come together and talk about race issues. In total, we have held 6 sessions, some in coordination with the National Stand Against Racism sponsored by the YWCA. The average attendance at the Race Dialogues was 32 people. It has been a predominately white gathering of Methodists, Episcopalians, UU’s, Baptists, and Quakers from the Black Mountain community.
We are making a difference. We are promoting our values.
Thank you one and all,
UUCSV Chalice Lighter Grant Coordinator
|Save the date! UUCSV's annual congregational meeting will be held Sunday, June 7th, after the service. At this meeting the membership votes to approve the budget for FY 2015-2016, a slate of nominees for the Board of Trustees, and one proposed change in the by-laws. The text of the by-laws change and other information about the meeting will be sent separately to members and friends. You may also look at the proposed addition to the by-laws here. |
|The Board of Trustees is pleased to announce that we have hired Beata Ball as our new Director of Lifespan Religious Education effective with the start of our new fiscal year on July 1. Beata was the unanimous choice of the selection committee of Evelyn Carter, Scott Shaw, Sara Kirkpatrick and Jim Carillon.|
Beata brings vast experience of working with the Girl Scouts in many roles and is currently our chair of our Religous Education committee. We also thank Patricia Fahey for her service as DLRE through June of this year. Patricia and Beata will be working closely together in June for a smooth transition in this vitally important role at UUCSV. Please join us in congratulating Beata for accepting this new leadership role for our congregation.
Melissa Quinn comes to Asheville by way of Chicago, Indiana, and Pittsburgh as well as spending a year traveling in Central America. She grew up in Chicago and attended the UU Church in Evanston, IL. She attended school at Earlham College (a Quaker School) in Indiana.
Melissa moved to the Asheville area two years ago and teaches Biology at Community High, an alternative public high school in Swannanoa. Her special interests are playing the piano, horseback riding and science.
Melissa and her geologist husband Zach, live in Arden with one bossy little parrot and a herd of lizards.
Erin and Tony Spainhour
Tony is a Georgia boy and I am a Carolina girl. Before we met, we both moved around to some beautiful places, including California, Colorado, and Australia. Eventually, we were both drawn back to the South, settling in the Asheville area.
We met about five years ago rock climbing near Chimney Rock, got married and had a spirited baby girl Nosara Jane, who turns one on Cinco de Mayo. We recently bought a house in Swannanoa and decided to switch our membership from the UU congregation of Asheville, where Tony and I first became UUs.
In our spare time, we love to rock climb, do yoga, hike and take trips to the beach. Nosara's favorite pastime is crawling after our sweet old black lab, Zoe. Tony is a certified arborist with his company Tree Culture, and I am a speech language pathologist for Buncombe County Schools. We are looking forward to being a part of the UUCSV family.
Last month we introduced Mary but forgot to include her photo. Welcome again, Mary!
|Our choir enjoyed singing two rousing "movement" songs as part of Stand Against Racism weekend in April. In May, we will meet to rehearse on Sunday the 17th at 12:15 after the service, then on Wednesday the 20th at 7 PM, and again on the day of performance, May 24th at 10 AM. If you enjoy singing, just come on to a rehearsal and say hello!|
We sing in four parts, soprano, alto, tenor and bass, so you can sing a part that's comfortable for you.
|May’s Friday Fling, a fun party for grown-ups, usually every third Friday of the month, will be held on 15 May at the church. Red and white refreshments will be provided; please bring a potluck dish to share. The movie “St. Vincent” (2014; Bill Murray; a slightly raunchy comedy, but very warm-hearted) will be shown. Potluck begins at 6:30. For further information call Norm Kowal (458-4537).|
|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? |
Please submit all items for the Newsletter to :
at gmail.com. Thanks!
Diane Graham, President
David Groce, Vice-Pres.