As many of you know, I often turn to the words of my spiritual mentor, Dr. Howard Thurman, when pondering the mystery of life. This writing will be no exception. I hope that his words below will bring you comfort and solace for the beginning of this new year. This Is a New Year. The calendar says so. I note the fact by marking it so when I wish to designate the day and the year as distinguished from some other day and year. It may be that my contract says so. It is indicated clearly in the lease I signed or agreement I attested. It is curious how much difference can be marked between the two dates—December 31 and January 1. Yet there are many things that move unchanged, paying no attention to a device like the calendar or arrangements such as contracts or leases. There is the habit pattern of an individual life. Changes in that are not noted on the calendar. Such changes are noted by events that make for radical shifts in values or the basic rearrangement of purposes. There are desires of the heart or moods of the spirit that may flow continuously for me whatever year the calendar indicates. The lonely heart, the joyful spirit, the churning anxiety may remain unrelieved, though the days come and go without end. deciBut for many, this will be a New Year. It may mark the end of relationships of many years’ accumulation. it may mean the first encounter with stark tragedy or radical illness or the first quaffing of the cup of bitterness. It may mean the great discovery of the riches of another human heart and the revelation of the secret beauty of one’s own. It may mean the beginning of a new kind of living because of marriage, of graduation, of one’s first job. It may mean an encounter with God on the lonely road or the hearing of one’s name called by God, high above the noise and din of the surrounding traffic. And when the call is answered, the life becomes invaded by smiling energies never before released, felt or experienced. In whatever sense this year is a New Year for you, may the moment find you eager and unafraid, ready to take it by the hand with joy and gratitude.
The wisdom and grace of Dr. Howard Thurman. ( From his book, For The Inward Journey).
Happy New Year To All
Sunday, 3 January 2016, 11 am
“A New Year to Love”
Returning to our pulpit, our own Jeff Hutchins says “I will talk about how we can look ahead to 2016 with optimism, and we will cast a cautious eye back over the year just ended. Let’s get revved up for 2016.”
Sunday, 10 January 2015 11 am
Rev. Michael Carter
The words “Know Thyself,” were inscribed on the Temple of Apollo at Delphi according to the Greek writer Pausanias. This maxim or aphorism has a few meanings attached to it. The Suda, a 10th century Greek encyclopedia, says the proverb is applied to those whose boasts exceed what they are. It is also said that the “know thyself” is a warning to pay no attention to the opinion of the multitudes. Whatever the phrase means to you or to me, the notion of “knowing oneself" is considered by many civilizations a sign of the wisdom and maturity of the individual. As we begin this new year, let’s explore how this age old maxim can enable us to not just be better Unitarian Universalists, but even more importantly, to become more evolved and more loving human beings respecting the interdependent web of all existence of which we are all a part .
Sunday, 17 January 2016 11 am
Eco-Chaplaincy: Spiritual Support for the Great Turning
This talk will address the great potential of our time – a Great Turning toward a life sustaining society, and strategies for support we can give ourselves and one another to face this mess with courage, without losing hope, to prevent and recover from burnout, and build a more resilient community in the face of hard times. Sarah will bring stories from her work throughout Appalachia within the movement to end mountaintop removal coal mining, and apply strategies that we can all use here in Black Mountain in our collective work for racial equity, and social and climate justice for a livable future in the Swannanoa Valley.
Sunday, 24 January 2016, 11 am
Rev. Michael Carter“Angels”
In a change from more of my usual topics, I wanted to discuss the subject of Angels.
There is a resurgence of interest in some circles on the existence and the influence of angels in our lives. The word “angel” is derived from the Greek word “angelos,” meaning messenger. Our holy books talk about them. What does the word mean to you? Have you ever encountered an angel? Do they always have to be in celestial form? Are you or can you be one of them? However, the most important question seems to be, is our world in desperate need of angels on a planet seemingly in chaos and on the brink of self destruction? Let’s talk about it.
Sunday, 31 January 2016, 11 am
Rev. Amy Brooks
“As We Age”
Aging is a process that can be one of graceful letting go or full of clinging and regret. At times it may be some of both, but let go we must. How do we approach these important life lessons and how does our faith community support us in this process?
We are pleased to offer this service which was previously scheduled in November. Amy Brooks is the consulting minister for the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Lake Norman. She served for fifteen years in AIDS Ministry work in the Charlotte area. She holds a M. Div from Harvard University.
|Happy New Year!!! The holiday fun is over and the New Year fun can begin! RE has seen small but regular attendance in the nursery and elementary classes.|
Our teenagers will soon be with us again with the beginning of the Our Whole Lives curriculum at the end of the month. Our 8th & 9th graders will be meeting 3 times each month through the spring.
And finally, our annual food drive will be running through January. The Swannanoa Valley Christian Ministry has said that their greatest need is in January when everyone has given a lot throughout the holiday season and then stops after the season is over. Please bring your donations to the RE rooms where the collection bin is located. All canned goods and boxed dinners are needed as well as feminine and baby hygiene items. You can see Beata Ball or Linda Blasky if you have any questions.
As of January 2016, UUCSV will be carbon neutral in our use of electricity! We have become customers of Arcadia Power, a company that offers consumers a way to offset the energy they buy from local utilities. We will continue to get our power through Duke Energy, but for a small premium, Arcadia purchases Renewable Energy Certificates for clean wind power to offset our use.
This decision will cost UUCSV approximately $175 more per year for electricity, and will reinforce our mission as a Green Sanctuary. And there’s more good news! If you sign up for Arcadia Power as a residential customer, Arcadia will make a one-time $60 contribution back to the church! Use this link to ensure that Arcadia connects you with UUCSV: arcadiapower.com/uusv
|Hurray for the completion of the portico enclosure! Our weekly coffee hour service will resume on January 3rd. A special thank you to Anny Bestel, Su Temesrisuk, Mary Soyenova, and Jeanie Shimer for stepping forward to become your new volunteer coffee hour hosts. Milt has already begun training them. Please thank your coffee hour host and offer to help clean up after coffee hour. Something everyone can do is wash your own coffee cup in the sink in the office. That is where your cup will be stored after you wash it.|
Ongoing gratitude is extended to Allan and Jean Brown and Angie and Mark Manuel for their continued interest in offering to be your host. Our time of Sunday fellowship is made possible only through the generous donation of time from these fine folks.
Milt Warden and Carolyn Shorkey
|In June 2015 at the General Assembly, the UUA adopted an Action of Immediate Witness in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Under Herb Way’s leadership, some UUCSV Members/Friends sponsored an ad supporting the movement in the Black Mountain News earlier in the year.|
As requested by the Social Action Committee, I asked Herb for his suggestions on how our congregation could support the movement. He prefaced his recommendations by saying, “Please remember, however, that it’s just one person’s opinion based on life experience and observations, that I can’t speak for all Black people. Perhaps there’s a way that the discussion could be incorporated into a larger discussion of the damage that’s being done by hate and fear in the current climate.
Herb's recommendations are: (1.) Address the overall issue of institutional racism that keeps people in poverty and address the economic inequalities that blacks face, in particular poor schools, lack of health care, and mass incarceration of blacks. (2.) Work through the ballot box to get rid of gerrymandering. (3.) There needs to be honest conversation at a deeper level so whites will become aware of the underlying effects of racism. (4.) Let people know that Black Lives Matter is a separate issue and can’t be merged with All Lives Matter. By the way, President Obama recently emphasized his support for Recommendation No. 4.
Connie Krochmal, Social Action Committee
|With this article we begin an occasional series about the committees that serve and build our congregation. We start today with the Sunday Service Associates. You see us introducing speakers, lighting candles, and playing other roles on Sunday mornings. But what else do we do? This team is responsible for producing all services in which our Minister Michael Carter is not preaching, as well as providing minor support for Michael in his own services. We recruit and schedule guest speakers, and then one SSA works with that individual to develop and present the service.|
Our current roster of members (Linda Tatsapaugh, Lee Reading, Roberta Madden, Diane Graham, Shelly Frome and Chair/Gridkeeper Ginny Moreland) brings a wide range of interests, which helps create variety in our services. We meet fact-to-face just once a month on a Sunday morning before church. Most of this time is spent discussing and approving potential speakers and reviewing recent ones. Other work is done on our own schedule, via email, phone, and documents.
Members of the SSA team have changed over time, but we tend to enjoy fairly long tenures due to the satisfying nature of our mission. We get to know and work with some very talented guests, and we contribute to a core function of the congregation. Linda says, “Being a SSA has given me a meaningful role in the congregation, which in turn has made it much easier to get to know so many people here. With six members currently, each of us hosts about 4 services a year, which is a very manageable commitment.”
At the end of May, Linda Tatsapaugh will be taking a leave of absence from the committee for about a year. As a result, the SSAs would like to welcome a special person (or two) to join our merry band. We have a handbook of the nuts and bolts of committee operations, and we offer lots of support for those new to planning services. If you would like to know more, talk to any member. Ginny will supply a more detailed description of responsibilities if you are interested. We’ll close with a revealing insight from member Shelly Frome, “The reason SSA is so cool is because no one is playing at being a committee member. Everyone laughs or whimpers or offers their genuine response to whatever is on the table, under the table or possibly around the corner.” email@example.com
|The following are highlights from the December 21 meeting. Complete minutes are posted each month in the church foyer.|
+ Lee reported that we are now set up with Arcadia Power to supply renewable energy to offset our electricity use at the church. It will cost UUCSV about $175 a year more, but for every member who also signs up with Arcadia Power, UUCSV will get back $60.
+ The Board approved Jim Carillon’s request to allow him/ AARP the use our facilities two Thursdays in March for tax preparation.
+ Milt Warden suggested that UUCSV list in “UU’re Home,” (uurehome.com) a directory of UU home stay opportunities. Willing members would host out-of-town UUs and donate the proceeds to the church. Tina has agreed to be the contact person.
+ With the enclosure of the portico we need to move the handicap parking signs and remove the basketball goal. David Reid volunteered to take care of these tasks
+ Thanks to Pam Sain, Tricia West and others, there will be quarterly updates to the list of Members and Friends. The updated directory is nearly ready to distribute.
The next Board meeting is January 18th at 6 pm; members and friends are welcome to attend.
|The Luunch Bunch meets at noon on Tuesday, January 5th. The topic for this month's informal discussion had not yet been decided at the time of publication. |
|January’s Friday Fling, a fun party for grown-ups, will be held on 15 January at the church. Red and white refreshments will be provided; please bring a potluck dish to share. With the new year we are initiating a new format---at each Friday Fling we will make available the choice between two movies, and, during the dinner, the group will choose which one to watch that evening. (The rejected movie will still be available for a later date!)|
First movie: "The Milagro Beanfield War" (1988; directed by Robert Redford; humorous culture clash in the Milagro Valley). Second movie: "The Second Best Orange Marigold Hotel" (2015; Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, all the others, plus now Richard Gere; the saga continues). Potluck begins at 6:30. For further information call Norm Kowal (458-4537).
|In January the choir will sing on the 24th. We will rehearse on the 17th at 12:15, on Wednesday the 20th at 7 PM, and then on the day of performance, the 24th at 10 AM. Please join us if you like to sing! |
|The Women's Group will meet on Jan. 8 at 1 pm at the clubhouse of the Lynx Condominiums, located across from the golf course on North Fork Road. The subject of the meeting will be "New Year's Resolutions", for each of us and for us all.|
Please join us and bring your written resolutions ...usually at the top of the list is to lose weight and quit procrastinating! (well, my list anyway!) But there's far more than that for us all, so come and share. For more information call Mary Soyenova at 828-216-7511
Sue Hibbetts is a returning member to our congregation. Born in Dayton, Ohio she has lived in numerous states, including Michigan, Kentucky, California and Texas. Her family move to Los Angeles, California when she was 11 so she considers herself a Californian. She has lived in Asheville for 11 years.
Now retired, Sue worked in the medical field in various capacities.
Her hobbies include journaling/creative writing, surfing the web, and participating in pagan workshops. She has volunteered for MANNA Food Bank and has done UU workshops on Women’s Spirituality. She was a member of the First UU Church in Houston for over 20 years, belonged to a Pagan coven for over 10 years, and was a CUUPs member for several years. She lives in Asheville with her cat, named Baby.
Welcome back Sue!
Amy Star grew up in the Chicago area and moved to New York City after graduating from the University of Wisconsin. While attending New York University School of Social Work she met her husband to be Bob Falanga and they settled in Brooklyn before crossing the Hudson River to live in northern New Jersey.
After 40 years of work as a psychiatric social worker, Amy joined Bob in retirement. They fell in love with the Asheville area and moved here in March 2015, finally settling in Swannanoa right next to their neighbor Warren Wilson College. They live with their adult daughter Rebecca and rescue hound dog Macie.
Amy is delighted to have joined the Black Mountain congregation.
|Thank You! That is what the gentleman in the kitchen at the Veteran's Restoration Quarters said over and over again as we unloaded your kind donation of homemade goodies on December 20th. |
What a difference a community makes! Individually, none of us probably would have baked and donated this awesome selection of holiday treats. Together we made it happen. As a community we brought a spark of joy and a message of collective support to our most at risk veterans. Thank you!
|The deadline for the February issue is January 25th. Please submit items to newsletter.uucsv@|
gmail.com The best format is simply in the body of an email.
Ginny and Jackie
|Board of Trustees:|
David Groce, President
David Reid, Vice-President
non-voting Board Member:
Rev. Michael Carter,
Happy New Year 2016