As I write this we are 15 days into the new year 2016. I must say we have some great Sunday services ahead (at least I’d like to think so) and I’d like to give you a heads up about one of them. On Valentine’s day, which falls on a Sunday this year, our sermon will be devoted to the topic of “SEX.” Got your attention? I thought so. Not just any ole kind of sex mind you. We are going to announce the OWL (Our Whole Lives) Sexuallity Education Program for our youth. The UUA and UCC or United Church of Christ Denominations have combined resources at the national level to offer the curriculum that we are implementing at UUCSV.|
Please give a hearty thank you to the members and friends of our congregation when you see them on Sunday who are volunteering their time. Those members are:
Our Whole Lives Curriculum Coordinator-Carolyn Shorkey
Teachers trained by the UUA: Heidi Blozan, Milt Warden and Diane Williams. Assistants: Scott Conklin, Judy Curtis and Carolyn Shorkey. Parent Educator: Sarah Kirkpatrick
We are extremely fortunate to have so many people dedicated to this congregation and our youth. The program is designed to assist youth in the discovery of what a wonderful gift healthy sexuality can be in their lives. Please see the sermon blurb for Sunday, February 14th for more information. Please do your best to attend and to support our youth and volunteers in this important endeavor.
We are also beginning the adult RE Classes based on John Bradshaw’s PBS Series, Creating Love. The classes began on January 19th, but you will be welcomed to attend even if you cannot make the entire series. We meet on Tuesday evenings, from 6-8 pm. All are welcomed.
From the Minister, continued
Sunday, 7 February 2016 11am
Is the NAACP relevant in 2016? Why Black Lives Matter, matters! Carmen Ramos-Kennedy will share her thoughts. She was recently elected President of the Asheville-Buncombe Branch of the NAACP and serves as Co-chair of the Mountain People’s Assembly, a coalition partner of HKonJ. (photo credit: theurbannews.com)
“Why Black Lives Matter”
Sunday, 14 February 2016 11 am
Its okay to view all kinds of suggestive sexual behavior and messages on TV, advertising and movies screens, yet if a woman breast feeds in public, many people feel outraged. Organized and disorganized religion has added much confusion, shame, and guilt to the topic of human sexuality by defining what is considered “normal” and what is not. Little wonder that many of today’s youth are confused and ashamed as they wrestle with their sexual identity in our culture. But thankfully, times do change. This Sunday, (Valentine’s Day) we will explore the Our Whole Lives curriculum, a program of sexuality education that we as UUs are committed to sharing and promoting, for the mental, physical, and emotional health of our youth as they attempt to negotiate and navigate through a schizophrenic culture which is still attempting to come to grips with the notion of what it means to be a healthy sexual being.
Rev. Michael Carter
Sunday, 21 February 2016 11 am
UUCSV String Band
Guest Speaker: Rev. Michael Carter
“As Old As The Universe, As Empty As The Sky”
Victor Frankl is credited with founding the third school of psychotherapy and is a key figure in the history of existentialism. His best selling book, Man’s Search for Meaning, uses his imprisonment in a Nazi concentration camp as the context for arguing that the cornerstone of his philosophy; i.e., finding meaning in all situations is key to human existence. Frankl’s message stands in some contrast to modern American society. In fact, daily via our computers, televisions, smartphones, advertising, and more, we receive messages urging that we not investigate things too closely. Even those of us who fancy ourselves as “somewhat” aware, fall into the trap. As Winter plays out in the landscape around us and we consider the coming Spring, we pause to reflect on meaningfulness.
Sunday, 28 Feb. 2016, 11 am
Rev. Michael Carter
"Why We Still Need African History Month"
Yes, African American history is American history. Yes, February is also the shortest month of the year. Perhaps we need it more now than ever in America. I honor African American History Month because I believe it is an important step towards healing, liberation, and reconciliation in our history as Americans and as people of color who happen to be Americans. Where we have arrived in this country as African Americans (and all people of color for that matter) came because of a spirited resistance to injustice. The cost has been and will continue to be high. It doesn’t have to continue to be. Is America willing to pay the price of the ticket? We will see. I believe in redemption for individuals as well as nations. But until we fully come to grips with our past in this country, individually as well as collectively, warts and all, the future remains bleak—for all of us.
Sunday 6, March 2016 11am
In challenging times, there is a natural human tendency to find comfort in what feels familiar. Memories, mac and cheese, longing for a mythical Golden Age--these help us through the stress of daily change as well as the pain of cultural shifts. Join Byron Ballard for some thoughts on looking back over our collective shoulder--how we can do it in a way that is healing, honest and prepares us to look forward with enthusiasm into
the face of our future.
|February 28, 2016 -- After Coffee Hour|
Are we on track for being able to support a full time minister?
Rev. Carter was hired in August of 2012 as our half time minister, with the understanding that we would quickly begin to increase his work hours and salary. In a survey conducted in 2013, 70% of us were in favor of growing our congregation so that we could support a full time minister.
In 2014 our congregation adopted a five-year growth plan, with the hope of being able to afford a full time minister by 2019. Also in 2014, our fellow UU’s in the Southeast District dug deep into their own pockets, pooled their money and awarded UUCSV about $27,000 in the form of a Chalice Lighter Grant. This grant money from our neighboring UU’s, along with your regular contributions, are combined to pay Rev. Carter’s increase in work hours and salary as we work to grow our congregation. With the grant monies about to be spent out, are we on track for being able to support a full time minister?
Your Board of Trustees and Treasurer would like to update you on our progress toward meeting our 5 year growth plan. In addition to presenting membership count, recruitment/retention initiatives and finances, we will be updating you on other growth initiatives such as capital improvements to our building and leadership.
The purposes of the meeting are to provide information and to seek your feedback. There will be no proposals nor voting. Mark your calendar. Plan to attend. Information flow is important. Your feedback is important. Our congregational growth is important.
|Our next Room in the Inn in Black Mountain will take place on Friday,|
April 1st at the Black Mountain Methodist Church parsonage. This program serves homeless women in the community. Each week some church in the Buncombe County area is hosting 12 homeless women. UUCSV is proud to have helped with this program for ten years or more.
UUCSV is providing all the volunteers, drivers, and meals that day. A sign-up sheet is available in the foyer. Volunteers can also contact Connie Krochmal at 686-3112 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Social Action is looking for two overnight volunteers as well as back up overnight volunteers, morning and evening van drivers, and cooks who are willing to provide meals, including breakfast, bag lunches, and dinner. Thanks to all those who have helped out with Room in the Inn over the years.
Connie Krochmal, Social Action Committee,
Room in the Inn coordinator
|Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast is Feb. 6|
Civil rights documentarian Steve Crump will be featured speaker at the 26th annual Martin Luther King, Jr. prayer breakfast on Saturday, Feb. 6. The breakfast will be held at Camp Dorothy Walls from 9 to 11 a.m. Tickets are available from Diane Hutchins and Roberta Madden.
Mr. Crump, a reporter and news anchor for the CBS affiliate in Charlotte, NC, is also a free-lance correspondent for Black Entertainment TV (BET). He has produced more than 20 documentary films, dealing mostly with the civil rights movement and African-American culture, which have been showcased by the Smithsonian Institution and recognized by the Library of Congress.
|From the Minister, continued|
|Last but not least, a word about this election season which is fast approaching. We as UUs are lovers of justice. This is another crucial election, for we as Americans must decide just what kind of people we really are. Not who we say we are, but who we really are. There are many ways to approach this topic of social justice and we all have our unique ways of answering the call. I just want to ask you a few questions that I think will stop and give you pause, as we sometimes can focus so much on what is “wrong” with our nation, each other, and ourselves, that we can forget or simply over look the blessings that we have.|
The first question is:
*What would happen if you saw praise, joy, or the creation of beauty as your primary form of resistance? What if the world needs your praise as much as your picket signs? What if it needs the creation of beauty as much as the elimination of injustice?
*Is labeling them the enemy (whoever “them” is) defeating both them and you?
* Are your efforts to save the world leaving room for you to savor it?
* What would happen if you saw your justice work not as saving the world or bending the arc of the universe towards justice, but simply as “being a pest?” ( Inspired by the Dalai Lama, who wrote that if you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.)
These are just a few of the questions I wanted to share with you from the UUA’s Soul Matters theme for January, which was “Resistance.” What does it mean to be a people of resistance?
Peace & Richest Blessings,
|The Luunch Bunch meets at noon on Tuesday, February 2nd. The topic for this month's informal discussion is "Unexplained Phenomena." All are welcome! |
|The Women's Group will meet on Feb 12 at 1 pm at the clubhouse of the Lynx Condominiums, located across from the golf course on North Fork Road.The topic will be "Becoming a More Green Sanctuary." For more information call Mary Soyenova at 828-216-7511|
|Valentine's Day Potluck|
We ♥ our Portico!
Second Sunday potluck lunches resume February 14th with a special Valentine’s Day lunch to celebrate the completion of our portico project. Stay after the Sunday service and bring a dish to share. Questions? Contact Alice or Dave Wells (828-255-4583).
|In February the choir will sing on the 28th. We will rehearse on the 21st at 12:15, on Wednesday the 24th at 7 PM, and then on the day of performance, the 28th at 10 AM. Please join us if you like to sing! Linda Metzner, choir director|
|“February’s Friday Fling, a fun party for grown-ups, usually every third Friday of the month, will be held on 19 February 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: "God’s Pocket" (2014; Philip Seymour Hoffman, John Turturro; a black comedy set in a blue-collar neighborhood of Philadelphia). 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).
Marcia Murphy grew up in Boston, MA and has lived in Boulder, CO and Taos, NM. She now lives in SwannanoaBefore retiring she worked as a secretary. She enjoys hiking/nature walks, yoga, and traveling. Marcia reports that "Spiritually, she is interested in achieving higher consciousness. She also does sessions in her home on a John of God Crystal Bed, for those with whom this resonates.” We welcome Marcia to our congregation.
|The deadline for the March issue is February 25th. Please submit items to newsletter.uucsv@|
gmail.com The best format is simply in the body of an email.
Ginny and Jackie
|Highlights from the meeting of January 18th: A financial report was received from Lee indicating the income stream is at 50% and expenses are below 50% so we are on track. The board voted to have the funds in the memorial gifts budget line transferred to the general operating fund to help pay for portico enclosure expenses which exceeded money raised for the project.|
Michael and Carolyn presented the spreadsheet from our 5 year growth plan to review our progress toward growing the congregation in order to afford a full time minister. It was decided to hold a town Hall Meeting on February 28th to share this plan once again with the congregation.
The UUA wanted to survey our congregation before February 1st on four issues. This input from congregations will help guide UUA priorities in the coming year. Sarah volunteered to set up a survey for this purpose.
Other issues discussed were obtaining a heater for the portico, a review of the process for canceling services in the case of bad weather, RE attendance, and minor building maintenance issues.
|Board of Trustees:|
David Groce, President
non-voting Board Member:
Rev. Michael Carter,