As I write this on February 22, 2016, we have had glimpses of spring like weather these last few days. It has been wonderful to say the least. The religious holidays of Lent, Passover, and Easter fall early this year, with Easter being celebrated on March 27th. Aside from Spring being the beginning of hay fever for me, I love this time of year. New life, new attitudes, all contribute to the beginning of spring, and it probably has been this way since human beings first witnessed and experienced the change of seasons. The promise of new life arising from dead is one thing we can all be certain of. It is a wonder to behold.
Another thing we can be certain of is that there are always those in our faith community who will step up to the plate when we need them to. This is also something to celebrate, and something we do not want to take for granted. As most of you may know by now, we had another break-in to our building this month. This makes three since I have served here as your minister. We always seem to bounce back but it is still a frustrating experience. The Board will address the extra security measures that we need to make, and I would also like to thank those members who made sure that we continued to have some consistency to our church life until things settled down. Those people are: Jim Carrilon, David Groce, David Reid, Lee Reading, Emory Underwood, and Tricia West
If I am forgetting one please forgive me, but these individuals were on the scene and worked tirelessly to get us back on track. Shake their hand or give them a hug when you see them. Say “Thank You.” We are fortunate and blessed to have them in our midst. We also have 2 new members to our congregation, Lois Heintz and Susan Hurley. Give them a hug as well, as we are delighted to have them. Happy Spring!
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.
Sunday, 13 March 2016, 11amRev. Michael Carter“The Principles”
What is the history behind our UU principles and how do they influence our lives? Does one have to be a UU to abide by these principles? If not, what makes them (and us) so you unique? Our Principles however do set us apart from other mainline denominations here in the United States, because we are a “creedless denomination.” On this Easter Sunday, let us as Unitarian Universalists explore all seven of our principles and see just how powerful and influential they can be in our everyday lives.
Sunday, 20 March 2016, 11 amRev. Michael Carter
Well, it’s that time of year again. It’s time to put our money and resources where our mouth is. And truth be told we are good at doing this and now the stakes are a bit higher. And so the question I want to put to you is this— Now that you have found this congregation, The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of The Swananoa Valley, what would you do without it? How much of your time, talent and treasure are you ready to commit to this free and progressive religious community? We’ve come along way since you chose me as your minister to serve UUCSV almost 4 years ago. We have a bright future ahead if we are willing to put our hands on the plow and not look back. I think we can do this—don’t you? Join us this Sunday as our talented choir will be singing as well.
Sunday, 27 March 2016, 11 am
UUCSV Women’s Group
“Reflection on our Fourth Principle”
Just what do you believe? Several members of UUCSV’s Women’s Group wrestled freely with truth and meaning while they developed their, “This I Believe” statements last Autumn. A free and responsible search for truth and meaning is no small task! Please join us for a sampler of belief statements written thoughtfully by women within our own congregation. What do you have in common and how do your beliefs differ from their beliefs? Join us today and find out!
Sunday, 3 April 2016, 11am
"You and Me and Smith and Wesson"
After the horror of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings I sat down to write about my own relationship with guns and gun violence. I was convinced that in the U.S. the only way we would ever wrestle head on with the complex issue of gun violence was when enough people knew someone who had been killed with a gun. At that point I thought of people’s relationships with gun deaths as six degrees of separation - the theory, tested by mathematicians and social scientists, that everyone is only six or less steps away, by way of introduction, from any other person in the world.
But it seems like we are more connected to gun violence than I realized. According to a poll conducted in 2015, forty percent of Americans know someone who was fatally shot or who committed suicide using a gun. From the shootings of unarmed black men by police, to the latest mass homicide, to partners killed in domestic violence disputes, how do we keep our hearts open to look at this interconnected web of violence with clarity, compassion and a search for solutions?
A member of UUCSV, Rebecca Williams is a documentary filmmaker interested in the power of digital media to help people tell their own stories. Her production company, Mountain Girl Media, works with small businesses, non-profits and individuals to create documentary style video stories. She is completing her first full length documentary film, Blanket Town: The Rise and Fall of An American Mill Town, about the Beacon Blanket mill in Swannanoa, NC.
|RE continues to build building a safe space for spiritual growth and exploration. Our littlest UUs are learning about the 7 UU principles and how they work in real life and their lives!|
The youth at UUCSV have begun their journey toward adulthood as they traverse the Our Whole Lives trail and learn about themselves and find their Voice.
The RE Committee has some events in the works to increase visibility of our program and bring awareness of our programs to the wider community. Stay tuned for details.
Director of Lifespan Religious Education
|Annual Canvass Campaign Kick Off This Month|
Even though it seems early, the Red Robin has been spotted. A sure sign of approaching Spring. So it is with our congregation's annual Canvass Campaign, where we seek the input and ideas of our members and friends.
We officially kick off on Sunday, March 20th with a special message from our minister, Rev. Michael Carter. Simply put, we could not be a thriving, growing community of UU's in the Swannanoa Valley without the 3 T's; Time, Talent, and Treasure. These are our sacred commitments to each other. In the coming weeks your fellow UU's, who are volunteering as stewards, will be contacting you about next year's pledging. Please give them your thoughts, desires and hopes for our church, and reflect on what the church means to you as you consider your financial gifts for our budget year beginning July 1, 2016.
We have an ambitious goal this year to keep us on track for a full-time minister in the coming years. Our congregation has demonstrated a commitment to liberal theology and a strong growing presence in our community. As we celebrate our achievements, let us look to the future and continued commitment to the growth of our ministry. Like the first signs of Spring, the renewal of our tangible commitment harbors the promise of the year ahead.
2016 Canvass Campaign Chair
|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 provides food, transportation and lodging for homeless women in the community. UUCSV is responsible for providing all the volunteers and meals for the day.
Many thanks to the volunteers who have already signed up. At this point we still need an evening van driver. We also could use a back up driver for both the morning and evening as well.
We are also looking for someone who can provide bag lunches for the twelve women that day. For the evening meal, we are in need of a salad, a side dish or veggie, bread, a dessert, and drinks.
A sign-up sheet is available in the foyer. Volunteers can also contact Connie Krochmal at 686-3112 or email@example.com
Connie Krochmal, Social Action Committee,
Room in the Inn coordinator
|Many thanks to those members who have volunteered their time and talents recently in support of the Building and Grounds Committee. A shout out to Jim Carillon, David Groce, Gary Hurley, and Lee Reading. Our building and property have ongoing needs for maintenance and upkeep. If you are willing to volunteer to help, please contact me:828-713-1607 or firstname.lastname@example.org. David Reid|
|Our Membership Committee|
Our mission is to enhance membership for all of us at Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Swannanoa Valley – charter members and newer members alike. We especially try to connect with visitors and those who would like to know more about the congregation.
Our committee is responsible for having greeters available to welcome everyone who attends Sunday morning services. We provide name tags for members and visitors and distribute orders of service on Sunday. We encourage visitors to complete an interest card if they wish to receive information in the weekly current and the monthly newsletter. We keep on hand for distribution informational pamphlets from the Unitarian Universalist Association. The Membership Committee guides people, who are interested in becoming members of UUCSV, through the joining process. “Orientation to UU” classes are held periodically for those people who are interested in knowing more about UUism, our congregation, and possible membership. We also maintain membership data needed by the leaders of the congregation,
We have several vacancies on the Membership Committee. The Membership Committee is a key component in growing and strengthening our congregation and we encourage interested members to consider becoming part of the committee. This is a great committee for anyone who likes to connect with people .The Membership Committee meets once a month on the second Sunday of the month at 10:00 AM. Membership co-chairs are Pam Sain and Carol Sheeler.
|Highlights from the meeting of February 22nd follow. Next meeting is March 21st; members and friends are welcome to attend.|
Treasurers Report: Portico Project is paid for, income and expenses are on track. The preliminary 2016-2017 budget was formulated and approved by the Board; following the canvass it will be reviewed and presented to the congregation for final approval.
Church Break-in: On or about the night of Feb. 11th, the church was broken into. The thieves took most of our computer system, a TV, and a camera. The phone and audio/visual systems were damaged. We are replacing and repairing systems as rapidly as possible and have filed with our insurance company. We have a $500 deductible. We are improving our security with the addition of a solar powered motion detection light and panic bars on the two back doors.
Minister contract: The 2016-2017 Minister contract was reviewed, revised, and approved by the Board, with Rev. Carter, Jim Carillon, and David Groce signing.
Canvass: March 20th was chosen as the date for the 2016 canvass kick-off meeting, with April 20th set as the end date. Stewards for the canvass will train on one of two dates, March 5th or 15th.
RE: Plans for a spring community event are being finalized.
|The Women's Group will meet on March 11 at 1 pm at the clubhouse of the Lynx Condominiums, located across from the golf course on North Fork Road. For more information call Mary Soyenova at 828-216-7511|
|In March, the choir is moving our performance date to March 20th, the third Sunday, in order to help support our annual Fund Drive with our enthusiastic and beautiful singing! Our bass singer and fine musician, David Reid, is the chair of the fund drive this year. So we will rehearse on the 13th at 12:15 after the service, then at 7 PM Wednesday the16th, and again at 10 AM on the day of performance, March 20th. Come sing with us! |
|March’s Friday Fling, a fun party for grown-ups, usually every third Friday of the month, will be held on 25 March (the fourth Friday!) at the church. Red and white refreshments will be provided; please bring a potluck dish to share. |
We decide during dinner which of these two films to watch that night. 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 Ladykillers" (2004; Tom Hanks; from the Coen brothers; “A killer comedy!”, the greatest criminal minds of all time have finally met their match).
Potluck begins at 6:30. For further information call Norm Kowal (458-4537).
Susan and husband of 30 years, Gary Hurley, live in Black Mountain and are currently building a home on a lot they purchased 13 years ago in anticipation of their retirement here. They attended the Piedmont UU church in Charlotte and the UUCSV in Hickory for 18 years.
Susan worked as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker for 38 years, primarily as an adult therapist, having received her MSW at USC Columbia in 1990.
Their daughter, Cara, will graduate from NYU in May 2016. Their canine son, Oskar, and his sister, Chloe the cat remain in the home.
|Roberta Madden invites UU members and friends to a wonderful program for women leaders in Western North Carolina. This forum is intended to encourage women to participate in public policy positions at any level. |
Our opening panel includes the mayors of Hendersonville and Asheville and Senator Terry Van Duyn. Women's Forum member Jo Anne Sanford will talk about being appointed and serving as chair of the Utilities Commission, one of the state's "power boards." We also have Carol Teal talking about the programs that Lillian's List offers to prepare candidates to run for offices.
This event, sponsored by the Women's Forum of NC, will be held at the YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly in Black Mountain on April 2. Deadline to register is March 21. But please don't wait to sign up.
Click here for the full agenda and registration form!
|Angel Lemon Dessert|
from Mary Soyenova
Beat: 6 egg whites till foamy. Slowly add 1/2 c. sugar and beat until stiff.
Heat: 2 c. milk
Beat: 6 egg yolks
1 t. salt
1 c. sugar
6 T. flour
Juice and zest of 2 big lemons or 3 small.
Beat until really thick and foamy then slowly add heated milk, beating until smooth. Fold into the egg white mixture until smooth. Pour into a greased 9"x18"x4" baking dish. Bake at 325 for 45 minutes, or until golden brown.
This makes a really large amount ( but it goes fast!) You can halve the recipe for a smaller amount.
|Save the dates July 17-23, 2016 for this year's SUUSI, which will be held at Western Carolina University in Culowee. Registration opens in April, so stay tuned for more information.|
|The deadline for the April issue is March 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
non-voting Board Member:
Rev. Michael Carter,