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Monthly News for April 2017
Minister's Message
Is your life telling you that it will always be this way? Or do you hear that it is time to let go and move on (or be dragged)? In what areas of your life do you lack energy or a scarcity of resources. Are you attempting to put old wine into new wine skins? If so it won’t work. Perhaps your life is showing you that you are struggling with all the wrong things for all the wrong reasons. It your life peaceful? Fulfilling? Rewarding? Is it strained or draining to you?
The point here is that your life, our lives, are talking to you and to us. Are we listening? Sometimes we listen to our lives and pay very close attention to what life is trying to tell us, but more often than not we are afraid to hear what our lives are saying to us, and more importantly, about us. Then there are times when we do not hear how to hear what we hear. We do not know how to do what we know we must to change the dialogue in our lives. I find that to be still and quiet helps immensely. When I become quieted ( not simply quiet) I begin to see things that come across my inner landscape that I was not aware of. By “quieted” I mean quiet on the inside.
                                                           Minister's Column cont. 
Sunday Services 

Sunday, 9 April 2017, 11 am
Rev. Michael J.S. Carter
"Children are People Too"

Rabbi Jesus remarked in the book of Matthew 18:3 of the Aramaic Translation of that book, “...let the children come to me and do not forbid them, for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these. I’ve always loved that verse. This “Kingdom” and “Queendom” also includes adults as well who may still have that childlike sense of wonder and awe when we look at our world. I believe that The Rabbi was also implying that we are, as much as humanly possible, to retain this childlike, (but not childish) perspective  on our lives to  remain truly alive in a world that is constantly at war with itself. This is one of  the many lessons we can learn from our children, for although they may not vote, children are people too. Let’s explore with the open heart and the open mind of a child on this Palm Sunday. Please remember to bring a flower for our Flower Communion during the service.
Sunday, 16 April 2017 11AM 
Chris Highland
“John Muir's Natural Religion Beyond Belief”

Naturalist John Muir (1838-1914) was raised in a strict religious household in Scotland and Wisconsin before setting off on a lifetime of exploration in Nature’s “heaven on earth.” As the parent of our national park system, Muir opened the trails for all people to enter Nature as a classroom and cathedral. We will hear his words and hike around some of his most radical thoughts on “natural spirituality” asking–what would the resurrection of Muir mean today?
Chris Highland is the author of Meditations of John Muir, as well as My Address is a River and eight other books. He teaches at the Reuter Center on the history of Freethinking in America. A former Protestant minister and interfaith chaplain, Chris is now a Humanist celebrant. His column “Highland Views” is published weekly in the Asheville Citizen-Times. Chris and his wife Carol, a Presbyterian minister, moved to Asheville from the San Francisco Bay Area in 2016. His website is
Sunday, 23 April 2017, 11AM

Rev. Michael S. J. Carter
"Law and Order "

This Sunday I want to talk about law and order ( unlike President Trump) from the perspective of Universal Laws. Perhaps a better understanding of these laws will assist us in achieving a little less stress, a little less frustration, and a little less suffering in our lives. In a cosmos ( the word means “order) are there really so called “random events?” In a world of constant change and impermanence, we suffer because we want to hold on to things which by their very nature are subject to change. Buddhist Zen Monk Thich Nhat Hanh says that we we learn to suffer “correctly”, we will suffer less. If death and taxes are the only things in life we can count on, how should we live? A intelligent man once said that we should learn something new everyday; a wise man once said that we should let something go every day. See you on Sunday!
Sunday, 30 April 2017 11AM
Rev. Michael S. J. Carter
"The Artist as Non-conformist"
This is our Stand Against Racism Sunday Service. I want to share my musings on art and the artist, race, creativity, politics, and life in general from the perspective on what it means to become an artist with our very lives as the canvass.  “ Art is the fundamental living equipment for our existence as human beings,” says Kenneth Burke. “Art is our way of humanizing the world, says Andre Malraux. “Activism helps pay the rent. The rent I pay for being alive,” says Alice Walker.  “ In the best of circumstances, we require an enormous amount of mutually consistent support to be emotionally able to look straight into the face of the powers aligned against us and still do our work with joy. it takes determination and practice,’ says Audre Lorde. This Sunday, while looking at the lives of  some artist of color as well the lives of some European American artist, we will explore what it means to rise above the petty, myopic, and jaundiced perspective of our current American racial lens, and discover what it really means to be not only a creative non-conformist--- but  what it means to be an authentic and creative  human being. 
Religious Education
Spring has sprung! The days are longer, the temperatures warmer, and things here in RE (Religious Education) will be winding up soon.
The planning retreat for the RE Committee was held on the 25th of March.  Curricula was determined for our many age levels.  A tentative schedule was prepared for some exciting social events, to be held for and sponsored by the RE department!   Stay tuned for all the wonderful details.
It’s the time of year when we think about what our program has accomplished and how best to celebrate our successes.  The theme of our RE Service in May will be “Crossing Bridges”.  There are opportunities for showing your support of the next generation of UUs as we look for recording assistance and set-up & clean-up crews.  We'd like to get that arranged as soon as we can. 
The Summer Sundays Program will begin before you know it!  If you have a hobby, skill, or talent to share, please see Beata Ball or Linda Blasky to find out how you can contribute your energy to this fun and varied program.
Canvass Wrap-up
We are in the home stretch. Please place your completed pledge card into the box located on the stewardship table in the foyer on or before Sunday, April 9th.
This is your opportunity to make your financial commitment to support our congregation for the coming fiscal year which runs from JULY 1, 2017 - JUNE 30, 2018. We do not want your money
now…just a statement of your intentions for next year, your method of payment and timing of your contributions.
We need every friend and member of our congregation to step up and help with a generous commitment towards our stretch goal of $114,000. No matter the size of your pledge, now is the time to tell what you plan to do.
On April 14th our budget task force will conduct a workshop to
draft an operating budget for next year that we hope moves our minister toward full-time status in terms of compensation and benefits.This budget will be carefully reviewed by our Board and
then presented to the entire congregation for discussion at a town hall meeting in May, date TBA.
Many thanks for your stewardship, commitment and generosity!
Lee Reading, Treasurer and Canvas Chair
Board Report
Your Board of Trustees met for their monthly meeting on Monday evening, March 20.  This is an abbreviated version of the minutes.
The complete minutes are posted in the church lobby. 
Our volunteer treasurer, Lee Reading, reported that we have received 68% of the pledges and 118% of the projected plate collection for this 2016-17 Fiscal Year.  Total income for the year is at 85% and expenses are at 60%. This creates a healthy ratio of income to budgeted expenses.
As of March 20, we have financial commitments of  $65,165 from 47 giving units.  There are 50 giving units still in envelopes to be picked up, mainly because we lost momentum with having missed the Sunday sermon about financial intentions because of church closure due to snow.
We previously signed a statement in support of church sanctuary for immigrants.  David Reid suggested we discuss what our role should be in the future.  Michael gave an overview of how sanctuary is working and how it might affect us. We don’t have the facilities in our church building to house an immigrant who needs sanctuary.  We could be a resource to a church that offers sanctuary.  Michael is willing to call and see how we can support our sister congregations who plan to actually house immigrants who need safe sanctuary.
The Board is putting together a slate of possible future Board Members for the upcoming fiscal year. Carol Sheeler, David Wells and Frank Pizzardi generously offered to continue as Board members for one more year, to provide historical continuity to the Board of Trustees.
Currently we do not have a congregant coordinating the church rental process. We don’t have anyone who can be the contact person when an outside person wants to rent the space. This puts the burden on Tricia and Michael when it shouldn’t be their responsibility. Until we find a volunteer who will coordinate the rental process, a suggestion was made to create a call list of congregants who are willing to supervise individual rentals.
Discussion ensued about deposits and when the fee should be paid.  The damage deposit should be deposited in our bank account when received with the signed contract. Suggested and generally agreed that we collect 100% of the non-refundable fee before the event.
Minister's Column cont.
When the conditions of life are not peaceful and abundant; when the relationships in your life are not harmonious and fulfilling; when you do not feel good about yourself, what you are doing, and where you are headed, it can become quite obvious to others but not to ourselves, that we are not being good listeners. Until today, you may have not taken the time to listen to your life. You may be avoiding what your life is saying about the adjustments and improvements you need to take. Just for today, make it a point to sit down and listen to your life. Listen to every experience, situation, condition in your life and be willing to respond as a good listener would.
            To Come Home To Yourself
May all that is unforgiven in you be released.
May your fears yield their deepest tranquilities.
May all that is unlived in you blossom into a future graced with love.
       ---John O’Donohue ( Blessing the Space Between Us)

In this issue:
Sunday Services 
Religious Education
Canvass Wrap-up
Board Report
Flower Communion
Care Committee
Luunch Bunch
UUCSV  Choir
Women's Group
Friday Fling
Volunteers Needed
SUUSI 2017
Flower Communion
The Flower Ceremony, sometimes referred to as Flower Communion or Flower Festival, is an annual ritual that celebrates beauty, human uniqueness, diversity, and community.
In this ceremony, everyone in the congregation brings a flower placing it in a shared vase. The congregation and minister bless the flowers, and they're redistributed. Each person brings home a different flower than the one they brought.  (Adapted from
Bring a flower April 9th!
Care Committee
Deb Vingle, recently returned long-time member of UUCSV, has  assumed coordination of the Congregational Care Team from Jim Carillion. You can reach Deb at 828-674-4290 or at
Thanks, Deb!
Luunch Bunch
The next Luunch Buunch meeting will be April 4 12:00 and the topic will be 'Politics in the United States of America'. 
UUCSV  Choir
To hear our choir sing my composition, "Garment of Brightness," as a birthday present on March 26th was a great joy. Our choir is getting big and wonderful, and YOU are welcome too!  In April we will be performing on the 23rd.  Rehearsal will  on the 16th after the service at 12:15, the following Wednesday the 19th at 7 PM, and then at 10 AM on the 23rd.
Come sing with us and help spread joy!      Linda Metzner, Choir director
Women's Group
The women's group will meet on Friday April 14 at 1:00 pm at the Lynx community room. The topic is belief in a higher power. What are your spiritual beliefs related to the Ascended Masters - Buddha, Brahma, Krishna, Rabbi Jesus; or Vishnu-Shiva, Mighty I Am Presence, Nameless One in the Center of the Universe, Great the  Mystery (Native Americans).  What resonates with you regarding some energy or power greater than mankind? Lois Heintz
Friday Fling
April’s Friday Fling, a fun party for grown-ups, usually every third Friday of the month, will be held on 21 April at the UUCSV church. Red and white refreshments will be provided; please bring a potluck dish to share. First movie choice: A Very Long Engagement (2005; Audrey Tautou; a beautiful story of love and faith in World War I France). Second movie choice: The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1989; John Neville, Eric Idle, Sarah Polley; the legendary tale-spinner returns in a hilarious new interpretation of his exploits by Terry Gilliam). Potluck begins at 6:30. For further information call Norm Kowal (458-4537).
Volunteers Needed
Room in the Inn Volunteer Signup Still Needed
Help Homeless Women In Our Community on May 5th.   For over a decade, UUCSV has been taking part in Room in the Inn, a highly successful community program for homeless women. This event will be on Friday, May 5th a the Black Mtn. Methodist Church annex.  
UUCSV is responsible for providing all volunteers and meals that day  We still need van drivers for Friday evening and Saturday morning. He/she must be younger than 70.  We are also looking for someone to make the bag lunches. For the evening meal, an additional salad, an additional dessert, and drinks-either iced tea or soft drinks are needed.
Join us on the sign-up sheet in the foyer or contact me at,
or 828-686-3112.
Connie Krochmal, Room in the Inn coordinator 
Books 4 Good
A trip to Books for Good is planned for Monday April 17 followed by lunch somewhere yummy. If you are interested in driving (or riding) call Teresa Ballinger 275-8453 or Helen Bell 551-6077. Or just meet us at Ingles gas station in Swannanoa at 11:30 am. Books for Good needs shoppers! Call or see Teresa Ballinger for more details.
SUUSI 2017
Registration opens on April 17 at 7 pm.
The 2017 catalog is  now online - right here.
Next Newsletter 
The deadline for the May Newsletter is April 25th. Please submit items to newsletter.uucsv@ The best format is simply in the body of an email. 
Ginny and Jackie 
UUCSV Leadership
Board of Trustees:
Diane Graham
Sarah Kirkpatrick
Frank Pizzardi
David Reid, President
Tina Rosato
Carol Sheeler
Dave Wells, Vice-Pres.
Rev. Michael Carter,
ex-officio, non-voting
Board Member
Lee Reading

UUCSV  •  500 Montreat Road  •  Black Mountain, NC 28711

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