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Monthly News for November 2017
Minister's Message
With all that is going on in our world these days it is easy to forget the things we are grateful for. After all, we are only human and the times seem out of joint and human beings have lost their reason. Yet if we can just slow down for a moment; if we can just catch our breath, and just let go. If we can only let go long enough and let all things be exactly as they are, we could enjoy the bounty that is our lives.
 
​​At times the reminders about being grateful and giving thanks this time of year become just words we say by rote. They are simply stale words and thought​s​ we recite to ourselves, as our minds become preoccupied by the noise and fear that surrounds our days. We ask ourselves, oh, what's the use?
 
Do not give in to those thoughts. In the words and folk wisdom of this country's African American citizens, try to remember that "trouble don't last always."
 
Yes, Life is not good for all of us and that is what makes life so precious, for there by the grace of god go you or I.  Acknowledging our blessings is not arrogance, for it is what we do with those blessings that will show us what kind of people we are. With all the chaos that is going on within and around us, slow down and find your center. ...
                                                          Minister's column continued
Sunday Services 
Sunday, 5 November 2017 11 am
Rev. Michael S.J. Carter
"Pauli Murray: a Life"
 
This morning I want to present another biographical sermon which many of you know that I like to do  on occasion. This morning I would like to introduce to you a great American and an even greater human being. She also hails from my hometown of Baltimore, Md.  Her name is Anna Pauline “Pauli” Murray. The sun rose on her life was November 20th, 1910, sunset July 1, 1985. In between those dates,  in those 74 years of life, Pauli Murray was an American Civil Rights Activist, a Women’s Rights Activist,  a lawyer, an author, and the first woman of color to become ordained as an Episcopal Priest. She was friends with the likes of Langston Hughes, Eleanor Roosevelt, Betty Friedan, Thurgood Marshall, and many others. Ms. Murray, was a passionate advocate for women’s rights.  Pauli Murray also identified as a man.
 
Sunday, 12 November 2017 11 am
Rev. Michael S.J. Carter\
“The Story of the Little Red Hen"
 
This story may drive home the idea of the interdependent web of which we are all a part and the importance of being aware of the web of life, which destroyed, will almost guarantee our destruction as a species. I would like to explore this principle of interdependance as it pertains to our faith tradition.
 
Sunday, 19 November 2017, 11 am
Rev. Michael S.J. Carter
When "Thank You" is Enough
 
 
Many years ago when I was learning about myself using the tools of Gestalt Therapy, I was trying to learn how to be accepting of not only myself, but the gifts of other people as well as the Universe at large. This was very difficult for me at the time because I was not really sure on a deep existential level if I was "deserving" of the good that would come my way. It was even difficult for me to accept compliments. One day a friend complimented me on a suit I was wearing and my response was that it was old. They immediately said to me, "Why can't you take a compliment? I didn't ask how old the suit was, I just said you looked really good in it. All you needed to say was thank you." That simple statement awakened me. Just say thank you. Meister Eckhart once said that if the only prayer we ever said was "thank you," that would be enough.  
  
Sunday, 26 November 2017, 11 am
Rev. Marc Mullimax 
“Hope: Hype or Practice"

 
By the time we get to the age we are, we have had numerous reasons to lose, or re-evaluate, or dismiss hope, and even “fuggedaboutit” … Hope’s not worth it. “Been there, got let down, why return to Hope?” In his talk on November 26, Marc Mullinax will address the practice of hope as an essential human and core spiritual practice. Hope is more than a vitamin pill, more than icing on the cake of a good life, more than some religion’s hype. It is at the core of who we are already; hope is the software we are born with, and to lose hope is to lose our humanity. To live out hope is an essential human task.  Marc Mullinax is Professor of Religion at Mars Hill University, where he is also the Faculty Chair. He remains an ordained Baptist minister and considers himself a true friend of this congregation and its mission.
                                                   

Sunday, December 3, 11 am
Eric Thomas & Helen Wolfson
"Gather the Spirit"
 
The word “spirit” is often bandied about in UU congregations, but it seems to mean different things to different people.  In this service we investigate the concept of spirit from a humanist perspective and discover that the word embodies a core concept that can be meaningful to the humanist.  Both independent musicians, Eric Thomas and Helen Wolfson combine their talents in the duo "Constellation."  Helen is also a Certified Music Practitioner who plays therapeutic music at bedside for people in physical or emotional pain.  Helen and Eric are both active members of their local Unitarian Universalist fellowship. They have done a number of services at their local fellowship as well as for a number of UU, Ethical Culture, and other liberal religious congregations on the East Coast. 
RE News 
November is here, our weather is cooler, time for sweaters, comfort food and family. The preschool class is learning to navigate the sometimes tricky world of sharing and taking turns, reflected in the UU Principles of respecting, helping, and being kind to each other.
    
In the elementary class we visited 3 countries, learning about Shinto in Japan, Taoism in China, and Hinduism in India. It has been interesting to learn where we are, geographically, in relation to those countries and how practices of their faith systems are part of many other religions.
    
Our youth have been jamming to songs focused on social justice issues, continuing to add their own songs to our social justice playlist as well as learning the oldies but goodies that were already there.
    
We hope you will join us on Saturday, November 11th (10 am to 2pm), for a Leaf & Cider Celebration. We will rake leaves, jump in leaf piles, and drink warm apple cider! It is going to be so much fun!!! Bring work gloves, dress for the temperature, come have fun celebrating Autumn with us.
    
November 19 will kick-off of our annual food drive to benefit the Swannanoa Valley Christian Ministries food pantry. Please bring a non-perishable item to church that Sunday to be gathered as part of the service.
    
November is my favorite month. There is cooler weather that is perfect for crocheting afghans, my birthday, and my favorite holiday: Thanksgiving! Family, friends, and food all at the same time is my idea of a perfect holiday. This is also the month that I really look back over the last 12 months and reflect on the highs and lows with the lessons I learned from them. Individuals who have really influenced and inspired me during this time get a little note from me letting them know that they have made a difference in the world, even if it is just in my world. I invite you to do the same. Think of one person who has influenced your life?  Is it a teacher, past or present, who inspired you? Has a co-worker's passing comment stuck with you and made you more mindful of a habit or way of thinking? Or maybe that kid that sits 2 desks away (or did) inspired you just by being who he/she is. Who is that person for you?
    
I hope that you will enjoy the season and its joys and concerns as we each learn and teach through the experiences we have.
 
Beata Ball
Director of Lifespan Religious Education
Minister's Column, continued
...Breathe deeply and intentionally for there is more to life than just increasing its speed, says Gandhi. Breath is life and to breathe deeply is to begin to live deeply as well. Hug your loved ones. Hug them tighter still. Hug them again. Don't hold back the loving words you want to share. Speak what is in your heart.Tell people you love them. Tell them again. Love wastefully. Mend a quarrel. Build a bridge. This is not a dress rehearsal. Let us be grateful for all that is our life!
 
We have a vibrant religious community here at UUCSV. That in and of itself is enough to keep us thankful. It is a much needed community in these uncertain times; It is  so very much needed in this hostile political and social climate. We have each other and that is enough to be grateful for. Remember the words of German mystic Meister Eckhart, "if the only prayer we ever uttered was 'thank you,' that would be enough."
 
"Your grace is noble; Let me have such a bowl, that it may hold my thanks, and save me so much talking."   ---Henry VIII 
 
Michael
Board Report
These are the abbreviated minutes from the October meeting.  The detailed comprehensive minutes are posted in the lobby.
 
♦ Our volunteer Treasurer, Lee Reading, reported to the Board, that the financial status of the church is excellent. Our total total cash assets are approximately $130,000. Sunday service plate collections are well ahead of expectations and pledges are on schedule. 
♦ At the upcoming Board Retreat the following issues will be addressed: growth and outreach, membership retention, governance, and the UUCSV Mission Statement.
♦ The Membership Committee has requested administrative support in order to have continuity in keeping up with the UUCSV’s list of Members and Friends.
♦  Lee has contracted with a roofing company and plans to have the roof replaced before the end of October.
♦ Lee will seek bid for parking lot repairs once the roof and gutter replacement is finished.  
♦ Thanks to Mark Manuel who supervised the contractor who recently made repairs to our HVAC system. Discussion revolved around whether we need an ongoing service agreement.  At this time there is no standing Building and Grounds Committee. Board President, David Wells, has offered to ask volunteers who have agreed to serve on an Ad Hoc basis, to do specific building and grounds projects. The lack of a Building and Grounds committee was discussed. In the absence of a standing Building and Grounds Committee to oversee the maintenance of our HVAC system, The Board approved expenditure for a service maintenance agreement.
♦ Carolyn reported that the Memorial Garden Committee will be made up of Dawn Wilson, Ann Sillman and Mary Soyenova with herself as the Chair.
♦ David indicated that there is reason to revisit our building rental policy. We recently lost good connections with a well respected organization when they wanted to do a fundraiser in our space and we asked a rental fee for the use of our building. There is a possibility to make some money by renting out space but we need to consider how this is administered, how fellow non-profits are treated, and the tax situation for income from rentals. David offered to review the current rental policy and present it to the Board at the November meeting.
♦ A woman has approached the church about renting our RE space for a child care center. Carol reviewed requirements for childcare centers which are quite extensive. We would need many inspections, a fenced play area, and significant changes to the building. Carol concluded that the space is too small for a profitable child care center and the changes required to be extensive and expensive. The Board members agreed that we should put the idea of renting our RE rooms as a childcare center to rest and revisit it again when the church goes through a major construction expansion.
♦ Richard Graham suggested to Michael that UUCSV take action to have Michael  become a settled minister.  Michael said it doesn’t matter to him either way, whether he is a settled minister or not. The congregation has to vote to agree to settle a minister.  Rather than call a special meeting, it was decided that the vote to call Michael as our settled minister could be part of the agenda for our annual meeting.
 
Meeting adjourned.
Carolyn Shorkey 
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In this issue:
Minister's Message
Sunday Services 
RE News 
Board Report
_
Luunch Bunch
Choir News
PSI Group
Women's Group
Friday Fling
Memorial Garden 
A Note from Ann
Care Team 
Luunch Bunch
The  Luunch Bunch meets Tuesday, November 7th at noon.  The topic is rumored to relate to "Gratitude."
Choir News
Many thanks to David Groce for recording our singing of "You Raise Me Up" on October 22nd.   We have enjoyed hearing our sound!   
 
In November we will meet on the Sundays before and after Thanksgiving. On Sunday November 19th we'll practice at 12:15 after the service, and we will perform on Sunday November 26th, meeting to rehearse at 10 AM.   For that holiday week, we will have our midweek rehearsal on Tuesday the 21st at 7 PM to avoid conflicts with Thanksgiving preparations.
    
Many thanks to all the fine, enthusiastic singers!  Come join us, we're friendly!   Linda Metzner, choir director
 
PSI Group
The PSI group will meet on Tuesday, Nov 28th at 1:30 pm at UU. We will continue our exploration of numerology including karmic numbers, master numbers, and your missing number. 
 
 
If you would like more information or have questions, contact Lois Heintz  at  357-5152.
Women's Group
The Women's Group will meet on Friday Nov 10th at 1:00 pm, at the Lynx meeting room. The topic will be "How do you nurture yourself and restore your energy and optimism"?
Friday Fling
November’s Friday Fling, a fun party for grown-ups, usually every third Friday of the month, will be held on 17 November at the UUCSV church. Red and white refreshments will be provided; please bring a potluck dish to share. First movie choice: Paterson (2017; Adam Driver, Golshifteh Farahani; a week in the life of a Paterson, New Jersey, bus driver (and poet) and his dreamer wife). Second movie choice: Diner (1982; Steve Guttenberg, Mickey Rourke, Kevin Bacon, Ellen Barkin; a group of old high school friends meet at "their" Baltimore diner to find that more has changed than the menu, a bittersweet look at the experiences of a group of Baltimore twenty-somethings, circa 1959, who find adulthood hard to face; “A banquet of fast food and funny talk”---Time). Potluck begins at 6:30. For further information call Norm Kowal (458-4537).  
Memorial Garden 
Shy of five years ago, the UUCSV Board of Trustees approved a plan for the construction of a Memorial Garden on the grounds of our church property. Following the initial adoption of the plan there has been no one to step forward to chair the Memorial Garden Construction Committee.  We now have an active committee made up of members who have committed to bring this project to fruition. The committee is chaired by Carolyn Shorkey who will be working with Dawn Wilson, Ann Sillman and Mary Soyenova. Look for monthly updates in this newsletter as plans unfold.
A Note from Ann
I want to share my personal delight in our church's first Tuesday of the month Luunch Bunch meetings. We have a different topic every month, (often posted in the newsletter),  and the group operates a little like a covenant group in that what we say there stays there and we respect different opinions and points of view. Our discussions sometimes get into really deep subjects. Our minister, Michael Carter, is the moderator; no one is pressured to say anything, but he also makes sure no one dominates. There are very few places today where we as a group can freely delve into deep concerns or share delightful, uplifting experiences. This group is for the men and women from our church, and as we get to know one another on a deeper level, we bond and become a more unified family of close friends. We often go out to lunch together afterwards. Come join us, you will be very welcome.
 
Ann Sillman is a long time participant in the Luunch Bunch group.
Care Team 
Deb Vingle is the coordinator of our Congregational Care Team. You can reach Deb at 828-674-4290 or at debrvingle@gmail.com
Thanks, Deb! 
Next Newsletter 
The deadline for the December Newsletter is November 25th. Please  submit  items to this   address.  The best format is simply in the body of an email. 
Thanks,
Ginny and Jackie
UUCSV Leadership
Board of Trustees:

Kathryn Coyle
Susan Culler, Vice-Pres.
Bob Falanga
Frank Pizzardi
Pam Sain
Carol Sheeler
David Wells, President 
 
Minister,
Rev. Michael Carter,
ex-officio, non-voting
Board Member
 
Treasurer:
Lee Reading
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UUCSV  •  500 Montreat Road  •  Black Mountain, NC 28711

http://uusv.org

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