|February seems a bit far off as I write this column in December. Yet time waits for no one and the days fly by. February is a busy month. We will have our Ground Hog forecast on February 2, letting us know how much longer winter will be with us. February is also African American History Month, not to mention Valentine's Day and The President's Day Holidays will be celebrated. February is a month of transitions, as the cold weather and shorter days gives rise to springtime, at least in our northern hemisphere. Transitions. Life is full of transitions.|
Until the the winter solstice, we are between two seasons, Fall and Winter. "To everything a season, to every purpose a time." The words of Max Coots never fail:
"Right now, between two seasons, I'd make a holiday of solitude, with that clear view the loss of leaves allows, and with faith that in its time, my life, like that of earth, is balanced out. If I have patience enough to see, and if I make a time to touch the earth again and see the sense it makes of seasons and of me."
Transitions and cycles make up this journey we call life. Life and death and rebirth again. I turned 60 years old last year and I note the transitions of my life more seriously now.
Coots goes on to write:
"Now I am not so very young, and time runs faster than it did. I am much more mortal than I was at 10. Day by day my yesterdays pile up and my tomorrows dwindle down. I know now that there is too little time for everything, and knowing this, today's more precious than all the past that was and all the might-yet can ever be.
Coot's prose reminds me a bit of Wordsworth's Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood. The ageing Wordsworth talks about "the things which I have seen I see no more." He writes that "Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting; The Soul that rises with us is our Life's Star, hath had elsewhere its setting, and cometh from afar."
We are impatient for spring to come...but patience is the ritual of this season, of this time of year. Whatever the month of February means to you, grasp it; hold it as long as you can. Our lives are like lightning across the sky.
|Sunday, 4 February 2018, 11 am|
“Who am I – Really?”
People have been asking the same three questions for as far back as history records. Who am I? Why am I here? What is the meaning of life? Actually, the Big Three really boil down to only one – Who am I – really? Once a person KNOWS the answer to that one, everything else is just details. We’ll explore that question, rattle the cages of our consciousnesses, and, hopefully, serve up some food for thought. Larry Pearlman settled in Black Mountain about six months ago and soon became a member of our congregation. Larry always saw spirituality and practical living as one thing. He combined a successful career in sales, training and public speaking with teaching spiritual classes and acting as a minister for Emissaries of Divine Light. He is also the author of two books, encouraging people to discover and express the Truth of themselves.
Sunday, 11 February 2018, 11 am
In honor of Valentine’s Day we will explore the language of love. Human beings love to be in love; without the growth and challenges of relationship of course. It sometimes takes many years before we learn that “in love” and the work of love are two very different things. But enough of all that! Being in love is a marvelous thing for love is “the mother of all emotions.” This talk will explore the human capacity to love and to express that love as only human beings can do. Poetry, philosophy, scripture, and personal experience will be used to explore the fact that love is a many splendored thing.
Rev. Michael J.S. Carter
“The Language of Love”
Sunday, 18 February 2018, 11 am
What if there was an alternative to the polarization and divisiveness we are currently facing in our society as it regards morality, sexuality, and abortion? Both sides of the argument feel morally superior, but is there a third, more enlightened societal model which could incorporate the wisdom from both sides? Join Pana Columbus, author, speaker, filmmaker, community organizer, as she explores what is possible.”
“Pro-Life or Pro-Choice? What the right and the left can teach each other about love, sex and abortion."
Sunday, 25 February 2018, 11 am
Rev. Michael J.S. Carter
"The Life and Death of Octavius Catto"
One hundred years before the Civil Rights era as we know it, men and women of Octavius Catto’s generation were sitting down as did Rosa Parks, challenging baseball’s color line as did Jackie Robinson, and marching for the right to vote as did Martin Luther King, Jr. The person we are learning about this morning, Octavius Catto, was a charmer of ladies, a hard hitting second baseman, a talented teacher, and an advocate of equal rights. He spent too much money on clothes, ate too well at banquets, and reveled in late-summer parties at the New Jersey shore, and he fell in love. He was born in Charleston, South Carolina, where people of color owned slaves, and where teaching African Americans to read was a crime punishable by whipping and ends in Philadelphia where he was shot and killed. Let’s explore the legacy of this great American.
Sunday, 4 March 2018, 11 am
Rev. Rob Morris
“Permaculture Prophets: hipsters in the scriptures digging up dirt on the divine.”
We welcome Rob Morris, executive director of Christmount Retreat and Conference Center, to our pulpit this morning. Growing up in the Disciples of Christ denomination and having served as an associate pastor in Raleigh and as the principal pastor in Fort Worth, Texas, his faith has evolved to the point where he views the center of his calling as “compassion for all people and all creatures as a Christian/ Buddhist/ Humanist.”
|My second favorite month of the year is here! Valentine's Day and looking forward to the end of winter weather. What are your plans for Spring?|
In the Children's Religious Education classes we have studied Islam and Buddhism, celebrated January birthdays, and continued learning about the 7 Guiding Principles and how to practice them in our everyday lives. We have practiced playing together and respecting boundaries. Social justice issues, including homophobia have gotten our minds and hearts engaged as we explore ways to "create a fair and peaceful world".
The Mystery Buddy program starts this month. For the month of February a child from the Children's Religious Education classes will be paired with a member of the congregation at large, but it will be a secret! There will be mailboxes where these buddies can leave each other a little note, a card, or a fun picture. At the end of the month there will be a Big Reveal so each of the participants can meet his/her Mystery Buddy. If you would like to join us, contact Beata Ball by email or phone: firstname.lastname@example.org or 828-337-3866.
|We held an Informational Meeting about the Memorial Garden plans and fundraising on January 14th. If you were not able to attend, you may have a question similar to those raised by one of your fellow congregants at the meeting. The purpose of this communication is to share with you the answers to questions asked at the meeting.|
The Laser Inscribed Bricks will be sold as a fundraiser at $120 per 4” x 8” brick. You may purchase a brick or bricks to commemorate a deceased person or pet. The bricks will be placed on the ground at the entrance to the garden. The brick installation will be semi-permanent, meaning that if they have to be moved they will be, but the intention is to keep them on the ground at the entrance to the garden. The Memorial Garden Committee may choose to periodically hold a sale of Memorial Bricks to add to the brick pad in the future. The Garden Construction Plan drawing shows about 150 bricks to be installed on the ground at the entrance to the garden.
Phase I of the construction plan shows the construction of two rock facade walls. The walls will be 6’ tall and constructed with cement block. The voids in the walls will be steadied with rebar and filled with concrete. Rock facade will be affixed to the cement block. The plan shows an area of smooth stucco either 2’ x 2’ or 24” x 36” on the wall. This is the location where the bronze plaque will be mounted using the mounting hardware and instructions from the company. The bronze plaque will hold the memorial name plates. The plaque and it’s name plates can be moved to a new location should the church relocate to a different property in the future. Because the name plate will display the deceased name, year of birth and year of death, it cannot be ordered for manufacture until the date of death is known. You can, at this time, pre-purchase a bronze name plate. We will give you a receipt to put with your directives, will or trust documents. We will also keep a copy of the receipt that your name plate has been pre-purchased. Because we will charge more for the name plate than it actually costs to manufacture, advanced purchase of the name plate helps us to raise funds to construct the wall and to purchase the bronze plaque. The plaque itself will cost about $3,400. The plaque and it’s name plates will stay very nice looking for many, many generations to come, with no need to have it refinished. The Memorial Garden Committee will keep enough money in escrow to purchase name plates from your pre-purchase.
A North Carolina legal statute allows us to do what we choose to do with cremains, since our church ground is considered private property.
If someone wants to contribute substantially to the Memorial Garden Construction Project for the Right to Name the Garden, that individual(s) will need to sit down with the Memorial Garden Committee to negotiate the amount of the donation and the name and wording for the dedication plaque.
We will continue to take donations, sell bricks, name plates, and benches after the Sunday Service on Feb. 4th and Feb. 11th. On Feb. 11th we will close out the construction fund drive and begin seeking construction bids.
Thank you so much for your interest in providing ourselves with a special place for remembrance on our church property.
Carolyn Shorkey, Chair of the Memorial Garden Construction Committee
|Board of Trustees Meeting, January 22, 2018 |
Present: Carol, Pam, Bob, Michael, Jim, David, Lee
- Lee reviewed our treasury data. We are in good shape financially year to date.
- We unanimously approved a resolution to allow Lee Reading, as our treasurer, to conduct various financial responsibilities on behalf of the board including sale of donated stock.
- Lee outlined the contract with our book keeper, Katherine Neville, and the services her organization provides to UUCSV. We pay her about $150/month to handle our books, prepare W-2 and 1099 statements, etc. We unanimously voted to continue this engagement for 2018.
- We discussed at length planning for our every member canvass. We will kick off this year’s campaign with a sermon by Michael on March 18th. Membership committee will distribute pledge cards that day and mail / deliver cards to those not present that day. We will ask that cards be completed and returned before 4/8, the day we will celebrate the campaign with the potluck that day. The Board collectively agreed to lead this year’s campaign. We will ask 5 persons or couples to give a short 3’ testimonial on “what this church means to me”, one each of the Sundays in March. We each nominated persons to do this and will pursue one each. Jim to coordinate the scheduling of these presentations.
- Changes were made to the proposed Congregational Survey which we hope to distribute this week and have completed surveys returned by February 11th.
- Proposed changes to the bylaws were discussed with two remaining points of contention: What percent was necessary for a quorum at our annual meetings, and the minimum number of members needed to call a special meeting. After much discussion, differences among the Board members remained. A vote to approve the recommended changes was put forward by Bob and seconded by David. The vote was 4 to 1 in favor of the recommendations. These recommendations must be put before the congregation in this Spring’s congregational meeting for a vote by the congregation.
- It was proposed that a second person, someone local to the church, be included in decisions to hold or not hold services in case of inclement weather. Proposed persons included Heidi Blozan, Lee Reading or Dr. Jane Carroll.
- Choir has agreed to sit in the seats behind the pulpit when they perform. They request that the Board members do so on non-choir singing Sundays when necessary. The Board announcer should also assess how full the seats are and encourage people in the pews to move toward the walls in order to fit more persons in those seats.
- Rhea Bockhorst has agreed to chair the Building and Grounds committee. He needs to be signaled to replace some ceiling bulbs in the North West section of the Sanctuary. Thank you Rhea!
- Jim will do the February announcements and will include mention of the Memorial Garden information booth in the lobby for the next few Sundays. Board member also ensures lock up.
- It was asked that we consider moving the Board meeting to accommodate other conflicts to the FOURTH THURSDAY of each month. Bob will contact those members not present tonight to see if this will work for them and for the monthly newsletter deadline with Ginny Moreland. Our next meeting will be 2/22.
|All members and friends should have received an invitation to respond to a survey about priorities for our next 5 year strategic plan. |
If you missed it, go to the following link, print out and complete the survey, and leave it in the Board of Trustees' mail slot in the UUCSV office.
You may also be able to get a printed copy from Jim Carillon or Tricia West.
RESPONSES are needed by Sunday, February 11th.
|Ginny Moreland is still seeking a volunteer to help put together the monthly Newsletter. Ideally this person might be willing to eventually take over the major responsibility for this task. Contact me if you'd like more information. It's not rocket science! |
|Recently the Social Action Committee surveyed the Congregation, asking members and friends to prioritize the most important areas of interest for the Social Action Committee to address. The results are listed here in descending order of support:|
Racial Oppression 35 votes
Victim / Hate Crimes 31
Immigration / undocumented workers 30 Peace Advocacy 29
Climate Change 28
Gender Equality 27
Environmental Justice 24
Mental Illness / Substance abuse 22
Domestic Violence 17
Criminal Justice 11
Animal Protection 9
Our committee encourages the congregation to suggest projects from this list for our consideration. We will also initiate short term projects for congregational participation.
|For 2018 our RITI hosting dates are February 3rd and 10th, both Saturdays. |
Thanks to all who volunteered to help! If you need a reminder or have any questions about what you promised to do, please contact:
980-229-8688 (call or text)
|The Luunch Bunch will meet Tuesday, February 6th at noon. Topic is open.|
|Thank you to everyone in the choir and the congregation for your part in celebrating my tenth anniversary as choir director at UUCSV. What a wonderful day! It has truly been a joy to see the choir grow in every way, and to be supported with love while we make music. |
In February, we will sing on the 25th. We will rehearse on Sunday the 18th at 12:15 after the service, then on Wednesday the 21st at 7 PM, and once more at 10 AM on February 25th. Come join us- we have a lot of fun! Many thanks, Linda Metzner
|"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength." - Corrie Ten Boom. This quote will be the jumping off point for the Women's group discussion on Friday Feb 9 at 1:00 pm at the Lynx clubhouse.|
|The Psi group will meet on Tuesday Feb 27 at 1:30 pm to learn about the Pages of Shustah divination and meditation cards presented by Rev Thia McGinnis. Thia will provide a reading for each person. |
The word Shustah" comes from ancient Sanskrit, and means "The footsteps back to god." It is comprised of components from ancient mystery teachings, including Kabalah, as well as components from Astrology, cosmology, color therapy, meditation and spiritual enlightenment. Please let Lois Heintz know if you are planning to attend.
|February’s Friday Fling, a fun party for grown-ups, usually every third Friday of the month, will be held on 15 February at the UUCSV church. Red and white refreshments will be provided; please bring a potluck dish to share. First movie choice: Maudie (2017; Sally Hawkins, Ethan Hawke; a bright-eyed intelligent young woman, hunched with hands disabled by arthritis, yearning to be independent of her protective family, answers an advertisement for a housekeeper by a 40-year-old bachelor; she's a terrible housekeeper, but is a potential folk painter; romance ensues; based on a true story). Second movie choice: Amelie (2001; Audrey Tautou; a magical comedy; a shy waitress working at a tiny Paris cafe makes a surprising discovery, changing her life, and dedicates herself to helping others find happiness). Potluck begins at 6:30. For further information call Norm Kowal (458-4537).|
|The 28th annual Martin Luther King, Jr. prayer breakfast will be held on|
Saturday, February 10 at Camp Dorothy Walls in Black Mountain. The event
will begin at 8:00 a.m.
Keynote speaker will be Rev. George Logan, a native of Black Mountain who lives in Morganton. Tickets are $15 for adults and $6 for children 3-12. Buy yours from
Roberta Madden or Diane Hutchins, board members of the local MLK Corporation
|The deadline for the February Newsletter is February 25th. Please submit items to this address. The best format is simply in the body of an email. |
|Board of Trustees:|
Susan Culler, Vice-Pres.
David Wells, President
Rev. Michael Carter,