|If you were to poll fifty average people on a street corner in almost any city, asking them what they wanted to do in their lives, chances are the predominant answer would be "to help people." When you consider how rude, abusive, violent and unloving we human beings can be to each other, that answer may surprise you. I believe the natural instinct among most human beings is to reach out and support one another. Now I could be wrong but that's what I believe and that has been my experience. It is a wonderful concept. However, there is one small challenge many of us have yet to overcome. The challenge is this: While we want to help other people, many of us won't or cannot even help ourselves.|
There are people who want to save the world (something even Jesus of Nazareth could not do) and can barely manage a sink full of dirty dishes. Others want to save the children and feed the poor, yet they cannot seem to conquer the "dust bunnies" beneath their beds or in the bottom of their closets. Yes, some of us want to fix all that is wrong in the world, but we cannot seem to fix our own broken hearts or our shattered minds. Charity begins at home and at times we cannot give what we do not have and we cannot lead where we have not been.
Minister's Message continued
|Sunday, 6 May 2018, 11 am|
Rev. Chris Andrews
Rev. Andrews is a frequent visitor to our congregation. He writes, "I am going to use some ideas from a book I read recently by Dr. James Doty--'Into the Magic Shop'. Doty is a neurosurgeon who, as a young boy, has the good fortune to meet a woman who teaches him the magic of opening his heart through a series of exercises.The lessons learned as a teenager guide Dr. Doty in his career of medicine. He shares how an open heart brings one to the real magic of accepting others and caring deeply for all."
The Rev. Chris Andrews has lived in Louisiana for most of his life. Formerly a minister in the United Methodist Church for 42 years, he served at 1st UMC in Baton Rouge for many of those years. He now leads Jubilee Pioneers, an eclectic group of folks in Baton Rouge seeking ways to practice “good religion.” He is not a Christian, but instead calls himself a “follower of Jesus.”
Sunday, 13 May 2018, 11 am
This Mother’s Day, Robbie Madden and I will be talking about the change this nation is undergoing regarding the role of women in our society. I will briefly note the differences I see in the Me Too/ Time’s Up movement, as well as discussing the plight of women in Western Culture because of the Genesis Story and the Bible. Robbie will “bring it home” if you will, discussing the changing consciousness and roles women have experienced during this country’s recent history. We want this to be a celebrations as well, for the times, they are a changin’. Thank the Goddess! This will also be the Sunday we have our Flower Communion. Please bring flowers!
Rev. Michael J.S. Carter and
“Me Too/Times Up”
Sunday, 20 May 2018, 11 am
Our RE program students and staff
Annual Intergenerational Service
Birds are singing, flowers are blooming and Spring has finally arrived. With the full evidence of spring comes the much anticipated annual intergenerational service starring the Children's Religious Education students. These students range from less than a year old through the 11th grade. We have spent the last few weeks preparing and practicing a service that is always fun and the students love being "in charge". More info in the RE article below.
Sunday, 27 May 2018, 11 am
Rev. Michael J.S. Carter
"The G Word"
In the 1930's, Frederick May Elliott was the President of the American Unitarian Association. Elliott was a theist and he was well aware of the baggage that the word God carried with it. Yet he was also aware of the power of symbols and found in the objections to the use of the word, important reasons for accepting it. Elliott realized that, "we need symbols that will reach down deeply into our souls and make their power felt in the innermost recesses of our personality... the word God is such a word.' Henry David Thoreau is quoted as saying, "when you knock, ask to see God--none of the servants." For those who ask why even use the word at all, I say it is the right of the individual. I don't always use the word but when I do use it, I use it intentionally and it depends on to whom I am speaking and the context. Let's explore why The G word irritates so many UUs.
Sunday, 3 June 2018, 11 am
Mary Beth Wolf and friends
This will be a lay-led service relating to racial justice work. More details will be available soon on the website!
Sunday services can be found here: http://uusv.org/sundays/
|The Board of Trustees has set Sunday, May 20 for UUCSV's Annual Congregational Meeting. We will convene in the sanctuary at 12:30, after the service. Only members will be able to vote on the issues; however, we welcome our friends to stay for the meeting.|
Our agenda includes a discussion and vote on the following:
In addition, we will have a short discussion about the first steps to develop a new five-year Strategic Plan. We encourage anyone interested in participating in this most critical and important area of the congregation's life to contact any Board member.
- New annual budget for the year July 1, 2018-June 30, 2019.
- Three nominees to the Board
- Revised Bylaws
Please plan to attend – May 20 at 12:30 – this important meeting for our congregation. We need your input.
Board of Trustees
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Swannanoa Valley
“But what then? What had he really gained by all this trouble? What had he brought back from this long and weary journey? -- Jules Verne, Around the World in 80 Days.
The Religious Education department cordially invites you to join us on May 20 as we recount our travels around the world and over the rainbow and listen to our music. Find out how we have used the rainbow as a mnemonic device for remembering our 7 Guiding Principles. Learn out about all the countries (and states) we visited learning about different spiritual practices. Sing with us as we share our songs about the social justice issues that are closest to our hearts.
The Children's Education Department provides opportunities for spiritual exploration and development for children birth through 12th grades. These opportunities include Unitarian Universalist identity and discovering religions from around the world (and around the block) as well as the opportunity to explore the social justice issues that speak to the children's hearts and lets them discover their Voice and empowering them to take action to "The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all"-- 6th Guiding Principle.
Our Summer Sundays will be starting in June. This program is always a big hit and a fantastic way for adult members of the congregation at large to share their passions with the younger members of our spiritual community. Do you love photography? Maybe you make paper and would willing to show how it's done? Interpretive dance is your reason for getting up in the mornings? Share with our children and teens why. Or maybe you would be willing to read a Dr. Seuss story and wonder with the students about how it fits into being a Unitarian Universalist. Are you a gardener? Have a special plant that could change the world? Contact our Director of Religious Education, Beata Ball, to find out how you can put a face to our 7 Guiding Principles and what it means to be UU!
UUCSV welcomes Andy Reed, an Asheville native who grew up in the Asheville UU church. Andy works as an editor and publisher, with a background in theater and television. He loves being in this congregation. You will feel his enthusiasm about joining this particular church because he thinks it is the perfect sized group: large enough to be exciting and small enough to be personal and connected to one another. Watch the enthusiasm Andy brings to singing tenor in the choir and you will understand his hopes for time here---hopes for enlightenment, edification, cultivating new friends, celebrating with old friends and excellent potlucks. So happy to have you join us, Andy.
New members, Molly and Russ Keeney live in Black Mountain and have lived in the area for fourteen years. Molly grew-up in St Paul, MN and Garden City, NY. She and Russ have both lived in Endwell, NY, Gainesville, Fl, Charleston, WV, and Greensboro, NC. She received her BA from Harpur College, NY and a degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of FL. Before retiring, she was the CEO for Girl Scouts WNC Pisgah Council. Her interest are pottery, Bridge, and gardening. She volunteers at the Clay Studio, the neighborhood POA and is a member of the AAUW.
Russ grew-up in Maine, NY and San Jose, CA. He received his BA from Harpur College in NY and a MA from SUNY in Albany, NY. Before retiring, he worked in nonprofit management and transportation as well as being a Realtor. His interests are swimming, golf, and Bridge. He also volunteers for the neighborhood POA and the Old Depot.G
Molly and Russ have two adult daughters and three grandchildren.
We welcome them to our UU congregation.
|These are the abbreviated minutes from the Board Meeting held April 26.|
Our volunteer treasurer, Lee Reading, reported that overall, our current annual operating budget is healthy. A preliminary proposed budget for the fiscal operating year beginning July 1, 2018 and ending June 30, 2019 was developed. If we maintain salaries and other expenses much as they were in the 2017-18 fiscal year, there is about a $3800 pledge shortfall. Lee indicated that he was happy with the number since there are still a few pledges expected to come in. The shortfall may also be mitigated with future pledges or other income sources. The Board indicated they would review Michael’s compensation should the situation improve.
The Board chose May 20th for the Annual Meeting which will be held after the service. The Board will meet a week early, May 17th, instead of May 24th to prepare for the meeting. The agenda will consist of the election of new Board members, presentation and voting on the budget, presentation and voting on bylaw changes, and the kickoff of the next 5-year strategic planning committee.
Ursula has designated that Jay Ellis’ bequest be used for the construction of the Memorial Garden with any remaining funds added to our savings account. The Board formally accepted the designation for use of the bequest unanimously.
It was suggested that one committee give a brief report to the congregation each month. The Children's Religious Education (RE) Committee could present a report to the congregation on May 20th. In addition to welcoming new members annually, new members will be introduced on the second Sunday of each month. Other ideas about committees were to discuss committee personnel needs at the next Board meeting or perhaps hold a committee fair again.
|Minister's Message continued|
Until we clean up the places in our own lives, we will experience extreme difficulty doing what the world so desperately needs. Anger is a small thing. Hatred is a small thing. Order is a small thing and each of these have a large impact on the big picture. Right thinking, right action, right speech (when its time to speak up), right response to the small things will assist us in conquering the large things, like injustice, inequality, poverty, religious bigotry, and disorder. Until we are able to conquer and master the "small things" in our own personal lives, in our own hearts and mind, the large things will remain undone.
Perhaps you have been attempting to do some things in the world that you have not yet done in you own life. Perhaps today, you can take care of the little things in your heart, your mind, and your life that have a major impact on your ability to help and give to the world.
Justice & Blessings,
There comes to my heart from regions remote, a wild desire for the hedge and the brush,
Whenever I hear the first wild note of the meadow lark and the hermit thrush.
The broken and upturned earth to the air, by a million thrusting blades of Spring,
sends out form the sod everywhere its pungent aromas over everything.
Then it;s Oh, for the hills, the dawn and the dew, the breath of the fields, and the silent lake,
and watching the wings of light burst through the scarlet blush of the new daybreak.
It is then when the earth still nestles in sleep, and the robes of light are scare unfurled,
you can almost feel in its mighty sweep, the onward rush and roll of the world.
----George Marion McCellan "Spring Dawn."
|On May 24 at noon we|
will host the annual picnic
for the Swannanoa Valley Christian Ministry volunteer workers at the Lake Tomahawk Pavilion. The workers who are repairing an elderly woman’s house include participants from the Swannanoa Correctional Center for Women. We will need food, drinks and paper supplies, as well as volunteers to set up and take down the tables. Please contact Diane Hutchins, 828-545-2483 firstname.lastname@example.org
SOS! The Social Action Committee has just learned that UUA has someone in Sanctuary, and they need volunteers ASAP. As a Sanctuary Assist congregation, we have pledged to offer volunteer assistance. Their greatest need now is volunteers to be there if ICE should come. These volunteers will work in shifts from 8am-12, 12-4, and 4-8. Please contact Julia Jordan for more info and to sign up. 505-577-8714. juliajordan1944@
|You are invited to a celebration of life for Phil Evanzo. It will be held at the home, 9 Eden Glen Road, Black Mountain, on May 26 from 2-4. pm In keeping with Phil's passion, it will be held near his garden and be very casual. If you play a musical instrument, please bring it. If you can, please bring a chair. If you cannot come, please wish Phil well as he continues his journey. Tina|
|Update: The construction of our Memorial Garden will be funded solely from donations specifically designated for the Garden. Your annual pledge for the operating expenses of UUCSV for this past fiscal year and subsequent fiscal years will not be used for the construction or maintenance of the Garden. Many thanks to all of our Garden donors!|
All local landscape contractors who responded to our inquiry have told us that they are currently booked with projects from now through the summer. So, we hope to have our Garden constructed in early autumn.
Questions? Ask any member of the Memorial Garden Committee: Mary Soyenova, Ann Sillman, Dawn Wilson, and Carolyn Shorkey
|For the month of May, the choir will move our normal Sunday rehearsal to Monday, May 21st at 7 PM because there is a church-wide meeting at our usual rehearsal time on the 20th. Then we will rehearse again on Wednesday the 23rd at 7 PM, and on the day of performance, Sunday the 27th at 10 AM. One of our songs this month will be "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." Come sing with us! |
Linda Metzner, choir director
|The women's group will meet on Friday May 11 at 1:00 pm at the Lynx Community Room to discuss a quotation selected from quotations by well known people. Our discussion will focus on "Example is not the main thing in influencing others, it is the only thing" by Albert Schweitzer.|
The Intuitive Development (Psi) group will meet at UUCSV at 1:30 pm on May 22
to explore Near Death Experiences. (NDE) Read about Anita Moorjani's experience here
or see a video about Eben Alexander's NDE on youtube
|May’s Friday Fling, a fun party for grown-ups, usually every third Friday of the month, will be held on 18 May at the UUCSV church. Red and white refreshments will be provided; please bring a potluck dish to share. First movie choice: Benny & Joon (1993; Johnny Depp, Mary Stuart Masterson, Julianne Moore; an offbeat romantic comedy about two odd ducks, one a little unbalanced, the other a whimsical misfit). Second movie choice: La Cage aux Folles(1978; Ugo Tognazzi, Michel Serrault; a hilarious French farce, usually considered to be better than the subsequent American remake of 1995, The Birdcage). Potluck begins at 6:30. For further information call Norm Kowal (458-4537).|
|Construction Luncheon |
Thursday, May 24, 2018
For several years there has been a construction project in May benefitting elderly homeowners of low income. Social Action will be organizing a luncheon for the church construction volunteers and women who are incarcerated at the Swannanoa Correctional Center for Women. It will be held at Lake Tomahawk Pavilion at noon.
Please join us for this fun activity. We always need help providing food, set up and clean up for this worthwhile event. Contact Diane Hutchins at email@example.com or phone 828 545-2583 for details.
|The deadline for the June Newsletter is April 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,