As we journey into the last quarter of the year, it can be really challenging to keep up with all that is going on in our society. Not just the politics of the day, but in our day to day interactions with our neighbors (who are most likely just as rushed and harried as we are) and are dealing with the mundane day to day living of life that is part of being a human being on planet earth.
Children are going back to school, holidays will soon be upon us, financial concerns, maintaining right relationships with our loved ones and neighbors, health concerns, career concerns, spiritual and emotional concerns---it can all be so, so, overwhelming. It can be difficult to know when to hold on and when to let go. And yet the key to maintaining one's sanity in a world that is moving so fast is to learn to slow down and to let go.
It's not always an easy task but it is still worth the effort. This well known story from a book entitled, Zen and The Art of Whatever" by David Gerrold is a great reminder....
|Sunday, 2 September 2018, 11 am|
Rev. Terry Davis
"A Clear Purpose, a Good Life"
Physician and researcher Dhruv Khrullar observed “The key to a deeper, healthier life, it seems, isn't knowing the meaning of life — it's building meaning into your life.” Work provides a sense of meaning and purpose for some. What is yours? Is it changing? This morning we’ll explore why having a clear sense of purpose and acting on it is perhaps the most life-affirming thing we’ll ever do.
Rev. Terry Davis pursued Unitarian Universalist ministry after a 25-year career in corporate communications. Rev. Davis currently serves as a transitions coach for the UUA Southern Region. She has served as the solo minister of UU congregations in St. Louis and Atlanta, as well as the resident chaplain of the women’s maternity center at Atlanta’s Emory University Hospital. A native of Washington, DC, Rev. Davis earned her Master of Divinity degree from Candler School of Theology in Atlanta in 2008. She was ordained at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta in 2010, where she was a 20-year active member.
An article from the Feb. 16th, 2016 Psychology Today magazine talks about over thinking, or what I like to call living life from the neck up. The article was written by Amy Morin, licensed clinical psychotherapist and social worker. Amy Morin talks about the dangers of overthinking and gives us some suggestions to remedy the problem. She says that whether they beat themselves up over a mistake they made yesterday or fret about how they’re going to succeed tomorrow, over thinkers are plagued by distressing thoughts—and their inability to get out of their own heads leaves them in a state of constant anguish. While everyone overthinks things once in a while, some people just can’t ever seem to quiet the mind. Are you one of those people? Do you constantly worry about things you can't control? Let's explore.
Sunday, 9 September 2018, 11 am
Rev. Michael J.S. Carter
"Living Life from the Neck Up"
It is also our Homecoming Sunday so there is Water Communion. Please bring your water. Its also Rosh Hashanna. Please keep your hearts open. See you then!
Sunday, 16 September 2018, 11 am
Rev. Michael J.S. Carter
"The Right to be Happy"
A couple of thousand years ago, plus a few decades, Plato taught that everyone seeks the good. Not that everyone finds the good, or enjoys the good, but that everyone seeks it, in their own way. Even those people whose lives seem so futile, or self- destructive, or doomed to failure, even they too are seeking, somehow, the good--think about it. They're not trying to fail, they're not looking for sadness, doom or misfortune, at least not consciously. They're trying to capture the gold ring, make the big score, win the lottery; they’re seeking happiness. The Declaration of Independence says that we have a "right" to pursue happiness, but it doesn't say that we will always acquire happiness. Do we really have a "right" to be happy? Let's explore.
Jeff Jones returns to our pulpit for a sermon about language. He writes, "My wife the English teacher says, 'Commas matter.'" She asks her students to consider the difference between 'Let's eat, Carol' and 'Let's eat Carol.' If a comma can make the difference between an invitation to lunch and cannibalism, imagine how much difference our choice of words will make. My sermon is NOT about compassionate communication, dirty words, or political correctness. Instead, it will be an invitation, with ample examples, to consider how our language can both reflect and shape our attitudes.
Sunday, 23 September, 11 am
Rev. Jeff Jones
"Watch Your Language"
In June 2017, Rev.Jeff Jones left full-time parish ministry (nine years in Fredericksburg, Virginia, and seven years in Marietta, Georgia) to pursue Community Ministry in Compassionate Living, a cornerstone of which is Nonviolent (Compassionate) Communication, developed by Marshall Rosenberg. He and his wife now live in Asheville, and he is creating this new ministry as student, aspiring practitioner, facilitator, and activist.
Sunday, 30 September, 11 am
Rev. Michael J.S. Carter
"Rev. Dr. James Cone - the Father of Black Liberation Theology"
While attending Union Seminary, I had the privilege of studying Systematic Theology with Dr. James Cone, the founder of "Black Liberation Theology." He was not a perfect human being, but his passion and love for African American people, his belief that "God" was on the side of the oppressed, and his intellectual gifts were simply astonishing. He also happened to be one of two professors who encouraged me to stay on at Union for a Ph.D. ( This was after reading my Master's Thesis on the topic of UFO's and the Bible).
Professor Cone died on April 28th, 2018. You have heard me say on more than one occasion that we as UUs must always remember that the religion of the oppressed is different from the religion of the privileged. Dr. Cone was a privileged academic and intellectual, but he never forgot where he came from. Join me on Sunday September 30th, as I present another "Biographical Sermon" on the life of yet another extraordinary human being--The Rev. Dr. James Cone, Father of Black Liberation Theology.
REMINDER: Upcoming Sunday services can also be found here: http://uusv.org/sundays/
School is back in session! Our children are back in their classes and we will be starting our new program year this month.
This year "Spirit Play" is the curriculum for our preschoolers. This Montessori-type program let's the children engage with the story topics as they feel called to do. Whether with clay, building blocks, or crayons, this program will have something for everyone.
Our elementary class will "Sing to the Power" as they learn about their own power and how to use it to be leaders. This curriculum uses the analogy of the 4 elements: earth, air, fire, and water, to allow the children to explore their power and choose projects to put that power into action!
Our teens are doing something a little different this year. Small group ministry whether in a Chalice Circle or the Men's Group, is a vital part of our congregation. Our teens will be "Sharing the Journey" with their facilitators as they try out this program that is based on the small group ministry format. As one of our teens will be bridging this year, it is hoped that this program will provide a glimpse into the adult experience at UUCSV.
And speaking of our teens, one of them is this month's Meet RE member. Meet Cora!
"I started attending UUCSV when I was still crawling. Some of my favorite classes have been "Coming of Age" , "OWL" (Our Whole Lives) and "Social Justice through Music" . I loved going to Boston and getting closer to the people on the trip. I liked OWL because I learned a lot about all kinds of different people. What I loved most about the Social Justice class was being in a roomful of people who care as much as I do and can respectfully talk about those issues.
Halloween parties and the Christmas Eve service are special to me. I am on the Owen High School Dance team, I work at Kilwins and I’m a junior in high school. This summer I backpacked on the Appalachian Trail with 11 strangers for eight days straight and then the last 4 days we spent doing environmental service projects. I learned that all people are incredible in their own way. You just have to get to know them first."
|Reducing Single Use Plastic at UUCSV|
|The UUCSV board at their recent meeting expressed support for an effort to address the global issue of waste plastic accumulating in the environment. They tossed the ball back to me (Geoffrey) as I suggested that we ban the use of “single use plastic”. Contact me* if you are called to help formulate an implementation plan at UUCSV via the Social Action Committee. As a start I suggest surfing the web for ideas that we can consider. |
|There are many ways for someone from the lower 48 states to experience Alaska. Huge 2,000 passenger cruise ships sail up the Inland Passage from Vancouver with layovers in several coastal ports of call. A hardy few opt to drive up the Alcan highway, fly in to a sport-fishing lodge or even join an expedition to climb North America’s highest (and coldest) mountain. Ann and I are very happy we made the decision to join a group of UU’s for a Whale Coast Alaska tour this July. Our two-week tour was sold out with 40 guests ranging in age from 11 (a very bright lad traveling with his Grandmother) to a few octogenarians. Several couples were married, there were a few mother-daughter teams, three women came together from Charleston, one retired UUA district executive came with her daughter, and then some singles were also in our group.|
We began the tour in Fairbanks, traveled by train to Denali National Park, then continued by rail south to Anchorage. We then fly further southeast to Juneau and our final stop was in Sitka. In each city our group was hosted by the local UU fellowship, where we shared many meals with their members. Lodging was mostly provided by families except in Juneau and Sitka where due to the small size of their congregations, some folks stayed in a commercial accommodation. Local transportation was often provided by our hosts as well as much local lore and history. Each fellowship is compensated by the tour director relative to the amount of services provided to the group. Over the ten years of running these tours, this important income stream (of outside money) has enabled these congregations to purchase property, expand or upgrade facilities and to hire a minister! Dave Frey is the tour director and he and his wife (who is from Asheville and whose daughter graduated from Warren Wilson College) are very active with the Fairbanks fellowship. Dave did an excellent job of providing a wide variety of activities in each city that allowed each person to customize the experience to suit their interests and energy levels. If you would like to learn more about this unique way to visit Alaska, please visit the website www.whalecoastak.org. Ann Lutz & Lee Reading
|Minister's Message continued|
| "Two monks were on a pilgrimage. One day, they came to a very deep river. At the edge of the river, a young woman sat weeping, because she was afraid to cross the river without help. She begged the two monks to help her but the younger one turned his back on the young woman.The members of their order were strictly forbidden to touch a woman.|
But the older monk picked up the woman without a word and carried her across the river. He put her down on the far side and continued on his journey. The younger monk came after him, scolding him and berating him for breaking his vows. He went on this way for all day long and just could not seem to stop.
Finally, as evening came on the older monk turned to the younger one and said, "I only carried her across the river, but you have been carrying her all day."
During this time of Rosh Hashanah (The Jewish New Year) and Yom Kippur (The Holiest Day of the Jewish Calendar), the day of repentance and Atonement (At-One-Ment) I am Wishing all of you a Gentle Peace,
|HOW MANY CHILDREN?|
Over one hundred and fifty!!! That's how many children are living and being taken care of at the Black Mountain Home for Children. Imagine how many rolls of paper towels and bathroom tissue are used every day! On September 16th and 23rd UUCSV members and friends will have an opportunity to support this valley non-profit. The Social Action Committee will be accepting paper towels and bathroom tissue on those dates. Let's make a difference to the community and 150 kids. All donations appreciated.
|It's getting close! Donations may be brought to the Sanctuary following the Service on Sunday, September 9th and during the following week. We're looking for clothing, household items, collectibles, plants, books, children's toys. (No electronics or mattresses.).|
|Our choir welcomed new and returning singers in August, bringing our number in performance to a beautiful 18 singers! There are always a few who can't sing in any month, and you are always welcome. In September, we will first rehearse on the 16th at 12:15 after the service, then on Wednesday the 19th at 7 PM, and then at 10 AM on the 23rd, the day of our performance. Come sing with us! Linda Metzner,|
|Women's group meeting for September is cancelled due to preparations for the September 15 yard sale!|
|The Psi (Intuitive Development) group will meet at 1:30 pm, UUCSV, on Tuesday Sept 25 to identify and discuss our totem animals. Totem animals were revered as sacred or possessing supernatural powers by various tribes. Different animal guides, also called spirit guides and/or power animals, come in and out of our lives depending on the direction that we are headed and the tasks that need to be completed along our journey.|
For example, the bear is one of the most powerful animals in the spirit-guide realm. This guide is in tune with emotional and physical healing and likely connected with those who feel a deep connection to the earth and the outdoors.
The owl is the spirit guide that has the ability to see what others miss. It helps people see the deeper meaning of things and discover the hidden treasures in life.
Various quizzes are available on the internet to help you discover your totem or spirit animal. This link provides one approach.
|September’s Friday Fling, a fun party for grown-ups, usually every third Friday of the month will be held on 21 September at the UUCSV church. Red and white refreshments will be provided; please bring a potluck dish to share. First movie choice: |
Michael (1996; John Travolta;) Michael descends from Heaven for his last visit to Earth for all eternity; of course he's an angel, but he's not a saint). Second movie choice: The Blues Brothers (1980; John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Ray Charles, James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Cab Calloway). Potluck begins at 6:30. For further information call Norm Kowal (458-4537).
|Announcement for the Black Mountain Racial Equity Book Club: |
Come join us for in-depth discussion on racism in the U.S. Our goal is to raise awareness of both the history and current reality of racism and what we can do about it. We meet once a month to discuss books that shed light on the structures and systems that support white supremacy.
We will discuss The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander on September 10th (chapters 1 - 3) and Oct 8th (chapters 4 - 6).
We meet on the second Monday of each month, 7-8:15 at the Black Mountain Library Education Room.Contact
for more information.
|The deadline for the October Newsletter is September 25th. Please submit items to this address. The best format is simply in the body of an email. Thank you!|
|Board of Trustees:|
Susan Culler, President
Linda Tatsapaugh, VP
Rev. Michael Carter,