Stereotypes, Inherent Worth, and Thanksgiving
After service on October 21st, I went home to put my feet up and watch some football. I was watching a game and during a commercial I decided to check my Facebook Page. I saw a friend of mine with her picture and the caption reading "I just voted early" and the caption said one hour ago. Needless to say, I was surprised. Voting on Sunday? I saw the photo around 1 pm and it was now a little after 3 pm. I called her and she said yes indeed she voted on Sunday and there were no lines at the location where she went to vote. She also said they were open until 5 pm. Since we are in the same area geographically, I decided to stop watching the game and to go vote as well. She was correct and I got to vote and did not have to deal with any lines.
On the way home, I decided to do some grocery shopping at Ingles. While shopping I had my "I voted early" sticker on my sweater and one of the employees at the store said hello and noticed the sticker. Now, this man in my narrow minded view appeared as the typical supporter of this present administration. He wore camouflaged hunting attire, shirt, cap, and fatigues, as well as having a thick rural southern accent. I had already placed him in the box that made me most comfortable. I believe this is sometimes called stereotyping. Anyway, when I told him that yes, I had just voted, he said to me, great, we need a real change in that White House!
Sunday, 4 November 2018, 11 am Dr. Brad Rachman“Getting Rid of What You Never Had”
In this age, it seems to be getting more and more challenging to discern what is and is not “our stuff.” Our own personal desires, fears, and general blueprint for how we believe our life should be all cloud our recognition of what life really is about. Let’s explore together all of the nuances of this theme and see if we can clear away some of the tarnish of delusion that is resting on the crystal clear mirror of our awareness.
Sunday, 11 November 2018, 11 amRev. Michael J.S. Carter"The Atheist"
Just a few days ago I was speaking with a mother who has a 16 year old son who said that he did not believe in God and she was very, very, concerned. She comforted herself by saying that he was only 16 and that he was still “evolving”, which is true. I inquired of her if she would love him any less if he decided not to believe in a God and she said of course not! She replied that it was just difficult for her to accept that he does not believe there is a God overseeing our lives and world. I asked her if she ever thought that it took a great deal of courage and faith to identify as an atheist in our culture and that to have a faith in one’s fellow human beings instead of a deity is a particular kind of faith but a faith nevertheless. She said she had never even considered it. In a sense all children are born atheist as they have no belief in God initially. I did not tell her that… Let’s explore the perspective of the Atheist.
Sunday, 18 November 2018, 11 amRev, Michael J.S. Carter"Thankful for Aging"
"Aging is not for the faint of heart." Many of us have heard variations of this saying during our lifetimes. There is no doubt that for some, especially those battling a terminal or long term illness, aging can be a time of extreme hardship. And yet, life is a gift and we only have it for a short time, no matter how long we may live. Perhaps if we switch perspectives of "why is this happening to me?" to what lesson can I learn here, aging may be something for which we give profound gratitude for. The words of Of poet Mae Sarton ring true, "real old aged begins when we begin to look backwards instead of forward." Let's explore.
Sunday, 25 November 2018, 11 amRev. Michael J.S. Carter"Voices"
What are the voices inside of your head telling you? Are you harder on yourself than you are on others? Do you have unrealistic expectations for your life as a way of not moving forward? Of course you do. We all do to a greater or lesser extent, yet we think that only "crazy" people hear voices. The truth of the matter is that whatever those voices tell you, if you think you can do something or think that you can't do something---your right on both counts. If we begin now, perhaps we can change those voices as we edge closer to end of this year, and begin the next one with a new attitude.
REMINDER: Upcoming Sunday services can also be found here: http://uusv.org/sundays/ Changes that occur after publication date will be changed on the website only!
|Ah, November. Thirty days of gratitude is usually emphasized this month and I personally like to reflect on the people and events who have had an impact on my life over the past year. I am always grateful to those people and for those events (great and the not-so-great) as they have given me the opportunity to grow as well as to see exactly how strong and/or flexible I am. |
In Children's Religious Education, November will be our time to practice our parts in the intergenerational service on November 18. This will also be the kick-off for our annual food drive that is sponsored by the Religious Education department each year. Our grocery cart is empty and ready to be filled!
The preschool class, Spirit Play, we will be learning about our congregation specifically now that we have learned about being a UU in general. Our traditions, our habits, and our struggles are stories that make us who we are. What does being a UU with our congregation mean to you?
Sing to the Power in the elementary class is all about our Earth
project as well as learning about the power of Air. Animals and Air are on the board right now and wait until you see what they come up with!
Youth in the teen class will be exploring Sharing the Journey as they discuss and share about topics close to their hearts.
Meet Children's Religious Education for this month is Iona! Iona is a spunky little preschooler who loves dressing up and playing with her animals. As you can
see, she likes the color pink and her favorite animal is her guinea pig.
|How many children live at the Black Mountain Home------wait a minute ; we already know the answer to that question. If you've forgotten, it's 150! Here's the latest question; how many rolls of paper towels and bathroom tissue did the generous people of UUCSV donate to the Home? Answer: 115 rolls of bathroom tissue and 60 rolls of paper towels !!! The Social Action Committee (and those 150 kids) is grateful for your kind and caring thoughtfulness. Our next collection will be in the New Year and you will want to be a part of making life more enjoyable and meaningful for a great bunch of teenagers.|
|From your Board of Trustees|
Abbreviated Minutes from the October 25, 2018 Meeting
Lee Reading, our volunteer Treasurer, reported that the church balance sheet is in a solid financial position with assets of $124,000 and liabilities of $3000. For income and expenses through the end of September which is the end of 1st quarter, we are ahead on income because of pledges and a very successful yard sale.
On November 4th, there will be a meeting of the Board with Committee Chairs. The purpose of the meeting is to make sure to maintain good communications between the Board and all of the committees. Among the purposes for the meeting will be a review of new committee policies, a review of committee openings, and brief updates from each committee. Committees will also be asked to create written policies and procedures for their committee.
The Board is trying to set the stage for the Strategic Planning Committee to move forward by participating in an online discussion which is already scheduled. The Board discussed how to connect and join the discussion.
Linda Tatsapaugh and Susan Culler have been working on updating job descriptions and writing job descriptions for UUCSV paid employees which did not previously have job descriptions. It was pointed out that some job descriptions were expanded to include additional duties where the Board sees the need.
As part of the Board review of committees, it was agreed certain committees should have a Board member attending their meetings. Those committees are the Nominating Committee (Diane Graham), the Personnel Committee (Deb Vingle), the Communications Committee (Susan Culler), which isn’t formed yet, and the Finance Committee which already has a Board member, Katherine Coyle.
The next Board meeting will be on the 29th of Nov. at 6:00.
|Minister's Message continued|
My mind was reeling. Dressed like that, did he actually say that? Was he mocking me or was he some kind of right wing Intelligence Officer? Was I hearing things? Did he really say that? Was it because I was a person of color or did I have a huge letter D on my forehead? Was it all of the above? Not one to be fooled easily, still cautious I said, "well whoever you vote for, please do vote." He replied that he would definitely vote and that he was from Kentucky and he simply could not stand a certain Senator with the initials MM from Kentucky. Dare I say it? How diplomatic should I be... Suffice it to say that I had found a political comrade and we agreed on a lot of things regarding this administration and the need for change while he was there working and I was buying cashew nuts from Ingles.
As a matter of fact, I forgot to purchase the cashews as I was so caught up in our conversation, and no I will not disclose which Ingles it was. I drove all the way home before I realized I had forgotten to purchase them. Now, I don't look like Kanye West, and perhaps he was stereotyping me as well. If that was the case, I am not so much concerned about his thoughts for I cannot control them, but I am concerned about my thoughts. A member of our congregation (Thanks Mamie Hilliard) calls this type of situation dealing with "The Trickster." "The Trickster" plays a role in both African American and Native American Folklore but is found in many other cultures as well. By "The Trickster" we mean that Life, God, call it what you will, presents certain situations to us to challenge us as well as to remind us that life is not always what it seems. That goes for people as well. I give thanks for this reminder to check my "bull hockey" at the door of life and for humbling me for my judgments and stereotypes of others.
Now a word about inherent worth.This is our first principle as Unitarian Universalists
When one has a solid healthy sense of inherent worth about themselves, one values other people. You realize that people are different. You understand that people see things and interpret things in different ways. You do not compare yourself to them, nor do you feel the need to compete with them. You know who you are, which means you you accept others as they are.
When one does not have a healthy sense of inherent worth about themselves, one feels the need to win every argument. You feel the need to prove your point. You are threatened by differences. You need agreement with your views, your values and opinions in order to feel support and acknowledged. When you are not sure that who you are is good enough, you will do your best to prove that you are better than someone else. Since you do not have enough of your own self worth to draw upon, you will set out to destroy the worth of those who you believe are opposing you. Of course the ego will hide this behind the facade of being for justice and what is right, which may be true up to a point.
Should you ever find yourself on the attack, realize that you just might be experiencing as sense of less than, not good as, or loss of your sense of inherent worth. If you forget it about yourself you won't remember it about others. When you find yourself tearing down someone else to prove your point, realize that you have lost your grounding. You are not centered in yourself. Disagreement is not the same as attack! When you call someone out, when you criticize their physical being, their talents, gifts or efforts, believing that their inability to agree with you somehow makes you wrong, realize that you have lost your inherent worth and dignity.
When this happens, draw on the strength of who you are. Stand in the strength of what you know. Should you be faced with a different point of view, allow yourself and others to simply be different. It may help you to enjoy your meal together with family and friends this Thanksgiving. There may be much to talk about (and to listen to) again this year...
Happy Thanksgiving To All,
|Next month (December) will be the last Newsletter produced by Ginny Moreland, who has served as editor since April 2015. Training and assistance will be available for any volunteer(s) who might decide to take this on. If not, the Communication Committee and/or Board will deal with the question of whether a monthly newsletter is still needed and how it might be produced.|
|We gather at noon at the church on the first Tuesday of each month for an hour of interesting discussion. Some of us go out for lunch together afterwards; it’s also fine to bring a lunch if you have only an hour. All are welcome to join us on November 6th.|
We enjoyed singing "Fields of Gold" for our October service, and then going out for lunch at Ole's Guacamole's! In November, we will perform on the 25th. We will rehearse on Sunday the 18th at 12:15 pm, then on Wednesday the 21st at 7 PM, and then at 10 AM on the 25th before the service. Come sing with us!
|The women's group will meet at 1:00 pm on Nov 9 at eh Lynx clubhouse to discuss the topic Gratitude. |
We will have a new procedure starting in Jan 2019, which is to select 12 topics for the year, one for each month, and a person to facilitate the meeting. Bring several ideas for meeting topics to the meeting on Nov 9 in order to select topics for next year. We will also need volunteers for tasks such as set-up, email notifications, and 'back-up facilitator."
The psi group (intuitive development) will meet at 1:30 pm on Nov 27th. The topic will be decided and announced in the Current.
|November’s Friday Fling, a fun party for grown-ups, usually every third Friday of the month, will be held on 16 November at the UUCSV church. Red and white refreshments will be provided; please bring a potluck dish to share. First 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: Babe
(1995; inspirational story of a shy Yorkshire pig who doesn't quite know his place in the world).
Potluck begins at 6:30. For further information call Norm Kowal (458-4537).
|There will be a silent auction and Christmas party on Saturday December 1st from 2:00 until 4:00 pm at the home of Gary and Susan Hurley. The address is: 3 Galax Lane, Black Mountain. |
We will offer some choice items that were set aside from our yard sale and we are in need of other quality items that members might be willing to donate. These may include (but are not limited to): art objects, paintings, pottery, good jewelry, services such as pet sitting, house sitting, baby sitting, planting/ gardening, providing a nice dinner, a special dessert, handyman service, use of your vacation property or any other item of value.
You may drop off items any Sunday in October or November. If you have questions please call Susan Hurley at 828-303-1195.
|The social action committee will be again selling our sanctuary guest's handiwork after the service on the 3rd Sunday in November, which will be a great time to get some gifts and support a local immigrant family. Aprons, shopping bags, pouches, and many other fabric pieces will be available for a donation to Mariposa. She has been working hard to get ready for the holidays , and thanks everyone who has donated material for her handiwork. See you on November 18th.|
|The (Memorial) Garden project is moving along nicely. By the time this newsletter is published, the gazebo kit will have been delivered and stored on our parking lot. Before the gazebo can be assembled in The Garden, the memorial stone monument needs to be delivered and installed via a crane. Then, the memorial stone and memorial bricks will be inscribed and placed in The Garden, followed by the assembly of the gazebo. Once the project is completed, the Memorial Garden Committee will invite donors to The Garden for the dedication ceremony.|
|The deadline for the December Newsletter is November 25th. Please submit items to this address.|
|Board of Trustees:|
Susan Culler, President
Linda Tatsapaugh, VP
Rev. Michael Carter,