There’s been a lot of talk about building walls of late. Obviously, our President wants to build a wall on the Mexico/United States border.
Walls have power as structures and as metaphors. They can represent security, confinement, stability, division, obstruction. Often we use walls to keep others out. But they also keep ourselves in. There have been may walls built during the history of humanity. The Berlin Wall, The Great Wall of China, The Walls of the biblical city of Jericho, just to name a few. Poet Robert Frost was correct to my mind when he wrote that, “ good fences make good neighbors.” Yet he was speaking in the context of creating and maintaining healthy personal boundaries. When those boundaries deny the inherent worth and dignity of another human being ( as well as the animal kingdom) then then walls must and eventually will come down.
The last thing our country needs, the last thing this planet needs is another wall to divide us. While some walls give us security and stability, others isolate us from truth and happiness. As Buddhist spiritual teacher Pema Chödrön has written , “by beginning to look clearly and honestly at ourselves — at our emotions, at our thoughts, at who we really are — we begin to dissolve the walls that separate us from others. Somehow all of these walls, these ways of feeling separate from everything else and everyone else, are made up of opinions. They are made up of dogma; they are made of prejudice. These walls come from our fear of knowing parts of ourselves.” Besides, walls don’t give us security. They only give us the sense of security. It’s only an illusion. The walls we build outside of ourselves to separate are just the same walls we have built in our minds and hearts. Remember always—first the thought, then the thing. This is how the law of manifestation works.
We as human beings are not separate from each other. We never were and we never will be. This illusion of separation is the cause of so much of the world’s strife. Unfortunately, many of our elected officials either do not, or cannot understand this. Perhaps the walls of fear and loathing around their hearts are too high and too strong. And yet little by little, if we as a people individually and collectively are willing to lay siege to these walls built from the brick and mortar and illusions of fear and scarcity; if we as a people are willing and daring enough to cross the alligator filled moats surrounding these utterly useless walls and barriers that we construct to separate ourselves from one another; our acts of tough love and compassion will cause these walls to crumble and fall like the biblical walls of Jericho.
We are one! Do not let anyone tell you otherwise. No lie can last forever. Neither can a wall!
Sunday February 3, 2019
Edna Jacobs Banes
As we celebrate Black History Month in February, we also have the opportunity and obligation to study the history of racism and white privilege in America. That opportunity makes many of us uncomfortable because we do not intend to be racist. We intend to be inclusive and accepting – but good intentions are not enough. Join us February 3rd as we examine our participation in white privilege and consider ways to repair the breach.
The Reverend Edna Banes, our neighbor in Montreat and ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church, has spent years working on racial justice in the church and in the larger community. She is currently parish associate at Kenilworth Church in Asheville, and will speak on white privilege and moving beyond “good intentions.”
Sunday, February 10, 2019
Rev. Michael J. S. Carter
The first sermon from for the new year I spoke about "Compassion." Today we will speak of "Renunciation." Compassion is not wanting others to suffer. "Renunciation" is not wanting me to suffer. Yet, if our fulfillment and happiness depend on obtaining or doing something, will we be unhappy or frustrated if we don’t obtain it or do it? Is our happiness dependent on something that is ultimately beyond our personal reach? Does it depend on other people, other events? If those things, people, events, states or relationships that we depend on for our fulfillment change, what happens? They will change, they do change. Sometimes for the better—but not always. Then what?
Perhaps it may be useful to take a closer look at what actually makes us happy. What do we mean by happy? Where do we find peace? Can we find true inner peace? I believe we can. Mick Jagger reminds us that we can't always get what we want, but if we try sometime, we just might find, we get what we need. See you on Sunday!
Sunday, February 17, 2019
Love is Like a Box of Chocolates
Let’s celebrate Valentine’s Day with an exploration on the meaning and power of love. Through personal stories and joyful music we will express and share unique perspectives on this passionate, universal theme.
Speakers Various UUCSV Members and Friends
Pianist Linda Metzner (It's fine if anyone wants to perform a love song which Linda can accompany, if they give her a copy a few days in advance.)
Sunday, February 24, 2019
Rev. Michael J. S. Carter
Actions Not Words
Pope Francis once said that this is the way prayer works. You pray for the hungry. Then you feed them. Many elected officials send their prayers during a time of tragedy but no different legislation. I don't know about you but the best apology in my mind is changed behavior. A retired UU minister friend of mine once said that prayer doesn't change things. Prayer changes people and then people change things. I may not totally agree with his statement but that is a personal belief. I do believe that we are the ones we have been waiting for and human beings must change the state of the world with our actions as well as our words. We cannot wait for any god(s) or benevolent extraterrestrials to get us out of this mess we have made on this planet. Any extra help is always appreciated but cannot always be counted on. In other words, actions speak louder than words. Let's explore!
Sunday, March 3Harry Petrequin"A New Sense of Being"
A NEW SENSE OF BEING
Most of the world's major religions as well as our level of psychological analysis have yet to take into account the theological and philosophical implications of scientific discoveries in astronomy and quantum physics during the last century. We have yet to move beyond biocentrism to rise to an integral vision of reality in defining human existence.
Harry Petrequin, a longtime member of our congregation, had a long career in the U.S. Foreign Service.
For more information, visit: http://uusv.org/sundays/
The month of February is here with its halfway mark between winter and spring. It is also a month of the blahs. It is also a month of hope with the reminder that spring will be here before long and the end of winter is growing nearer.
Due to the corresponding celebration of love in its various forms in February, our Mystery Buddy program, which was so successful last year, is making a return. This program allows the children in the RE classes to get to know some of the adult members of the congregation they might not otherwise approach. Each child is paired with an adult with neither knowing who the other is at the beginning. Each Sunday in February there will be an exchange of notes, cards, etc. in color-coded mailboxes. The fun of receiving the notes and tokens is added to by trying to figure out who your buddy is!
February will be seeing the children's classes focusing on Water and Fire as well as learning more about our congregation and what it's like to sit in the Sunday morning service. Also, look forward to the youth having being a more visible part of services in the near future!
To those who have made such wonderful contributions of your time and leadership support as a class volunteer, program volunteer, or committee member, I would like to take a moment here to thank you very sincerely. These bright, energetic, and loving hearts and minds who come to church each week eager to learn (and usually unknowingly teach) are well-served by your investment of time and energy. I have been well-served by your unswerving support and ideas.
As February rolls into March, we in RE welcome you to share with us your sights of the impending change of the seasons and what little miracles you see every day.
Beata Ball, Religious Education Director
The RE program will be doing a mystery buddy program beginning in February. Any adult who wants to participate should email me so that I can assign them a child mystery buddy. Also any parent who wants their child to be involved should email me. We believe we are looking for about 8 adults. My email is email@example.com.
| On February 24th, 2019, at 12:30 pm, UUCSV will present the annual UU History Class ( Our History, Our Faith) for new members and anyone else who would like to attend. The class will be held in the sanctuary from 12:30 pm-2:00pm. There will be a film and a discussion to follow. If you are planning to attend, please notify our Membership Co-Chairs, Pam Sain (firstname.lastname@example.org) and/or Carol Sheeler (email@example.com). We look forward to seeing you there.|
|Abbreviated Minutes from the January Board of Trustees Meeting|
Lee Reading, our volunteer Treasurer, reported that the church’s financial position after 6 months of this fiscal year is excellent. Pledges are coming in on schedule. We have about $60,000 in reserve and no debt.
Susan Culler suggested that a poll should be conducted of committee chairs to see if they think another meeting with the Board, during this fiscal year, is needed.
The Board agreed to hold a Committee Fair after church on Sunday, March 3rd. The fair would give committees a chance to educate the congregation about what they do and recruit new members. Pam Sain will contact committee chairs and coordinate announcements about the fair with Myra.
Board members signed the Board Covenant after the meeting.
The Board voted to approve the following committee policy and procedure documents: Financial, Money Counters, and Congregational Care. Additional Committee Policy and Procedures are still being formatted and will face review and approval soon.
Safety Policy: During a discussion there was concern that the policy was not previously approved and questioned whether any of it had been implemented. It was decided that the policy would be held until the Board could find one or two people to be safety officers willing to take control of the safety policy implementation.
Gratitude to Rhea Bockhorst who has been busy working on building maintenance projects in the church recently.
Appreciation to Carol Sheeler who has completed and distributed the church directory. She hopes to add photos. The UU history class for prospective members and other interested persons is scheduled for February 24th.
The Social Action Committee will be collecting school supplies for students who attend the alternative community high school in Swannanoa. Our local MLK breakfast is scheduled for February 9th and Robbie Madden is selling tickets. Julia and Suzanne are stepping down from leadership of the Social Action Committee.
The Board decided to become a member organization for the Equal Rights Ammendment, and it was noted that there was no cost associated.
The Board decided to support the proposed topic, “Democracy Uncorrupted” to be included on the 2019 GA agenda.
It was reported that Emory and David Reid will be troubleshooters when Myra has technology problems with the office equipment. If they can’t handle the issue, then IT consultant, Sally Biggers, can be consulted. Sally was very helpful during the transition to Myra, our new office manager and Sally’s fees are reasonable.
Many thanks to Jim Carillon who has agreed to work on the canvass with Kathryn Coyle. March 17th was mentioned as the kickoff day for our annual canvass.
A copy of the detailed minutes is posted in the foyer
|What is the Care Committee?|
Here at UUCSV we have a Congregational Care Committee that is dedicated to support the physical, mental, and emotional health of our congregation (members and friends) in conjunction with our minister. The idea is to be there for you when you need a helping hand. It includes hospital and home visits when you are ill or can't get out, transportation to medical visits, the church, or other locations when you can't drive, shopping for groceries or other errands when you are unable to do those yourself, cooking some meals, light cleaning or yard work, and pet care. We also have a limited supply of medical equipment such as crutches, walkers, or a bedside toilet. Though our scope is for short term needs, we are also here to help you connect with broader community resources when those are required. Should you find yourself in a situation where you would find any of this helpful, simply contact our coordinator, Larry Pearlman, at 602-501-8471 or larryRpearlman42@gmail.com. You can also contact Larry if you are open to join the committee.
|The “We All Belong Here” book group met for the first time in January and discussed Ijeoma Oluo’s So You Want to Talk About Race.|
The leadership of the group is shared, with each participant choosing a chapter or two to lead. And the meeting time is adaptable to the needs of participants.
The purpose of this group is:
* To expose the impact of white supremacy
* To engage in longer term study, and
* To enter partnerships for action.
The February book is Michael Eric Dyson’s "Tears We Cannot Stop."
Please email or call Anna Marcel de Hermanas if you wish to join us. “We all belong here, and we need each other if we are to keep moving forward."
The book group is sponsored by WNC Faith Communities Organizing for Sanctuary
|Tuesday, Feb. 5 |
12:00 pm at UUCSV.
| In February, our choir will return to our usual schedule. We will rehearse on February 17th at 12:15 after the service, then on the following Wednesday the 20th at 7 PM, and then once more on the day of our performance, February 24th when we will meet at 10 AM. Come sing with us! Linda Metzner, choir director|
Eight women met Friday January 11th to brainstorm and restart the UU Women’s group after a brief hiatus. Everyone expressed gratitude and hopefulness about the group, and came up with a plan for moving forward in 2019. We want to express gratitude to the women who kept the group going for so long, especially Lois Heintz who is retiring from her role as coordinator.
We are exploring more accessible places and times to include all women who would like to attend and thank everyone for giving feedback that helps us to move in that direction. The group arrived at the 2nd Thursday as a day that had the least conflicts, and late afternoon or early evening as a better time for more women. For February, we will meet from 4-5:30 PM at the church on 2/14. We are considering evening sessions every other month and checking out some other accessible spaces to grow the group. Ruth Marian and Anna Marcel de Hermanas will be the coordinators for the February meeting, and hope you will reach out with your ideas and concerns. The focus for the February meeting is LOVE in all its glorious manifestations, sweethearts, girlfriends, family, strangers, pets, and Life itself. Come celebrate LOVE with UU women.
| 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: Babe (1995; inspirational story of a shy Yorkshire pig who doesn't quite know his place in the world). Second movie choice: Tin Men (1987; Richard Dreyfuss, Danny DeVito; In 1963 Baltimore two aluminum siding salesmen compete in hilarious style---no holds barred.) Potluck begins at 6:30. For further information call Norm Kowal (458-4537).|
|The annual prayer breakfast of the local Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial Corporation will be held on Saturday, Feb. 9 at 8 am, at Camp Dorothy Walls. You may purchase tickets online at http://svmlk.org/mlk-prayer- breakfast.html or pay by check with a ticket order form, available on that website. Once purchased, you may pick up your tickets at the breakfast on Feb. 9. Tickets will not be mailed in advance. Tickets: Adults, $15; Children (ages 3-12), $6. For more information, contact Diane Hutchins or Roberta Madden. |
|Board of Trustees:|
Susan Culler, President
Linda Tatsapaugh, VP
Rev. Michael Carter,
|February 1 Suzanne Ziglar|
February 2 Jeff Hutchins
February 23 Ginny Moreland
| Many of you have asked me about Books for Good. The current status is that they are taking books...one box at a time! But I have 30 boxes of books stored at my house. I am not going to be able to store any more until I can get these delivered.|
Yes this is still an ongoing project but I need time to clear my space. You can take small amounts directly to the store. As always, they need shoppers! If you have any questions feel free to call me, Teresa Ballinger 828-25-8453. Or Books for Good at 828-989-4655.
|Despite the cold weather of the season, June is fast approaching. Due to the short time left, trip planner Sylvie Delaunay, together with your Board, decided to postpone the fundraising trip to France until 2020. We will have a presentation of the trip in the spring and will continue to recruit through the summer. If you wish more information about the trip, contact Sylvie at firstname.lastname@example.org |
Otherwise, be on the lookout for future updates. We hope in 2020 many of you will take this unique opportunity to support our congregation and, with a native, discover northern Provence, one of France's best-kept secret destinations.
|Covenant Group to start up in spring|
A Covenant Group is a great way to connect with fellow members on a deeper level. We consider topics of personal interest to be shared in a safe environment. Please contact Larry Pearlman at email@example.com if you are interested in joining such a group. Please indicate whether you want an afternoon or evening group, or no preference. The group is open to all members and friends. Repeat participants are welcome as well as newcomers.
|Goddess Group meets |
On Sunday, Feb. 3, from 3-6 pm, Linda Metzner will lead a women's Goddess group on the theme of "Inanna's Daughters." The event celebrates Imbolc, or Brigid's Day. In Ireland, St. Brigid is often represented by dolls, and we invite guests to share a favorite doll to place on our altar. We will also make our own felted dolls to take home. All women are welcome. Please contact Linda Metzner for more information, firstname.lastname@example.org
|For posting UUCSV news for March, please send submissions to Barb Rogers at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org by February 25, 2019.|