Like author Max Coots who I quote below, I too have had enough of winter! Yes, I do enjoy the four seasons, but as this body continues to age I seem to require more of the warmth of the sun. Even as I write this column, I am watching the squirrels play on the tree limbs and the sun shines brightly in my eyes as I view the computer monitor. The tree limbs sway to and fro in a gentle dance and the sky is a beautiful blue with white cotton ball clouds. The pollen and hay fever symptoms are already irritating my sinuses but who cares? Spring is coming! The earth awakens again in all its splendor, the original resurrection. Enjoy the season, allergies and all. I also want to remind you that our Easter Service will require you to bring your flowers for our Flower Communion. Lo, the earth awakes again! Alleluia!
I leave you with the words of author Max Coots from his book, Seasons of The Self. Its called Easter.
By now I've had enough of Wintertime. Too much, if my reaction to the weather means a thing. I start to take the weather personally. No one ever should, but I admit to it. By now I get a little April foolish about thermometers and things...Where weather is concerned I'm such an April Fool. At least I'm not alone in this. There something pagan in the way I feel. It's almost as if I could believe as ancient people did, that along with March or April, Winter fought with Summer for the earth, and finally compromised with Spring....with the crude understanding of the human heart that needs warmth after cold and green to wipe out the Winter white. I sometimes think theirs ( the ancients) is the greater truth: the understanding not of science but of soul.
But I grow pagan the end of March and start to take the seasons too much to heart. Too much? Maybe not... Maybe we ought to take the seasons personally; identify ourselves with ancient, primal hungers of history, to know the past, though the past is never really dead, that we are now what we were once, and what it always has meant to be alive and human, Winter, Fall, or Spring....Unless we move the seasons of the self, and Spring can come for us, the Winter will go on and on. And Easter will remain a myth, and life will never come again, Despite the fact of Spring!
What a Beautiful sentiment. Long Live Spring!!!
Sunday, April 7 2019, 11 amTim Perry“Ash Wednesday”
Some of you know that Lent was always my favorite season of the liturgical year when I was a more traditional Christian. It all begins with Ash Wednesday, and the ominous sounding – but undeniably true – reminder: “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” But does it have to be so grim? Join me as we dare to gaze into the void of our transience and mortality for a bit, and let’s see if we can’t find a message of hope and joy, even there.
Tim Perry is a former fundamentalist, a former Catholic, a minister for most of his life, “A priest forever after the order of Melchizedek,” according to his ordination, and these days a hopeful agnostic who doesn’t believe much of anything he believed ten years ago, yet somehow finds a reason to get out of bed, and can be frequently seen lurking around these parts.
Sunday, April 14th, 2019, 11 am
Rev. Michael CarterThis Sunday is Palm Sunday. "Saving Childhood"
For more information, visit: http://uusv.org/sundays/
There was a story in the New York Times awhile back about the nannies of Silicon Valley who are helping to raise the children of the many tech designers and creators who work in the industry. It seems that many of the nannies are asked to sign an agreement to have no electronic devices around the children and that the nannies will stay off their own cell phones.It appears that the people who create our technology don’t want their own young children around the incredible tools of entertainment and communication that they create for us. For their own kids its more about board games and visits to the park.
One of the shadow sides of the culture we live in is the effect of technology on childhood. The time of being a child—of exploring the world around and within—is being influenced by the push of information from the outside. Middle school is in 6th grade now and headed toward 5th grade, and the amount of information that these youngsters have at their disposal is mind blowing.Yet they will need more information for the real journey they are on—their life journey, and they will still need to gain wisdom and values.
They will need a great place to grow up, for regardless of how much the world changes, parents and grandparents are still important in making a house a home. Protecting childhood has to be at the heart of our culture moving forward.
Sunday April 21, 2019, 11 am
Rev. Michael Carter"Resurrection"
For many UUs, the traditional story of the Easter Resurrection gives us pause. I like to remind folks that Dr. King and Dr. Howard Thurman did not believe in the literally resurrection of Jesus either.
UU History is firmly rooted in Protestant Christianity and during most of our history we affirmed these roots even as we moved further from orthodox Christianity. We challenged the traditional understanding of Jesus but never doubted his central importance. We applied reason and critical methodology to scripture and we redefined God as love. Eventually, many within our tradition did have doubts and new certainties were born.
UUism likes to trace our roots to the radical Protestant Reformation for we are just a bit over two centuries old. And it is worth remembering that the emergence of religious humanism within our tradition is a fairly recent phenomenon, occurring in the 20th century.
The idea of resurrection is central to Christianity, but the idea of a literal resurrection from the dead causes many religious liberals to ignore the idea of resurrection entirely. We need not throw out the proverbial baby with the proverbial bath water. Let's explore this tough topic from a UU perspective. Happy Easter!
Don't forget your flowers for flower communion.
April 28th, 2019
Rev. Michael Carter
"Good Fences Make Good Neighbors"
The late therapist John Bradshaw once told a story about the lack of boundaries and what he called, The Price of Nice. He noted that many times after a mass shooting, when the media would interview neighbors or those who knew the shooter, they would almost always remark about how "nice" the person was. It was as if simply being nice was the sole characteristic of a person's character. How many of us have known a person who was just so nice that they could reek havoc in your life. You couldn't tell them how you felt because you didn't want to hurt their feelings because they were just so... just so... well, just so nice. We get taken in by this all of the time. Poet Robert Frost was on to something when he wrote that good fences make good neighbors. Let's explore good boundaries and the "price of nice."
|Religious Education (RE) News|
Finally! Spring has sprung and the mowers are going strong.
Spring cleaning has also beeuch in evidence (although it was before spring actually arrived). Many thanks to Carolyn Shorkey and Heidi Blozan for their hard work to make our classroom spaces more organized and initiated the big purge that had been overdue.
April is generally the month when RE classes are finishing up their regular curriculum lessons and starting to plan for the RE service in May. This year is no different. The preschool class will begin learning some traditions of our congregation and the elementary class will wrap up Sing to the Power, and the teens continue exploring the Big Questions in their class.
With the aid of a fun card game, the preschool and elementary classes will begin to plan the annual RE service that is held in May. If you would like to be part of that amazing and fun service, we would love to have a member of the Sunday Service Associates meet with us after Easter and a Board member to help with our bridging ceremony. See Beata Ball (or email her).
|Board of Trustees minutes March 2019|
From Your Board of Trustees
These are the abbreviated minutes from the Board meeting held on March 28, 2019.
From our volunteer Treasurer, Lee Reading: Lee reported that the 8 month income/expense statement is overall good news with income running ahead of expenses for this fiscal year. Once pledge canvass numbers for fiscal year 2019-20 are firm, Lee will create a budget projection for next fiscal year. Lee suggested that the Board consider issues for next year’s budget such as raises for employees and the addition of a paid pre-school teacher.
Because of health reasons, Pam Sain resigned from the Board between meetings. The Board approved Larry Pearlman’s appointment to fill Pam’s place, unanimously. Many thanks to Pam for her dedicated service on the Board.
The board approved the Personnel Committee changes to their policy document. The main change was to require background checks for all employees every 3 years.
Building and grounds: We are still waiting for parking lot repair. The Memorial Garden will be dedicated Saturday, June 1, and the Memorial Garden Committee will do a lay-led Sunday Service on June 2nd.
Once the small RE room is organized and cleared of clutter, Carolyn suggested that the room would be more inviting to the teens and small group meetings, if it were furnished like a living room. Funding for the purchase of good quality used living room furniture is pending.
A congregational meeting will be held to approve the annual budget as well as any bylaw changes on June 2nd after the Sunday Service.
Linda, Deb, and Heidi have continuing terms on the Board for fiscal year 2019-20. There is a committee working on nominations for new openings for a two year term.
The Board decided to postpone a Committee Chairs meeting until after the new Board is in place.
Our long time co-chairs of the Membership Committee have been asking for replacements for a long time. The Board suggested that we advertise the need for new leadership for the Membership Committee, including the time commitment for the positions.
Lastly, the Board agreed to send out a reminder and announce the policy of limiting spoken announcements to only essential matters, before the Sunday Service.
For the full version of the minutes, see the church bulletin board.
We welcome four new Sunday Coffee Hours Hosts, Ray Stein, Barbara Bryan, Maggie Schlubach, and Kathi Rice. Our dedicated and long time hosts are training our new volunteers to do the job of setting up and cleaning up for our Sunday social hour. Many, many thanks to our current and new hosts!
The issue of our use of plastic stirrers comes up from time to time. At least 15 years ago, whom ever was ordering supplies for coffee hour ordered a massive quantity of stirrers. We still probably have 500 left that haven’t even had the “single use” designation. I have put them in the bin of plastic items in the children’s craft supplies closet. That is still way too many to use in craft projects. Should I put them into the trash, without even a single use or store them indefinitely? If anyone has any idea of a way to get even a single use of these stirrers, please let me know.
Because our budget is just $200 a year for coffee hour, we have labeled the coffee to only be used for Sunday coffee hour. Various folks have donated coffee for use by church committees, meetings, etc. That donated coffee is stored above the coffee maker in the kitchen and labeled “Community Coffee”. Please feel free to use this donated coffee for your gatherings.
Lastly, we encourage you to bring finger food snacks to share with the congregation during Coffee Hour. If you bring a snack which requires a fork to be used to eat it (like cake or pie) please bring a container for collection of used plastic forks. Then, TAKE THE FORKS HOME AND RUN THEM THROUGH YOUR DISHWASHER. We have no way of sterilizing forks at church and we do not want to have the plastic forks thrown away after just a single use. We have plenty of forks, so no rush to get the clean ones back to church quickly.
I’m delighted to hear our members talking to visitors during Coffee Hour. If you are chatting with a friend and see someone standing alone, please invite them into your conversation.
|"We All Belong Here" Book Group|
|If you have not signed up for the group, you can still participate. |
Our next book to discuss is James Cone’s “The Cross and the Lynching Tree.” Check the Current for date.
Looking forward, an interfaith event of all the “We All Belong Here” book groups sponsored by the WNC Faith Communities Organizing for Sanctuary is being planned for early May at the Land of Sky United Church of Christ. The event will provide opportunities for dialoguing with the members of other “We All Belong Here” groups on their experiences and insights.
For questions about the group, you can contact Anna Marcel de Hermanas by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (740) 706-3793.
The Building and Grounds Committee is sponsoring a spring cleaning day at the church on Saturday, April 27th, from 9:00 - 12:00. If you have even half an hour that morning to come by and wash a few windows or dust a few cobwebs out of the corners, your time will be much appreciated. Questions? Contact Kate Ramsey email@example.com
. Thank you.
In April, the UUCSV Choir will return to our normal rehearsal schedule. We will meet on Sunday the 21st at 12:15 after the service, then on Wednesday the 24th at 7 PM, and on the day of performance, the 28th at 9:45 AM. Come enjoy singing with us, it's good for you! Linda Metzner, choir director
|The Social Action Committee will collect reusable shopping/tote bags (clean or new) for MANNA FoodBank on Sunday, April 21 and Sunday, April 28. MANNA, Mountain Area Nutritional Needs Alliance, is a not-for-profit service organization that links the food industry with over 200 partner agencies in 16 counties of Western North Carolina. MANNA is a member of Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger relief organization. |
|Janet Hand April 8|
Shelly Frome April 12
Carol Sheeler April 16
|Tuesday, April 2 12:00 pm at UUCSV. An open discussion group, you may bring your lunch or not.|
|The Psi group meets on the 4th Tuesday each month at 1:30. The topic for the next meeting on April 23 will be announced in the Current. |
|Anyone interested in being on the UUCSV board, please contact Tina Rosato, Ruth Pittard or Diane Graham.|
| Barbara Bryan is a new member to the UUCSV congregation. Barbara lives in Old Fort with her rescue dog, Daisy, a Shitzhoo mix. She grew up in Columbia, SC and has been a teacher, massage therapist, and midwife’s assistant. Gardening, fiber arts, book arts, and cooking are among her many interests.|
We welcome Barbara to our UU Congregation!
|For posting UUCSV news for May, please send submissions to Barb Rogers at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com by April 25, 2019.|
"The Current" is our weekly updated news...which is published in the office by Myra Shoen, our Administrator.
|Board of Trustees:|
Susan Culler, President
Linda Tatsapaugh, VP
Rev. Michael Carter,
April’s Friday Fling, a fun party for grown-ups, usually every third Friday of the month, will be held on 19 April at the UUCSV church. Red and white wine will be provided; please bring a potluck dish to share. First movie choice: Ordinary People(1980; Donald Sutherland, Mary Tyler Moore; Academy Award Best Picture of 1980; an intense examination of a family being torn apart by tension and tragedy). Second movie choice: Space Cowboys (2000); Clint Eastwood, Tommy Lee Jones, Donald Sutherland, James Garner; forty years into retirement, a team of crack fighter pilots is called back for a critical mission in space). Potluck begins at 6:30. For further information call Norm Kowal (458-4537).
|ArCommunity news - out and about and of interest to UU'sticle Title|
|Sun. Apr. 28, 2:00 to 5:00 pm: Faith and Convocation: A Call for Accountability for Torture is a conference at Highsmith Student Union, UNC-Asheville. Speakers include Bill Ramsey (2005 participant in non-violent civil disobedience at Aero Contractors), Frank Goldsmith, Col. Larry Wilkerson, David Crane, and Christina Cowger. Join others in community to learn the facts recorded by the NC Commission of Inquiry on Torture, to advocate for the release of the full Senate Torture Report and a state investigation of the activities in NC, and to act on behalf of those who have been wrongfully tortured and abused. |