Tidings Your Monthly Newsletter
August, 2019 Vol.1: Issue 2
Ah, the lazy days of summer. I trust that your summer has provided some rest and rejuvenation for you. My daughter having school over in June and beginning again on August 15th, 2019 reminds me of how fast the summer can go. I feel for her but this is the way of life, as one gets older time seems to increase its speed no matter how " in the moment we try to live." August. And yet by August I am ready for Fall to arrive. I am ready for change or at least I think I am. My thoughts turn to our " Homecoming Service," and to cooler days and nights. Yet it is still only August.
The words of poet William Stanley Braithwaite come to mind:
Change of heart in the dreams I bear---
Green leaf turns to brown. The second half of the month is here.
The days are closing down.
Or the words of William Cullen Bryant's poem, A Noon Scene
"The quiet August noon has come; a slumberous silence fills the sky.
The winds are still, the trees are dumb,
In glassy sleep the waters lie."
And so it goes. The lazy days of summer. I usually take the time during the latter half of August to review my summer and the experiences I've had, both pleasant and not so pleasant. There is usually some experience that will provide some lesson for me to take into the autumn and winter months,and some of these lessons last a lifetime. In the meantime there is plenty of life to be lived...
I leave you with the words of Max Coots, one of my favorite writers...
" Summer is too full of itself in August---self satisfied. Summer seems like that, although I know its not....I'm glad September has to come and that I have no choice in it. I might choose September if I could, and then have only a season and not a year. I could not live only in Summer's Great Deception, as I could not live in Spring alone. I need to know of time and feel its passing motion on my face in some September wind, and know that life has time and time is life, and I, like days and seasons, am passing, being, and yet to be."
Sunday, August 4, 2019 11:00 am
Rev. Michael J. S. Carter
“What Did You Just Say?”
This talk is about the lost or forgotten art of listening. It appears that we all have at least two voices: We use one of these voices when talking to each other. Then there’s the one inside our head that is almost always talking to us nonstop!
Kahlil Gibran was once quoted as saying that people talk when they are not at peace with their own thoughts. Yet we must speak at times, even if our voice shakes, and we must also listen. The trouble is that oftentimes we listen to respond and not to understand.
Sunday, August 11, 2019 11:00 am
"May You Always Be Courageous"
Our community needs people with courage and resilience. How do we become those people? What do we do to flex our courage muscle, tone our resilience, and maintain our level of activist fitness?
Modern-folk duo Friction Farm is a husband and wife team of traveling troubadours. Aidan Quinn and Christine Stay combine storytelling, social commentary and humor to create songs of everyday life, local heroes, and quirky observations. From ballads to anthems each song is filled with harmony and hope. Aidan and Christine are often to be found at The Mountain, SUUSI, and offering services in many UU congregations.
Sunday August 18, 2019, 11:00 am
"The Spiritual Teaching of Gandhi"
Music featuring our vocal trio: Suchittra Temesrisuk, Susan Hurley and Andy Reed
Mohandas Gandhi, born 150 years ago this October, gave full credit for his many accomplishments to his faith. He also said, “I have not the shadow of a doubt that any [person] can achieve what I have, if he or she would …cultivate the same hope and faith.” What might we UUs learn and take away for our own lives?
Anne Murray is the Proprietor at Anne’s Books and Papers.
Sunday August 25, 2019 11:00 a.m.
Rev. Michael J.S. Carter
"Thoughts From Bill Walz"
Music featuring the UUCSV Choir
"I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know…that we, as a people, will get to the
Promised Land” - Martin Luther King, Jr.
This Sunday's talk, aside for a brief intro from me, and a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., are entirely the words of a man by the name of Bill Walz. I was introduced to his writings by a member of our congregation, and I find his words inspiring, practical, insightful, and full of hope. There is nothing else I felt needed to be said on the topic, so the "sermon" is entirely the thoughts of Mr. Walz. I have only heard this done once. While I was serving a UU church in Brooklyn, NY, the minister, during the King Day Holiday Service, just used a sermon by Martin as his text. I didn't know then if it would "work" but it most certainly did. And why not? The philosopher Friedrich Nietzche reminds us that, "nothing is as powerful as an idea whose time has come." Join us on Sunday for this powerful, heartfelt essay written by Mr. Bill Walz.
|First Board of Trustees Meeting of the New Fiscal Year|
by Linda Tatsapaugh
Our newly-elected board of trustees held its first official meeting Thursday, July 25th. Your board for the 2019-2020 fiscal year:
Linda Tatsapaugh – President
Kathryn Coyle – Vice President
Non-board officers are:
Lee Reading – Treasurer
Milt Worden – Secretary
A highlight of the meeting was hearing from our new Director of Religious Education (DRE), Susan Enwright Hicks. She brings fresh ideas and enthusiasm for continuing to grow our RE program. The new RE season will officially kick off in the beginning of September; expect to hear more from Susan directly on how we can support our children as a congregation and as individuals.
Anna Marcel de Hermanas presented a proposal to the board from the Social Action Committee (SAC) for the UUCSV facility to become a short-term sanctuary space. This would involve planning to shelter individuals for a few hours to a few days during ICE raids. The board supported this proposal and will work with SAC on planning and preparations to make it possible.
We were pleased to learn that our last fiscal year ended under budget in expenses, with a small surplus of funds. Michael’s annual contract was reviewed and signed. A new policy was approved to not loan out UU property that is electronic or other technical equipment that could be costly to repair or replace. And we set our annual Board Retreat for Saturday, September 14th. All in all, a productive first meeting!
|by Shelly Frome|
When Maggie Moon and her husband moved to Black Mountain from their home in Richmond, Virginia a year ago, they fully expected to spend their retirement years with their son and his family. However, upon arrival, they discovered that their son’s circumstances had changed and they would have to go through a period of adjustment.
Needless to say, Ms. Moon could no longer fall back on her previous occupation as a teacher in the field of social work at Virginia Commonwealth University.
However, as a Quaker, and while her husband recovered from a recently contracted illness, she came upon a thriving Meeting House here nestled in a shady grove by a rippling stream. She was also delighted to discover that the house they subsequently bought from their son featured a backdrop of the Seven Sisters mountain range overlooking Lake Tomahawk. As it happens, her mother was one of seven sisters, a factor Moon took as another positive sign given her lifelong affinity with the divine feminine.
“It all began to feel so magical,” she said. “The weather, the mountains. The feeling of being surrounded and held by the Seven Sisters. The lake, the wildlife, the ducks and the geese. The people. I loved everything about it. And I also loved being able to walk to town.”
In due course, it came time to consider an alternative venture. “You see,” she said, “even though I had a career as an educator, I’ve been a dancer all my life since the age of three.”
Harkening back, she recalled her first experience with Sacred Circle Dances in the nineties at a Quaker annual gathering on an eastern college campus. During one of the morning workshops, she learned that these traditional celebratory dances were brought to the Findhorn community in Scotland in 1970 by Bernhard Wosien. He, in turn, had gathered a number of Eastern European variations which then spread to England and other English speaking countries. In effect, they were a ritual means of togetherness, connecting hand-to-hand, engendering joy and inner healing. Based on her experiences as a participant and a teacher over the years, she thought it might very well be viable here in view of the openness to art forms she found in this valley.
“After all,” she said, “the movements are simple and effortless, the music comes from all over the world. People can do them even in their wheelchairs. It’s the kind of thing you can do all through your life.”
All told, she sees it as a mindfulness practice as people let go of their anxieties and gradually evolve into a state of peace and connectedness. She has found that participants naturally feel their bodies gliding after being told “there are no mistakes, only variations.”
Moreover, she is going to Scotland and Ireland in September in order to expand her repertoire and include Celtic dances to her class schedule at the Friends Meeting House this October.
In closing, she said, “What I envision is that I will be teaching here and people will want to do a variety of universal dances with me for the rest of my life. One of my favorites is based on the Navajo chant, Walk the Beauty Way which has become a mantra for my life. ‘I walk with Beauty before me....behind me....above me....below me.’ Thoughts, words and actions become beautiful as we move in this way. Living here in Black Mountain surrounded by the amazing beauty of these mountains, I intuitively feel connected to the native peoples who once lived here.”
For information about the dates and times of her upcoming fall sessions, e-mail email@example.com Donations cover expenses and gifts to charity. All are welcome.
|SOCIAL ACTION on Current Immigration Issues|
Many of us from UUSV joined others in downtown Black Mountain and around the country for the Liberty Lights gathering in July to protest the government’s mistreatment of immigrants.
The Social Action Committee in considering ways to engage with immigration issues beyond our original Sanctuary pledge. At our July meeting we approved a proposal to take to the board who then passed it at their July meeting. The new endeavor is a part of a national interfaith movement to provide what is called “Sacred Resistance Sanctuary Spaces.”
Sacred Resistance means that our congregation will join with other faith communities to
* Open our doors in times of rapid response events /ICE presence in our neighborhoods,
* Have our congregation listed on a public map with contact information for people who need safety during such times, and
* Add short term sanctuary /not replace our support of long term sanctuary space available at larger churches.
To support this new endeavor, we will
*provide a review of and new training for volunteer staff,
*develop an on-call rotation for opening and supervising the activity in the building,
* conduct collections of toiletries, snacks, etc. to support our guests, and
* join with other faith communities to support choices for immigrants.
If you are interested in becoming more involved in immigration or other social justice issues, consider attending the Social Action committee meeting which is held the 3rd Wednesday of the month at 5:30 PM at the church. Or reach out to any of our members at Sunday services, by email, or phone.
Anna Marcel de Hermanas is the lead contact for Sacred Resistance.
Photos by Joye Ardyn Durham
Welcome Home Fynnley
You’re ours! Or rather
We are yours for a while at least.
After hopes dashed with the fears
That someone else would care for you,
We bring you home today!
How you have grabbed our hearts!
Days of relearning at the hospital how to
care for a newborn and each other.
Changing you, feeding you, and
Holding you does that to us.
Welcome home Mr. Fynnley
To your nursery, your crib, your new family
Who already loves you sooooo much.
Much fun awaits us all
Along with trying times soon enough.
What an adventure we all shall have!
June 30, 2019
by Ann Sillman
Have you ever been to a Tailgate Market? Tables, tables over-flowing with produce, fresh from the local farms. Have you walked through a large Walmart store or a large grocery store like Ingles. All shelves bulging with groceries and products from all over the world.
The feeling of abundance is an individual thing. Some extremely poor people who have just enough to persist, actually are very happy and content with their situation. So expectation has a lot to do with how happy and content people are with their lives.
Our earth has an abundance of both food and water for all, if we were willing to share and help each other. Unfortunately the human race seem so egotistical and countries too isolationist and self-interested to care. So even though there is abundance, some have too much, but most do not have enough or barely enough.
Will we as a human race change? So far it looks like that question is answered with a large NO.
Abundance, for some YES for most NO.
We have a group of talented poets who come together to create, and they share their efforts with us at UUCSV annually.
Jim Carillon, Ann Sillman, Ruth Pittard and Damaris Pierce shared their poetry.
Bill Altork and Su Temesrisuk sang a song he wrote.
Laura Staley, Mamie Hilliard and Larry Pearlman gave us samples of their writings.
Carolyn Shorkey is also part of our Poetry Group. She was out of town for this service but picked two songs: "Elle's Song" by Holly Near was our prelude and "I Pledge Allegiance" by Gary Gonzalez was our postlude (see photo above of the screen with words on it.).
Photos by Barbara Rogers
| Habitat and UUCSV Volunteers |
|Habitat and UUCSV volunteers began work on Interfaith House Twenty-one on July 10, which also is the tenth project for our congregation.|
The Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity came up with a novel idea in late 1990 (the first Habitat affiliate in the country to do so.) Asheville Habitat created an alliance among the area's faith communities to sponsor a home. While Habitat is rooted in Christianity, Asheville Habitat recognized there were other faith communities that had not been involved. The Asheville group reached out to Baha'i, Jewish, Muslim, Unitarian Universalist, Unity, Quaker, Lutheran and Catholic congregations. That group, along with Methodists, Baptists and Presbyterians, now form a diverse coalition of people focused on building homes while using this interfaith model as a healing tool in our community.
This house marks a “first” for two reasons: it is the first two-story town home and it is the first house located in a neighborhood of both town homes and single-family houses;
We've had – and continue to have – strong interest in this project from day one. Volunteers have weathered all kinds of temps – from freezing and blowing snow to hot, humid and sun- blistering days. Coincidentally, our first house was in Candler, just off Smokey Park Highway, and so is this year's project. The construction schedule runs July 9 – August 24.
Here are a few happy Habitat builders. If you are interested in joining the crew, contact Susan Culler at firstname.lastname@example.org
Fern and Monroe Gilmore with their supervisor, Emily.
Rhea Brockhurst of UUCSV as Habitat volunteer.
David Hetrick of St. Eugene Catholic Church and Susan Culler of UUCSV.
|There are some wonderful artifacts decorating the UUCSV sanctuary. Not many people know of the artists and craftsmen who created them.|
Our chalice is the first thing most people notice, on the wall behind the pulpit.
It was carved by Tom Motzko.
The pulpit itself was constructed by Kevin Campbell. Looking behind the pulpit, you will see it's construction is simple, but beautiful. Some sled feet have been added since it's moved quite frequently.
Sherri Spires was the first Board of Trustees President at UUCSV. Her nimble quilting fingers designed and quilted our two banners. One is carried in the parade of church banners at the UU General Assembly each year. Sherri also created the two little donation baskets which are passed around during the offertory each Sunday.
Sherri's husband, Walter Hoffman, carved the marble stand for our burning chalice and tea-lights which are lit each Sunday.
|Tough Questions. Complicated Answers|
Recently, the Welcoming Congregation task force, under the auspices of the Social Action Committee, asked members of the congregation to submit questions concerning LGBTQ+ issues regarding our congregation or their friends and family. Periodically, we will attempt to answer those questions in Tidings as we work together and learn from each other. Following is the first question, along with answers from a range of people. Some folks asked to remain anonymous, while others provided identifying info.
QUESTION – How do I understand, and yet challenge, the people in my life who are resistant to including LGBTQ+ folks in family/society -- without breaking personal connections or creating more conflict?
In my case, the family members and former friends who are resistant to including LGBTQ persons like myself in their lives and society have chosen to estrange themselves from me. Therefore, there haven't been opportunities to bring up the subject of LGBTQ inclusion with them.
My current circle of family and friends are accepting and inclusive.
I think the way to encourage others to think differently about LGBTQ persons is for me to be out and authentic . . . and to be as open-minded as I can be about issues that I find controversial. I have participated in LGBTQ advocacy work in the past and will continue to do so.
I feel that the answer to the question is challenging and yet quite simple. One cannot change another person. One can give information, compassion, love, understanding, etc. But the individual who is resistant must want to change! It is really that simple. People are where they are in their evolution as human beings and this must always be kept in mind. What I feel is helpful is that once you have attempted to get someone to be less resistant, it is up to you to let go of the outcome. You have done all you can and now it is up to the other party. If you cannot let go, you will continue to suffer. To keep from creating more conflict, state you case and let go or be dragged.
Rev. Michael J S Carter
Minister for The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of The Swannanoa Valley
Black Mountain, N C
The most difficult part is beginning the conversation. I have found that relating a story or circumstance and then asking the person what they think is a gentle way to begin. It immediately puts into play the fact that you will be listening carefully to the response. So the first thing to do is to hear where they’re coming from and meet them where they are.
Here is a story example, “I have been invited to my friend’s wedding. This is the first gay wedding I have attended. I am excited but just wondered what you thought about that.”
Their response may not be what you would have said, but listen carefully and keep asking questions. Bring in the common ground. “What does marriage mean to you?”
“My friend said some of those same values.”
Many of these emotionally compelling stories that are a true part of your life will provide an opportunity to talk about shared values, hopes and beliefs. This will initiate common ground that is present within an LGBTQ person’s life and a straight person’s life.
Another discussion question could be, “Imagine you were gay and you were denied housing,” Help your friends/family see injustices through their eyes. “How would that make you feel?” you could ask them.
If replies do include questions stating that being LGBTQ is incompatible with religion, take that as an opening to discuss your church’s views and that including all people has enriched the church.
Despite the fact that many Americans are still ambivalent about issues like marriage (staying with our example), people have made significant strides in terms of understanding LGBTQ people and their life circumstances. However, expecting your family/friends to cover that remaining distance on their own won’t work. As an ally, help take responsibility for closing the distance. Acknowledge the journey people took to get to where they are, and recognize the progress they’ve already made. Showing respect for another person’s journey encourages them to continue further down that road. You will find that you are taking a very meaningful journey with them.
National Center for Lesbian Rights
Consultant- Sports Projects
San Francisco, CA
I would like to respond to the understanding part of the question. In an attempt to understand a person's beliefs I would not try to challenge their beliefs; instead, I would try to understand why their beliefs are important to them as my beliefs are important to me. This sharing is what is important to me. I would work toward acceptance for each of us rather than challenge them.
Mamie Davis Hilliard
Poet, partner, clergy, grandmother and great-grandmother
Black Mountain, NC
I think you have to pick your battles. In some cases, as with older, more conservative family members or friends, I often avoid the subject out of respect for them. However, if they bring it up in conversation, I try to share my feelings in a respectful manner. With people my age (66) or younger, I am much less likely to avoid the subject, feeling they should know better or they should be educated about the LGBTQ+ community. Again, I try to come from a place of love and hope to provide them some understanding of the community of which I am proud to be a part.
Writer/editor, American Cancer Society
|Our birthdays in July and August|
From July that were missed:
Michael Carter July 7
Herb Way. July 21
Andy Reed - August 1
Anny Bestel - August 6
Deb Vingle - August 15
Jane Hancock - August 20
Barbara Rogers - August 23
Sandra Abromitis - August 31
If you wish us to include your birthday, please be sure to let us know - either email to Tidings or speak to Suzanne Zigler.
|What is it About Black Mountain?|
|by Larry Pearlman|
I thought I had a unique story about what drew me to Black Mountain. Turns out I was wrong.
I had no logical reason to move here. I didn’t know anyone who lived here, had never been here, and, in fact, had never heard of Black Mountain. I was drawn by something - intuition, Spirit, a wild hair - to check out the area. After visiting Asheville and several other towns, I pulled into the Visitor’s Center parking lot at Black Mountain. Got out of the car and, before I even set foot in downtown, PING!! I just knew that this was the right place for me. As I walked around the town, the feeling of home filled me up along with the incredible beauty of the mountains.
That was about 24 months ago. Since then I have been amazed at how many similar stories I have heard about people being drawn to and pleasantly trapped by this beautiful little town. That got me wondering. What is it about Black Mountain?
Isn’t it interesting that, in these times of extreme divisiveness in our country, this little town has conservatives and liberals, traditional religious people and New-Age spiritualists, new-comers like me and 3rd generation families and yet we all seem to get along. What are the common factors that draw us all here and make this such a wonderful place to live?
Love to hear your feelings about this question over coffee hour.
by Susan Enwright Hicks, DRE
A Mother’s Thoughts on ABUNDANCE
My life is very full.
Too full it seems some days.
My hours are often rushed, my home cluttered. My calendar, and countertops crammed to capacity.
Laundry piles ever spilling over, to-do list never done...
But in other moments ...
I live a different kind of fullness.
The blissful inhalation of a sleeping child’s salty neck.
Tiny toddler palms on either side of my face, shiny eyes looking deep into mine.
The riotous thrill of watching children fly down hills faster than their feet can keep up.
Tickles and giggles that go on and on...
A quiet - just - enough - of walking, with my loved one, fingers entwined for the first time in … goodness-knows-how-long.
These are the moments I live for.
This is the fullness that feeds me.
As we move into the fullness of the fall season (my favorite) with its extravagant thrills of color, crisp air and boundless farmer’s market stalls I am happy to add to the fullness of my life by incorporating the UUCSV community. I am hopeful that this is the kind of “more” that will become a source of strength and sustenance going forward. I am hopeful too that my family and I can be a fruitful addition to this place which is clearly so much more than the sum of its parts. Thank you for embracing us and sharing your bounty.
Before I wrote the above I did a search for Mary Oliver and “Abundance” thinking that surely that as the master of making the mundane poignant she would have much to say on the subject. I stumbled first, however on the poem below. Another poet’s response to the news of Oliver’s passing in January.
in memory of Mary Oliver
It’s impossible to be lonely
when you’re zesting an orange.
Scrape the soft rind once
and the whole room
fills with fruit.
Look around: you have
more than enough.
You just didn’t notice
January 20, 2019
|A few mistakes occurred in our first issue. A couple of birthdays somehow were missed, so they are being listed this month. We found after publication that the links were not working between the headers. Hopefully these have been corrected. |
Tidings is a place that we can share together our thoughts about just about anything; spiritual, educational, biographical, social justice, environmental, poetic, opinions...etc. Please submit articles of 250 words or less, which may then be edited. Deadline each month is the 25th, so publication will be on the first of the next month.
We cannot print any political endorsements, since we are a tax-exempt religious organization. Photos are welcome in high resolution format. There are different themes for each month. September will be focused on "Community."
|Our Web Site is uusv.org where you can find more information about us.|
Rev. Carter's hours are Monday-Thursday. His day off is Friday and he does not answer emails on his day off.
Address: 500 Montreat Rd, Black Mountain NC 28711
email: email@example.com The Current is published each week on Thursday which is where our current events are listed. Send information to Myra Shoen, Administrator, by Tuesday.
Tidings is published monthly. Send entries by the 25th of prior month or questions to Barbara Rogers at firstname.lastname@example.org