Tidings Your Monthly Newsletter
November, 2019 Vol.1: Issue 5
|(to see whole newsletter click on "view as web page" above the header)|
The Words of Dr. Howard Thurman
In Your presence, O God, we make our Sacrament of Thanksgiving.
We begin with the simple things of our days:
Fresh air to breathe,
Cool water to drink,
The taste of food,
The protection of houses and clothes,
The comforts of home.
For all these we make an act of Thanksgiving this day!
We bring to mind all the warmth of humankind
that we have known:
Our mothers’ arms,
The strength of our fathers,
The playmates of our childhood,
The wonderful stories brought to us from the lives of many
who talked of days gone by
when fairies and giants and diverse kinds of magic held sway;
The tears we have shed, the tears we have seen;
The excitement of laughter and the twinkle
in the eye with its reminder that life is good.
For all these we make an act of Thanksgiving this day.
We give thanks for the autumn air and the beauty of the leaves in the sunlight. Sharing dinner with old friends, some whom we have not seen in years.
Speaking of our lives, our memories, our travels, and the experience of growing older, memories flood our minds. The holidays become holy days as we take a moment to pause in awe and wonder. We give thanks. Thanks for the beauty that surrounds us and that is within us. Thanks for the friends and family and the love that keeps us warm this time of year. For all that is our life, we give thanks.
Happy Thanksgiving to All!!!
|Sunday, November 3, 2019, 11;00 am|
“YOU Are So Needed!”
Rev. Chris Andrews
There has never been one like you in this world and there will never be another one after you’re gone. So, live your life in affirmation of your uniqueness. YOU MATTER and the world needs the gifts you bring to the fount of healing and wholeness.
Rev. Chris Andrews is a Creation Spirituality theologian. He is a minister connected to Jubilee! in Asheville and leads a Jubilee! community in Baton Rouge. The defining marks of this accepting community are love and compassion, and all are welcomed regardless of creed, color, orientation, or any other label.
Sunday, November 10, 2019, 11:00 am
Rev. Michael J. S. Carter
War is Obsolete
Music by "The Black Mountain Community Band Sextet"
with Linda Tatsapaugh
Second Sunday Pot Luck Luncheon
I have heard it said that God created War so that Americans would learn geography. Our Emperor has been quoted as saying that sometimes by losing a battle you find a new way to win the war. Perhaps. I have never attended West Point and so my insight is limited in these matters.
We have the most expensive and lethal military force in the world, but we face no existential threat; nonetheless, liberals and conservatives alike declare the defense budget sacred. It is difficult for me personally to believe that at the moment, ISIS, an organization that could not fill up a football stadium on a Sunday afternoon is the threat the media makes it out to be. Now that can change, but I’m not buying it for now. And yet we are here at another Veteran's Day Holiday. Let us take the time to explore honoring the warrior, and being against war. The nuclear clock is ticking....
Sunday, November 17, 2019 11:00 AM
Rev. Michael J. S. Carter
Religion as Politics by Other Means
The idea of politics being informed by religion is a thorny one in American society. We were established as a secular democratic republic where religion and politics were meant to be kept separate. Science and religion were also distant cousins who rarely if ever spoke to one another.
It is the law that there shall be no established religion of the state, and all are free to practice their religion as they understand it, providing it does not transgress the laws of society. From the very beginning, however, and certainly continuing today, people’s religious convictions have been deeply intertwined with their political views and the establishment of law in this country. Let's explore what happens when religion becomes politics by other means.
Sunday, November 24, 2019 11:00 AM
Rev. Michael J. S. Carter
A Seat At The Table
The UUCSV Choir will perform
with Linda Metzner leading
The year 2020 will mark the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the Mayflower and the colonization of New England. This history is not entirely negative. There are aspects to be honored as well. The pilgrims are some of the people Unitarian Universalists recognize as forebears.
Many churches established by pilgrims and early colonists in New England in the 1600s later became Unitarian Universalist churches. The pilgrims came to this country in search of religious freedom and provided models of community that have informed our understanding of living in covenent communities.
Let's explore the myths and realities of that first thanksgiving, where we are today, and how we can make more room for all to have a seat at the table as we strive to create a "Beloved Community" for this Thanksgiving Holiday, and for Thanksgiving Holidays to come.
|Board News: Moving Forward|
by Linda Tatsapaugh, Board President
Have I mentioned what a pleasure it is working with this board of terrific folks? We continue our efforts to guide the structure of our congregation that allows the spirit to flourish. This month I noticed that we have a lot of help with that: very busy committees doing great work!
Building and Grounds – great new plan for mulching our leaves (and I love our rehabbed parking lots!)
Congregational Care – really stepped up with sustained effort when one of our own needed it
Membership – this committee almost tripled in size, with fresh ideas for tending new and old members
Communications – new levels of coordination, transparency – and podcasts!
RE – bursting at the seams on Sundays – we had 8 teenagers in their last gathering!
Social Action – this committee never rests! Sanctuary is just one of their many major projects
Sunday Service Associates – the quality of our guest speakers attests to the diligent work of this group
Lee Reading, Treasurer, spent time this month educating the board on financial details that help us make better decisions. We focused as well on creating a more beneficial review process for our employees. Most importantly, we will participate in a full-day strategic planning session with a facilitator, to help that committee with the final step in creating our 5-Year Strategic Plan. Good stuff!
|by Susan Enwright Hicks, DRE|
An Ode to an Intergenerational Friendship
In October I travelled over the mountain to East Tennessee twice in one weekend to spend time with a dear friend back visiting from her current home in Arizona.
A young-at-heart hippie turned Zen Buddhist with the most enchanting mix of sparkle and utter calm. This woman is many years my senior - not quite twice my age, but between us has always been this sense of adoration and respect for each other’s life journey. Just being in her presence brings me such delight, and an abiding sense of peace.
I’m so grateful to have her in my life, and to the friends who introduced us. Though I’ve only seen her a few times in the decade and a half since she followed her heart back to the Southwest, everytime we get together it’s as though almost no time has passed. She and I have a low-tech friendship at this point maintained mostly through sporadic postal mail missives, but each time I get an envelope with a black sharpie star outlined on the back I’m beaming for days.
To me, it seems so magical to have found a friend like this in adulthood. To have found a friend like this at any age really, and to have had the opportunity to be a friend to someone so amazing.
This kind of intergenerational connection is all too rare in our culture. I hope to do my small part to counter that trend (watch for more IG events at UUCSV in the months to come).
|by Shelly Frome|
It all started with piano lessons at the age of seven in Jacksonville, Florida at the prompting of his mother who played the organ.
“However,” said David, “in my teen years when rock and roll and Elton John came along, I departed from my classical training and became inspired. I started learning his songs and a lot of the Beatles’ songs and anything that had a strong piano part. The highlight was when my friends (one on drums, one on bass and a female singer) and I won best ensemble at the high school talent show playing “All for the Best” from Godspell and Elton John’s “Benny and the Jets.”
Afterwards, when career opportunities became a major consideration, David attended the University of Georgia, added a required course in classical guitar to his skill set, and concentrated on musical therapy in order to do something good in this world.
“Actually,” he said, “my whole career has just been made up. I never had a master plan. Whatever works out, just works out. In musical therapy, when you graduate you have to do a six-month clinical internship which happened to bring me to an Asheville hospital. I loved the area so much, I then became an activities director for several nursing homes doing sing-a-longs, playing the guitar and facing people as a way of communicating. Because music information is stored in a different part of the brain, playing old familiar songs in this way causes someone with dementia to immediately join in.”
Taking a ninety degree turn, David went on to become a director of information technology. Since retirement from that field, he still likes to sing and play the piano and a little guitar, especially at this UU congregation. Which brings us to the topic of religion.
Growing up in the United Methodist Church in Jacksonville and taking part in the youth group activities, he was taken with rock climbing under the leadership of an associate minister who, as it happens, brought his charges up here to the Linville Gorge. By extension, a love of nature and these mountains, his subsequent activities with the Sierra Club and environmental protection, and a communal link through a church, his special brand of spirituality began to take shape.
Again, as it happens, David’s late first wife was a minister’s daughter whose adherence to the faith had been waning. In combination with a desire to provide their own daughter with a positive communal experience of youth apart from the usual school cliques, they settled on the UU Congregation of Asheville.
While residing in Swannanoa, they discovered that some of the Asheville members they knew were forming a community closer by and they soon joined them.
“As for my own beliefs,” said David, “I’m a skeptic, which is my approach to life and understanding things. I suspend judgment until something is demonstrated to be true. When notes are produced properly, they ring true. And so does free thinking. In this diverse UU community, there is an openness, acceptance and sense of values that clearly transcend any theology. And our smaller size engenders closer relationships, especially when I needed comfort and support.”
Next month's interview will introduce us to David's current wife, Jane Carroll, another active member of our congregation.
A group of women meet every quarter to honor the Divine Feminine by holding a ritual at UUCSV. We call ourselves Inanna's Daughters...to remember the times when goddesses were honored with the seasons.
This month we meet on Nov. 3 to honor Samhain (say Sow-ehn) and the ancestors. (3-5 pm)
We usually have music with singing, (thanks to Linda's collection of goddess music) a central altar around which we circle, sharing our own stories, a related art or craft, snacks we each contribute, and simple circle dances (thanks to Maggie Moon). Rebecca often gives us the herstory of this season's ritual and we call upon the directions to create a sacred circle.
Each participant is welcome to make this ritual her own, by helping make the altar, or giving her own ideas in song or story. For the more timid among us, we can just enjoy the relaxation of an afternoon with women talking about goddesses. We all come from busy lives with many demands on us, so this is a welcome break to breathe deep and sigh easily. (And due to allergies, we avoid scented candles and incense.)
For this month we will honor those who have passed from this life, and our topic is "Death." It is the season of "All Souls" and "Dia de los Muertos" when the veil between the worlds is thin. We are each invited to bring a photo or other emblem to remind us of a loved one that has died.
For more information, contact Linda Metzner at 828-669-2293, or Rebecca Williams at 828-280-6235.
|The following story of Michelle Sherman, age 33, and her grandma Alice Palmer, age 93 is from an interview by Laurel Morales, Weekend Edition, NPR, 1/26/19. Linda's poem about it was shared in a UUCSV service by Linda Metzner, Bella Migyanka, and Rebecca Williams.|
Grandma, am I disgusting?
No, Baby, you are sacred.
Grandma, am I a terrible girl?
No, Darling, you are perfect.
Grandma, does everyone hate me?
No, Beloved, I love you very much.
The young Dine' woman gazed at her own arms.
On the left, the scars of her self-made wounds, age eleven,
when she tried to leave this world.
On the right, the black diamonds,
emblems of Grandma's beautiful rugmaking.
Mommy wants to know what's wrong with me.
There's nothing wrong with you, precious one,
said Grandma with her stroke-slowed speech.
Wish I could still speak well, I'd tell you.
You are a gift to our tribe.
You have vision, dear one.
you can see the world two ways, male and female.
You watch over us, you help us,
you guide us through rough spots
with your vision, your understanding.
You see more than we do.
You are our gift from Creator.
Mommy thinks I'm bad because I love girls.
You will see one day, darling,
you will speak for our tribe,
you will stand strong for us,
and Mommy will be so proud of you.
Mommy has forgotten our ways,
forgotten, forgotten, forgotten,
she lost it all at the boarding school.
She had it beaten out of her.
But we will help her get it back.
I can't speak for us now, but you will.
The young Dine' woman gazed at her arms,
her memories, her signs,
and loved Herself once more.
Annelinde Metzner, January 31, 2019
Your Turn to Fly
Up on the roof, out through the window…
Hurry now, scale down the vine.
Sun setting down at the end of the driveway,
The place where your dreams combine.
You’re in a hurry; you’re too young to know.
Wait for the stars to align;
You will get there all in good time.
Out on the highway, pack on your shoulder,
Leaning into the wind.
Head full of dreams, pushing you onward
To places you’ve never been.
Cold wind is blowing; stars all aglow.
You face the future with a grin
You’ve never been more ready to begin.
So many choices; which way to turn?
Roads lead in every direction.
Damn good chance you will get burned.
It’s all part of the perfection.
The higher the mountain you climb,
You will get there all in good time.
Look to the east, look to the west;
Don’t forget the one in the mirror.
We all know you are doing your best;
You know the sky will get clearer.
Come out of your shadow; it’s time to dance.
Use your wings; take to the sky.
Darlin’ it's your turn to fly.
by Bill Altork
Along Mogadore Road
Thought I smelled burning leaves today for the first time in decades:
It immediately brought me back to my childhood years
And the joy of staying with Grandma and Grandpa on Mogadore Road
As a treat away from our own chaotic house for a few days.
Inside was all Grandma’s domain since Grandpa worked rotating shifts:
Stacking dominos in long snaking paths on the white-tiled fireplace hearth,
Sleeping upstairs in a big person’s bed under the slanted roof, and
Helping Grandma make her famous creamed chicken over biscuits.
But outside was all Grandpa’s world of influence:
Climbing the pussy willow tree in the back yard,
Rummaging through his garage at the back of the lot,
And especially raking and burning leaves along Mogadore Road.
We’d rake them from the front steps to their tall front porch
All the way to the ditch between the two giant elm trees
That flanked their property along Mogadore Road.
Grandpa let me jump in the leaf piles before lighting the fire
Right next to the road. With the smoke rising before us,
We stopped to inhale that wonderful smell of burning leaves,
Watching the fire with a hose nearby if needed, – it never was --
Admiring all we’d accomplished while having such fun.
Today I would never burn the leaves I still rake each fall
Avoiding the carbon and soot it would add to our already challenged air.
But I must confess I really miss that wonderful smell and those
Halcyon days of burning leaves with Grandpa along Mogadore Road.
October 15, 2019
A Letter to Mr. Carter
Jimmy Carter at age 65
You stood in front of us
A delegation of Americans and Chinese
Telling us how proud you were
To have funded the collaboration.
You reminded us
We can choose to alleviate suffering.
We can choose to work together for peace.
We can make these changes
— and we must.”
Now at age 95
You direct your staff
From your hospital bed near Plains
To continue building synergy
Between us and China.
A Carter Center Project Participant
|Habitat's Interfaith House #21 |
|Kohlhepp, Owner, Celebrates Ownership|
Debbie Kohlhepp, the mother of four adult daughters, recently received the “key” to her new home as she thanked everyone for helping her reach this point in her life. She was joined by about 50 other Habitat for Humanity volunteers, construction supervisors and Asheville staff members at the October 11 key-passing ceremony in the Candler development where she soon will call home. Most important, our UUCSV congregation helped make it possible
Her two-story and two-bedroom home is a project of some 15 faith communities in the Asheville area. Despite the hot, sticky July and August schedule, sixteen UUCSVers worked eight days during the grueling, first weeks of construction. Lunch was served, thankfully, by two volunteers.
THANK YOU, ALL VOLUNTEERS.
On October 11, Debbie Kohlhepp, thanks the Habitat group as she stands in front of her new home. The front porch is just taking shape.
Susan Culler (left) and Mamie Hilliard stand beside the construction sign in front of Interfaith House #21.
“Have your ever thought about what goes on right at the surface of the soil and the first few inches below? It can be fascinating and is one of the most important places in the entire ecosystem. What stuff is there? Leaves, seed pods, spent flowers, twigs, small pieces of bark. This “litter” is essential in retaining moisture, recycling nutrients and creating microhabitats for small living things at the base of the food chain." -Laura and Hal Mahan
UUCSV Board Members Heidi Blozan and Evan Yanik joined the Building and Grounds Committee Chairman Rhea Bockhorst, mowing scheduler Jim Carillon, mowers Lee Reading, Milt Warden, Carolyn Shorkey, and Chairwoman of The Garden Maintenance Committee, Dawn Wilson, on Sunday October 6th for a walk about on our church property. We developed a plan to implement the UUCSV Board of Trustees’ request that we not load plastic bags with fallen leaves this year. Instead, we will mow the leaves in place with mulching lawnmowers. These chopped up leaves will provide our beautiful trees with luscious litter!
DONATION! Many thanks to Bill Abbuehl, who is donating his mulching lawnmower to our church, so now we will have two mulching mowers. Having two mowers on site means the mowing of leaves can be down in half the time if we have two people to push the mowers and one person to rake leaves away from edges. The job of making leaf litter will proceed quickly with the two mowers.
DONATION! Many thanks to Dawn Wilson for donating an electric leaf blower to be used to blow leaves off the flagstone in The Garden. This will help to minimize the loss of little stones between the flagstone.
VOLUNTEER! If you haven’t yet signed up to make luscious litter this month, please contact Jim. firstname.lastname@example.org
And, thank you one and all!
“I want to be called, Handsome.” That’s how Milt Warden answered the question, “What’s your name or what would you like to be called?” He told the children that Handsome was his last name. He’d rather be called by his first two initials, S.V. So Very Handsome.
As a long time volunteer in the UUCSV children’s Religious Education Classes, Milt brings humor and an inquiring mind into his interactions with the kids. S.V. can also been seen on some Sunday mornings making coffee and setting out snacks. He has been the Secretary for our Board of Trustees for many years.
S.V. also helps out with the Building and Grounds Committee, mowing the property, painting, and following Rhea around. He also shows up from time to time with his 29 year old truck named Boris. (Dawn Wilson named the truck back in the day.) Milt and Boris haul away debris and deliver mulch to The Memorial Garden.
Lastly, our Treasurer, Lee Reading, asked Milt to bargain shop online to find the best price for purchases made by our employees and committee chairs. Little known fact: his mother was an avid bargain shopper and coupon clipper. Being a bargain shopper is in his genes.
There are a few tall, thin white bearded, balding men in the congregation, so it is easy to call Milt by someone else’s name if you are quite short. Short persons, simply look up and see the beard and shiny extended forehead and get confused about exactly who they are looking at. If you just greet any of our tall, thin white bearded, balding men as, “Hey Handsome” you’ll never be wrong.
|Our birthdays in November|
Roberta Madden - Nov. 9
Brenda Chunn - Nov. 15
Beata Ball - Nov. 21
Spence Foscue - Nov. 29
If we missed you, and you'd like your birthday included in a future Tidings, just send it to Membership Committee member, Suzanne Ziglar at email@example.com
|Our new music program, Second Sundays, has been a success. We are now filling the slots for January to June 2020! If you care to offer a solo, duet, trio or small ensemble, please contact Linda Metzner. The dates available are January 12th, March 8th, April 12th, May 10th and June 14th. February is already filled with a surprise special treat!|
|Tidings is a place that we can share together our thoughts about anything; spiritual, educational, biographical, social justice, environmental, poetic, opinions...etc. Please submit articles of around 250 words. Deadline each month is the 25th, so publication will be on the first of the next month. Submissions can be just written in an email as text, or as attachments, and photos are welcome! Thank you so much for everyone who contributed this month, it's so fantastic to have your ideas to share here!|
We cannot print any political endorsements, since we are a tax-exempt religious organization. Poetry Corner will just have two poems each month from here on, with the editor choosing those that are most on topic or by authors who haven't recently published. Who knew we were so talented!
There are different themes for each month, December will be "Justice," and January 2020 the topic will be "Silence."
|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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com
Board of Trustees:
Linda Tatsapaugh – President
Kathryn Coyle – Vice President
Non-board officers are:
Lee Reading – Treasurer
Milt Worden – Secretary
Building & Grounds - Rhea Bockhorst
Social Action - Suzanne Ziglar & Julia Jordan (rotating)
Congregational Care - Larry Pearlman
Finance - Lee Reading
Membership - Carol Sheeler
Nominating - Evan Yanik
Personnel - Jim Carillon
Communications - Susan Culler
Governance - Katheryn Coyle
Religious Education - Jessie Figuera, Jim Carillon, Heidi Blozan, Kathryn Coyle (rotating)
Sunday Service Associates - Diane Graham (rotating)
Strategic Planning Task Force - Michael Figuera