Tidings Your Monthly Newsletter
December, 2019 Vol.1: Issue 6.2
|(to see whole newsletter click on "view as web page" above the header)|
|UPDATES - see these items below which have been added!|
|Sunday Service - Dec. 15|
Tuesday Christmas Eve Service time change
Sunday Service - Dec. 29
Sunday Sunday Sermons Podcast
Information you probably would like to know about!
|The end of the year is upon us, and what a year it has been. I have heard that the Farmer's Almanac predicts a very cold winter for us. We shall see, but then again, isn't this what winter is: cold, slushy, and gray? Still, there is a beauty in the season of winter that I always have appreciated. The words of Max Coots come to mind:|
No one says much good of Winter, except as something hard that exaggerates the Spring reprieve. Spring, people seem to understand. Spring speaks to us when Winter has been so long we seem bone cold and brown husked in house-bound apathy...as if it were a dirty thing, no much good of Winter... When did we learn that life was always Summertime and Spring and harvest time? When was it that someone guaranteed a year of twelve Julys, complete with everlasting picnics and never-ending potato salads?
What sort of quaint, mistaken almanac said Spring would come without December--
That Life was all June--
That May and August go on forever?
Even Winter in ourselves may be the poor soul's fertilizer, and Spring within can come only if some Winter has come first - can come, if something like a seed is kept alive through the wintering, to sprout and grow. To sprout and grow because of Winter and wintering. Like earth, we have our seasons too. Now that we think of it, we knew this even then, back when in Summer we grew complacent in its sun. Or when in Fall we reaped the earth, as though all life was caught and wrapped and stuffed in a pumpkin shell, to be picked, then lost through Winter eating. We knew better even then, but snow makes for forgetting, so it seems.
- Seasons of The Self
Winter reminds us that although we do not know what the future holds, there can be no rebirth without death. Winter teaches us, in the words of spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle, that "death is not the opposite of life. Life has no opposite. The opposite of death is birth. Life is eternal." If 2019 was a tough year for you, I wish you a better year in 2020. If 2019 was a wonderful year for you, I wish you even more joy and happiness, and may your cup overflow with the life abundant. We don't know what the future holds, but one thing we know for sure - you do not have to go it alone.
This is a to-do list for December (and for the rest of the New Year if you choose). The words of the late UU minister, The Rev. Lee Reid:
This holiday season, mend a quarrel. Seek out a forgotten friend. Dismiss suspicion, and replace it with trust. Write a love letter. Share some treasure. Give a soft answer. Offer encouragement. Manifest your loyalty in word and deed. Keep a promise. Find the time. Forgive an enemy. Listen. Apologize if you are wrong. Try to understand. Flout envy. Examine your demands on others. Think first of someone else. Appreciate. Be kind. Be gentle. Laugh a little. Laugh a little more. Deserve confidence. Take up arms against malice. Decry complacency. Express your gratitude. Welcome a stranger. Gladden the heart of a child. Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth. Speak love. Speak it again. Speak it still once again.
Rev. Reid died much too young but his words live on and give us inspiration and encouragement for whatever lies ahead. At least they do for me.
Anyway, I wish you all a Merry Everything and a Happy Always
Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019 11:00 a.m.
Rev. Michael J. S. Carter
"To Live in the Beloved Community"
Music: Ann Sillman, Mary Soyenova, Suchittra Temesrisuk, and Ruth Pittard perform seasonal music with autoharp and psaltery.
Second Sunday Potluck follows the service
What does community mean to you? Growing up I always thought "community" was the place where you lived, and the people that surrounded you were part of your community. And yes, that is one definition of community.
Community is an important buzzword these days. People recognize that social structures are deteriorating and that people want more of a sense of connection with others. Suburbia is almost perfectly designed to keep interaction to a minimum. Consumerism and capitalism are other important factors. We’re bombarded by messages promoting individual ownership, which is supported by laws and financial institutions. But that is not what we mean when speaking about community. With that said,what does it really mean to live in and to be a part of the "Beloved Community?"
Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019 11:00 a.m.
Rev. Michael J. S. Carter
"Rumi, Advent, and UUs"
This time, for Christians in the world, is the season of Advent, from December 1 until December 24, 2019. Advent is a liturgical time of year when Christians prepare themselves for the original birth of Jesus and for his second coming as well. That latter part is significant for Christians whose theology is told in the Nicene Creed, which reads, “Jesus will come again to judge the living and the dead.” Christians who observe Advent will take this time to reflect on how their souls are ready to meet Jesus when he comes again. Unitarian Universalists generally have a different understanding of Jesus, and when we recognize the season of Advent, it is not to prepare ourselves for the second coming of Christ. Unitarian theology squarely understands the historical and religious figure of Jesus as a man, a great prophet, and like all humans who die, he will stay buried but live on in the hearts and memories of those who love him. So, on Christmas, some Unitarian Universalists will celebrate the birth of an ancient, wise prophet named Jesus of Nazareth and remember the real and symbolic births in our lives. This Sunday, I want to talk about a Rumi poem, and what this season of Advent can mean for UUs.
Sunday, December 22, 2019 11 a.m.
Rebecca Williams and Annelinde Metzner
"Loving the Darkness, Loving the Light."
Rebecca Williams and Annelinde Metzner with members of the congregation will examine and celebrate the beauties of the two complimentary poles of time and existence, the darkness and the light. Can we accept this beautiful duality without seeing one as good and one evil? Join us as we center ourselves in the dark time of the year in our hemisphere.
Tuesday, December 24, 2019 5:30 p.m
Christmas Eve Service
Rev. Michael J. S. Carter
The UUCSV Choir will perform
with Linda Metzner leading
We now know that Christmas existed before Jesus was born. That is to say that the elements of the Christmas Holiday originate from pagan sources. The Roman festival of Saturnalia took place from Dec. 18-24, followed by something called Brumalia on the 25th. Brumnailia was a solstice celebration and Saturnalia was a time of celebration in honor of the god Saturn. Both festivals included feasting, drinking, and merriment.
The Christmas tree traces to the tree worship of the Druids. Reindeer come from the ancient tribes of northern Europe. Thor was the yule god. Santa Claus comes from St. Nicholas and he originated with the Dutch.
So the question is with all of these pagan customs, how has the holiday of Christmas survived? The Gospel stories in Matthew and Luke contradict each other. Did wise men come to visit Jesus, or was it shepherds? Do stars move across the sky and hover over a manger while shinning a light down on it? Were angels actually singing in the sky? Why are Zoroastrian priests in the story, for that is what the wise men were. Christmas is celebrated, observed, and respected by completely intelligent, literate, educated people. Is this a historical event?
I submit to you that what holds Christmas in the hearts of so many is not whether it celebrates an historical event, but that it is a question of faith. Let's explore.
Sunday, December 29, 2019 11:00 a.m.
"Parts of the Bible that "Preachers" Don't Preach"
Those of you who grew up in the traditional church, like I did, probably heard a lot of sermons on John 3:16 and a handful of other Bible passages, while most of the rest of it was rarely ever covered. But what you may not have realized, unless you studied it on your own, was that there were also "secret" parts, that were never mentioned at all, because they didn't conveniently fit the narrative that the ministers and teachers were trying to uphold. Let's be naughty and take a look at a few of those "secret" parts, and see why they were hushed up. Shhhh, don't tell anyone!
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.
|Community Mandala - Coloring Page|
Damaris Pierce is sharing this ink drawing as a free coloring page. "My intention in sharing this drawing is the joyful experience with friends and family through art making and creative play. Something lovely happens when you spend time together making things with your hands, for the pure joy of it. Although you may converse a bit, the mind can relax, rich stretches of silence occur, and we are witness to each other's innate drive to relax into the joy of dancing with color and shape." Enjoy!
|by Susan Enwright Hicks, DRE|
“What is a man born for but to be a reformer, a re-maker of what has been made, a denouncer of lies, a restorer of truth and good?”
Ralph Waldo Emerson*
In November I was fortunate to attend a LREDA (Liberal Religious Educators Association) professional development conference in Baltimore, MD. (Many thanks to the RE Committee, the Board, and my family for making this possible). The conference was my first big LREDA event and I was thrilled to be a part of such an extensive organization of folks actively working to move our denomination, and faith formation forward.
If you attend services only occasionally, or casually keep up with UU happenings, you may not be aware of the current zeitgeist of energy around becoming a more purposefully inclusive faith community: one resolutely working to dismantle white supremacy, and devotedly welcoming of all forms of gender expression and sexuality. It was the focus of my conference, a major part of G.A. this past summer, and in the most recent UU World. Some congregations have adopted an 8th Principle (https://www.8thprincipleuu.org) as an expression of their commitment to this work. It states:
We, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, covenant to affirm and promote: journeying toward spiritual wholeness by working to build a diverse multicultural Beloved Community by our actions that accountably dismantle racism and other oppressions in ourselves and our institutions.
I don’t know if adopting a new principle is the right move for UUCSV, or UUism in general, but I do know there’s an awful lot of work each of us could be doing, as individuals and collectively, to make our hearts and our houses of worship more welcoming and I intend to do my part. I hope you’ll join me.
*Emerson, Man the Reformer lecture, Boston, January 25, 1841
|Jane Carroll: Social Work and Beyond|
|by Shelly Frome|
Jane Carroll grew up in Murfreesboro in the center of Tennessee. “And there, at the outset,” she said, “I seemed to attract stray animals and people. They just kinda showed up on my doorstep. They all had interesting life stories and needed a family. My mother would just open the door and they would eat with us and hang out.”
Later on, in contemplating a viable career, she thought about becoming an attorney. She studied political science, mass communication and sociology at Middle Tennessee State. Then, considering the fact that it was more of a natural outcome for a person who always had people around her with needs and given her abiding empathy, she decided to become a social worker.
“It’s just a part of who I am,” she said.
On a whim, however, despite her mother’s jaw-dropping response, she dipped into her savings and took off to Europe for a few months and had a “wonderful experience.” That done, she then went on to nearby Savannah, Tennessee as a social worker for the mentally challenged. She worked with juvenile offenders and got her master’s in criminal justice administration at UNCA in Asheville NC. With a great-uncle in this area plus a sister engaged in women’s basketball, she stayed around western Carolina, taking a position in Mount Airy. Armed with advanced clinical training, she did a stint in juvenile court, at a crisis center, worked in different aspects of mental health and survival skills, rehabilitation, moved on to a state psychiatric hospital in Morganton, and so forth.
“Helping people who haven’t had middle class advantages find a life that is fulfilling and not harmful to others,” is the way she put it. "Speaking of those who have been discriminated against and suffered from all kinds of complexities, incapable of opting for avenues of spirituality open to many under much different circumstances."
As it happens she, herself, grew up attending a Methodist Church that was quite liberal and led to her appreciation of different kinds of thought and people. She learned how to water-ski with the youth group and thrived in this comparatively protective ambiance.
It should be noted that her husband David Reid had a similar enriching experience at his church in Jacksonville, and the pair actual met due to their involvement with the environment in the Sierra Club some thirty years ago. At that time, Jane was good friends with David’s late wife. In effect, Jane had known David for a long time before they eventually dated and married.
As for her tenure at UUSSV, she said, “I’m the kind of person who hopped around from different churches. I found a church called Unity which I liked but was too far away in Hendersonville County. Here at UUCSV, coming full circle, I was taken with the openness to different beliefs which is so powerful. The freedom to find your own path on life’s journey and to love everyone. Not just intellectually but bringing the heart into our lives and into the consideration of everything.”
All told, it’s a sheer joy to see Jane and David together: singing in the choir, buoyed by Jane’s newfound love of music coupled with David’s musicianship, their mutual interest in open spiritual and intellectual seeking and the environment, their work in the caring professions, being where they were meant to be.
|Great food, great entertainment, great company, great fun AND we raised approximately $6,000 to help Bounty & Soul as well as build a great playground for our kids. What could be better?|
That’s how I would sum up our first annual (?) UUCSV auction. In case people thought they would be bored during almost two hours of silent auction, Spence Foscue arranged for fabulous entertainment featuring Bill Altork, Linda Metzner, Linda Tatsapaugh’s band, and Spence himself to keep our feet tapping the whole time. Hungry? Alice Wells and her crew provided magnificent culinary delights to fill our tummies while Katharine Petrequin served wine.
What a range of auction items we had! From paintings and rugs to a ride-along with the Black Mountain police and a reserved UU parking spot, this will be the event that keeps on giving as so many items donated by our own congregation are gatherings to be arranged over the next year: dinners, movies, game nights, a storytelling evening, a hike, a wine-and-cheese gathering, a dance party, and much more.
Thanks to everyone who participated, whether as a committee member, donor, bidder or cheerleader. You all helped make it a success.
|Strategic Planning Update|
|by Michael Figuera|
We had an energetic & successful workshop with consultant Diana McCall on November 12. A group of available board members, committee chairs, and interested members spent the day engaged in discussion, learning new assessment tools and strategies. We made great progress on the UUCSV strategic plan. We anticipate working closely with committees, gathering additional input in our practical vision and defining our strategic direction. Each person’s involvement on November 12th was instrumental and greatly appreciated. Love Beyond Belief.
Thanks to photography by Jane Carroll, Carolyn Shorkey, Anna Marcel de Hermanas, Barb Rogers and others!
Keep our veterans in mind when you do your holiday baking this year. I invite everyone to bring a generous plate of homemade cookies to church on or before December 24th. If you deliver cookies before the 24th, please label them, "Vet's Quarter's" and place them under the snack table in the foyer. Following the Christmas Eve Service, we’ll enjoy some of our homemade cookies during Coffee Hour. After coffee hour, Carolyn and Milt will deliver the cookies to the Veteran’s Restoration Quarters in East Asheville. This is a project operated by ABCCM to transition homeless veterans toward permanent housing. When we’ve delivered your cookies the past few years, the Vets were very appreciative of our donation! For more information contact Carolyn Shorkey at 299-9456
Cousin Jimmy took me riding on the back of his John Deere
In the sun under Carolina skies so clear
We worked tobacco all summer long
It seemed like nothing could ever go wrong
We packed the barns ‘til they sagged with the weight
Washed gum off our hands while the evenings grew late
Jimmy played an old guitar and I would blow my harp
When it rained we’d sit up under a leaky old tarp
That fall the letter came and Jimmy walked kind of slow
We knew the war was coming and it was time for him to go
Something about a fight in a place called Viet Nam
Jimmy said “I got to go, so it don’t mean a damn.”
In the spring my aunt Jean held the news in her hand
The words were cold and plain but our hearts couldn’t understand
Jimmy had been killed by something called friendly fire
It was just a few lines on a Western Union wire.
It was just a case, a case of friendly fire
It was just a case, a case of friendly fire
|With Liberty and Justice for All|
Social Action Committee report by Anna Marcel de Hermanas:
“It is not possible to be in favor of justice for some people and not be in favor of justice for all people.” Martin Luther King Jr.
Fall in Western North Carolina has been busy for social action and justice work. Many UU’s joined the Climate Strike actions in Asheville in September and helped with Room at the Inn in October. We were a strong contingent at the November immigrant sponsorship meeting, and our members continue work in community justice work with groups like” Bounty &Soul” and “Indivisible” When we get weary, our poets and musicians remind us to lift our voices in praise as well as protest.
For UU’s and all people of strong moral purpose, a challenge can be finding the interdependence of celebration and lamentation. We can be victims of burn out and demoralization if we forget to take time out from activism to play and connect with people who care about us and support our values. It seems ironic that some of the happiest most loving people are often themselves members of oppressed groups, and yet they laugh and play and sing with the same ferocity that spurs advocacy and resistance of injustice.
May we follow that example as we move into the holidays, and vow to use the season’s celebrations to renew our spirits and our resolve to work for peace and Justice until we have liberty and justice for all.
The Social Action Committee has several ongoing projects and welcomes your involvement. We meet the second Monday of the month at 1 PM.
If you feel warmly greeted when you enter church on Sunday mornings, you have felt this way due in large part to volunteer, Carol Sheeler. Along with Pam Sain, Carol has lead the Membership initiative at UUCSV for many years. If you have expressed an interest in joining the congregation or being associated with us as a Friend of the Congregation, you have undoubtedly met Carol and Pam. Carol and Pam have maintained the members and friends active list, recruited, trained and scheduled volunteer greeters, followed up on requests about membership, and served as members of our Board of Trustees. Carol has also been a coffee hour host.
Carol and her husband, James Sheeler, moved to Asheville from Virginia where they were active in the UU Fellowship in Petersburg, VA. They were previously in Clearwater, FL and were active in the Clearwater UU Church.
Carol and Pam have recently welcomed three new volunteers to serve with them on the Membership Committee. We thank Heidi Blozan, Andy Reed, and Robert Tynes for stepping up to help.
Although Carol lives in west Asheville, she unquestionably has a deep commitment to the success of UUCSV in our Black Mountain community. And we have a deeply felt gratitude to Carol for her many years of service within our beloved community. On Sunday mornings, please share a smile with Carol, Pam and our volunteer greeters. Go ahead, Make Their Day!
|Our birthdays in December|
|December 3 - Phil Fryberger|
December 6 - Ruth Hubbard Lovinsohn
December 11 - Diane Hutchins
December 18 - Ray Stein
December 21 - Jane Carroll
If we missed you, and you'd like your birthday included in a future Tidings, just send it to the Membership Committee, Carol Sheeler at https://firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Editor's apologies for posting Suzanne in error as the contact last month.)
|Karin Steinhaus is a new member to the UUCSV |
but not new to Unitarian Universalism. She grew
up in Macon and Atlanta, GA and attended
the UU church in Atlanta.
She received a MS Degree in applied linguistics and a MA in teaching French, and has worked as a test development specialist and a yoga teacher. Karin has lived in Versailles, France, Vienna, Austria, Washington, D.C., and Princeton, NJ. Now retired, she lives in Black Mountain with her cat and enjoys hiking, yoga, and singing in the Wild Asheville Community Chorus. Karin volunteers as a lead in AA meetings at the Swannanoa Correctional Facility. We welcome Karin to our UU community.
New member Charley Cloak grew up in Glassboro, NJ. Other places he has lived are Springfield, OH, Bowling Green, OH, Huron, OH and Piscataway, NJ. His educational background includes a BS in Business Administration from Wittenberg University and an MBA from Bowling Green State University. He has operated old-fashioned country stores and worked as a realtor in NC.
Among Charley’s interests are gardening, live theatre, and symphony chamber music. He is a member of our UUCSV choir. Charley volunteers with Hope to Help and Read to Succeed.
He has three adult children and a sheltie dog named Ginger and presently lives in Asheville. He has attended other UU churches but UUCSV is the first UU church he has joined. We welcome him to our church community.
|Welcoming Congregation - Pronouns|
|Talking About Pronouns for Transgender/Gender-Fluid People (edited)|
“Pronouns are important because that’s the essence of who I am or who a
trans person is. It’s how we identify ourselves. I prefer she and her. There
might be someone else that prefers something else. I understand that this
might be a little weird for you because you don’t have a trans person in your
life so here’s what you do, you stop, you take a deep breath, and you ask.
That’s all you have to do. Not hard, just ask.”
Stephanie Battaglino, Consultant. Follow Your Heart LLC
Respecting Gender-diverse and Expansive Identities
Increasingly, people with gender identities and expressions may be different from what we most frequently think of when discussing gender. While many transgender people identify on a binary scale – as either male or female – some do not and may instead refer to themselves as “gender-queer,” “gender fluid,” “non-binary,” or other terms. These gender expansive identities are generally considered part of the greater transgender community.
Gender expansive identification – those who do not self-identify as male or female – often challenge existing understanding and norms around gender. These people
may opt to use gender expansive pronouns such as “they, them, and theirs” instead of the gendered “he, him, and his” or “she, her, and hers.” In addition, gendered honorifics such as “Ms.” or “Mr.” may change to the more inclusive “Mx.”
Nothing may be more personal than the way in which people refer to us through
our name and pronouns.
People should have the option of articulating their preferred name and the way
this is articulated in various gatherings. -- formal vs. informal, email vs. in-person
meetings, name badges, business cards and so on. An example would be to have
all name tags list the persons preferred pronoun such as “he, him, his” or “she, her, hers” or they, them, theirs.”
But what about pronouns?
The experience of being mis-gendered can be hurtful, angering, and even
dehumanizing. The experience of accidentally mis-gendering someone can be embarrassing for both parties; however, this can be quickly solved by discussing it
as an honest mistake and then moving on.
How Do I Ask Someone Their Personal Pronouns?
Short version: First, make sure that you have shared your own pronouns. Doing so is the best way to encourage other people to share their pronouns, to help make them more comfortable to share their pronouns with you.If you are meeting someone new one-to-one, you might say something like: “Hi, I’m Akeem, and I go by ‘they’ pronouns.
Information provided by Helen Carroll
National Center for Lesbian Rights
San Francisco, CA
October 13, 2019 – UUCSV Potluck
|Tidings is a place where we can share our thoughts about anything: spiritual, educational, biographical, social justice, environmental, poetic, opinions, etc. Please submit articles of around 250 words. The December deadline is Dec 20, so publication can be on the first of January. 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!|
Poetry Corner is a place in which our talented poets may share their words. Please submit your work. I am sorry I said we'd limit the numbers of poems. Send your creations and I'll probably post them.
There are different themes for each month, for 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: 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 20th of prior month or questions to Barbara Rogers at firstname.lastname@example.org
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