Tidings Monthly Newsletter
March, 2020 Vol.1: Issue 9
|(to see whole newsletter click on "view as web page" above the header)|
|Well, it's March. (Not really as I am writing this on|
Feb. 14, 2020, and so far it's been a really wet and mild winter). March is Women's History Month, and we have St. Patrick's Day and the beginning of Spring. I just wanted to let you know of some other tidbits of info (some of you may find useless) about the month of March as well. Let us remember in the words of author Max Coots, "that unless we moved the seasons of the self, and Spring can come for us, the winter will go on and on..." despite the fact of Spring. The good news is that we will survive whatever this winter brings and get ready for the rebirth that is Spring.
It’s March—Happy New Year, ancient Romans! I mean Americans!
Welcome to the third month of the year—or, if you were born before 150 B.C., the first! According to the oldest Roman calendars, one year was ten months long, beginning in March and ending in December. It may sound crazy, but you can still see traces of this old system in our modern calendar: because December was the tenth month, it was named for the number ten in Latin (decem), just like September was named for seven (septem). So, what about January and February? They were just two nameless months called “winter.”
If you’re a basketball fan, March Madness is a cherished time to reacquaint oneself with the couch, especially during the early tournament days when dozens of games unfold consecutively.
March was named for war—and lives up to its title
March was actually named for the Latin Martius—aka Mars, the Roman God of war and a mythical ancestor of the Roman people via his wolf-suckling sons, Romulus and Remus. With the winter frosts melting and the ground becoming fertile for harvest again in the Northern hemisphere, March was historically the perfect month for both farmers to resume farming, and warriors to resume warring.
Incidentally, the Pentagon still seems to agree with this Roman tradition: with the exception of the recent War on Afghanistan, almost all major US-NATO led military operations since the invasion of Vietnam have begun in the month of March. To name a few: Vietnam (initiated March 8, 1965), Iraq (March 20, 2003), and Libya (March 19, 2011) all follow the trend.
Beware The Ides of March
We’ve all heard it uttered, but what does “beware the Ides of March” actually mean? On the Roman calendar, the midpoint of every month was known as the Ides. The Ides of March fell on March 15th. This day was supposed to correlate with the first full moon of the year (remember, winter didn’t count then) and marked by religious ceremonies, but thanks to Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar we know it for another reason. Supposedly, in 44 BC, a seer told Julius Caesar that his downfall would come no later than the Ides of March. Caesar ignored him, and when the fated day rolled around he joked with the seer, “The Ides of March have come.” The seer replied, “aye, Caesar; but not gone.” Caesar continued on to a senate meeting at the Theatre of Pompey, and was summarily murdered by as many as 60 conspirators. So, if someone tells you “beware the Ides of March,” they are probably just letting you know they’ve read Shakespeare.
March 1: As the saying goes, March comes “in like a lion, out like a lamb.” But with climate change, who really knows?
March 17: St. Patrick’s Day.
March 19: The sun shines on the equator for the Vernal Equinox, giving us a near 50-50 split of day and night.
Sunday, March 1, 2020, 11:00 a.m.
“Why Do We Sing?”
What is it about singing together that has become such an essential part of our worship experience? This morning we will explore these musical questions.
Eric Bannan brings stories to life with moving personal narratives, a sly sense of humor and a soulful singing voice. He is a husband, father, songwriter, storyteller, US Coast Guard rescue flight crew veteran, backcountry adventure racer, and cancer survivor - with a masters in computer science.
Eric has been called to share his art to inspire, motivate for positive change, and build community. His music is rooted in folk, driven by foot-tapping funk, and seasoned with the blues. With almost 40 years of performing experience, Eric’s presentations are an energetic celebration of life.
Sunday, March 8, 2020 11:00 a.m.
"To Recieve Our Good"
Rev. Michael J. C. Carter
One evening a Hindu ascetic was just getting ready to sleep under a tree when he was approached by a villager who came running up to him asking that he give him a precious stone. “What stone” the ascetic asked? “Lord Shiva appeared to me in a dream last night and told me that if I came to this place at dusk tonight a very devout holy man would give me a precious stone that would make me unbelievably rich. The sannyasi rummaged in his bag for a moment and, smiling, said, Lord Shiva probably meant this one. I found it in the forest today and you certainly can have it. The villager gazed at the stone in wonder. It was as large as his fist and, even in the fading light, filled with luminosity. He took it and walked away. But, that night he couldn’t sleep. He was deeply troubled. Next morning at dawn he rushed back to the sannyasi, and thrust the diamond back into his hands. “I don’t want it,” he said. “What I want is whatever you have that makes it possible for you to give it away so easily.”
This story, brings us to the heart of stewardship. Stewardship is not primarily about money. It’s about gratitude and what we think we really deserve in order to make our goals and dreams a reality. It's Canvass Sunday. Let's talk.
Music for Second Sunday: Linda Metzner on Piano; Marianne Vail, viola
Pot Luck Luncheon following the service.
Sunday, March 15, 2020, 11:00 a.m.
"Growth - Roots Before Wings" (RE Sunday)
Susan Enwright Hicks, Director of Religious Education
“In any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth or to step back into safety.”― Abraham Maslow
The imagery of “ Roots and Wings” has been used many times in UU circles and beyond, but how much thought have you given this pair and the way they relate to one another? In this fully Intergenerational Service (in which students will be invited to stay for the entirety) DRE Susan, children from our RE program, and others will explore this classic pairing, hopefully inspire you to dream big, and perhaps leave you with something to think about. We hope you’ll join us.
Sunday, March 22, 2020, 11:00 a.m.
"The Wit and Wisdom of Ann Lamott"
Rev. Michael J. C. Carter
Anne Lamott was born on April 10, 1954. She is an American novelist and non-fiction writer. She is also a progressive political activist, public speaker, and writing teacher. Lamott is based in Marin County, California. Her nonfiction works are largely autobiographical. Marked by their self-deprecating humor and openness, Lamott's writings cover such subjects as alcoholism, single motherhood, depression, and Christianity. She is also a very profound and wise woman. I would like to share with you a bit of that wisdom by exploring her insights about life, death, family, relationships, and the writer's life.
Music for this Sunday: UUCSV choir performs; Sue Stone, Piano; Linda Metzner, choir director.
Sunday, March 29, 2020, 11:00 a.m.
"Gratitude in the Moment"
What are the moments in our life that help us develop our personal definition and practice of gratitude? How can we find gratitude in the moment when the moment is unpleasant?
Lyn VanOver is one of the founding teachers of Artspace Charter School. Over the years she has worked to help her students feel gratitude in their own lives. In 2010 Lyn was catapulted into her own journey in defining gratitude. Lyn wrote and self-published a memoir titled: The Journey Back: A Teacher's Journey of Recovery and Learning.
After the service Lyn will be selling copies of her book for $20 each- cash or check only please. Lyn will donate $5 to the UU church for each book purchased.
by Susan Enwright Hicks
Director of Religious Education
Many articles have written about the value and wisdom of play.
Scientists have been studying the importance of play and its vital role in childhood development for more than 30 years. More recently however we’ve seen research to suggest that play is also essential to adults. Play helps us to know who we are, and how to relate to others. In play we can “try on” personas, discover the world around us, explore our creativity, and exercise our bodies. Play reduces stress, and when done in groups can build cooperation, and attract others to us. These outlets and ways of making connections are especially necessary in a world that seems increasingly hectic, divided, and linked via devices more than through actual human interaction.
“Play is a basic human need as essential to our well-being as sleep, so when we’re low on play, our minds and bodies notice.” (psychiatrist Stuart Brown)
You may know that UUCSV is in the process of renovating our playground, but unless you’ve looked over my display at coffee hour you may not know that my hopes for the “playground” are rather ambitious and include spaces for children and adults to explore, connect, dream and of course PLAY. I can’t do it alone though. I’m going to need artists & engineers, builders and folks just willing to haul rocks or plant flowers. I hope you’ll look over my ideas and join me in transforming our campus into a space we can all enjoy.
Quote Source : Washinton Post Health Science
|Our music program at UUCSV |
A duet by Jim Carillon and Rev. Michael Carter on Sunday Feb. 9, 2020.
UUCV Music programs for March
March 1st - Sue Stone, piano
March 8th - Second Sunday: Linda Metzner, piano; Marianne Vail, viola
March 15th - Sue Stone, piano; choir rehearsal at 12:15
Wednesday March 19th - Choir rehearsal at 7 PM
March 22nd - Choir performs; Sue Stone, piano; Linda Metzner, choir director. Choir rehearsal at 10 AM
March 29th - Sue Stone, piano
We are never truly alone.
The girl-child gazes at distant stars,
Feeling universal immensity
Swallow her soul.
The girl-child gazes at distant stars,
Fearing thoughts of loneliness
Will swallow her soul,
Fearing thoughts of loneliness,
She hugs herself, inadequate substitute.
Unaware of impending joy.
A lifetime later, she hugs herself, an adequate substitute,
Now awakened, now blessed,
Now aware of all-permeating joy,
And knowing her part in it.
And now awakened, now blessed,
She feels universal immensity,
And knows her part in it.
We are never truly alone.
by Constance Rosato
How to Avoid Becoming “Comfortably Numb”
(inspired by the Pink Floyd song)
Take on a physical challenge:
Hike a little longer each day,
Mostly commute by bicycle,
Maintain a challenging diet.
Stretch your usual lifestyle:
Learn a new language,
Sing solo in front of others,
Teach a subject you dimly know.
Help raise a child:
Mentor a teenager,
Teach at a junior high school,
Become a foster parent.
Donate substantially and anonymously,
Directly serve people less advantaged,
Become a better partner to your spouse.
Look deeply within:
Embark on your own spiritual quest,
Ask how you wish to be remembered,
Write and share meaningful stories or poems.
by Jim Carillon, 2/10/2020
|by Shelly Frome|
Nestled deep in the southern reaches of Black Mountain, with the Blue Ridge Parkway hovering in the far distance, Mamie Hilliard finds herself sheltered by her beloved log cabin and embraced by the peace of the natural world.
In the near distance, she can look out on the sourwoods beginning to bloom “with their little white things hanging down.” She fondly notes they’re the first ones that turn a bright red, the bees make the very best honey, and Black Mountain is known as the sourwood town.
And so, whether she’s reminiscing, exploring her world or getting down to the business at hand, you instinctively know that you’re in the presence of a memorable person, one whose rhythm blends in perfectly with each and every endeavor.
Looking back, she recalls coming from the farm in Tennessee to Camp Merri-Mac for girls on Montreat Road. At the time, she was well acquainted with animals and nature but hadn’t been in touch with many people. Presently, she was quite taken with the mountains and her fellow campers and soon discovered her parents had come here during their courtship. In fact, her daddy had worked summers at Blue Ridge Assembly. Now that the camp is co-ed, her grandsons are at Merri-Mac carrying on the legacy. As a matter of course, legacy and continuity become two more telling touchstones. “There are six of us who live here in Black Mountain from those camp days and are still in touch, including Annie Hall.”
But it’s not as though she’s always lived an easily evolving life. She married an army chaplain, went around the world with two children in tow and had her third child in Heidelberg, Germany. You could just simply say she’s developed a highly centered approach over the years. A perspective that stood her in good stead when she decided to become a member of the clergy.
At the age of sixty, she was ordained at a Pentecostal seminary during the time she and her husband moved to Chattanooga. It all came about as she envisioned a spiritual component to a Masters in social work. As a fifth generation Disciple of Christ who came from a long line of clergy and educators, the Pentecostals gave words to her quest.
“Pentecostals feel things. It comes from the Pentecost when the spirit came and everybody spoke in their own tongue. That’s what Jesus promised he would send to comfort us. ‘I will not leave you comfortless. My spirit I leave with you.’ That’s what they say happened at Pentecost at the gathering during biblical times. It’s the holy spirit that happens in your heart and mine.”
It comes then as no surprise that she would find spirit in the cabin she inherited from her folks in 1985. It also comes as no surprise the one-hundred-and-six-year-old structure is made of hard chestnut that has lasted through many a season, and that spirit extends to the mountain people themselves.
“Living here is in my DNA. It’s home because of the spirit that’s here. This house was built by people who were mountain people. I say that because I love the mountain people. They’re authentic, they’re real. They don’t have roles to play. You take up for each other. You don’t talk about it. You just know you do. The logs in this cabin were cut by an old whipsaw cutting back and forth. I feel it in there. I feel the original folks and my parents when I’m in here because they all had the spirit. I feel a real heritage that’s been loaned to me for a while and I will pass on to my children. I’ve lived a lot of places with my army husband but this is a special place.”
In retirement, ministering only on occasion and on an individual basis, she’s now writing poetry and calling it The children of my old age. She feels it comes from within herself. She births each and every verse. Struggles but tries not to struggle, to let it come to her. She once put aside a poem after two weeks, then sat by the fire and wrote it down in ten minutes. And it was good. It said what she wanted to say.
She now enjoys a happy, supportive lifestyle with her longtime partner Susan Culler.
It goes without saying she finds something Pentecostal about the poetry writing process. The spirit entering at a certain point and dwelling within. Some day she will bind each and every poem in a single volume.
All in good time.
And she did publish her (first?) book of poetry by the name of:
". . .and to see takes time . . . "
Shelly Frome, author of The Call, in Tidings Monthly Newsletter.
|by Barbara Rogers, editor of Tidings|
First thought was my total and personal knowledge that wisdom doesn't naturally come with age. I do know a few people older than my own 77 years, and maybe they have found wisdom.
I've attended several rituals in women's UU groups including my own celebration of becoming a Matriarch. And I had severals ritual of becoming a Crone, which is an honor as taught by a UU curriculum. Many women have moved past their retirement years and embraced a term that used to reflect negatively on older women. I even taught the Women's Empowerment curriculum at UUCSV. Several of us took part in that, and maybe we felt a bit different afterward. But wiser? I'm not so sure.
Wisdom does represent a combination of learnedness and experiences. So having a PhD or several, you must require more life experiences as well to be considered wise. And when you add the concept of "old wives' tales" handed down through generations, you might leave out the PhD completely.
I'll include the most influential use of the term "wisdom" that I've encountered in my life. In every 12-step program, whether for addictions to alcohol or drugs, (AA or NA) or to caregiving to others as in Co-Dependants Anonymous or Al-Anon, the meetings always started with the Serenity Prayer.
(Insert the name of your own Higher Power here) Grant me the Serenity to
Accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And Wisdom to know the difference.
by the American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, used in sermons as early as 1934.
March 7 - David Wells
March 8 - Kenny Phillips
March 14 - Ann Lutz
March 18 - Linda Metzner
March 19 - James Sheeler
March 20 - Elizabeth Bryan
March 23 - Susan Culler,
March 24 - Anna Marcel de Hermanes
by Carolyn Shorkey
He has a big heart for Congregational Care
He is a volunteer who will dare
To do anything you ask of him
And he is known to us as Jim.
He has been the Board of Trustees Prez
Grounds, personnel, and kids he says
Are his favorite things to do
He has even moved pew or two.
Jim has been the annual canvass chair
Volunteers who do this much are rare
He watched over our money
He truly is an energizer bunny.
The only thing he cannot boast
Is being a coffee hour host
So when you see him with a sign up sheet
Remember, a more generous person you’ll never meet.
Jim Carillon wearing his tee shirt gift from his son, proclaiming Jim's love of another duet, Simon and Garfunkle.
|February Board Meeting – Budget Season|
|We’re in budget-building season again, and much is happening behind the scenes to craft one that addresses our congregational needs well. With a focus on transparency, Lee Reading, our treasurer, asked for budget requests from each committee. Several have not responded as of this writing, so may keep their same budget from last year (If you want any changes, please get them to Lee ASAP).|
The board looked over the first draft of the budget. Some changes were pulled from our new strategic plan. The other major element needed is result from our annual canvass. Kathryn Coyle is heading up the committee that will run the canvass, which launches in a week and has some changes from last year. This is our major drive for financial pledges, which is our main income, so start thinking about your own pledge to help us meet our budgetary goals and continue to thrive as a congregation. More to come on this soon!
|Wonderful news from the Neff Family!|
Alex and Michelle Neff are thrilled to share that, after being with them for 535 days in foster care, Danielle Neff has found her forever home. They can’t wait for more Neff adventures as a family. Peace out foster care!
|"Tidings" is our Monthly Newsletter, a journal/magazine and place where we can share our thoughts and photos about things of interest to our Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Swannanoa Valley. Please submit articles of around 250 words to "Tidings." 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!|
There are different themes for each month, for April 2020 it will be "Cycles." Think of something you just really want to say about that!
|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 Damaris Pierce, Office Manager, by Tuesday.
"Tidings" is published monthly. Please 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