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 Tidings  Monthly Newsletter
Wholeness

May, 2020                                                                  Vol.1: Issue 11

(to see whole newsletter click on "view as web page" above the header)
From the Minister
Upcoming Sundays
Our birthdays in MAY
Wholeness
Religious Education 
Our music program at UUCSV
Poetry Corner
Call of the Valley: Jerry Pope
Looking good!
Volunteer Spotlight - The Wizard
April Board Meeting
Tidings notes
Contact Information
UUCSV leadership
Support UUCSV
Last Laugh: Malaphors
From the Minister

The World Health Organization defines health as, "A state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity."  
 
In the world of psychology and mental health, we are really good at defining what is wrong with us,  but what does it look like to be right, healthy, or whole?  Would we know it if we saw it?  Are there degrees of wholeness?  Does wholeness look the same for you as it does for me?  
 
Wholeness is a complex issue because it involves all of what makes us human - mind, body, soul, emotions and relationships.  None of these can be scientifically studied in a vacuum, put under a microscope or dissected.  You may argue that we can dissect the body and look at it on a molecular level, and you’d be right.  Does this give us accurate or complete information about how the body interplays with the soul or emotions?  I’m not so sure.
 
“Wholeness is our capacity to experience health as transcending all limitations while accepting them, overcoming this virus of perfectionism which keeps us locked into an imaginary world rather than the real world...it is paradoxically in accepting (limitations) that we can transcend them."
— Laurence Freeman
 
Because the subject of wholeness is so immense, I’d like us to consider just 3 parts of what it means to be whole: 

1. How we see ourselves - The whole person is able to see themselves truthfully and accept his/her limitations as well as areas of personal excellence. This requires relational feedback and personal reflection. The whole person doesn’t only see themselves in a positive light. They are able to see their flaws and idiosyncrasies. Rather than self-condemnation in their shortcomings they are able to embrace themselves with acceptance and gratitude. The whole person also recognizes that they have blind spots. They are committed to self-compassion and curiosity in the areas of the unknown. For some people, accepting the negative is easy but it’s more difficult to accept the good. The whole person is able to integrate both the good and bad as part of reality.
 
2. What we do with how we see ourselves - The whole person moves toward improving his or her limitations and shortcomings and utilizing areas of personal excellence. This is not a striving for perfection. A whole person rests in who and where they are in life, while seeking personal growth for the benefit of self and others. There is a resting in each moment because perfection is not the goal and one never arrives at a place of perfection. Each moment is good even though we may experience pain and brokenness in the moment. There is a greater story being written, and the imperfections of life make it beautiful - but I’m getting ahead of myself as I begin to delve into the spirituality of wholeness...more on that later. 
 
3. What we do when we go “backwards.” In case you missed it, life is not a steady improvement in the right direction. A whole person will have pain, struggle and broken relationships. Wholeness is not dependent upon our circumstances.  A whole person is able to find comfort within the discomfort of life. In other words, there are times when we will take two steps forward and three steps back.

We all want to feel whole. It cannot be attained. Often, the harder we try to become whole the more we experience our brokenness. Wholeness must be realized and therefore received. It is a gift and free of cost to any who would wish to pursue it. It is a journey. There is so much more that can be said on wholeness. But for now, this is all I have.
 
Michael
 
Upcoming Sundays
We are changing the posting of details for each Sunday Service to be in the weekly edition of the Current only. There you will always find the two upcoming Sundays posted. For more information click  UUSV.org/sundays/
 

Here are the titles of the scheduled streaming video Sunday Services...now available as YouTube videos. Direct links are sent to our member mailing list. Please let us know if you haven't received these yet and we'll add you, and then you can watch it at your own convenience. It's also available on our Facebook page, Facebook.com/UUCSV/.
 
However, if you wish to take part in the real-time zoom conversation (with your own coffee or other beverage) the link will be given each week in The Current on Thursdays. It's just like figuring out where to park, only on a device!

Sunday May 3, 2020
"The High Priest of the American Religion"
Rodger M. Payne, Ph. D.

 

Sunday May 10, 2020
"Mother's Day"
Rev. Michael J.S. Carter

 

Sunday May 17, 2020
"The Artist as Activist"
Rev. Michael J.S. Carter

 

Sunday May 24, 2020
"The United People of America – Connections in the Age of Isolation" 
Jeffrey Hutchins

 
 
Our UUCSV zoom coffee meetup on a laptop
 
A chat group on Zoom after church
 
Our birthdays in MAY

 
May 2 - Murphy Capps          
May 8 - Rosemary Ostertag
             Alice Wells
May 10 - Alton Hancock
May 11 - Richard Graham
May 14 - Kim Taylor
May 15 - Peter Boggs
May 20 - Sue Stone
May 25 - Emory Underwood
Wholeness
by Larry Pearlman
 
“Wholeness” - what a perfect theme for this month. The supreme gift that Covid-19 may be offering us is the opportunity to see the true interconnectedness of all Life - wholeness.  

Here is a microorganism passed from the animal kingdom to the human kingdom. It neither recognizes nor respects any human-made boundaries or natural boundaries of rivers, mountains, or oceans. Slowing down the pace of the human race is now resulting in cleaner air and water. We are beginning to see a positive impact on climate change that we were only theorizing about before. Forbes says that 77,000 lives were saved in China directly attributable to the reduced pollution.

It is having a huge economic impact and though we see mostly the negative side of that, some businesses are thriving (toilet paper anyone? masks, ventilators…) and some of us are finding that we are spending a lot less. Just maybe people will realize what they can do without and our whole (there’s that word again) consciousness may change from bigger-better-more to something more sane and sustainable. People (well, some people) are discovering family values again by being forced to spend more family time - another nudge to the paradigm shift possibility.

Have you noticed a rise in compassion around the planet? That is also going beyond boundaries. People reaching across borders, religions, race, and culture to help one another. People are even changing to healthier diets to try and strengthen immune systems.

Dolphins and swans have returned to the canals of Venice since tourist boats are not now there. With multinational companies stopped in their tracks, the land is given a respite to heal and regenerate.

I’m sure we will become aware of many more positive impacts from our Corona friend as things unfold and we at least have the opportunity as a species to see how the patterns, negative and positive, affect us ALL - people, animals, plants, and the planet. Once we see the message, we at least have a chance to reform our thinking around wholeness.  May it be so. 
Religious Education 
by Susan Enwright Hicks
Director of Religious Education

 
A Swiss-Cheese Brain Deliberates on “Wholeness”” or for the the Rocky and Bullwinkle fans in the room: “Emmentaler Breakdown” 
 
 
I think instead of wholeness I am striving for Kintsugi. Kintsugi is the Japanese practice of repairing broken ceramics with resins and precious metals. When they’ve finished the cracks haven’t been smoothed away to look as unbroken as possible instead they are gilded, celebrated. The pieces become stronger and more beautiful at the broken places. 
 
When I was pregnant with my first son (now six!) I read a lot of suggestions about trying to prevent stretch marks (and a lot of articles suggesting that whether or not you got stretch marks was largely out of your control so try not to stress about it). I thought I fell into the just accept it camp, with my belly taught - full of love and promise it was easy to convince myself that what my body looked like after our baby was born wouldn’t matter a bit so long as we had a healthy child, and besides from my vantage point above the belly I couldn’t see any stretch marks anyway (maybe I was one of the lucky ones). Then our son was born! A beautiful, whole, and blissfully healthy baby! I felt so grateful and blessed. But my labor was long, and difficult. I was bruised, broken, bloated and bleeding, and when I looked in the mirror...there they were, stretch marks. Stretch marks on a puffy, puckered, saggy belly. I felt the pang of self-pity, and cursed myself for not trying harder to prevent them even as I delighted in our child. Turning now to new-mommy blogs rather than pregnancy articles I found in addition to condolence posts, and remedy suggestions a small but unwavering chorus of women embracing their stretch marks - holding them up - featuring them in post-pregnancy photo shoots, having them selectively enhanced with tattoos, calling them “earned” tiger stripes. I decided to try to adopt this mindset instead of trying to wish (or lotion) my stretch marks away. As a mother of two my body now is considerably different than it was before I had children, softer yes, but stronger in many ways too. If nothing else, birthing babies made me connect with my physical self in a way I hadn’t much before, and has shown me I can endure hard work, and great pain. That is a gift.
 
As I struggle with the current chaos of the world and the toll it takes on my mental focus I am trying now to be gentle with myself when I find things have slipped through the cracks in my mind. Berating myself won’t correct an email missed, or the stack of dishes half-done. I take some healing breaths, check the to do list, accomplish one thing, and hope we’ll all be a little stronger when this is over.
 
 
Our music program at UUCSV
Zoom Singing
 
The UUCSV Choir made Zoom videos!  Each singer recorded themselves on their smartphone, all keeping the same beat while I played the accompaniment. I compiled all these short takes (150 or more!,) trimmed them on either end, and placed them synchronously on a grid using Garage Band, a recording and mixing program I've used for some years.

After all 20 voices and 4 instrumental tracks were on the grid including a conga drum loop (Spence was video only!), I listened to the whole thing, tweaked it and it was done. Next, we recorded the visual aspects on Zoom, using our prerecorded audio with hand motions and lip syncing, for "The Lion Sleeps Tonight." In our audio of "For the Future," Evan Yanik added the nature scene visuals for the Wendell Berry lyrics.

Mixing took about 12 hours over 2 days, but it was worth it! And I got the unforeseen pleasure of hearing each beautiful individual voice as I editing them. I'm grateful for finding joyful musical community in new ways.  
 
Annelinde Metzner     
 

 "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" - The UUCSV choir gestures on Zoom
 

Mixing the sounds and videos on Garage Band by Linda 

                                              
Thanks for an excellent first job of blending the UUCSV choir voices into digital music.
 
UUCSV choir director and sound engineer, Annelinde Metzner
 
 
 
Annelinde plays most of the music from her home each Sunday
 
Poetry Corner
 
Virology

And now comes mortality
In the form of a tiny virus
Hitching a ride on a droplet through the air.
Just a small bit of DNA.

Floating within the fragility of our human limits;
It comes and spreads with lightening speed
Across the artificial boundaries we have cut 
on the sharp edge of politics and tribalism.

It is simply indifferent in its replication
And search for the next host;
Biology at work, unfolding in its own time,
A slave to nobody's timetable.

Not the great world economy
(Certainly not America's),
Not the ego orations of so-called world leaders,
Not even partisan posturing,
Can alter the trajectory of simple transmission.

In all great threats to humanity and civilization,
It is left to us to decide how to live.
How to be human in the midst of the unknown.
Yet, it has always been so, even in the best of times.

This too shall pass, not without profound loss.
Shall we learn from the humbling experience?
What else waits in the wings
And cares not for our illusions of grandeur?

Some retreat to their fortresses;
They stockpile arms and build walls.
Surely, they say in their fear
It is better to be protected and locked in.

But the only thing equal to the task
Is compassion and love.
A call to the connective fibers
Linking person to person, heart to heart.

David Reid
March 29, 2020
 
 
 
________________________________
 
2020
 
Part of us has been broken
Entrapped in a splint 
Made of masks, sanitizer, isolation
Our healer requires us to
Stretch, pull, bend
Assuring that with adherence to the orders
Patience, passage of time
The pain will diminish
We will be whole again.
 

C. Shorkey
4/23/20
 
_________________________________
 
 
Worthy Someday?

Cut from the little-league baseball team
And later eighth-grade basketball.
Skinny teen with ugly glasses and
Self-esteem / identity issues.

College dropout who worked much 
To first put wife then self through college
And grad school with little student debt
Before buying current house debt free.

First love would not even consider me,
Early practice marriage lasted fourteen years.
Current wife and I raised two kids to fine adults,
Now we foster an infant in our late sixties.

Corporate consultant road warrior, frequent flyer,
To support the family and a future
Before creating then selling our own successful
Business for enough to retire in our fifties.

Now a reliable social justice volunteer, 
Church leader and frequent blood donor.
Wondering what I yet must accomplish
To be worthy enough someday.

Jim Carillon
April 15, 2020
 
 __________________________________
 
 
Where did I go?
 
vast vast space
widest broadest presence
one with all that is
can't hold it
or create it
just invite it
that which I know
disappears
weightless
body-less
drifting through
the ether
spiral rather
left than right
drop into the
infinite
that is
known
if only
for a moment
sudden return
in awe and grateful
time to feed the cat 
 
(About meditation, more specifically coming back after a good one.) 
Damaris Pierce
2020
 
_______________________________ 
 
Hopefully!
 
Gray, cool, light rain, still.
TV glaring with dis chord.
Congress fighting over lives versus commerce.
Spring without hope, worldwide Pandemic.
 
YET.
Earth day was yesterday.
The young people of the earth are active and hopeful.
If I turn from bad news to give
my attention to our Earth,
I will see budding and new pale, beautiful
leaves on all types of trees.
Wildflowers showing their trust in the future.
Rhododendrons with fat flower buds ready to burst open
and Azaleas and Mountain Laurels in full vibrant bloom,
displaying many different colors, a rainbow of colors.
Our air is pollution free, we can breathe and clearly see
the far off mountains, not seen for years.
Our rivers are so clear and clean that fish are
returning to spawn.
Our oceans and beaches are so clear and clean that sea
turtles are laying eggs and spawning more than in the
past 20 to 30 years. If we listen, we hear more birdsong than in years. Are the birds vocalizing more because they can be heard now that competition with human activity is halted?
Our own health can now improve with cleaner air to breathe and cleaner water to drink,
 
Even as we fight the virus disease and possible world hunger,
will the world notice the many positives this terrible virus is
leaving us? Will the world examine the why and how of
these positives? Will the world use this lesson to change our ways
and expectations and leave us actually wanting to decrease
our pollution and go “Green” worldwide. That would be one great positive to arise from this terrible world wide pandemic.
This is something to hope for, to pray for, to set
our expectations for, to ardently work for.
All for our own sake and for the sake of our wonderful and only home, our world.

If we do nothing - go back to our “old ways”, know that the
Earth does not need us for her to survive and thrive. We,
the people, are expendable. Our Earth will be just fine, probably better off without people.
I hope we are wise enough to see that and to take
appropriate action. I look to our young people to guide us.
I am hopeful and optimistic.
Be Love. Feel Love, Send Love.
 
Ann Sillman
 2020
 
Call of the Valley: Jerry Pope
by Shelly Frome
 
The key to graphic artist, Jerry Pope’s seemingly endless projects are the sketchbooks he’s maintained over the years. Keeping an open mind, he never knows what’s next or the form it will take, be it a painting, an illustrated tale or even an Appalachian coloring book. Scanning his file jogs his memory as ideas work their way to the top of his list or simply pick up where they left off. For example, take his recent wordless story Fetch
 
“I started Fetch well before my dog Rusty died,” Pope said, “but I didn’t have an ending. Later, when he passed away, I turned my grief into art. I started playing around with scratchboard and a black-and-white motif which evolved into a hopeful story and a way of assuaging the sadness. I sell a lot of them to veterinarians and friends who have lost pets. In this way, art became a means of expressing the inexpressible.”
 
As another example of his process, back in the days when he was dating his wife, Rebecca, they were involved in a theater company whose work was based on myths influenced by the writings of Joseph Campbell. At the same time, they began making up fairy tales about an enchanted owl. Perusing his sketchbook some twenty-five years later, Owl Girl became the springboard for his “new wordless stuff coming out this month.”   
 
There are even times when a scattering of notions begin to “stick in the wall of [his] mind."
 
“There was the old Pellom’s Time Shop,” Pope said, “right here in Black Mountain where clocks never get fixed and time is meaningless; a door with a Joe-sent-me speakeasy hole in it in up above the Town Hardware; and the fact that Elvis had a tooth pulled here. Also the oral histories of this valley Rebecca and I collected and staged as ‘Way Back When’ played a part, and a shaggy dog story I made up about a pig.  All of it a kind of sci-fi, hippy tale I published in 2013 under the title The Elvis Tooth
 
As for the circuitous route that eventually brought him to this area, his wit and love of illustrating and figurative drawing while enrolled at the University of Tulsa took him only so far, as the established goal was a stint at Hallmark Cards. Given his antic disposition, he turned instead to the burgeoning experimental theater scene. 
 
“While engaging in theater all over the region,” Pope said, “Rebecca and I began attending the annual meeting of Alternate Roots at Camp Rockmont. The name stood for Southern performance art rooted in place, tradition and spirit. Here I finally found my people. We eventually moved to Swannanoa in the year 2000.  I love the Appalachian life style and the history of this Valley. We see a sunrise and sunset over the mountains every day. As a survivalist, I feel a mountain top will be the last place to go.” 
 
Currently, Jerry Pope can be found at the Tailgate Market on any given Saturday morning where out-of-towners and local residents have the opportunity to peruse the gamut of his “Hare Brand Ideas.” This logo, which includes the head of a pixelated rabbit encased in a light bulb, was arrived at five years ago when he decided to launch a full-fledged enterprise and plucked the name out of a chapbook of his funny notions.  
 
“I cover a broad span at my table,” Pope said. “Some people are checking out everything as they kind of cruise by. And there are those who I can tell where their eyes are going and I point out that the whimsical postcards are of old Black Mountain. Or the comic books have a touch of surrealism. Newcomers and tourist are my main market. I get them on my mailing list and inform them of new ventures.”    
 
Speaking of which, there’s a good chance he may divulge the stirrings of a project based on his grandmother who lived in Indian territory in Oklahoma, dated cowboys, and was there during the Tulsa race riots.
 
For further information, Jerry Pope can be contacted at jerry@harebrandideas.com
 

  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Shelly Frome, author of "The Call" in the Tidings Monthly Newsletter.
Looking good!
Our Building and Grounds Committee has made great progress in the changes needed for a new area for children to play, and to keep the drainage going where it should.
 
Relocating the shed so a new ditch could drain the parking area as well as playground.
 
Thanks for moving the shed!
 
 
Stakes to show where new ditch will be ...
 
The ditch, with some good shovel work! Next will be some finishing off.
 
 
Volunteer Spotlight - The Wizard
by Rev. Michael Carter
 
Let us peek behind the curtain and see who is really responsible for making me and the virtual Sunday Services look so good. Let me introduce you to not the Wizard of Oz, but the Wizard of UUCSV, Evan Yanik.
 
Evan Yanick is a member of the Board of Trustees as well as having played a big part (along with so many of you, Larry Pearlman, et. al.) in our 2019 auction. He is the one who sits with me as we record the service, at times some sections more than once due to my "spacing out," as well as editing and putting it all together. We owe him so much gratitude for making our transition from gathering on Sunday to meeting via Zoom and Facebook during this time of "The Virus." 
 
Evan, we don't want you to burn out. Take care of yourself. Just wanted to take a moment to thank you for being the "winds beneath our wings" during this time in our congregation's history. Thank you from the bottom of our collective hearts!
 
Live Long & Prosper,
Michael
April Board Meeting
 
Your Board of Trustees successfully held its second virtual meeting last week.  It was wonderful to see each other’s faces, even on a screen!  Despite the current constraints, there is a lot going on in our congregation, and we are looking toward the end of our fiscal year and making plans.
 
We were all pleased to learn that our pledge drive is going strong. Due to robust participation, we have met our goal, (as announced in The Current, yesterday.) This means that our congregation is not suffering financially in this unsettling time, and our employees, our property and our programs continue to be fully supported.
 
Current Stay Home orders have resulted in the UU General Assembly being moved online, and the cost was reduced to $150/person.  The board had approved supporting one attendee, and now will cover the cost for four board and staff representatives to attend.  Other members are encouraged to sign up on their own; this is a unique opportunity to participate without traveling!
 
Committees have kept up their good works, too.  Building and grounds moved our shed and dug a new ditch to alleviate drainage into a neighbor’s yard.  Social Action awarded funds to three local organizations responding to needs related to the pandemic.  Congregational care remains ready to help our own members in need.  And Susan in RE continues to find creative ways to connect with our children.
 
IMPORTANT:  The Board set the date for our Annual Congregational Meeting as Sunday, June 7 at 12:30pm.  This is our yearly business meeting; we approve the budget and any bylaw changes, vote in new trustees, and conduct any other official business.  We must have a quorum of 33% of membership.  At this time, we do not know whether this will be virtual or in-person, but we know we need you.  Official information coming soon!
 
Linda Tatsapaugh, Board President
Tidings notes

 
"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!

 
The "Tidings" theme for June 2020 will be "Play."  Think of something you just really want to say about that!

 
 
Contact Information
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
Phone:    828-669-8050
email:      admin@uusv.org  "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 tidings.uucsv@gmail.com
UUCSV leadership
Board of Trustees: 
Linda Tatsapaugh – President
Kathryn Coyle – Vice President  

Deb Vingle
Heidi Blozan
Spence Foscue
Robert Tynes
Evan Yanik
 
Non-board officers are:
Lee Reading – Treasurer
Milt Worden – Secretary
 
Committee Chairs:
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
Support UUCSV
Last Laugh: Malaphors
There's a great group of Unitarian Universalists who publish on Facebook regularly, the UU Hysterical Coffee Hour. This may (or may not) be attributed to them. The blending of idioms or cliches is called a malaphor.
 
You can take one man's trash to another man's treasure, but you can't make it drink.
 
Just shoot him and throw away the key.
 
Half of one and six dozen of another.
 
My idea killed two stones with one bird.
 
...until the cows freeze over.
 
You've opened this can of worms, now lie in it.
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UUCSV  •  500 Montreat Road  •  Black Mountain, NC 28711

http://uusv.org

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