Tidings Monthly Newsletter
|June, 2020 Vol.1: Issue 12|
|(to see whole newsletter click on "view as web page" above the header)|
UUCSV member Phyllis Robertson (circa 2001)
I was speaking with an astrologer friend of mine recently about what it means to go through a Mercury retrograde. For those of you who are not familiar with the term, back when the gods and goddesses were thought to be in charge of the affairs of humanity, Mercury (the planet of communication) shuttled messages between the gods and mortals. In today's world, Mercury is the computer, the telephone, the internet. Mercury acts as a messenger who collects data and information. When Mercury goes retrograde for 3 weeks 3 times a year, travel, technology, and communications seem to break down during this time period. The next 2 Mercury retrogrades for this year are June 18 - July 12, and October 13 - November 13.
Usually, it's a time to not force anything and just go with the flow, because the planet Mercury appears to be going backwards or in retrograde motion. This is also at time when people who you have not heard from in a while may pop up again in your life. You have the dates above so see how this works for you if you are interested. Personally I like to know when the Mercury retrogrades appear so as to be prepared for the little annoyances and aggravations that can occur during the 3 week time period. And to be fair some Mercury retrogrades are milder than others.
Ironically, it is said that this period is a time to do anything with the prefix "re" in front of it. A good time to review, relax, revisit, etc. The prefix re means to do again. What a blessing! Just think, you can re-peat a lesson at no charge until you get it right. You can re-group after a setback. You can re-structure your life should it appear that things seem to be falling apart. You can re-create your image should you happen to fall apart. You can re-position yourself in any situation, one you re-evaluate. You can always re-think the evaluation once it is done. While most of us do not like doing things over, when you consider the blessings of re, doing it again may not be so bad.
You can re-deem your character by re-tracting words spoken harshly. You can re-cover from your losses through the power of re-organization. At some point, we have all faced the pain of being re-jected, which is actually just a wonderful opportunity to re-flect on who we really are. There is no reason to live with re-morse or re-gret when you consider that every experience is simply a re-hearsal for the next. You can always re-move yourself from a situation when you feel you just can't re-late.
When you re-fuse to nurture yourself, you burnout. When you re-lease habits, people, and situations that do not honor who you are, you will re-generate your power. You cannot re-capture your hairline when it re-cedes, but you can always re-lax the re-quirement that you must look pleasing all of the time. Re-fine your thinking! Re-form your life! Re-search what you need to be and do without any re-sistance! Don't be re-luctant to do things more than once. Re-do what you need to do to re-collect yourself.
You don't have to wait for Mercury to go retrograde to do it (although it may help). Be happy even after considering all of the facts. Hope to see you all soon....Stay well. Happy Summer!
|The details for Sunday Services are in the weekly edition of The Current for the next two weeks. For more information click UUSV.org/sundays/|
Here are the titles of the next scheduled streaming video Sunday Services, they will be 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, then you can watch at your own convenience. The Sunday Service videos also available on our Facebook page, Facebook.com/UUCSV/.
Our Zoom coffee meeting starts at 11:45 am, and the link and password are included in information about the virtual service sent to recipients of Tidings and The Current, just before it all starts each Sunday.
All are virtual services via Facebook or a YouTube link.
Sunday, June 7, 2020, 11:00 a.m.
by Andy D. Reed
Maggie Moon performs Sacred Dance to the Cherokee group Walela's "Wash Your Spirit Clean."
Annelinde Metzner, piano
Sunday June 14, 2020, 11:00 a.m.
"New Member Sunday"
by Rev. Michael J.S. Carter
Sunday June 21, 2020
by Rev. Michael J.S. Carter
Thanks to Evan Yanik for all the great videography!
|Celebrating Cora Marie Blozan as she graduates|
Thanks to Mary Soyenova for making this wonderful sign, Rhea Bockhorst for installing it, and Heidi Blozan for helping to make it happen!
by Heidi Blozan
My children and I found UUCSV about 17 years ago. Cora wasn’t quite walking. I remember sitting on the floor with Evelyn Carter, Aven and Cora in the Black Mountain Primary School where UUCSV was meeting at the time. Fast forward those 17 years and we have Cora graduating from high school during the coronavirus pandemic. It’s hard to remember all the classes and curriculums in which Cora has participated. She has participated in everything from Chalice Children to Coming of Age right here. She was nestled into this congregation from the time she was a 1-year old toddler to 18 years of beauty and grace. Now she is preparing for the next phase of life.
But let's go back again because the years of childhood are so precious and your faces will be embedded in her memory. The Halloween parties and Trillium Yard Sales were among her favorite - to the class with Sarah Kirkpatrick, the Coming of Age class and the trip to Boston, and meeting with a small slew of cool adults during her senior year (too many to name? Deb, Helen, Scott, Tina and Jim). Oh yes and then she fell in love for the first time with a little person, Finnley.
At first Cora could be observed as clingy and shy. Then she found dance (belly dance was her first class) and through this she found a graceful, exceptional way to express herself. She has been involved with dance ever since the belly dance class in 4th grade. When she got to high school she was on the dance team all four years and a co-captain during her senior year.
But dance isn't Cora’s only passion. Social Justice issues of many types lets you see the blood roiling through her veins. Cora has taken a stand on several occasions and once received public acknowledgment from her high school principal.
Cora on right with Hannah 2008
Cora is an insightful writer and received the Excellence in Honors English as well the Excellence in Dance Award and Honors for her GPA.
You may not have known her well but you held her well. Cora is the first child who was lucky enough to be in your presence from infancy through high school. Thank you from me, her mom, for being the group of people who helped lay the foundation of who she is. And so, good job UUCSV, you have graduated a good one! May she continue on her journey and always touch back to your loving faces.
This vivid remembrance
Returned to me in a dream last night,
Though by this morning I now
Wonder if it ever really happened.
All of us siblings and
A few close friends were
Gathered on the wide front porch
Of that sacred place that
Had nurtured each of us
In varying ways, yet prepared
All of us well for our vastly
Different journeys to come.
Some of us had returned a great distance
To celebrate our youngest sibling’s graduation.
It would be years before we all gathered again
For a sadder reason next time.
Our youngest wore her bright summer dress
So colorful against these blue hills.
She looked so sweet, so young, so ready
For whatever her next steps might be.
Raucous conversations had flowed freely
With the ritual sibling teasing of our youth.
But this moment became quiet enough to hear
The babbling creek swelled with yesterday’s rain.
I laid my unopened book at my feet as there
Would be plenty of time to read on the flight home.
We all took in this rare softer moment,
Perhaps each aware of how special it had become.
Now many years later in the early quiet of this morning
The late-May streams again swelled with heavy rain,
The birds happily announce this bright new day
Even though the sun has not yet cleared the ridge.
Whether this graduation memory happened for me or not,
Maybe you too can remember such a youthful moment --
A time when we were all there together and each of us
Looked forward to whatever might come next.
May 22, 2020
by Susan Enwright Hicks
Director of Religious Education
Humans need play. Did you know that some play can make us more mindful and able to regulate emotions?
If your child (or anyone) is acting out of sorts, suggest one of these techniques to reconnect with the body (maybe you’ve instinctually used some before). By really focusing on one sense, we become more grounded. Sometimes that’s all we need.
TASTE - Have a snack (sometimes a meltdown is just a case of low blood sugar). Something with a little sugar and a fat will satisfy immediately and last a little while (like apples and nut-butter or crackers and cheese).
If your child responds to food but you know they aren’t ACTUALLY hungry you can do a food meditation in which a single item (cracker, raisin, or even a candy) is given with the instruction to make it last as long as possible without chewing.
SMELL - Familiar smells are often calming and can instantly change one’s mood. If you know your child responds to lavender for instance, or another scent you can make up a batch of sensory rice to play in, or add a few drops of essential oil or your own perfume to a lovey they like to hug (not in a place of direct skin contact if full strength). Playing a smell game in which your child tries to identify citrus, or herbs, chocolate, etc. with their eyes closed is also fun.
HEAR - Listen closely. Whisper the instructions to a listening game: What can you hear? Birds? Animals? Appliances? Music? Cars? People? Lawn equipment? Wind? Even a few minutes of this game can be a good re-set. Play with eyes open, closed, or experiment with both!
TOUCH - Get hands on! Does your child like a gentle brushing of their hair, arms, or back? Maybe they prefer Deep Pressure Stimulation* which can come through big hugs/tight cuddles, horseplay or tickles. Either way, touch can be a very effective way of changing one’s mindset. Touching pets can also be very therapeutic, or you can look up “progressive muscle relaxation script for kids” online, and try one out. (*DPS is also found in weighted blankets & massage)
SEE - Look around. There are lots of visual ways to calm down. Look for cloud shapes, or use a magnifying glass for a VERY close look around, read a book, watch a “mind jar” or lava lamp, or play “I Spy”.
|Our music program at UUCSV |
The link below will let you see the production from May 24th, Sunday's choir performance. It was outstanding!
Second Sunday music program:
It's time to sign up for our Second Sunday music program for the second half of the year. Available dates are July 12, August 9, September 13 and December 13. Contact Annelinde
to sign up!
UUCSV choir director and sound engineer, Annelinde Metzner
Annelinde plays most of the music from her home each Sunday, and edits the choir performances, after they've rehearsed via Zoom.
|by Damaris Pierce|
In my native Germany, I grew up with very little understanding of religion or spirituality. There were only two options, catholic or protestant, our family belonged to the latter albeit nobody practiced anything at all. Religion was a subject in school, for that period students went into their respective class. I was confirmed and attended services at Christmas and Easter. As soon as I was of legal age at 18, I left the protestant church, as none of it made sense to me.
My spiritual studies and development were resurrected in the USA starting in my late 20s, with journeys through paganism, Buddhism, Hinduism, many new age explorations, and working with a spiritual teacher for over twenty years, morphing into a greater and all-inclusive understanding and practices unbound by dogma. The fact that I am a “church” member and even work for one still startles folks who have known me for a long time.
My best friend Veronica in Germany is catholic and happens to have the same job as me at her small church, running the office two days a week. She has been interested in hearing about church life at UUCSV and UUism in general. While the catholic church has been modernized very much, it is still rigid and governed globally by the Vatican. Same sex weddings are not an option, women still cannot be ordained, old traditions are hard to change.
Recently, Veronica watched one of our services on YouTube, not just to see our first virtual choir production, but also to get a general impression. And impressed she was! Overall, the joyful way of all participants was palpable, the music uplifting, so much of the love came through the video which Evan produced with so much skill and care.
She was very moved by Michael's sermon titled “Soul”, described it as profound and sophisticated. I sure wish she could also experience his bottomless trove of awesome jokes along with our community celebrating so joyously when we gather in person. Veronica ended her email with “I sure wish we had such spirit in our church.” As much as social distance hurts right now, it's a wonderful perk that our spirit could reach across the big pond and religions to create sweet ripples with this video.
by Lee Reading
I have had to redefine some activities over the past three months in order to keep a healthy, positive perspective about what I am doing and why I am doing it. Being retired and 70 years young, I realize how important it is to work all the major muscle groups, especially the heart and the brain. “If you don’t use it you lose it,” and sooner rather than later.
Here are a few adjustments I have made to help keep my focus on health, wellness and pleasure.
My Qigong practice, done on my front porch before breakfast, is enhanced by numerous songbirds and blooming flowers in the yard. I remember to smile, to be mindful and listen carefully.
Humankind’s most efficient machine is the bicycle. I am thankful to be able to ride just about anywhere I need or want to travel. My bike provides practical transport, cardio fitness and simply a fun way to get around town.
I have played competitive disc golf for over 12 years. Sadly, this year almost all sanctioned tournaments have been canceled or pushed back to the fall or rescheduled for 2021. So I play solo rounds and continue with my field work, always striving for consistency and improvement. I have reset this recreational pastime back to just where it should be: recreation and play!
My yoga practice at the Y was disrupted in early March. I know that I need structure and an instructor in order to fully realize the benefits, both mental and physical. A search of YouTube led me to “Yoga With Adriene.” Adriene Mencher has been posting yoga lessons onto her YouTube channel weekly for the past 5 years and has accumulated a few million subscribers. With great humor, compassion and joy, her lessons offer great variety, inspiration and as much challenge as I can handle. She often reminds her yogis to smile!
Speaking of the internet, I also highly recommend selecting a Ted talk to view each day as an antidote to the news. Do you remember Michael Carter’s sermon on the wisdom of Anne Lamott? Her TED talk “12 Truths I Learned From Life and Writing” is infused with warmth, humor and lessons that we all can enjoy and use.
I am grateful for so many blessings, and happily subscribe to the daily practice of play as my personal path to wellness and longevity!
|Why consider "play" now with a pandemic?|
|by Barbara Rogers|
I was just moving along through life, enjoying making some things with clay, enjoying my UUCSV community. The Divine Feminine was never far from my consciousness, and I was inspired mainly by nature. I thought about how I loved laughing with some friends, but I didn't really play a thing...no sports, no board games, not even making jigsaw puzzles. I no longer play a piano either. I have one techno game I do play as a stress-reducer...solitaire. I originally played it with real cards. And I love Jeopardy, which gives me humility when I think I know a lot of trivia.
So while considering how to lighten up my own life a bit more playfully, I ended up in the hospital a couple of weeks ago. I turned my body over totally to a cardiac team, and kept insisting that I had a chronic lung condition that needed to be considered. "Bronchiectasis" means I have trouble clearing the mucous from my lungs, so twice a day I take some mucous-thinning meds and inhale a saline solution, plus some other meds with a nebulizer, which helps loosen and draw out the mucous...so I can cough, and thus breath better. Coughing is good, as I've learned to say to friends, but not with the pandemic all around. I've been wearing masks over my coughs for 4 months now.
The crux of this situation was that COVID-19 had also arrived at the hospital; the cardiac unit didn't want anyone with a cough lying on their beds. I did take the brain scratching test which was to be processed, but there weren't immediate results. So after about the first 8 hours, I was in a unit designed for someone that might have the virus, a negative-atmosphere room where all the air was contained and exhausted without ever going out into the rest of the hospital. Everyone was fully gowned, masked and in their PPE's. But I didn't receive my pulmonary treatments at all.
At one point they were saying it might be two days before they found out results, but my doctor did his assertive thing, and thus we found out I was negative for COVID-19. I continued to have the shoulder pain that had not diminished for the last week, which they saw as an indicator of something with my heart. No pain relievers, just checking of the blood. Of course I'd had an abnormal EKG right at check-in. But I was tired, coughing, and felt really bad when the cardiologist finally looked at me and said "You've had a heart attack." A couple of hours later I had a catheter and a stent implanted in the LAD artery on my heart.
So now that I'm home, I've had the wonderful care of our church's Care Team...many lovely calls, meals, flowers, cards, and even being taken to see the doctor on the spur of the moment. I am very appreciative.
I have also been considering the philosophical impact of a heart attack on an artist, on my life. I know many other people in our congregation have gone through heart procedures, and I think they could probably tell me a lot. I'll be joining some of them in the rehab program for cardiac survivors.
Play may have been left behind with my children and grandchildren, but I'm willing to start something new. Just don't tickle me, please.
I'm really grateful to see how many of the UUCSV members had something to share about Play this month. Next month may be easier...Acceptance.
June 2 - Ruth PittardJune 8 - Allan BrownJune 25 - Dr. Jane CarrollJune 26 - Heidi BlozanJune 29 - Kathy Phillips
|by Carolyn Shorkey|
Perhaps you’ve seen her wearing Mardi Gras beads, a shiny slip at curtain call, a cashiers hat at our auction, fairy tinsel in her hair, and a smile at numerous Board of Trustee meetings. Perhaps you’ve seen her laugh at herself and with others. Perhaps you already know we are talking about our playful and joyful Tina Rosato.
She has not only been a committed volunteer at our church, but also in our community. Tina does not view volunteer work as drudgery, but rather an opportunity to be part of something bigger than herself. As a volunteer she views herself as a spoke in the wheel with other spokes helping to keep the machine moving smoothly. Being a volunteer reminds her that interdependence benefits us all.
Tina’s personal philosophy is that she wants to bring lightness into everything she does. She suggests that when you find yourself scowling at the weeds that need to be pulled, remember the sunshine on your back and the bird songs. She thinks, “I get to pull weeds.”
“I get to do volunteer work.”
Thank you Tina.
Playfully take a bow!
|Planning for the Future - Board Meeting 5/28/20|
While much of the world is focused on the present, your board has been preparing for the future – our new fiscal year, that is. This month’s meeting largely concerned our upcoming annual congregational meeting. We reviewed our draft budget (spoiler alert: we’re doing great and meeting goals!) including some added benefits for our staff. We approved a proposed bylaw change. And we also approved a slate of new board members: Anna Marcel de Hermanas, Barbara Bryan and Phil Fryberger. You will be voting on all three items next week.
We also worked out a plan for using our new Zoom license more widely, and worked on the details of how to hold our first ever virtual congregational meeting. Lord help us all if Zoom goes down before we have a vaccine, right??
Members of the UUCSV, I implore you, please join us for our congregational meeting. I know there will be technical glitches, and it’s not so fun having a group discussion on Zoom. But, by our bylaws, we must have at least 33% of members present to vote on things. That means 43 of you. We have plans for how to discuss, and how to count votes. It will take a bit of patience. But this is the one time a year we all pitch in to manage the business end of our congregation, and we need you. I will keep it as efficient as possible, in my last major act for you as president. Your meeting info email will arrive midweek. See you there – please?!
Linda Tatsapaugh, Board President
"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 July 2020 will be "Acceptance." 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: firstname.lastname@example.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 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
|Last Laugh: What's a Homophene? or Can you read lips?|
|A homophene, is the confusion between two words/phrases that appear the same to someone who is lip reading.|
mark, park, and bark
“elephant juice” and “I love you”
bargain and market