Tidings Monthly Newsletter
|JULY 2020 Vol. II: Issue 1|
|(to see whole newsletter click on "view as web page" above the header)|
There are many conversations going on these days about many things. Racial justice, wearing of masks, presidential politics, etc. Perhaps you have been involved in some of these topics or all of them. Hopefully, you come to realize that there are some people with whom you are never going to be right. No matter what you say, or how you say it, what you do or how you do it, there are people who are going to find something wrong with everything. This includes you. There are some people who can take what you say and twist it into something you did not say in order to be right. By the time you realize you are fighting a losing battle it is too late. They are right and you feel wrong! You see, the challenge with being confronted by an I-gotta-be-right person, is that they have a way of bringing out the I-gotta-be-right in you.
When you have the smallest glimmer of I-gotta-be-right in your eyes, people detect it. Even when you couch your need in care or concern, those you approach recognize in you what they know about themselves. In response, they can become as determined as you. They have a need to be right, and they are not afraid to sacrifice you in pursuit of their own needs. If you have the same need, somebody is going to go down hard.
The need to be right is nothing more than the need for external validation. The conflict created when one need-to-be-right person locks horns with another need-to-be-right person is really a blessing in disguise. The one who can back down first, without feeling they have lost anything, is the one well on their way to self-acceptance, self-forgiveness, and self-love. Perhaps you may not have known that you still have a need for self-validation. We all do at times. But just for today, surrender, take a deep breath and ask yourself, is this worth it? You do not have to always be right and when you are you will know it. You don't have to attend every fight you're invited to. Nothing is worth giving up your inner peace to prove you are right.
Peace and Robust Health To You!
|The details for Sunday Services (held at 11:00 am) are in the weekly edition of The Current and our web site at UUSV.org/sundays/|
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 starts each Sunday.
The RE Zoom classes will also be listed each week before they are shown on Sunday.
All are virtual services via Facebook or a YouTube link
|Still Paying The Price |
Going up the mountain, dawn is tugging at the dark. Southern Railway train is chugging. The familiar sound hugging... a memory I know by heart.
Tingling with excitement Cousin Betty and I catch the Choo-Choo train. We are on our way. Summer Camp for a whole month-stay.
Coal-burning engine a-churnin’...wheels a-turnin’. sit by an open window, all day yearnin’, can’t get there soon enough. Marked with ashes and soot, no matter to us.
Two happy little girls circle up Old Fort Mountain round and round and round we pass through seven deep, dark sleeves.
The train enters. The train leaves. Light...Dark...Light...Dark, seven times. Recorded history brings the dark to light.
Convicts, mostly black-skin men blasted this mountain, laid these rails. Forced to tunnel through, ‘get ‘er done, what you gotta do.’
A parsimonious politician brags to fellow law-makers.. “work the prisoners, they are takers. You can make them money-makers.”
Too hard the heart, too steep the grades. One hundred thirty-nine workers buried far from home in shallow graves.
A peak price these prisoners paid for the railroad legacy they have made.
“Hear us.” “Hear us.” Their souls cry back... the train chugs on down the track. Clickety-Clack, Clickety-Clack, Clickety-Clack.
Mamie Davis Hilliard April 2019
Happy First Birthday
When you first entered our lives
We couldn’t believe our good fortune.
Such a sweet little baby even if
We didn’t get much sleep at first.
But now you are even better as you’ve
Grown into quite a beautiful little boy.
Now trying to keep up with your greater movements,
Your smiles and frequent laughter light our days.
Strolling with you each morning is good for us both
And you have become quite a good hiker on my back.
Reading stories and singing songs with Grammie
Is special to watch and admire in you both.
So many people in our greater community
Have fallen deeply in love with you too.
No wonder as you so enjoy each social event
Sharing widely the joy you bring to us all.
So today on your first birthday
Know that we thank you for who you are,
For all the good times you have brought us, and
Our love always follows you wherever you go.
Poppie and Grammie
Grateful on My One Year Anniversary
As I begin my second year as your R.E. Director I’d like to express my gratitude for the past year. I included the following paragraph in my Annual report to the Board, and now I’d like to share it with you.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. Thank you to the Board for approving of my hire, and placing your faith in me. Thank you to the Congregation for your support of me as a person, as a professional, and more importantly for the support you have provided to the Religious Education program. Thank you to the committee members, co-workers, and church officers who have made me feel welcome, and help me find my way at UUCSV. Thanks to those brave, dedicated souls who volunteered to teach, mentor, or provide childcare under a new leadership model. Thanks to the parents of my R.E. students for entrusting me with your children, and finally, thank you students for spending your Sunday mornings with me. I am honored to be your Director of Religious Education.
I know the last few months have brought many challenges, and the year to come is still full of unknowns, but I promise I’ll strive to provide meaningful programming, and opportunities for intergenerational exchange as much as I can under these exceptional circumstances.
Religious Education over Zoom (since Safer-at-Home has happened):
Anyone looking to join us on Sunday mornings can find the link into our meeting room on the UUCSV Facebook page or in the preceding issue of the Current weekly e-news. DRE Susan leads a chalice lighting, joys and concerns, a story, and a brief discussion. Each week’s slideshow-style story can also be found under the “Videos” section of the UUCSV Facebook page.
We are looking for new ways of staying connected through the summer and fall. If you’d be interested in being a part of online games, movies, craft projects, or dance parties, please contact Susan at email@example.com
Susan Enwright Hicks, DRE
|Our music program at UUCSV |
Second Sundays music program
July 12 Sue Stone, piano
August 9 Spence Foscue and family, original folk music
September 13 Andy Guinn, singer-songwriter
October 11 Ashley Rae and Mike Stevenson (The Greenblues)
November 8 Marianne Vail (viola) and Caroline Clark (cello)
December 13 Marnette Yeager and friends, Flute
On July 5th, the Choir will virtually perform two songs, including the South African song, "Somaguaza."
This is our latest choir screen shot, from our recording of "Happy Wanderer" for the July 5th service. We had a lot of fun!
Annelinde plays the piano from her home each Sunday, and edits the choir performances, after they've rehearsed and recorded via Zoom.
UUCSV choir director and sound engineer, Annelinde Metzner
|by Larry Pearlman|
Acceptance. I love this topic. I think I just now realized that acceptance is one of the keys to the fact that I live a (mostly) happy life.
Acceptance is what opens the door to being now here (which has the same letters as nowhere but with a different perspective). Buddhism and many spiritual practices emphasize staying in the moment. Most (perhaps ALL) of our worries come from either fretting over the past, which might be what happened to you with your parents 50 years ago or what happened to you with a neighbor 5 minutes ago, or agonizing about what might happen in the future, which could be about your grandchildren living in a polluted world 30 years from now or if it’s going to rain on you 5 minutes from now.
Not only can you not do anything about the past having happened, but your memories of it may not even be accurate. That means worries about the past concern things that can’t be changed or things that never actually happened. When you understand that, it’s easy to see the folly of spending ANY energy worrying about it.
Tom Petty once said, “Most things I worry about never happen anyway.” Similar quotes have been attributed to Michel de Montaigne (500 years ago), Samuel Clemens and others. There have even been scientific studies to prove it. Worrying about future events NEVER helps. As the Dalai Lama put it, “If there is a solution to a problem, there is no need to worry. And if there is no solution, then there is no need to worry.”
Concerning ourselves about the past and the future is a pastime that virtually all of us indulge in to some degree. When we do, it takes us out of the present. The fact is that the present is the only place where Life exists so it is the only place that we can really live. How do we come into the present moment? Through acceptance.
This is not to say that we say, “Oh well, racism is a fact of life so I’ll just accept it as it is. Hate, greed, and meanness are part of people’s expression so I guess that’s OK.” Not at all. But to do anything about those things, we first need to accept that it is that way now. Then I, you, we can begin to do something NOW that is an expression of love, kindness, peace, joy and acceptance of others. That will effect change that comes in the future. Even planning for the future happens in the NOW.
How different our world would be if everyone in it was open to accepting each person in their life just the way they are now understanding that that is a starting point for positive change. A spiritual mentor of mine used to say, “What’s right with you is the starting point. What’s wrong with you is beside the point.” We could quibble about the use of the words, “right” and “wrong” but he was talking about a person’s self-assessment so this applies to that individual’s concept of what they think is “right” and “wrong” with themselves. It can also apply to my perception of every other person in my life. If I perceive qualities and flaws in a person AND I accept that person exactly as they now are, then I have an opportunity to begin to understand that person and create a meaningful and healthy relationship. Conversely, if I approach a person in my life with the intention of changing them because the way they are is unacceptable to me, there is little chance of having much of a relationship at all.
How does this apply to the world we find ourselves in now? We can accept the fact that the corona virus is here, bringing with it illness and death to many and changes to the lifestyles of everyone else and then get on with the ways that we can bring love, peace, and joy into that world or we can listen to the news for hours each day and worry about what this means to the future of the world. We can accept the fact that racism is an underlying factor of life in this country and begin now to act in ways that will serve to reverse that or we can wring our hands over the sins of the past and the possible horrors of the future which will keep us from actually doing anything now that might effect a change.
The choice is always there to be accepted.
|Our congregation is a member organization of the ERA-NC Alliance, which has just mailed out a survey on the Equal Rights Amendment to about 400 NC candidates for the US Senate, US House, and General Assembly. Responses will be published in August. Although 38 states have ratified the ERA, the issue still faces some legal hurdles. Meanwhile, we are asking everyone to write or call their US Senators and urge them to support H.J.Res. 6, a measure to eliminate the deadline for ratification. For more information contact Roberta Madden at firstname.lastname@example.org.|
July 9 Michael Carter
Alex NeffJuly 14 David Groce Bette BatesJuly 15 Larry PerlmanJuly 21 Herb WayJuly 24 David ReidJuly 26 Jey Hiott
|by Carolyn Shorkey|
Here is a little known fact about Larry Pearlman - he’s from “Off”. If you don’t know where “Off” is, ask him!
Larry volunteers to do tasks that he feels personally called to do. If an opportunity to volunteer presents itself and he does not feel like it is a good match for him, he politely declines. That is a good lesson for all of us. We don’t want to bring angst into our community by doing a job we really don’t want to do
if it will not be a good match!
So, you wonder what it is Larry feels called to do at UUCSV? Oh my gosh, here is the almost limitless list: on normal Sundays you may see him in his sports jacket and tie greeting everyone with his most beautiful smile! Also on Sunday he occasionally offers us his wisdom as a guest presenter in our pulpit. He takes a leadership role in fundraising at our auction and with our UU Guest Homestay, Larry chairs our Congregational Care Committee, Poetry Group, and has been the Covenant Group Coordinator. Perhaps you’ve been there when he shows up to cut the church lawn, work on the UUCSV Social Action Committee’s Habitat for Humanity home construction worksite, as the Zoom host for the Men’s Group, or at a Round Robin Dinner. Larry is the first to tell you he DOESN’T COOK.
So, exactly what is it that drives Larry to be so very active in our community? His involvement at UUCSV brings him joy. His joy then becomes a vehicle to bring joy to others. For awhile he wore a button which read, “Hate Stops Here.” The message never did feel right to him. So he ordered 100 buttons that read, “Love Starts Here.” He keeps them in his car, so if you want one, simply ask him. His personal philosophy for the past 40 years is that he thinks life talks to us, we need to listen and then act upon our beliefs.
Ann Sillman was a recent recipient of Congressional Care. She praised Larry not only because he cheers up everyone he meets, but he actually gets the job done.
Barb Rogers can also speak of how Larry and the UUCSV Care Team continued to check on her and make sure she had everything she needed last month following her hospitalization.
Larry, thank you from deep in our hearts for bringing service, love and joy into our congregation. We love you a bushel and a peck and a virtual hug around the neck!
|Annual Congregational Meeting – The Show Must Go On!|
by Linda Tatsapaugh, outgoing Board President
Our bylaws call for an annual meeting of the congregation in June, and we did not let some little pandemic inconvenience prevent us from meeting our duty. Thus did we hold our first ever Zoom Annual Meeting on June 7th. And although it went quite well, I believe most of us are hoping it will have been our ONLY one of those! We had 53 voting members, so thank you to all who showed up.
In a quick review of the year, we recognized many new things (and people): a new Director of Religious Education (Susan Entwright-Hicks), a newly rehabbed parking lot, a new playground (in process), a new look for the website, and a new Strategic Plan. Our committees were also busy doing their good work, in-person or virtually.
We approved our largest budget yet, with an 8% increase over last year (and generous pledges in this year’s canvass to match). This includes increases for congregational care, music, and health insurance for our minister. A bylaw change was passed to allow a board member to serve a third year if elected president at the end of their 2-year term.
Michael Figuera presented the results of a year-long effort to create our 5-Year Strategic Plan. The plan is divided into four strategic directions:
Finally, the congregation voted in a new slate of Board members: Anna Marcel de Hermanas, Barbara Bryan, and Phil Fryberger. Outgoing members are Heidi Blozan, Deb Vingle and myself, Linda Tatsapaugh. We know we are leaving the Board in good and caring hands. Thank you to the congregation for engaging in the business that allows us to build our community!
- Growing intentionally
- Engaging the whole community
- Enhancing lifespan learning
- Strengthening the long-term viability of the church
Linda Tatsapaugh, outgoing Board President
|June Board Meeting – Changing of the Guard|
|By Linda Tatsapaugh, outgoing Board President|
The Board is getting quite adept at Zooming together (is that a real word yet?). We did a lot of tying up loose ends as we welcomed new Board members in. Several folks are attending the first ever online UU General Assembly this week, so conversation was rich with shared ideas.
Our main area of focus was human resources. We are in the midst of adapting the standard UUA Minister Agreement (contract) for our congregation and minister. As part of that, we have reviewed benefits, for both our minister and other employees. The Board approved to begin offering UUA health insurance; this will be available as of January 1st on a graduated scale to all employees based on regular work hours. Across the board, we felt strongly that this is the right thing to do, and we are at a place to support that financially. We are also reviewing office manager duties and hours, as life online has altered those responsibilities.
Barbara Bryan, Anna Marcel de Hermanas and Phil Fryberger joined the Board, as Heidi Blozan, Deb Vingle and Linda Tatsapaugh completed their terms. Kathryn Coyle was elected president and Evan Yanik vice president. This outgoing president feels very confident that the board and congregation are in great hands!
Photo of new President, Katheryn Coyle
|Nancy Gavin and Senior Laps for Senior Cats|
By Andy Reed (with assistance from his 17-year-old Siamese companion, Cleocatra)
Older people often find themselves downsizing and relocating as they become less able to maintain their homes on their own. But what happens to senior cats when their human companions can no longer care for them, or die?
UUCSV member Nancy Gavin came up with one answer: build a dedicated home where senior cats can come and live out their lives with love and good care.
Nancy had volunteered with animal rescues for cats for many years, and in 2017 (as her fourth career) she started a cat-sitting business. Pondering that older cats who end up in shelters can have a hard time getting adopted—and are often euthanized—she had the idea of starting a home for senior cats that would be the virtual opposite of the shelter model.
The seed of the idea had appeared 25 years ago when she saw a documentary about a log cabin on a multiple-acre property in New England. “There were all these cats, people had put in their wills for them to go there; it had onsite caregivers. And I thought at the time, ‘That would be my dream to live there and take care of all those cats.’”
And thus was born Senior Laps for Senior Cats.
“I enlisted the help of a couple of friends and clients who had had senior cats, and I did about a year of research about starting a rescue in western North Carolina. I interviewed the new Executive Director of Brother Wolf, and the owner of The Cat’s Cradle, which is a cat boarding facility.”
She realized that it would be very challenging to start an animal rescue, but, she told us, “We hope to have a facility designed exclusively for the care and comfort of senior cats, with space for caregivers to live on site to care for them.”
Until then, and until they mount a capital campaign, they have begun a foster-based rescue program for which they’re recruiting senior citizens to offer long-term housing. Though the cats will live with their fosters, Laps for Cats will retain legal guardianship and provide veterinary care—and might also provide food, litter, and other supplies if needed to enable caregivers to participate.
“Our first cat was placed with a senior citizen who lived by herself at Highland Farms and wanted a furry companion. Someone else was trying to find a way to rehome his 17-year old cat. The cat fit in to the host’s household, and both the lady and the cat are happy, and each of them has the companionship they need.”
Also in the works is a cat legacy program, whereby “you put it in your will that if you die before your cat, the cat would come to us for lifetime care.”
Of course, when the program was just germinating, along came bumps in the road.
“Starting a nonprofit in any year is challenging,” says Nancy. “But this year? We got our 501c3 nonprofit status in February, and then came the COVID-19 pandemic.” Which, for an optimist like Nancy Gavin and her colleagues, makes it the perfect time to get the word out! Because the plan to develop a million-dollar green facility, would have to come to fruition in stages.
“We’ll start with phase one, pay that off, then go to phase two, and so forth. We want to have a very homelike environment, but it has to abide by all the rules and regulations governing animal rescues."
They envision a property of perhaps 10 acres, with outdoor patios, enclosed spaces, a memorial garden, fresh air … all the amenities that cats need.
Until the facility is built, how does the program work?
It’s not complicated: if a person has a senior cat and can’t keep it, they simply sign over the cat to Laps and Naps Home for Senior Cats. Now they need more foster homes, without which they can’t take in more cats. And that’s somewhat more complicated.
“We’ll send out an application to anyone interested in fostering,” says Nancy. “Before COVID I’d visit the home to evaluate the home environment, meet the cat, etc. but it’s tricky to do so with the virus in place. However, we want to get a personal reference, and, if you already have animals in your house, we also ask your vet for a recommendation. And we provide fosterers with an extensive manual of guidelines to follow, including numbers to call.”
What’s first, what’s next?
First, to do what this article is designed to do: publicize the organization to generate interest among potential fosterers and awareness among those with cats needing to be rehomed.
Second, and equally crucial, is the need for new board members. Of the five currently serving on the board, two will end their terms this fall—and they’ll need a treasurer. Those interested should call Nancy Gavin at (443) 655-3074 or email her at email@example.com.
If you’re interested in supporting this wonderful idea, as a donor, a foster home provider, or a volunteer board member, contact Nancy Gavin. The website is www.lapsandnaps.org, and the Facebook page is lapsandnapshomeforseniorcats—where you’ll even find a video about the program.
|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!|
Since we opened up the theme for July, how do you like open topics? Maybe we'll try it for a while. There are some great environmental issues that need to be talked about!
A big thank you to Heidi Blozan, Deb Vingle and Linda Tatsapaugh, who just retired from our Board of Trustees. We have many other great volunteers serving UUCSV. They are more "behind the scenes than ever before." If you'd like to honor one or more, please write a few paragraphs and send it in!
Special thanks to Evan Yanik for all the A/V expertise in producing our Sunday programs!
|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
|Our winner of the contest "Do you know what this event was?" was none other than (drum roll here) Rev. Michael Carter!|
He is going to receive a hand crafted mug by Barb Rogers.
The event was a Mardi Gras party and pot luck to kick off our canvass drive in 2017. Tina looks good in purple hair!