|October 2020 Vol. II: Issue 4|
|As most of you know by now I love the season of autumn.|
Indulge me once again as I riff on what the season means, at least from my limited perspective. Yes, fall means that summer is past as one season blends into another. This change accentuates the passing of time and allows (if we are willing to take it) a time of recollection and reflection. But fall provides something more. There is a harvest, a time of ingathering, of storing up things, especially those things of the heart. Nothing is lost, nothing disappears. As the extraterrestrial visitor says to a human child grieving the death of his father in the remake of the movie The Day The Earth Stood Still, "the Universe wastes nothing. Nothing is wasted." All things belong, each in its own way, to a harmony and an order which envelops all, which infuses all. Yes, Fall accentuates the goodness of life and finds its truest meaning in the strength of winter and the breath of Spring. I thank God for the Fall.
I write this column two days after Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg has died (she died September 18th, 2020). We are losing, but not forgetting, these great souls of wisdom, compassion, and love; Congressman John Lewis, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Rev. C. T. Vivian, and Rev. Joseph Lowery, to name just a few. And yet they have given us our marching orders. We must lose our fear of each other and no longer be ashamed of who and what we are. I give homage and thanks to their lives and their vision of what this nation can be--to live up to the full meaning of its creed.
" ...Let us go forth now to save the land of our birth from the plague that first drove us into the 'will to quarantine' and to separate ourselves behind self-imposed walls. For this is why human beings were born. All human beings belong to each other, and he or she who shuts themselves away diminishes themselves, and he who shuts another away from him or herself destroys themselves. And all the people said Amen."
---- Dr, Howard Thurman ( The Search For Common Ground)
Rev. Michael J. S. Carter
|Where do we find courage?|
The courage to survive has been faced by many people who were adversely affected by the pandemic. There were many who lost their livelihoods. Many parents started working from home, as well as schooling their own children, without much preparation. Teachers suddenly adapted to sending out curricula through video methods, and had to cope with the limitations of little feedback from their students in distance learning.
The front line workers, doctors, nurses and all hospital employees are the first we consider when thinking of those who adapted to COVID-19, but there are so many other people who daily had contact with the public, and could not stop working. I'm speaking about our UU friend who is a gas station attendant, my cousin who drives a truck for one of the big box stores, my son who works in the field to repair phone outages for businesses, and the millions of people who kept our infrastructure running...who daily went to work and hoped that they would stay healthy.
On September 28, 2020 in New York, NY — The free expression and literary organization 'PEN America' announced that Marie Yovanovitch will receive its 2020 PEN/Benenson Courage Award.
The announcement includes a brief bio. of Yovanovitch..."A career foreign service officer and three-time ambassador, Yovanovitch served the U.S. with distinction throughout her tenure, but was the target of a White House smear campaign that led to her abrupt dismissal as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine in 2019...Yovanovitch publicly testified to expose the corrupt machinations of Ukrainian officials and those at the highest levels of the U.S. government seeking her ouster.
"Prior Courage Award honorees include Anita Hill; student activists from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School: Cameron Kaskey, Samantha Fuentes, and Zion Kelly; the Women’s March; Flint water whistleblowers Lee-Anne Walters and Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha; and the publication Charlie Hebdo. PEN America will continue to name honorees for the December event this fall."
Then there are those of us who hunkered down into isolation since we were counted as high risk to catch something that would likely end our lives. We gratefully were served by healthier individuals who shopped for us. There's no end to our gratitude.
Courage to try eating out wearing a mask, or grocery shopping - a year ago these were not risky ventures. We would have laughed aloud at the suggestion that our whole US culture would change so drastically. But the 205,000 people who have died in the US (as of Oct. 1) show us that taking the proscribed precautions have only been able to help some of us.
It takes courage to gather for any family events, where grandma may choose to wear her mask when greeting grandchildren who have just been playing sports without masks.
It takes courage to have patience, and to do nothing. We usually associate courage with action. But now perhaps withdrawing is a courageous act as well. The difference between non-action for survival and fear of perilous action is the wisdom which has been obtained through experience. Nobody is a coward with a pandemic, or bullies in politics.
My pagan friends have taught me to set "wards of protection" which keep out any negative energies that might try to inflict any pain on me. So these wards are set around myself, and my home, and can be sent to others who might also need them. Positive energies can be transmitted throughout the world. A meditation teacher said "breathe in negatives, breathe out peace." So mote it be.
Editor of Tidings
The leaves are changing and falling, the weather has cooled delightfully and our auction is right around the corner. Thanks to hard work by Anna and her team of Barbara Bryan, Janet Rude and Deb Vingle and a great initial response from all of you plus amazing participation by Black Mountain stores and restaurants even though many are struggling in this economy, we are now approaching 70 items entered into our software for our auction and I am still optimistic of reaching our goal of 150.
See The Current for more information on submitting items.
Here are just a couple of items that you’ll be bidding on:
This unique hand made ceramic turkey from Chifferobe will be a fun addition to someone’s Thanksgiving table
and this striking fleece poncho and loop d’ loop handmade scarf from Periwinkles is just perfect for our Fall weather.
By Larry Pearlman
Our Second Sundays artists on October 11th will be "The Greenblues"
The Greenblues are a duet whose spectrum include blues, ballads, mantras, chants and more. Their music brings a message of world thought, and is often seasoned with eastern and African musical stylings. Many traditions are blended into a unique eclectic style, creating a very original kaleidoscope of sound, while maintaining the intimacy of a duet.
Ashley Rae - vocals & percussion
Mike Gilmore - guitars, guzheng, bouzouki & hand drums
Sue Stone will be our guest pianist on October 25th, and the UUCSV Choir will perform two pieces on that day also.
Our choir director and regular pianist, Annelinde Metzner, will
offer her workshop, "Lady of Ten Thousand Names," at the Womenspirit Virtual Gathering on October 17th, along with Maggie Moon who will offer a workshop in belly dancing. https://www.uuwomenspirit.org/
|by Carolyn Shorkey|
If you were a member of UUCSV a few years ago, you likely voted for her to become a member of our Board of Trustees. She subsequently volunteered to be the President of the Board during fiscal year 2019-20. Now the Buncombe County School District finds her running for the School Board. Her name is Linda Tatsapaugh.
Linda has volunteered in many ways at UUCSV. She taught World Religions to our middle schoolers, has served as a Sunday Service Associate, she brought a band to perform at an auction, and has mowed leaves. She realized in high school that she had an ability to lead. She is organized, gets tasks done and pulls together resources. It is natural for her to recognize other people's talents and recruit them to help her get the job done.
She wants to be sure everyone feels important and she knows everyone wants to be useful. She feels as though it is her responsibility to give back to her community and understands not everyone has the time to do that. Being part of a community is more than giving money. “Not everyone is a natural born leader, we need the worker bees as well,“ Linda remarks. We have a small congregation. If you have space in your life to volunteer, Linda urges you to not hesitate. Put your hand up and contribute to a purpose that fits your style. Join a committee that interests you!
With Linda’s skill set, she actively puts the following belief into practice:
“Fight for the things you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.” -RBG
We appreciate you, Linda. I’ve voted for you twice!
Autumn is my favorite time of year, though I must confess I am less enthused about it than I’d usually be this year. Still there is something about moving into this (typically) more secluded, reflective time of year that I just love. As we head into fall I want so badly to curl up with a warm mug and read poetry. So in the name of self-care (very important during stressful times you know) here is a lovely poem by one of our nation’s best-loved poets.
Enjoy, and take care of yourself!
If you suddenly and unexpectedly feel joy,
don’t hesitate. Give in to it. There are plenty
of lives and whole towns destroyed or about
to be. We are not wise, and not very often
kind. And much can never be redeemed.
Still, life has some possibility left. Perhaps this
is its way of fighting back, that sometimes
something happens better than all the riches
or power in the world. It could be anything,
but very likely you notice it in the instant
when love begins. Anyway, that’s often the
case. Anyway, whatever it is, don’t be afraid
of its plenty. Joy is not made to be a crumb.
Susan is planning a couple of intergenerational opportunities to Virtually celebrate together around Halloween. Watch the Current for details about upcoming events.
by Susan Enwright Hicks
Loved and Lost Again
Sometimes you simply endure the pain.
Friends search for a silver lining
And share it to try to comfort me
Or perhaps to assure themselves.
But the pain always remains mine.
Grace in the face of it is the goal but
Anger and judgement make that difficult
If not impossible in the short run.
Intellectually this loss was predictable
But that doesn’t reduce the emotion,
The feelings of loss and being lost in it.
I must deal with the pain myself.
So I buck up and carry on,
Dwell in it if I must for a while,
To feel the full brunt of the pain
Then much later move on.
What else is there to do?
I wrote this poem for Clark’s wife, Anna, during the last days of Clark’s life. The reason I chose the word courage, is because Clark was physically attacked along with Rev. James Reeb in Selma, Alabama the night before the marchers crossed the bridge. Clark spent the rest of his life courageously supporting civil rights.
Overcame all odds to live a long life
Unitarian Universalist Minister
Racism repulsed him
Anna, at home with her
Gentle, loving man
Love is an Ocean
Love is an ocean. It surrounds you and me
Just close your eyes and float on the sea
A river that flows from your heart to mine
And over the whole world, past the end of time
Love is the sunshine giving life to the Earth
Lighting our way from the day of our birth
Showing us beauty, helping us grow
Shining in faces of the people we know
Love is a safe home where all of us live
Love is a treasure, but easy to give
We’re part of each other, so isn’t it true
That I can lose nothing by giving to you
Love is an ocean. it surrounds you and me
Just close your eyes and float on the sea
Let go of your bad dreams, your sorrow, your fears
Let peaceful waves rock you, let the sun dry your tears.
The dark days of despair bring on the winter in my soul
And I feel like I need to let go.
But I see a spark, a tiny ray of hope,
And a force from within that I know.
Hang on, hang on. Come on, you hang on.
When hope flies too low in the thin air of what’s to come
And the cruelties of humanity pound their drums.
My dreams lose their altitude
With a scary certitude
And my soul, alone, prepares to succumb.
Hang on, hang on. Come on, come on you can hang on.
And the march comes to a stop
As the shields go up and the tear gas flies
And the promises of deliverance are swept off of the streets.
But they cannot run us over
With their lies and their sham takeover
And the arc that braces history‘s bridge.
Hang on hang on. Come on and hang on.
‘Til you hear the sound of the victory song.
You need to hang on, hang on.
Feel the wind from behind and hang on.
In the best of circumstances,
We require an enormous amount of
mutually consistent support
To be able to look straight into the face
of the powers aligned against us
And still do our work with joy.
It takes determination and practice.
I pray this day for the courage to be . . . *
The courage to be humble
in the midst of inequity and pain,
to know that the power has been given me
to make a difference,
although not to end all suffering or
to save all the whales that populate our days.
I pray for the courage of endurance,
to keep acting in the wake of challenge,
to keep trying in the aftermath of failure,
to keep hoping in the lull that
comes after encounter loss or change.
May courage give me patience
and patience give me healing,
and may I ever know Love’s healing presence
at the center of my days.
* Acknowledging debt to Paul Tillich for his well known phrase, “the courage to be,” which article, it should be known, is still worth reading.
Marureen Killoran, UU Minister, retired
reprinted with permission
October 2 - Pam Sain
October 11 - Geoff Stone
October 15 - Diane Graham
October 30 - Linda Tatsapaugh
If you'd like to have your birthday posted (not the year, just month and date) send a request to Carol Sheeler at firstname.lastname@example.org
|From our Office Manager, Damaris Pierce...|
"Gary and I got married in September and are over the moon! We had planned to celebrate big with friends and family, but instead had a lovely and intimate ceremony at home, it was wonderful. We've known each other for almost twenty years but the past three have transformed our lives tremendously and we are so glad to share this path with each other. To be this happy and in love at this, ahem, mature age in our lives is an amazing blessing for which we are profoundly grateful.
After COVID, let's all gather to celebrate everyone's big life events and milestones, as well as commemorate the losses occurring during this time of having to be apart. After all, it is in community that we thrive and our shared experiences have such deep impact on how we connect with one another. We are thankful for the UUCSV community and look forward to being with you all again before long.
|By Bette Bates|
Glass and aluminum can be recycled indefinitely. Plastic can be recycled maybe once or twice before it goes to a landfill or into the ocean. According to the film, "The Story of Plastic," approximately 2% of plastics are effectively recycled, meaning that they are made into something useful. Plastic, of course, is made from fossil fuel (natural gas, coal and oil) and it is toxic to life on earth from the time it’s extracted, through its transfer, to manufacturing, to recycling processes, and continues to be toxic throughout its long, basically endless, life as trash. So why would we ‘clean’ by purchasing things in plastic?
Found on a plastic container of organic spinach.
Almost everything we purchase has some sort of plastic in, or on it, including cleaning products. But any tiny thing that we can do collectively, or personally, including becoming more aware and being creative, to end the ‘plastic age’ matters!
Below are a couple alternatives to cleaning products, and there are many more including shampoo and conditioner bars, plastic free dental floss, and ways to clean the deck…but more on this later. Please email any ideas you might have on plastic-free
cleaning so we can have an exchange. Some additional thoughts on developing plastic-free alternatives are: contacting businesses whose products we use to consider plastic-free
alternatives, (or let them know you will look elsewhere for similar products) and in addition, a co-operative buying group, which Anna suggested.
To get started here are a couple of simple possibilities:
1. Boil 1 gallon water. (The boiling water helps the soap powders dissolve fully).
Purchase laundry detergent in a paper box. There are still a few boxes sold at Ingles, like Arm and Hammer, Tide, and Gain. If we buy these maybe they will continue to be available! They have an unnecessary plastic measuring cup, but other than that it seems way better than purchasing a large plastic bottle.
Aline Carillion has been making her own laundry detergent and has been using this for awhile. She says, good news - it’s EASY!
2. Add 1 cup Arm & Hammer Laundry Booster (yellow box); 1 cup 20 Mule Team Borax Detergent Booster. Both are available at Ingles in paper boxes.
3. Stir to fully dissolve. Remove from heat.
4. Add 1 cup Castille Soap - I like the Lavender scent; but any work.
If you want you can add a few drops of lavender essential oil as well, though I don’t.
5. Let fully cool; then pour into 2 gallon jugs. Shake well before using because the powders will clump up. That’s why I pour it into 2 jugs. I just use gallon milk jugs (that have been thoroughly rinsed out!!!!)
Use 1 cup/load. Hope this works for you. We’ve been very happy with how the clothes come out.
Abbreviated Meeting Minutes
September 24, 2020
Submitted by Milt Warden, Secretary
The UUCSV Board of Trustees held their virtual meeting for September. Lee, our volunteer Treasurer, reported that our balance sheet shows total assets $5000 more than one year ago despite no live services for 7 months. Lee characterized the balance sheet as “holding strong” and a “very solid foundation” for the church. There was a brief discussion of where shortfalls may occur in the budget due to COVID-19 and our continued building closure. Lee emphasized that plate contributions and fund raising will be affected.
The Congregational Care Committee has met Ray, who attended our church as a teenager, is now an adult who is homeless. and are working with him. Ray no longer camps on the property but does visit on occasion. Ray’s biggest need is a car for transportation for work. Four members of the Congregational Care Committee have been actively providing services to two congregants with visits, errands, shopping, and more. One family is reported to have COVID-19.
Spence reported that the recently dug drainage channels on the property have been effective in stopping water from entering the building.
The Board complimented the new graphic changes to electronic communications designed by our office manager. There was a brief discussion about controlling the spoken length of joys and concerns during the service.
The director of our children’s program, Susan, is looking at new remote teaching options for the fall semester. She is exploring preparing worship boxes for families and perhaps a mid-week scouting type event.
The Social Action Committee (SAC) is busy with "UU The Vote" and a sock drive.
Based on the number of views for our online services, "Jewel Song" was the best attended virtual service with 161 views. Upcoming services include Pana Columbus soon and Becky Stone on November 22nd.
A search will begin for a new Board member to take Phil Fryberger’s seat because he has resigned.
Susan Enwright Hicks discussed the playground design plan she submitted to the Board and indicated she wants to create an intergenerational space on the playground site for everyone to enjoy.
The UUCSV Policies and Procedures are being reviewed to be sure they address a racial justice perspective.
Michael is planning training for the Board and staff on anti-racism in the near future. He discussed our possible adoption of the 8th UU Principle* which many congregations have done. The UUA has a curriculum titled, Beloved Congregation. Michael has offered to teach this curriculum to our congregation in the future if people are interested.
The Next Board meeting will be held virtually on October 22 @ 6:00 p.m.
* The Proposed Eighth UU Principle reads:
“We the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, covenant to affirm and promote Journeying toward spiritual wholeness by building a diverse, multicultural Beloved Community by our actions that accountably dismantle racism and other oppressions in ourselves and our institutions.”
Thanks to everyone who contributes to this journal. I'm thrilled to coordinate the many diverse articles and poetry which are submitted. Photos are kind of lean this month. Gathering as a group is very difficult, but if two or more should share a space at a distance, please, someone click a photo and send it in.
Next month's theme will be "Stillness vs. Action."
|Board of Trustees: |
Kathryn Coyle – President
Evan Yanik – Vice President
Anna Marcel de Hermanas
Non-board officers are:
Lee Reading – Treasurer
Milt Warden – 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 – Linda Tatsapaugh/Kathryn Coyle (co-chairs)
Communications - Susan Culler
Governance – Evan Yanik
Religious Education - Jessie Figuera, Jim Carillon, Heidi Blozan (rotating)
Sunday Service Associates - Diane Graham (rotating)
Strategic Planning Task Force - Michael Figuera
Sunday Service Production:
Evan Yanik, AV producer/editor
Annelinde Metzner, Choir director and piano, AV producer/editor of music