|December 2020 Vol. II: Issue 6|
This is the final minister's column that I will write this year, and what a year it's been. I have been fortunate enough this year to not have to define my entire experience by the COVID-19 virus. That has been intentional on my part as I have experienced and known that somehow, life was and is larger than a virus. However, this has been my experience and insight and, of course, you all will have your own. No matter, there is still much to be grateful for and we have made it. Yes, we have lost friends and family along the way and not necessarily to illness. This is the cycle of life. Shakespeare reminds us that life is a great stage and as players on this grand stage of life we all have our entrances and exits.
Without a doubt, the "Holiday Season" this year is being experienced differently by many because of the coronavirus. It is indeed curious how much difference can be marked between 2 days, from December 31 to January 1. We do not know what the future holds or what the new year will bring. 2021 may mark the end of relationships of many years' accumulation. It may mean the first encounter with stark tragedy, or radical illness, or other tasting of the dregs from the cup of bitterness. And yet, It may also mean the great discovery of the riches of another human heart and the revelation of the secret beauty of one's own.
It may show the meaning of a new kind of living. This, of course, may include a marriage or other committed relationship, a relocation, a graduation, or perhaps one's first job or even a new one. It may mean the hearing of a distant drummer calling you, the multiverse (or "God") sending you a message that only you can hear, above the noise and distractions of this busy life. When the call is answered, life becomes invaded by smiling energies never before released.
In whatever sense this Holiday (Holy Day) Season, in whatever way this coming year is a new year for you, may the moment find you eager and unafraid, ready to take it by the hand with joy and gratitude. It's been a pleasure to serve this congregation during this time. Do not be afraid! Be of good cheer! Be joyful even after considering all of the so called "facts." There is always room for joy, and love. You don't have to seek it. Just look for the ways you block it from coming to you.
Wishing you all a Merry Everything and a Happy Always!
Rev. Michael J S Carter
Dec. 6- Piano by Linda Metzner- 3 hymns
Dec. 13- David Reid, voice, guitar and piano for Second Sunday; Linda Metzner, piano for 2 hymns
Dec. 20- 2 Choir anthems; Sue Stone, piano with 2 hymns
Dec. 24- Christmas Eve, Linda Metzner piano with 7 carols
Dec. 27th- Linda Metzner, piano, 3 hymns
Second Sunday music: David Reid enjoys many kinds of music, and plays piano and guitar. He completed a Bachelor of Music (Music Therapy) from the University of Georgia "back in the day." However, music has always been a hobby for him, rather than a profession.
|Phil Fryberger, Part Two (and our UUCSV beginning)|
Phil Fryberger did so much for our congregation, that this Volunteer Spotlight article has been divided up into two parts. Part One appeared in Tidings last month. This is Part Two, the conclusion.
Last month’s article challenged you to think about what volunteer tasks would need to be done to start up a new congregation. In the year 2000, Phil was the liaison with the Asheville UU as our new congregation was forming. Along with Mary Alm and Allie Gooding from the Asheville UU, they organized monthly services at the Lakeview Center.
In 2001 we transitioned to holding two services a month. Phil started program development for Sunday Services. The first service was held at the Lakeview Center, in which Meg Barnhouse officiated. Initially, Phil showed up at Sunday Services to be the music host, with a semi-portable keyboard to provide accompaniment for hymns as well as other music. We met monthly until we decided to alternate between Lakeview and the public library meeting room nearby, so we were then meeting every two weeks. In September of 2001 he organized a Charter Sunday, and 46 people signed the book to become Charter Members of the new congregation. Phil organized the formation of and leadership for our first Board of Trustees. We began holding Sunday services weekly.
With focus and diligence he oversaw the development of our denominational affairs such that in January 2002, we became officially recognized by the UUA as a member congregation. After about a year, we hatched a plan to rent the auditorium at the primary school on State Street, for $20 each Sunday. Also in 2002, Evelyn Carter’s daughter, Rev. Amy Brooks succeeded Meg Barnhouse as our chosen consulting minister. Following Amy’s once a month Sunday Service for us, she met with Phil and the Board at the Dripolater Coffee Shop.
At some point our emeritus Board Member, Charlie Chilton, heard from a friend that the owners of the local Christian Science Reading Room were interested in selling or otherwise disposing of their property on 500 Montreat Rd. They were delighted with the prospect of another church family replacing theirs, which was down to its last five or six members at that time. Phil oversaw the fundraising to purchase our building. So that’s how it was that on July 4, 2004, we moved into our current location, with the Reverend Dick Stennett as our settled quarter time minister.Technically, he started with us as a Baptist minister — he was subsequently ordained by the congregation as our settled UU minister.
Phil would like to profusely thank all of his co-inspirators (including but by no means limited to the afore-mentioned, as well as Evelyn Carter, Don Pfister, Pepi Acebo, Marty Wynhoff, Emory and Angie Underwood, Shari Spires and Walter Hoffman, Joe Haun, Jo and Tom Motzko, Rob Martin and Chris Slagle, Norm Kowal, Heidi Blozan, Milt Warden, Carolyn Shorkey, Connie Krochmal, Robert Tynes, Bette Bates, the Hammil’s, Linda Carpenter, Kevin Campbell, and many others (whom he will recall as soon as this is printed) — for helping to create what is truly a gleaming example of what Unitarian Universalism is all about.
Oh, and BTW, Thank you, Phil!
Rose Levering, new UUCSV Board Member
I grew up in the 50s and 60s just outside of Baltimore, Maryland. My two brothers still live in the small town we grew up in. After college, I lived in many places, finally settling in St. Louis for several years, where I went to law school. I took a job with a legal services program (like Pisgah Legal Services here) in Florida, thinking it would be for just a couple years. But, that’s where I met Bill, my husband, and wound up staying for about 30 years. Really, way too long, but like that bumper sticker says, we weren’t born here, but we moved to Asheville as soon as we could, 2016, when we retired. While in Florida, I also worked as a reference librarian in a large public library, and as an attorney with the Public Defenders Office, Appellate Division.
Bill had been a active member of the Unitarian Universalist congregation in Ormond Beach, Florida for sometime before we met. I enjoyed being part of that congregation, but never officially became a member. Carolyn Shorkey and Milt Warden had introduced us to the UUCSV several years before we actually moved here. It was a natural fit for us. After a few years of more regular attendance, we both became members just last year.
I am happy to be able to engage more actively by serving on the Board on a temporary basis, and look forward to meeting more members individually.
Quiet Morning Stroll
We emerge from the fog along Cane Creek
To find we have the park all to ourselves.
The quiet broken only by a few commuters
Heading west early to their jobs in the city.
Our stroll to the park so early we
Used the blinking lamp only once
So the oncoming driver could see us
As we borrow a little of his lane.
The sun low behind the eastern hills
Turns the sky a soft butter yellow.
As I lift you to the swing you smile, pointing
To the three-quarter moon in the western sky.
We circle the path around the park and a crow
Greets our arrival high in a silver buckeye tree
That long ago dropped its nuts, its brown leaves
Crackling softly underfoot next to the creek.
The creek barely audible after the last few days
Of sunshine have lowered its constant flow.
Two bluebirds light on another tree branch,
Curious about us early intruders I suspect.
With the sky slowly brightening we hear a dog bark
And more birds serenade us as we walk home,
A chickadee clearly calling among these songs.
Drivers now wave with more of them going around us.
It’s 50 degrees or so – cool enough for your sweatshirt
And shoes but not so cold for socks on your hands.
You kick off your lap blanket a couple of times
Before we climb the final drive to our ridge.
Soon you will be leaving us as it’s now time
For your transition to a permanent family.
I will miss these early morning strolls with you,
Especially quieter walks when the world is entirely ours.
After Season Blackberry
Blackberry in my
explodes with flavor!
Sweet and sour combine
in a tantalizing way --
bringing me much joy.
Grown right here at home
makes delight even richer,
the berry fresher.
eating it in November
all the more wondrous.
Thank you gardener,
sun, soil and blackberry bush,
for warming this day.
November 1, 2020
A Walk in the Woods
August 13, 2018
A walk in the woods is nothing new
In awe of the green and brown and blue.
What could I say that hasn’t been said,
That you haven’t seen or heard or read?
Yet each time I find myself strolling here
It seems that the muse flutters in my ear.
How many hues of green can there possibly be?
Was that the flick of a doe’s tail behind that tree?
Even when my goal is purely fitness,
I must stop now and then just to witness
The beauty and mystery of which I’m in awe,
The wonder and delight in all that I saw.
I’m sure the first walk was by Adam and Eve
Or maybe a caveman if that’s what you believe.
How many since then have taken this walk?
And don’t we all just stand and gawk?
I am so thankful for these times with the trees,
Spending my time here for as long as I please.
by Larry Pearlman
Why Do I Do It?
Some people would think it was stupid.
Some would be embarrassed.
Some would think it is pointless.
So why do it?
It’s nasty in the freezing rain
And the icy winds
And the humid heat
So why do it?
Not getting paid
Or advancing a career
Or learning a new skill
So why do it?
My shoulders ache
My feet get tired
My wrist gives out
So why do it?
It’s the smiles.
I could say that it’s the inner urge to share love
Or that it’s part of a larger project
Or it’s to make this a better community
All true - but that’s not it.
It’s the smiles.
Macho men smiles
Pretty girl smiles
White smiles - Black smiles - Brown smiles
That’s why I do it.
I just love the smiles.
You’ll love it too.
by Larry Pearlman
And a kind of poetry - a song written and performed by Bill Altork. "Touched by the Hand of Love"
December 3 - Phil Fryberger
December 6 - Ruth Hubbard Lovinsohn
December 10 - Deb Evenchik
December 11 - Diane Hutchins
December 18 - Ray Stein
December 21 - Jane Carroll
December 27 - Michelle Neff
Happy Birthday to these members and friends who have given us their information. Of course we don't include which year they were born! To add your birthday to this list, please contact Carol Sheeler.
|This year the Social Action Committee will be taking holiday food |
donations destined for the Swannanoa Christian Ministry's food pantry.
We will be collecting your donations daily during the week of December
14 - 18. Please place your donations in the boxes at the portico doors
before 4:00 p.m. so that the volunteers can take them to the food pantry
each day. Thanks in advance for your generosity during this especially
|UUCSV Board Meeting Abbreviated Minutes for November 18, 2020|
Our volunteer Treasurer, Lee Reading, pointed out that the plate offering income for this fiscal year is down about $2700 which is significant. Our rainy day fund has about $62,000. Lee summarized by saying, “We are comfortable but seeing a draw down of cash.”
Evan reported that 85 bidders participated in the auction. With only about $200 of items left to be paid, total income was $8315 and net income after expenses was $7884. Funds from the auction will be divided between the playground fund 30%, reserve fund 30%, and 20% each to Bounty & Soul and MLK Foundation scholarship fund.
Kathryn explained that the bylaws are unclear about replacing Board Members who need to vacate their seat prior to the completion of their term. The Board recently welcomed Rose Levering to fill Phil Fryberger’s seat. They decided to not fill Robert Tynes’ seat, functioning with 6 Board members until July 1, 2021 unless a volunteer steps forward.
Spence reported that the Building and Grounds Committee (BAG) is seeking bids from landscapers to complete construction of the rainwater drainage swale on the north side of our property.
Anna reported that the Congregational Care Committee provided numerous services to two congregants.
The Communications Committee is working to update our website.
Our Director of Religious Education (RE) has coordinated two planting sessions for the playground flower garden. Susan is working on worship boxes for RE children.
The Social Action Committee (SAC) was busy the past month working on UU the Vote and local precinct work.
Sunday Service Associates report that upcoming speakers include Diana McCall, Aaron Walter from Austin, Oraleen Simmons, Tim Perry, and Friction Farm.
The next Board meeting: January 28th @ 6:00 p.m.
Respectfully submitted by Milton Warden, Board Secretary
|UU's for a Just Economic Community |
We’re putting together an online drama to be recorded & shown at Christmas time. If you’d be interested in creating a fun, virtual holiday pageant please contact Evan Yanik email@example.com
|Religious Education - R.E.|
Thoughts on Self-Nourishment
By Susan Enwright Hicks
I happen to really enjoy cooking, baking, and candy-making (as my Covid-era waistline makes clear), so feeding my family is one way I have of nourishing my soul. While I’ve certainly been doing plenty of eating, and feeding others this past year more and more, I’m actively trying to seek out self care that is:
1. Just for me,
2. Objectively healthy,
3. Doesn’t create more “stuff”, or make a mess.
Some activities I’ve found that fit these criteria are:
Listening to the music (especially albums/artists I enjoyed as a teenager)
and Gardening (though this arguably could create both “stuff” & mess).
I have also always loved making art (though in recent years my own projects have largely given way to collaborations with my children, or facilitating their art). I personally find the physical process of making art very enjoyable regardless of my feelings about whatever is actually produced, so again, if you’re flexible on the creating “stuff”/mess point (even if you’ve never been especially artistic) I highly recommend finding a creative outlet. I knew we had a number of creatives present in our congregation before, but the auction showed me quite a few I wasn’t aware of. Perhaps if you’re interested in art, but not sure how to start (or how to approach a new medium) there’s someone in our community who could offer some guidance - just ask! Maybe we could start a rotating-leader-Zoom-based art workshop?
For my part I have (at least) dabbled in: Drawing, Illustration, Painting (much better with watercolors and acrylics), Photography, Pastels, Charcoal, Mask-making, Printmaking, Framing, Clay work, Wood-burning, Beading/Jewelry, Cyanotype, Sculpture, Collage, Paper-quilling, Origami, Basket-weaving, Book-binding, Mobile-construction, Mosaic, and Costuming for the stage/Halloween (though not an accomplished seamstress).
While the photo quality is pretty low, the sincerity of the speakers and music makers was heavenly!
|Tidings Notes - What Nurtures You?|
|I have many friends and a few relatives who are vegetarian or vegan. But when I learned that eating plant-based low-fat foods could reverse the heart disease with which I suddenly was faced, I decided to try it "whole heartedly." |
If you haven't watched Forks over Knives yet, let me say this is the most important video that anyone thinking about their health, and the health of the planet should consider. The link above just takes you to the website and a trailer. I was able to check the video out from inter-library loans in North Carolina.
What else nurtures me? The messages of our UU church each Sunday give me a chance to think more seriously about my place in the world.
I look to next year with the expectation that a "new normal" is coming into being. As Rev. Michael reminded me, the end of one year brings the death of many things. Death is not a failure of what we have believed in, nor how we have lived. It is just part of life, the cycle which goes the great round. As I went through cardiac rehab, I looked at my fellow patients, and realized we had survived heart operations, which in my parent's youth were not available, so most of us would have died had these heart attacks happened a hundred years ago. Our lives have become more precious as we choose each day to focus on how we're living.
Nature has continued to be my inspiration, and is a most enjoyable way to exercise, now that I would have to wear a mask if I were in a gym around others.
I admit to dependence upon the internet. It is the window through which I stay in touch with friends and family. Who knew that I'd become dependent upon this etheric technology for communication.
As we move into the new year, let's all keep offering support and care for each other. Tidings will have a new topic for January - "Acting from Privilege." This topic arose from Rev. Michael's workshops on Racism.
|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 and Carolyn Shorkey, AV producer/editors
Annelinde Metzner, Choir director and piano, AV producer/editor of music