|January 2021 Vol. II: Issue 7|
Rev. Michael Carter shares these words by Dr. Howard Thurman.
"I remember with gratitude the fruits of the labors of others, which I have shared as a part of the normal experience of daily living.
"I remember the beautiful things I have seen, heard and felt---some as a result of definite seeking on my part and many that came unheralded into my path, warming my heart and rejoicing my spirit.
"I remember the moments of distress that proved to be groundless and those who taught me profoundly about goodness of good and the evilness of evil.
"I remember the new people I have met, from whom I have caught glimpses of the meaning of my own life and the true character of human dignity.
"I remember the dreams that haunted me during the year, keeping me ever mindful of goals and hopes which I did not realize but from which I drew inspiration to sustain my life and keep steady my purposes.
"I remember the awareness of the spirit of God that sought me out in my aloneness and gave to me a sense of assurance that undercut my despair and confirmed my life with new courage and abiding hope."
Dr. Howard Thurman
“The Night of Corona”
’Twas the night of Corona when all through the world,
Not a creature was stirring as the nightmare unfurled,
The face masks were missing, the gloves and the gowns,
The nurses and doctors were all falling down
The children and old folks were scratching their heads.
To wonder what mayhem this virus could spread,
Pa gathered his strength, Ma stuffed down her worries,
Pulled courage together to start their new journey.
When throughout the world there arose such a clatter,
Of singing, and loving, though hearts were in tatters.
We stood at our balconies, doorways, and windows,
To let out the love, Christians, Jews, Muslims, and Hindus.
The moon lit the green of the fresh budding Spring,
Giving Hope for Rebirth we yearned it would bring.
We opened our hearts and expanded our characters
Knowing our children would be the inheritors.
The world just got smaller but we’re growing bigger,
Our hearts and our souls demonstrate we’re no quitters.
Our Heroes are Healers, not killers of Life
And many strong women in the thick of the strife.
May all who draw breath see God in each other,
Embracing our weakness As Sisters and Brothers,
Adapted on from “ ’Twas the Night Before Christmas,” by Clement Clarke Moore.
From UUCSV Christmas Eve service
|Music at UUCSV in January|
January 3rd- Linda Metzner, hymns, prelude and postlude
January 10th- Second Sunday- Jewelsong , 3 songs, Linda Metzner piano for hymns.
January 17th- Linda Metzner, hymns, prelude and postlude
January 24th- choir 2 pieces, Sue Stone, piano for hymns, prelude and postlude
January 31st- Linda Metzner, hymns, prelude and postlude
The vocal and instrumental quartet, Jewelsong, will perform for Second Sunday on January 10th.
Based in the Triangle area of North Carolina, Jewelsong shares original music to inspire personal, spiritual, and global transformation, exploring rich vocal harmonies and evocative acoustic instrumentation.
SECOND SUNDAYS 2021
January 10th Jewelsong, vocal quartet
February 14th Phil Fryberger, piano
March 14th Rochelle and Deb, guitar and voice: "Soul Season"
April 11th Spence Foscue and family
May 9th Sue Stone, guitar and voice
June13th Andy Gwynn, guitar and voice
|"Actions from the Privileged" |
|by Susan Enwright-Hicks, Director of Religious Education|
As I sit in my warm, comfortable home at Christmastime - my children sleeping at the other end of the house I do feel very privileged indeed. 2020 has been so challenging, but in most ways I am tremendously fortunate. Last January my family and I started a practice of writing down things for which we are grateful at least once a week. Unfortunately, this practice was abandoned somewhere in the first month or two of the stay-at-home-order, but I intend to reinstate it in 2021. I think the mere act of expressing gratitude was extremely beneficial for my whole family in terms of encouraging us to consider the big picture and all the ways in which our lives are full of joy. Previously we’d written them on small pieces of paper, but I think in the year to come maybe I’ll make a chain of them so that the visual reminder is that much more present.
Additionally, I am renewing a commitment to eat fewer animal products and try to eliminate single-use plastics wherever possible keeping in mind the web of all existence. I am also planning to regularly set aside a portion of money to donate to a cause in a Guest-At-Your-Table fashion (right now I’m thinking maybe a Mother’s Bail Out program, or something like BeLoved for the winter/early spring season) as one of the ways I will work to promote justice for all in 2021. My hope is that these actions by being shared with my children will also help them reflect on how much privilege they enjoy, and how important it is to think of others not only at Christmas, but throughout the year.
I hope some of these ideas inspire you, I look forward to reading what others in our community have planned! Happy New Year!
A Piece in the Puzzle - Anna Marcel de Hermanas
If UUCSV is a community of interconnected puzzle pieces, our Volunteer Spotlight this month shines on an important piece of our puzzle. Her ongoing work includes being a Member of our Board of Trustees, a member of the RE Committee and RE teacher, book club coordinator, a member of the Social Action Committee, and co-leader of our Women’s Group. She has also been volunteering for short term projects such as the auction and fundraising for the UU Service Committee. Who else but Anna Marcel de Hermanas could fit into our puzzle in this many ways?
Mahatma Gandhi’s mandate was to “Be The Change You Want to See in the World!” His call to action has resonated with Anna since she was in college, when she first began volunteering. She remembers always having a passion for missions which promote social justice.
Why serve on our Board of Trustees? Anna says being on the Board gives her an opportunity to promote our congregation’s principles and initiatives into the larger community. Anna sees the UUCSV as being a role model in our community as we move toward a more equitable and just society.
Thank you, Anna, for your piece in our puzzle!
In southeast Michigan
If you don’t feel the wind
Then it’s at your back,
For it’s always there.
So often we don’t feel it,
Don’t see it, don’t hear it,
But we can almost taste it
If we stop and notice.
Don’t tell me it’s not there.
We just don’t want to admit it,
Believing instead that our success is
Our own making since we struggled some.
Clearly not as much as others have,
But that doesn’t matter. Surely our success
Comes from our intelligence, education
And willingness to work hard.
We so want to believe that --
That what we got, we earned.
Why else is there so much
Difference in outcomes?
Or maybe the wind is just at our backs.
Jim Carillon, April 2018
"This Virgin Page"
Our own troubador, Bill Altork shares his musical poetry via YouTube, "Mercy."
Almost 90. WOW, that is old! Yes and today I actually felt it.
I have been so lucky to be part
of our UU church choir for years.
Finally today, as I was practicing my part, I could not do it.
I tried several times, but could not hit the notes right,
not turn the pages in time, not get the words in time.
From one month to the next this has changed.
There was once a time I no longer could
no longer ride my bicycle,
and now no longer sing in my choir.
But I can still drive my car safely, great!
Growing older seems to mean dropping activities,
not always by choice.
Sometimes you loose interest, so you change your ways.
But I must accept that part of growing old
means shutting down some activities.
Hopefully other still doable interests show up.
I can not bicycle, but can walk.
Don't dwell on what I can no longer do,
but keep my eyes open for new opportunities.
Life is basically good.
Ann Sillman 12/17/2020
Rose Levering came across a poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, “Ring Out, Wild Bells.” These few excerpts struck her as particularly relevant today and are her New Year wishes to you all.
Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.
Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.
Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.
January 6 - Kathryn Coyle, Sally Smith
January 7 - Robert Tynes
January 9 - Teresa Ballinger
January 17 - Jean Brown, Mary Soyenova
January 20 - Anne Sillman
January 24 - Nancy Gavin
January 31 - Jim Carillon
The Social Action Committee would like to thank the congregation for their generosity during our food drive for the Swannanoa Valley Christian Ministry Food Pantry during the week of December 14-18. You were great!!!!!
There was no December Board of Trustees meeting.
|UUCSV Donates $3200 to Two Local Charities|
|by Larry Pearlman|
To say that 2020 was a year like no other would be an understatement. Yet in the midst of great health and economic hardships, the light shines even brighter from such exemplary organizations as Bounty & Soul and the Swannanoa Valley Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Corporation.
To maximize safety for their staff and volunteers, B&S had to radically revamp their entire food distribution operation, moving it outside, wearing masks and sanitizer and having a drive-through operation limiting exposure. Even so, they distributed 35,000 pounds of food to over 2800 residents of the Swannanoa Valley at no cost - a critical service made all the more so in this historic year. Amazingly this was about a 200% increase over last year!
The Swannanoa Valley MLK organization, promoting Dr. King’s emphasis on quality education for all, offers scholarships to graduating high school seniors in the Swannanoa Valley who are planning to enroll on a full time basis in a 2-year or 4-year college program and also has renewal scholarships available to those students in good academic standing. They had to forego their largest fundraising event this year due to the COVID-19 virus.
Recognizing the value of both organizations to this community and the hardships they were experiencing, the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Swannanoa Valley (UUCSV) dedicated part of the proceeds from their 2nd Annual Auction Fund Raiser to help out. Members of the UU Congregation serve as volunteers for both B&S and MLK but wanted to do more.
Larry Pearlman, UUCSV representative, praised the small business owners of Black Mountain for stepping up to support the auction even during this time of economic crisis threatening all of their businesses. These donations, plus a tremendous response from the UUCSV congregation, enabled this year’s auction to raise enough money to meet the goals of providing funds for UUCSV grounds maintenance and add to the playground fund while also supporting two very worthwhile local charities.
Checks for $1600 each were presented by Mr. Pearlman to B&S’s representative Karla Gardner and Sheila Showers, president of the board for The Swannanoa Valley Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Corporation. Both Ms. Gardner and Ms. Showers offered their great appreciation with Ms. Gardner stating, “Not only are they (UUCSV) great stewards of service to others, their commitment to raising essential funds for area nonprofits during a critical time where we have all experienced unprecedented growth during the pandemic is truly admirable. This is a classic example of community helping community, especially in a time of great need.”
And the following is from the Swannanoa Valley Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Corp.
On behalf of the Swannanoa Valley Dr. Martin L. King, Jr. Organization I would like to sincerely thank the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Swannanoa Valley for their generous donation of $1,600.00 to help support our scholarship program. This means a great deal since we not only award scholarships to graduating seniors we renew scholarships to those students who work to maintain their grades and stay in good standing during their terms.
Sheila H. Showers, President
Unitarian Universalist congregations together affirm and promote seven Principles.
1st Principle: The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
2nd Principle: Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
3rd Principle: Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
4th Principle: A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
5th Principle: The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
6th Principle: The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
7th Principle: Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.
Our challenge continues. If you're making any resolutions, or perhaps the more up to date term "intentions" for this next year, please consider how they might align with the Seven Principles of UU, which we UUs covenant to follow.
The Mountain Express gave a great summary of how six local non-profits addressed environmental issues in 2020: Reflections-on-2020-from-wncs-environmental-movement These leaders of environmental groups include "Cari Barcas, Green Built Alliance; Adam Colette, Dogwood Alliance; Victoria Estes, Sunrise Movement Asheville; Sara Landry, Friends of DuPont Forest; Steffi Rausch, Citizens’ Climate Lobby; and Kieran Roe, Conserving Carolina."
Eating and the Environment:
Racism and White Privilege:
Continuing to learn about racism and white privilege, here's a link which I originally saved for "65 things white people can do for racial justice." When I went back to the link, I found it had been updated to 103 things white people can do for racial justice. The 103rd one says: Remember the wise words of Twitter user @itsjacksonbbz:
'You will continue to mess up racism. So continue to be teachable, open to correction from POC, and vigilantly monitor yourself for defensiveness and white fragility. You never “arrive” as an ally, you must continually *practice* allyship.
Join our UUCSV Racial Justice Book Group for its (every first Thursday) meeting via Zoom to discuss "Caste" by Isabel Wilkerson. See the Current for Zoom link.
Our Social Action Committee has many other resources for local non-profits. Lately you've probably been asked to donate to some cause or another. Here's a rating of non-profits: 4 stars means they really do what they say they will.
|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