|July 2021 Vol. III: Issue 1|
Imagine yourself sitting at a banquet table, covered with all of your favorite foods. Hmmmmm. Imagine the sight! The aromas! Everything is prepared with love and cooked to perfection. Now you sink your teeth into the first dish, and then another elegant wait staff person brings you another dish. This continues for some time and you push yourself away from the table satisfied and grateful. Now you're looking for a bottle of Tums.
Are you also aware that your spirit needs to be fed as well? How about your spiritual diet? How about a plate full of meditation/prayer? Maybe a few hours of succulent self-reflection? Perhaps a piping hot selection of spiritual literature? Let's have that literature served by the side of a lake or under a tree so perhaps that would satisfy your spiritual hunger. Or perhaps you would prefer to listen to some spiritually uplifting music? What about forgiveness a la mode, topped with the whipped cream of compassion?
Enjoy your summer, but remember to take time for a little rest and rejuvenation!
"Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability."--Sam Keen
And another note:
A heartfelt thanks to:
Carolyn Shorkey and Milt Warden
Susan Enwright -Hicks
Angie and Mark Manuel
Sue and Ken Stone
Thank you all for painting and preparing the building to open. Thank you all for your time and commitment. If I missed anyone, please forgive me.
And in case you missed it...the announcement that everyone was waiting for!
Well, it's official. UUCSV will begin live services on July 11, 2021.
What is exciting, at least to me, is that we will be gathering once again as a congregation, as a community. We will get to see each other's faces and smiles. For those who are comfortable with it, there will be hugs and kisses. There will be stories of both joy and sorrow and concerns. This is the stuff that life is made of. And yet, wherever you are on the journey after this time of isolation and change, like the phoenix rising from the ashes, I know you will bring your wisdom gleaned from lessons learned, your longing for community, and your continuing commitment and dedication to our congregation and our free, liberal, UU religious heritage and legacy. I know you will bring your best selves. Besides, isn't that the way it should be?
See you on 7/11/21
July 4th- Linda Metzner, piano: prelude, postlude and 3 hymns (virtual)
July 11th- Sue Stone, Second Sundays (3 songs with guitar), Linda Metzner, piano: 2 hymns (live at the UUCSV!)
July 18th- Linda Metzner, piano: prelude, postlude and 3 hymns
July 25th- UUCSV Choir, 2 video anthems shown live in church; Sue Stone, piano: prelude, postlude and 2 hymns
Sue Stone plays on July 11.
Sue Stone says, "Music has been a part of my life since the beginning - piano since starting lessons at age 7, singing in choirs and community choruses, teaching myself guitar at 35, singing for church and community events and leading sing-alongs at nursing homes. I even took a detour into mountain dulcimer when I lived in Arkansas. I live in an ecovillage, and love the mountains, gardening and bird-watching."
SECOND SUNDAYS MUSIC, JULY THROUGH DECEMBER 2021
July 11- Sue Stone, guitar, piano and voice
August 8- David Reid, piano and voice
September 12--String Sisters, violin, viola and piano
October 10- Three Divas solo songs (Heidi Blozan, Susan Hurley, Karin Steinhaus)
November 14- Phil Fryberger (with backup)
December 12- Andy Gwynn, guitar and voice
|The UUCSV Choir delighted in meeting together for the first time in 15 months at the home of alto Rochelle Broome and her partner Deb Evanchik. |
They had recently built a wood-fired oven in their beautiful backyard, so Ro offered to bake us each our own pizza!
What a good time was had, ending with a real old-fashioned choir rehearsal on the back porch with a keyboard set up by Ro and Deb.
Big thanks, big fun!
Linda Metzner, choir director
UUCSV Board of Trustees President, Evan Yanik, has been entrusted to lead a dedicated and highly skilled group of women board members through the 2021-22 fiscal year, beginning today, July first!
Among our newest board members is Sally Smith. Sally moved to Black Mountain from Michigan about 6 years ago and has been involved in the church for 3 or 4 years. She has participated in covenant groups, our Women’s Group, and worked along other UUCSV volunteers at a Habitat for Humanity construction site. Sally regularly provides proofreading support to our office manager, Damaris.
In Sally’s professional life, she served as a children’s librarian as well as a university librarian (University of Michigan, Dearborn campus. Milt and Jim say, Go Blue!)
In retirement, Sally has immersed herself in exploring spirituality through creative endeavors. She has led the women’s group several times, including sessions on Mindfulness, Exploring Personal Spirituality, Mandala Making, and Journaling as a Spiritual Practice. Besides working with clay and other artistic media and being involved in the UU, Sally enjoys yoga, swimming, hiking with her dog, and reading.
Sally has served on Boards in the past. She is looking forward to serving us during the upcoming two years, hearing our stories, and advancing our UUCSV mission. Welcome to the Board, Sally. We are grateful!
|by Anna Marcel de Hermanas|
ReUnion: The act of 2 or more people coming together after a separation; the act or process of being brought together again as a unified whole.
After the last 16 months, it seems that everything we do is a reunion. Whether it’s going to visit old friends and family members or just attending an in-person meeting with unmasked people, life seems celebratory. And much like any reunion, we’re “catching up” on what we’ve gone through, what we’ve achieved, and what we’re looking forward to. We all seem more hopeful and optimistic than bp (before pandemic), and I know we are all more appreciative of just being alive in a beautiful place with other living beings.
One of the things I am appreciating in this time of reunions is being able to hug people. And to really savor a hug, I have been practicing Thich Nhat Hanh’s “Hug Meditation.” The practice marries the western tradition of hugging with the Eastern practice of meditation, noting that when we hug mindfully, me being fully present and aware of the joy of being alive in my body and fully appreciative of you being alive in your body, “then we know that we are not separate beings.”
As we continue to reunite with each other, let’s hold onto the awareness of how wonderful it is to be alive, with each other, aware of our connection, and if you’re fully vaccinated and comfortable, trying a fully present meditative hug. Feel free to practice with me!
July 9 - Michael Carter
July 14 - David Groce
July 15 - Larry Perlman
July 21 - Herb Way
July 24 - David Reid
July 26 - Jey Hiott
|Reunion by Susan Enwright-Hicks|
|I’ve never bothered to go to any school reunions, and I haven’t been to very many family reunions either.|
As a teen and young adult, however, I found UU camps SWIM, and then SUUSI, and for a time my annual pilgrimage to each of these places became a sort of reunion for me.
For more than a decade each summer I travelled to Virginia, and each winter to south Florida to catch up with old friends and make new ones. In fact, it was at SWIM that I met my husband.
Josh and I have fallen out of the habit of going to these camps lately (the logistical and financial struggle of traveling with young children, and then additional demands of extended family made getting to SWIM and SUUSI tricky for a time) but this year we will be going back!
SUUSI moved even closer to us a couple years ago (to the campus of Western Carolina University), and this summer will be hosting its second virtual year. I am happy to say my family and I will be participating. We’ll be attending workshops, worships, concerts, games, and social hours via Zoom July 17th-24th. While I’m sure it won’t be the same, I find I’m really excited about the idea of reuniting with old friends, and giving my kids a taste of what I hope will someday become a regular tradition of ours once more!
If you think you’d like to join us you can find more information here: https://www.suusi.org/how-to-register-for-suusi
|High School Reunion Surprise|
By Larry Pearlman
Those eyes. They touched my soul. They were the softest, kindest eyes I had looked in since the time I got to meet the Dalai Lama. But when I saw what was written on the name tag, I couldn’t believe my own eyes. Leo Baker? It just couldn’t be
I had never attended a HS reunion but when I received the invitation to our 40 year reunion, and found out that Eddie, Freddie, Patty, Nancy, Sharon and Joy were all going something clicked, so on May 25, 2005, there I was at the Hanover Manor in East Hanover NJ. Upon entering, I registered with Barbara Halper whom I swear hadn’t changed at all - including the hairdo. As soon as I turned to go into the ballroom, there were those eyes. Not recognizing the face, I looked at the name tag. Leo Baker. I believe I went into shock. I don’t remember what I said to him, what he said or even if I shook his hand. I just knew that it couldn’t be true.
Let me bring to mind an image that I’m sure you are all familiar with to put this into context. Remember the corner kid bully from your high school days? The one who knocked your books out of your hand or bumped into you hard while going down the hall - even though you didn’t even know the guy. The kid who was constantly in the principal’s office, suspended or simply ditched school. Who was always getting into fights. I’m sure you all have a clear picture in your mind of that kid from your high school. You KNEW he was headed to prison or an early grave. That was Leo Baker.
So you can understand the disconnect between that guy and these soft, kind, loving eyes. A disconnect that haunted me for a couple of months. See - I didn’t get an opportunity to talk to Leo that night or maybe I just couldn’t get my mind around the disparity enough to even address it then. But by the time I received the list of contact information for everyone who had attended the reunion, I was at a point where I HAD to know.
So I called him. I actually worked up the courage to say, “Leo, this is Larry Pearlman. I saw you at our 40th reunion in May and I have to tell you I was shocked. The last time we talked at all was 40 years ago when you knocked my books out of my hand and then snarled at me, “Meet me behind the Acme after school. I’m going to kick your ass.”
Needless to say, I didn’t show up. "Everyone knew you were going down a path to oblivion but when I looked into your eyes at the reunion, I saw nothing but loving kindness and I just want to know what altered your course. I’m guessing it was either a woman or you found God.” I didn’t know if he would tell me to go to hell, say he didn’t know what I was talking about or just hang up on me. But instead, he laughed.
Then he told me his story. “You’re right,” he said. “It was actually two women and God. The women were my mother and my girlfriend. Even though I was a tough kid on the street, my mother still ruled the house and every Sunday she dragged my butt to church. I’d sit there and sulk and I sure wasn’t listening but something was going into my subconscious and that came back to help save me later.
"My girlfriend drew a line in the sand. She knew where I was headed, even if I didn’t, by running around with the crowd I was in. One night she told me I could have my friends or I could have her but I couldn’t have both. I was in love with her. It hurt a lot to let go of my friends but it would have hurt more to lose her.
"So here I am today, married to that women with children of my own and working as a pastor for troubled youth in my church. When I think back, perhaps those early days were my training ground for my life’s work because there is no way that these kids can put anything over on me. I’ve been in their shoes and I may know them better than they know themselves.
"Thank you for telling me what you saw in my eyes because it’s a true reflection of what fills me today - love and kindness.”
Seeing how Leo Baker had turned his life around is probably the real reason that I went to that reunion.
|Call of the Valley: Larry Pearlman|
by Shelly Frome
No matter the circumstances, Larry Pearlman has managed to follow his bliss through some form of story.
For instance, in grade school in New Jersey he always loved to “distract” a classmate sitting next to him by relating some funny incident. Moreover, his family spent summers at White Meadow Lake where he was drawn to a group of kids who put on plays at the day camp.
“This was a miracle to me,” Pearlman said, “because not only were they Broadway hits, someone got appointed a director and you rehearsed all summer bringing the stories to life.”
For instance, just before Finian’s Rainbow was scheduled to open, the lead became ill. Everyone moved up a spot which left the combined role of Sears (as in Sears and Roebuck) and a deputy which was offered to young Larry because he was so enthralled with the process.
“It was so great,” Pearlman said. “I felt this adrenalin out there amplified by the energy from the audience. We’d huddle up during the performance and figure out who had the next line. There was only supposed to be one huddle but, under the circumstances, we upped it to four.”
By the time he was sixteen, he found himself playing a leading role in Babes in Arms bringing the character Gus’ entire story arc to life.
Later on, during his professional life in sales, he was always telling stories to bond with his customers. In Phoenix, Arizona training salesmen to pitch Inter-tel phone systems, he naturally came up with a story approach: “I taught them to get clients to tell the story of their own company,” Pearlman said. “What aspect of their business they were involved with. And then come up with an Inter-tel story that fit that aspect. As a salesman, take what happened in dealing with such and such company and how that experience might apply to this particular client’s needs. Apropos, I, of course, would also tell them my own salesman stories.”
What followed his stint in sales was a period wandering here and there, trusting his intuition, looking for a place to settle down. Four years ago, though he’d never been there, the city of Ashville and its environs came to mind. But nothing clicked until someone mentioned Black Mountain. Once he drove in off Route 40 and came upon the center of town he knew he was home.
“I was so impressed,” he said, “that I got out and walked around and caught sight of the bulletin board outside of Town Hardware and discovered all the stuff that’s going on. It was so cool. I loved the area. I loved the mountains and the people. I rented a place near Lake Tomahawk and I walked to Ingles. I walked everywhere. For a little place I came across over forty independent restaurants. It had an arts center that puts on shows right in the middle of town. People volunteer to put flowers and stuff all around. It was and still is amazing.”
The other thing that he found amazing was the fact that this entire area is a center for storytelling. You could dip into your own experiences and come up with a tale that held an audience for five up to thirty minutes. There was an Asheville Storytelling Circle where you could “try stuff out.” He could fashion his actual Grand Canyon experience, underscoring the storm he and his fellow hikers ran into replete with a dry river bed that turned into a raging river forcing them to use a slippery fallen tree in a dicey attempt to get across.
As he became more and more adept, two years ago he had an opportunity to relate his Grand Canyon yarn as a regional teller at a festival in Cary. As one of four storytellers, allotted thirty minutes each, he is booked to appear in another venue, place to be determined, in Asheville. He is also set along with a lady storyteller to give a four-week workshop in storytelling at the local Highland Farms retirement center. Needless to say, for Larry Pearlman and the world of story, there is no end in sight.
|A continuing editorial page in which members contribute their own ideas for our environmental efforts. What are you doing that you'd like others to know?|
* Carry my own take-out boxes into restaurants. These are plastic but I wash and re-use them over and over.
* Walk to UU (when we reopen), town for errands, the library, Ingles (with my backpack) for grocery shopping.
* When I order takeout, I request that no plastic ware or napkins be included.
* Re-use napkins at home as they barely get dirty with each use.
* Always carry my own water bottle and never buy bottled water.
Another article shows this:
US Energy Consumption Dropped 7.3 Quads in 2020
From Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories
"The single most important number here is the total estimated energy consumption of 92.9 quads. A quad is a quadrillion BTUs (1015) and is equivalent to the energy in 8,007,000,000 gallons of gasoline–it's big. In 2019 the total consumption was 100.2 quads, so the reduction in energy consumption was pretty much exactly what we have to do every year between now and 2030, a pandemic's worth of energy savings every year. That sounds somewhere between daunting and impossible, but if you study the chart you can get a lot of ideas about where our priorities should be.
Source: "The Chart that Explains Everything," Treehugger, Lloyd Alter, Published May 31, 2021
Many thanks to Spence Foscue, who has served a two year term on the Board and is rotating off on June 30th. A big welcome to new members, Jackie Franklin, Rochelle Broome and Sally Smith.
The Board approved the re-opening of the church for in-person Sunday Services and other indoor smaller group gatherings, beginning July 11th. The expectation is that if you aren’t vaccinated, you should wear a mask and keep your distance. We are not restricting our approved capacity limit because of COVID-19. We will have signs requiring masks for unvaccinated people. It was agreed that some chairs should be placed in the portico for those choosing lower density seating. Evan stated that our greeters will be our first line of defense by saying, “We are asking all unvaccinated people to be masked.”
The Sunday services will be filmed and presented live on our YouTube Channel.
We will provide a 20 minute social hour with beverages and your donated snacks, before the cleaning of the building commences.
We are actively recruiting Sunday volunteers to be greeters, coffee hour hosts, filming and audio, childcare providers for visitors who bring children, and cleaners.
Board President, Evan Yanik, discussed the expectation that most parents will keep their children home from church until the children are vaccinated. It was decided that children under 12 should be wearing masks as well as the volunteers working with the children.
Hopefully, a Safety Committee will be formed soon.
Abbreviated minutes approved.
|This is a reminder, so you can be sure to come!|
The Outdoor UUCSV Congregational Reunion Party
On July 16th (rain date will be July 17th) we'll meet outdoors at church at 6:00 p.m. for a potluck meal and live music. You need to bring your chair, hand sanitizer, place setting (that means your plate, silverware, drinking glass, and napkin), beverage, serving utensil and a large bowl/plate/pan of nutritious food to share.
Many thanks to David and Alice Wells for offering to set up and organize the buffet tables and for Spence and his band, Trent River Slim and Friends, for providing the live music while we mix and mingle.
See you there!
|Wonderful thoughts of reunions these days! But I've discovered a bit of a shock when suddenly with other people after 15 months (for some of us) isolation. So rather than treat each other as we did on Zoom (one person at a time, and very few choices as to what we each can say) let's go back to "the way we were." Next month Tidings will focus on Listening. What? yep, listening.|
|Board of Trustees: |
Evan Yanik– President
Rose Levering – Vice President
Anna Marcel de Hermanas
Non-board officers are:
Lee Reading – Treasurer
Milt Warden – Secretary
Building & Grounds - Rhea Bockhorst & Deb Evenchik co-chair
Social Action - Kate Ramsey
Finance - Lee Reading
Nominating - Evan Yanik
Congregational Care - Larry Pearlman
Membership - Heidi Blozan and Maggie Schlubach
Personnel – Linda Tatsapaugh/Kathryn Coyle (co-chairs)
Communications - open
Governance – Evan Yanik
Religious Education - Jessie Figuera, Jim Carillon, Heidi Blozan (rotating)
Sunday Service Associates - Diane Graham (rotating)
Strategic Planning Task Force - Michael Figuera
Memorial Garden - Dawn Wilson
Sunday Service Production:
Carolyn Shorkey, AV producer/editor
Annelinde Metzner, Choir director and piano, AV producer/editor of music