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August 2021       Vol. III: Issue 2
In this issue:
From the Minister
Music for August 2021
Volunteer Spotlight
Poetry Corner
August Birthdays
The History We Haven’t Heard Yet
Finding the Message Beyond The Words
UUCSV's Ongoing Auction Fun
Abbreviated UUCSV Board Meeting 
Healing the Earth
Tidings Notes
UUCSV Leadership
From the Minister

First and foremost, on behalf of The Board of Trustees and the congregation, I would like to thank Damaris Pierce for her service to our community. She has been a supporter of this congregation in thought, word and deed. We are eternally grateful for your work here Damaris, and wish you nothing but wonderful things in your next endeavors.

Thank you so much!
I want to talk a bit in this column about masks. It was so wonderful to see your lovely faces in person as we returned to in-person services on July 11. Your bright smiles lit up the sanctuary with the light of a thousand suns. All of this light was hiding behind the masks we wore (and still must wear from time to time) because of the pandemic. Let's take it a bit further though. If you see a chameleon in the mud, it will appear to be brown. What a wonderful gift nature provides its creation: the ability to change its appearance in order to survive. For human beings, the ability to adapt in order to fit in has one major drawback. If we do it too often we run the risk of forgetting who we truly are.
This has nothing to do with the decision to wear or not wear a mask; after all, I wear my mask when it is necessary and I have my vaccine shots as well. So no, this is not a political statement.
We have a business mask, a social mask, a home mask, a play mask, and a "don't mess with me, I'm not playing" mask! Then there are the many masks of the many roles we play. There's the parent/child mask. There's the husband/wife/partner mask. There's the "help me I'm lost" mask. Each of our masks carries duties and responsibilities, fears and frustrations, likes and dislikes, demands and desires. Sometimes, the responsibilities of one mask conflict with those of another. Or, to hold the mask in place, there may be things we must do that are inappropriate for the other masks to wear. In fact, we can become so skilled at putting on the appropriate mask at the appropriate time, in order to survive, that we can eventually lose sight of who we really are.
Perhaps it is time to wear the mask of our true essence, our true selves. Do you remember what that is? I believe it is Love. Find your true essence and allow it to show in all of the roles you and I play. If you wear it as often as you can, there will be a lot less confusion about what to do and how to do it. At times we allow our environment to determine the mask we wear. Let's devote ourselves to discovering or rediscovering the truth about our true selves, so that tomorrow, our true colors will come shining through for all the world to see.
A Gentle Peace to You All,
Music for August 2021

August 1 -   Linda Metzner, piano, prelude, offertory, postlude and 3 hymns

August 8 -  Second Sundays, David Reid, piano and voice, prelude, offertory and postlude;  Linda Metzner, 2 hymns
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.

August 15 -  Linda Metzner, piano, prelude, offertory, postlude and 3 hymns
August 22 -  Choir Anthems; Sue Stone, piano, prelude and postlude; 2 hymns

August 29 -  Sue Stone, piano, prelude, offertory, postlude and 3 hymns
Volunteer Spotlight
Meet our new board member, Jackie Franklin.
by Carolyn Shorkey
For the past 14 years Jackie has volleyed between Boone and Asheville. She has been a member of UUCSV since January 2013. Even though her attendance had been sporadic, Jackie continued to support UUCSV. 
Eleven years ago when she retired she became a gypsy of sorts. Without a permanent  address she was able to  travel extensively, mainly on outdoor adventures. Ten years ago she began to pop into UUCSV from time to time and found it to be a community she would eventually commit herself to. Way back then and to this  day, Jackie has been moved by the positive and caring community she feels here. Last year, she was ready to settle down and call WNC and UUCSV her home.
“Everyone has struggles and what gets us through the tough times is the support we give to each other in community.” Three months ago, while hiking, Jackie fell and fractured her shoulder. Members of our Congregational Care Committee sprung into action. Jackie’s process of healing was enhanced with the companionship of several members of our congregation. 
She loves being involved in a small church. Jackie reports that, “There are many opportunities to get to know people individually, particularly by serving on a committee. In a small church there is lots to be done and not many people to do the work.” She has served on our Building and Grounds Committee doing what she can with a broken shoulder! Last week she attended her first UUCSV Board Meeting as a member of our Board of Trustees.
The very best way to thank her for her service is to offer to help her clean the building from time to time. She’ll appreciate any volunteer with at least one good arm. Together, you will form a dynamic bilateral housekeeping team! It will be a good opportunity to get to know Jackie. You’ll be glad you did.
Poetry Corner
Paul Tillich says:
The first duty of LOVE is to listen.  

So let LOVE  listen.
The word "Listen" contains music. 
It is a quiet word,
The half- swallowed "L"
The diffident "I" 
The softly hissing "S". 
The final silent "E" and calm  "N".
Listening  defies the clamor it absorbs, 
All the outside shouts and roars,
bray and bluster.
Listening is hard  
Surrounded by mean and ugly.
So sit still with intention
Open your ears, your eyes, your heart, your mind, your hands.
Become courage to expand.
Out of and into
Sit still now with humility.
Receive, ruminate, reason, and rejoice.
Then stand tall 
in deepened truth
Bravely considering all
Speaking BOTH/ AND.
Leaving behind the EITHER/OR.
Let LOVE listen
Quiet the fierce, animal fight.
Allow wounds to close
Conflicts to end
In silence.
Clear and kind.
Hear the hidden, soft, sane, subtle
Invest in quiet.
Open mind
Enlarge heart.
Feel the soul spark,
Invite surprise,
Just another name for finding god.
By Ruth Pittard

The greatest single antidote to violence is conversation,
speaking our fears, listening to the fears of others,
and in that sharing of vulnerabilities,
discovering a genesis of hope.

By Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks
August Birthdays
August 1  -  Andy Reed            
August 6  -  Anny Bestel
August 15 - Deb Vingle
August 20 - Jane Hancock
August 23 - Barbara Rogers
August 31 - Sandra Abromitis
The History We Haven’t Heard Yet
By Heidi Blozan
I was invited to be on the board of Historic Thomas Chapel. Thomas Chapel is part of African American history in Black Mountain. I don’t know much about the history of our black community and want to learn more about it. One thing I do know is that there are over 100 unmarked bodies in the little Cemetery! I’d like our little church with a big heart to consider a relationship with the Historic Thomas Chapel. If we listen we’ll learn a lot. One other thing I learned is that this entity had its beginnings 129 years ago and in 2022 the Historic Thomas Chapel board (of which I am a member) will be celebrating the 130 year anniversary of its existence! Let’s put on our listening ears for the murmurings of missing history.  
Finding the Message Beyond The Words
By Larry Pearlman

When I was 15 and a sophomore in High School, my sister was a senior.  My mother had helped her pick out just the perfect dress for Senior Prom and taken it to a seamstress to have alterations made with the understanding that the dress would be ready a couple of days before the prom.

I came in the side door of our house and was bounding up the few steps into the kitchen saying my usual cheerful, “What’s for dinner Mom?”  Before those words finished coming out of my mouth, I experienced my mother’s wrath for only the second time in my life.  Not aimed at me, thankfully.  She was on the phone with the seamstress who had just told her that the dress wouldn’t be ready on time.  Wow!  I didn’t know my mother could yell like that and I think there may have even been some words I had never heard come from her mouth before.

Not wanting to be caught in the radioactive fallout, I tried quietly backing down the steps when she turned, saw me, and said, “Hi Honey.  How was your day at school?”  No radioactive fallout.  No trace of anger.  I was baffled.

It was some years later when the message of that moment came into focus in my conscious mind.  Emotions can be directed where they are useful and do not have to overflow into the rest of my life.

I learned a lot of lessons from my parents and most, like this one, were never lectured at me.  They were the message beyond the words.
UUCSV's Ongoing Auction Fun
On Monday July 12th four UU's met at the Black Mountain church and went to the North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville.  Three of them had bid on this trip in the last auction, and Helen Bell was the hostess for the trip. They left in the morning to get the walk in before it was too hot.  Besides the gardens there was an outdoor wild art sculpture exhibit with seventeen sculptures made by Asheville artists.  This trip included lunch at the Arboretum Cafe.

TGIF at Anna and Rhea's home...good fun which raised funds for the church! (Anna must have taken the photo!)
Abbreviated UUCSV Board Meeting 
By Milt Warden

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Our volunteer treasurer, Lee Reading, reviewed our current financial position. He pointed out that our checking account at 5th Third Bank is used to pay expenses while the $40,000 account at the Self Help Credit Union is our reserve fund. Lee pointed out that the income shortfall for the 2020-21 fiscal year due to the pandemic resulted in us spending $6,000 more than we received. The canvass revenue shortfall for this fiscal year 2021-22 generated a brainstorming session to explore ideas for fundraising.

In an attempt to save the cost of hiring a cleaning service, we are hoping people will sign up to do some housekeeping chores to get our building ready for the Sunday Services on a weekly basis. Jackie is hoping people will sign up as we advertise the need for this help.
Damaris will be leaving her position as our office manager at the end of July. Evan reported we will be filling the position of Office Manager soon and that there are three candidates who want to interview for the job. Many thanks to Damaris for her dedication and commitment to UUCSV!

Anna reported that the Social Action Committee (SAC) met recently and are working on a statement on indigenous lands.  SAC lost their volunteer to organize our involvement in the Pride Festival but hopes other people will volunteer.

Rose reported that she has two members so far (Janet Rude and Marti Salzman) to serve on the newly formed Safety Committee.

For the expanded version of these minutes, you may find them posted on the foyer bulletin board.

Next Regular Board meeting:  August 26 @ 6:00 p.m.
Healing the Earth
By Ruth Pittard
I have practiced taking care of and caring about my environment and the larger world since I entered teenage years when I understood concretely that all of what I do matters, small as it is and that all life is interconnected. 
And despite all the science, the technology, the complexities and the political debates, I still have just one guiding principle around which I make decisions about what I do and who I am within my immediate environment and the larger world:  Is what I am doing enhancing all life as much as is possible?
Sometimes that means DOING something and sometimes that question requires me to STOP DOING some things. But I never stop asking the question. For instance,  I have been building soil for several decades in several locations which means practicing regeneration.
I also have a lifelong dedication to conserving water which means using less, collecting, and not putting anything harmful into the water around me. Consistently.  Every day.  Every way possible. Passionately.
Both practices require education, practice, focus, and dedication, none of which is easy and both of which require hard choices.  So my answer about environmental activism is deep and wide, it is personal, and it requires a sacred devotion, a love for and appreciation of whole systems health and how everything fits together
Recycling is important and is about a number one on the ten point scale of health and progress.  The hard questions that require dedication and revolution come toward the upper numbers, so require a whole-life approach and resource choices.
The earth as seen by Apollo 8 Astronauts from the moon 1968.
By Susan Enwright Hicks, DRE
As the parent of two young children “listening skills” are a regular topic of conversation in my home, but I also realize that, to some extent, the problem lies with my husband and I. We all want to be listened to, but are you modeling the kind of listening you want to receive? As a busy adult I’m often already engaged when a child or my partner approaches me to talk (doing dishes, sending emails, cooking, etc.) 

It’s easy to tell myself that if I stopped what I was doing every time one of my children wanted my attention I’d never finish anything, but for as often as I reproach them to “Please, look at me when I’m speaking to you” I don’t always afford them the same respect.

I could do better. How about you? 

When meeting a friend for coffee, or having a meal with your family, where is your phone? Is it on the table, or in your pocket? Do you have cell phone addiction? It’s a real thing, and increasingly common. I had a friend (pre-pandemic) that I’d all-but stopped meeting out because the nature of her work and personality meant she was constantly receiving and sending texts and calls. I found it frustrating enough to have our time together disrupted so frequently that I stopped getting together with her. Our time together didn’t feel like quality time anymore. I want my relationships with others to feel satisfying, for all involved, so I’m renewing a commitment to seek real connection, and to really listen.
Tidings Notes
Why "Listening" as a topic? I noticed as I again met with people in person (even when wearing masks) that conversations require a skill which I've let sag in my isolated techno-focused quarantine. Admittedly those who live with others may not have had this readjustment. I used to listen to a digital book on my iPad, while playing solitaire as well. And sometimes I'd have the TV on as well, giving the latest statistics of the Pandemic. I know many people soon got very tired of all the news focusing on that, especially the virus-deniers. If I were going to hide my head in the sand, it would be from the extreme sadness I felt at hearing about so many deaths without families being able to hold funerals.  Now with the variants (and it's likely there will be more, because once again case rates are rising) we are urged to wear those confounding masks again, even if we've been vaccinated.
It has been a hard 16 months, and I've stayed in touch with a few friends, but most of my interactions have been through email and zooms. I even tried zoom counseling...I think 3 times and I realized something was really missing!
It's the feeling of looking into another person's eyes and paying attention to them, while listening to them speak. I had forgotten that personal listening was something I hadn't been required to do for all this time with the techno communication. I'd multi-task and only half listen to one thing, while only being half interested in anything. Split attentions work when dealing with machines.
We as a congregation have begun to meet again in person, first on Sundays, and then having a party with pot luck and entertainment. This editor wasn't able to attend those gala events, and asked the community for photos that might reflect the fun and just who was part of those events. No luck, so far. Not being critical, just noticing.
For our next issue of Tidings, let's consider the topic of "Conviction." Where does that term lead your thoughts? I immediately thought of "Courage of your Convictions." It's a concept which will lead me to think a lot more deeply as to what my own convictions may be. And how did I arrive at these particular ones?
UUCSV Leadership
Board of Trustees:
Evan Yanik– President
Rose Levering – Vice President
Barbara Bryan
Jackie Franklin
Anna Marcel de Hermanas
Rochelle Broome

Non-board officers are:
Lee Reading – Treasurer
Milt Warden – Secretary

Committee Chairs:
Building & Grounds - Deb Evenchik 
Social Action - Kate Ramsey
Finance - Lee Reading
Nominating - Evan Yanik
Congregational Care - Larry Pearlman
Membership - Heidi Blozan and Maggie Schlubach
Personnel – Linda Tatsapaugh
Communications contact - Susan Culler
Governance – Evan Yanik
Religious Education - Jessie Figuera, Jim Carillon, Heidi Blozan (rotating)
Coffee Hour Hosts Coordinator - Carolyn Shorkey
Sunday Service Associates - Diane Graham (rotating)
Strategic Planning Task Force - Michael Figuera
Memorial Garden - Dawn Wilson

Sunday Service Production:
Evan Yanik, AV producer/editor
Annelinde Metzner, Choir director and piano
Sue Stone, piano
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Swannanoa Valley
500 Montreat Road
Black Mountain, NC 28711
(828) 669-8050 (email preferred during pandemic)
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UUCSV  •  500 Montreat Road  •  Black Mountain, NC 28711

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