|October, 2021 Vol. III: Issue 4|
|As I write this we are a day shy of the|
Autumn Equinox on September 22, 2021. This is a time of transition as the days get shorter and the leaves change colors and begin to teach us how beautiful it is to let go. I love this time of year when the mornings are crisp and cool. Sandals are traded for shoes and boots as we go for our morning and evening strolls.
Indeed, there is something sad and beautiful about this time of year as we let go of summertime. October baptizes us with leaves as we wrap ourselves in corduroy. It's colors stimulate the senses and culminates in Halloween. I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers!
Autumn Equinox Blessing
My Heart is the home of a banquet, and so I sing a song of thanks for all the gifts, talents, blessings and treasures that fill my life to the fullest.
My life is a feast that overflows with the delights of your presence.
In thanksgiving, I rejoice in that river of gifts that flows from taste, smell, touch and sight.
May my life be an endless song of gratitude.
May this, my life song, be a magnet that draws me ever closer to you, O Divine One, who has whispered in the silent spaces of my heart words that speak the gift of gifts---
"You are my beloved."
Prayers for a Planetary Pilgrim: A Personal Manual for Prayer and Ritual by Edward Hays
October 3rd- Sue Stone, piano: prelude, offertory, postlude and 3 hymns.
Sue A. Stone
October 10th- Second Sunday: Heidi Blozan and Susan Hurley, The Two Divas, will each sing a solo for us on October 10th as part of our Second Sundays music program." Linda Metzner, piano: prelude, postlude and 2 hymns.
October 17th- Linda Metzner, piano: prelude, postlude, offertory and 3 hymns.
October 24th- UUCSV Choir, 2 virtual songs; Sue Stone, piano: prelude, postlude and 2 hymns.
October 31st- Linda Metzner, piano: prelude, postlude, offertory and 3 hymns. Maggie Moon, Linda Metzner, and Peggy Moore will coordinate music and dance in the Samhain Celtic tradition service. On the Celtic day of Samhain, the final celebration of harvest, and the end of the traditional Celtic year, we open the door to winter and to our own inner darkness. We are at a time where the veils between this world and Otherworld are thin. Our ancestors call us to look into the darkness and face our shadow-side, release our regrets and burn away all that we need to release. The clearing and the burning can help us heal and prepare us for the birth of our Light within, celebrated at the winter solstice.
“Oh the colors abound in the whole world around and in everything under the sun.” (Musings from an immigrant’s granddaughter)
As I sit down to write a reflection on COLOR, I smile noticing that I am wearing my woven sandals that are pink, blue, yellow, and metallic gold. They remind me of the colorful woven pieces that hung on my grandmother’s walls, the bold color embroidery of her shawls when she went out, and her colorful aprons when she was in the kitchen. Though she lived in a part of town that my parents found distressing, there was always music and laughter there, and a backdrop of the bright colors of Mexico. The old linoleum floor was red; it was cracked and faded, but it was red.
No one in my middle class neighborhood had red floors, no one’s mothers wore dangly turquoise earrings (like my grandma) and no one, not even my father whose family came from Mexico, spoke Spanish. The message was fit in, don’t call attention to yourself, act “white” (without color). My poor parents, trying so hard to be unlike their immigrant families, neglected to nurture the color in their children. Yet all of my siblings were very colorful and creative - painting, writing poetry and stories, building castles and forts out of scrap wood and fabric. We all wanted to paint our rooms red or purple or my own favorite, “terra cotta.” But my mother liked white or at best, cream: no bright colors allowed. I remember gray and navy blue coats, maybe some subtle pastels for spring, but nothing “gaudy”. Any slip might give it away: “Don’t talk with your hands, don’t laugh so loud, don’t talk so fast.”
When we were children, we just thought that our parents were strict and a little weird. We didn’t know they were afraid to show their true colors, afraid to be anything other than white. It was only when we were adults that we came to own our true colors, my sister and I changing our names (Hermanas means sisters), my brother falling in love with the woman speaking Spanish on his language study tapes, all of us “hippies” - which was really just our breaking away from white culture and embracing our colorful gypsy souls. Our parents never really understood what happened, but I believe somewhere my grandma is smiling and perhaps humming “De Colores.”
by Anna Marcel de Hermanas
Anna Marcel de Hermanas
|Volunteer Spotlight - Special Places|
Our longtime member David Reid, has a passion for special places. He has called the Swannanoa Valley his home since 1984. During these past 37 years he has grown deep roots in this region.
One of his special places is the UUCSV. He has served on two separate rotations as a member of our Board of Trustees and took on the role of President of the Board twice. Years ago, he offered his skill set as a technology specialist to research, recommend, and supervise the upgrade of our sanctuary’s video and audio system. On call, David has drifted in and out providing technological support to our minister and office managers. He finds great joy in participating in our choir and sharing his music as a guest musician at a Sunday Service. Supporting our congregation with his time, talents and treasure provides David with a sense of fulfillment.
David’s passion for protecting special places has propelled him into leadership roles with the NC Chapter of the Sierra Club. He is past Chair and currently the Treasurer of the state-wide club. He is also the Chairperson of the NC Chapter of the Sierra Club’s National Forest Initiative, wherein David and his group address the land use planning for 1.1 million acres of national forest in WNC. So next time you are hiking in the Pisgah or Nantahala Forests whisper gratitude for David’s commitment to the special place you are enjoying.
Oh, if you see him volunteering at the sound system in the back of the Sanctuary on a Sunday morning, ask him about his special places!
by Carolyn Shorkey
A change of seasons
a few leaves drifting down with
the gentle breeze.
splash the slopes with bright yellow while the wild
black-eyed Susan's shine in contrast,
white petals with dark centers.
Trees and slopes are still mostly
darker shades of green with an occasional
glimmer of the red, maroon and yellow
which will soon brighten bushes and trees everywhere.
A great splash of fall color
will soon follow, lasting till
frost curls the foliage
causing a great rain of leaves.
The beautiful structure of the trees will again
be visible for several months till spring
will awaken them again with pale green
foliage and flowers
for a new season of color.
By Ann Sillman
I sit with closed eyes
A blank dark area invites me
Devoid of color
Waiting for inspiration.
Give me light and I see
The vast technicolor existence of
After all, other animals
Don't develop colorful vision.
Color is a joy
Given to art
Those 64 crayon colors
All possibilities again.
by Barbara Rogers
|2021 Auction efforts proceed|
The Auction last year contributed a large sum to UUCSV, an especially important fund raiser during our COVID limitations. This year the volunteers are contacting everyone in our community. If you haven't received any request for a donation yet, please call or email Larry Pearlman at firstname.lastname@example.org or (602) 501-8471. Otherwise, just send your information to your contact volunteer. Big news! Our deadline has been extended from Oct. 15 to Oct. 30. Yes, you can come up with something more to give!
As we go to our Third Annual Auction—a hybrid version in 2021—we’ll begin Sunday, Nov. 7 with an online catalogue, for silent bidding and conclude with the live event at UUCSV on Saturday, Nov. 13—we hope you’ll participate once again.
by The Third Annual Auction Communications Committee
|October 2 - Pam Sain|
October 11 - Geoff Stone
October 15 - Diane Graham,
October 30 - Linda Tatsapaugh
Happy birthday to all who are celebrating another trip around the sun in October. If you wish to add your birthday to our list (without the year) please contact Heidi Blozan or Maggie Schlubach, co-chairs of the Membership Committee.
|Climate change - doing our part|
"You're not trying hard enough. Sorry. Please save your praise, we don't want it. Don't invite us here to tell us how inspiring we are without doing anything about it. It doesn't lead to anything." Greta Thunberg (young Swedish activist) said to the US Senate.
"Listening to the Land" a pilgrimage for nature, autumn 2021, currently walking from England to Scotland.
"20 English people are walking all the way from London to the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, a journey of over 500 miles travelled over nine weeks. During that time, the pilgrims are meeting with people -- land-workers, community groups, art groups, spiritual groups of all faiths, and others -- to listen to their concerns about climate change. They are also listening to the land itself, and visiting sacred sites along the route. In Glasgow, they will present a performance -- created during the walk, weaving in the voices and concerns of those met along the way -- to the UN delegates and to the public."
One person at a time, doing whatever each of us may choose to do...giving hope or inspiration to each other that will grow to systemic levels to address the Climate Crisis.
Someone cleans our creeks of refuse, and others go to political rallies. One works with ideas like "Plastic Free July" while someone else shares links to encourage vegan eating. An auction item for UUCSV will be bamboo containers to replace plastic for left overs. A year ago Bette Bates (in Tidings) gave us a recipe for plastic free laundry detergent.
New member and Tidings proof reader, Sue Stone adds "that there are now several plastic free detergent options. She uses Eco Strips that come in cardboard envelopes that have plastic free strips that you put in your wash and that clean very well, which are fragrance free. She uses "Tru Earth." They are ultra concentrated and very convenient, but know there are now several brands out there. She gets them mailed to her as she has not found in the stores."
"Tree Hugger Newsletter" gives Best of Green Awards for "Eco Decor" products in our homes. This daily bit of news always has an upbeat article about someone somewhere, including the design and construction of homes that take into account climate issues and sometimes efforts of industry.
Their recent review of a book "We’re All Climate Hypocrites Now," included this quote from Sami Grover, the author:
"It started out as an effort to debunk the idea of individual action being important, and instead became a celebration of a broad and diverse group of incredible people who are all, however imperfectly, trying to navigate a path through this mess together. "
We each do make a difference. We can examine what's going on, and give a great gift to each other, Hope.
by Barbara Rogers
|In Our Community - Photography|
Artist photographer and UUCSV member, Herb Way is taking part in a show at the Swannanoa Valley Fine Arts League, aka The Red House.
|Fare thee well, Norm Kowal|
Norm Kowal as King of Mardi Gras
Saying good bye to Norm Kowal. My own life was enhanced by getting to know many UUCSVers at the monthly pot lucks (Friday Flings) with movies that Norm hosted for many years. He would offer several movie choices, with the goal of enjoying and discussing the movies with the other participants. After we imbibed some of his wine and delicious food, he packed up all the dishes and flatware to take home and wash. It was always a pleasant evening. Norm was our Volunteer of the Month earlier this year.
As Rev. Michael announced Sept. 14:
"On September 13th, at 5:02 am, our dear friend and member of UUCSV, Norm Kowal died from COVID-19 and a fracture in his neck he took from a fall. His family did get a chance to see him yesterday morning and he spoke with them. Norm has been a member of UUCSV since 2004. He hosted the "Friday Fling" gatherings on the third Friday of each month for as long as I can remember, probably longer. He will be deeply missed here in our community. Norm Kowal was 84 years old.
"I have spoken to his daughter Marya and she says that for now they do not need any care but will notify me if and when that need changes. She expressed how much her father enjoyed being a member of UUCSV. Plans for a memorial service will come at a later date, and she plans to have the service here. Please keep Norm and his family in your thoughts and prayers."
by Rev. Michael Carter
UUCSV Board Meeting Abbreviated Minutes
Thursday, September 23, 2021
Lee Reading, our volunteer Treasurer, reported that the attendees at our Sunday Services have been generous with the contributions received in the plate collection, and pledges received are $8,000 ahead of last year. The Bridge the Gap fund has received nearly $8,000 in donations so far. He views your generosity to be very positive for our balance sheet.
Board President and volunteer videographer, Evan Yanik, said if all goes as planned, he hopes that beginning with the October 3rd service, Sunday Services will be live streamed at 11:00 on Sunday morning and posted on our YouTube channel. By then, we will have increased our internet speed and with the router Evan has donated, we hope to have a good quality live streamed Sunday Service. Evan indicted that he needs one back up person to work the camera during services. It is easy to do with your cell phone.
A discussion took place about whether our COVID safety protocols should be changed due to rising COVID cases in our community. Rochelle pointed out that our current protocol is effective. We have installed a state-of-the art ventilation and air filtering system, people are masked, and most people are vaccinated making the risk for the spread of infection very small. However, each person must weigh their own risk verses benefit when they decide if they will attend Sunday Services. The Board decided to continue the hybrid approach to Sunday Services offering virtual, recorded and live streamed Sunday Services.
We need more persons to step up and offer to clean the inside of the church building. Contact Jackie Franklin.
Evan reported that Larry and team are doing a great job preparing for the auction. There will be a live auction of 8 to 10 items with the rest of the items being auctioned virtually over time. The virtual auction will be open to anyone, so Evan suggested telling friends about the auction.
Susan reported that with the 11 in-person services we’ve held this summer, there have been no children showing up at church for childcare. She will put an announcement in The Current asking parents to let her know if they intend to bring children to church so she can arrange for childcare. She is scheduling a few in-person social gatherings for the families this autumn and continuing to offer weekly Zoom lessons for children.
The Board will prioritize expenditures to eventually implement the safety improvements to our building, recommended by the police and fire departments.
After having read and discussed 25 books, the Racial Justice Book Club was dissolved.
In-person Board Retreat will be October 16, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Next Regular Board meeting: October 27 @ 6:00 p.m. on Zoom
Milt Warden, Board Secretary
Color is an important aspect of all our arts, expressions of our emotions through movement, pace, deepness or lightness of shades, the heat or coolness that matches our moods, in literature, poetry, music and of course painting.
How about our spiritual pursuits? Again, the marriage of our emotional life comes to mind as to how we experience our individual sense of a Higher Being, or the Universal Expressions of Life. I see color linking to my belief system, just as plants, flowers, trees have changes throughout the cycle of the year.
"Fall is the time when nature speaks most clearly to me. In autumn one is treated to an orgy of sights, sounds, and smells that can be wonderfully overwhelming. The stifling late-summer heat is mercifully cleared by cooler air overnight. Breathing is suddenly easier and the soaking sweat evaporates. You want to inhale deeply enough to take in every molecule wafting on the wind. The tired sameness of September’s deep green fades then flames into October’s vermilion sumacs and scarlet maples, lemon-yellow poplars and golden hickories. In those days of crispness I want to linger long enough to hear every sound and look far enough to see into forever."
By the poetic ornithologist and wildlife ecologist J. Drew Lanham in
The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature.
As quoted in Brain Pickings Newsletter by Maria Popova
For November's Tidings topic let's jump onto a familiar boat of "Gratitude." Tis the season, after all.
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 - Deb Evenchik
Social Action - Kate Ramsey
Finance - Lee Reading
Nominating - Evan Yanik
Congregational Care - Larry Pearlman
Membership - Heidi Blozan/Maggie Schlubach (co-chairs)
Personnel – Linda Tatsapaugh/Kathryn Coyle (co-chairs)
Communications - 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