|January 2022 Vol. III: Issue 7|
End a quarrel. Seek out a forgotten friend.
Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust. Write a love letter. Share some treasure. Give a soft answer. Keep a promise. Find the time. Forgo a grudge. Forgive an enemy. Listen. Apologize if you were wrong. Try to understand. Examine your demands on others. Think first of someone else. Be kind. Be gentle. Appreciate. Laugh a little. Laugh a little more. Express your gratitude. Gladden the heart of a child. Welcome a stranger. Take pleasure in the beauty and the wonder of the Earth. Speak your love. Speak it again. Speak it yet once again.
Happy New Year to All!
Rev. Michael J. S. Carter
|Music Schedule for January|
January 2- Sue Stone, piano: prelude, postlude and offertory. Special music by Aditi Sethi and Jay Brown.
January 9- Second Sunday featuring Eileen Kennedy, voice. Linda Metzner, piano: prelude, postlude, offertory and 2 hymns.
January 16- Linda Metzner, piano: prelude, postlude, offertory and 3 hymns.
January 23- Two Choir videos; Sue Stone, piano: prelude, postlude and 2 hymns.
January 30- Linda Metzner, piano: prelude, postlude and 3 hymns.
|From Our Membership Committee|
Your membership committee would like to introduce our new members in a timely manner. However this introduction comes after Rochelle and Deb have already been happily, joyfully integrated into this community. We are so glad you are here! Here are a few words they used to introduce themselves. If you don't already know them you will want to!
Rochelle Broome has lived in Black Mountain since late 2019. She is a family physician and devoted cook to anyone who chooses to grace her table. She also loves to participate in water aerobics at the Black Mountain YMCA, sing, and is a member of the UUCSV choir. She has been married to Debbie Evenchik since 2014, but they've been together since 1979.
Deb Evenchik is a retired accountant and business consultant, who now volunteers on a few Boards and also helps to coordinate activities of the Building and Grounds Committee. Deb is the very happy beneficiary of Rochelle's cooking, and always looks forward to her and Rochelle's time on the Harley.
By Heidi Blozan, Rochelle Broome, and Deb Evenchik
The Luckiest Man in the World
There are two primary reasons that Andy Reed feels like he is indeed the luckiest man in the world.
He is quick to credit his Unitarian parents for being an example to walk the talk for social justice. In the 1960s his Mom took a leadership role to racially integrate Asheville’s YWCA. It was the second YWCA to integrate in the nation and the first in the South. And when the burgeoning Unitarian Congregation in Asheville purchased an old West Asheville house to be its new home, his folks were among five young couples who did a lot of the needed renovation. His Dad, too, was an example and role model of a good community leader. Through their example, Andy’s parents taught him the importance of standing up for what is right and of giving back to their community.
Secondly, Andy feels very fortunate that he knows what he does well and is clear about what he does not do well. Like our other UUCSV volunteers, Andy readily shares his time helping us at tasks he is good at doing. He has developed and presented two Sunday Services, serves on the Membership, Auction, and Communication Committees, and volunteers to be a Greeter on Sunday mornings. He is an enthusiastic member of our choir. Andy believes a community is strengthened when its members share what they are good at doing!
Andy's belief about sharing time, talent, and treasure is this: Give until it feels good . . . not until it hurts!
And what does Andy like about UUCSV? Definitely the people. And, the size of the congregation. At more or less the population of a traditional African village—100-150 people—we can know each other well and support each other. And that is a good thing.
by Caroline Shorkey
Thank goodness for the Now
I am so lucky to live where I do.
Lucky for Mountain Mobility and for our lovely senior center,
Lucky for the Marjorie McCune Senior Center where I live,
Lucky for my large generous loving family.
It is hard to watch the news with so much misery, hunger and hurt all over the world.
Yes, some people make their own troubles, but so many, especially the children, are innocent victims and there is so little I can do about it.
We can pray, we can donate, but the need is overwhelming.
Take a walk, get out in nature, listen to the birds that sing even in the winter.
Nature is healing for the hurting soul.
Bare branches in wintertime are beautiful and full of promise for a warm green flowering spring.
The birds and wild animals don't seem to worry, they seem to just live in the moment, a very healing way to live.
Try to be like the wild things, living in the now, since there is very little I can do to about the World other than be myself,
Loving and caring.
Thank goodness for the Now.
By Ann Sillman
All We Ever Are
Thousands of years, we have found ways to live
integrated into Earth life, warm, colorful,
artistic, joy-filled, unique to each place.
Each corner of this perfect globe
has its arts, its languages,
its people ingrained in the life of that place,
seeds sprouting in native soil.
Yes, we were born for this!
A daily life of magic, of ingenuity,
creativity, days spent unearthing
the gifts of our soul’s being.
Now I hear, “protect yourself,
shield yourself, be on your guard,”
warnings that seem to make sense for these times,
a natural response to the ugly, the unwarranted,
the cruel, the violent, the unjust.
But here I sit beside the quiet waters,
life still churning within me,
joy bubbling up from nowhere,
and I am on notice:
“I am coming,” She cries,
“and you will see...
Soon I will bring the spring flowers to bloom,
the migrating birds to return to your window.
Regenerate! is My call,
all you who are heavy laden.
Rebirth is our watchword, all we ever are.
Look to the East with Me,
the bright burst of sun in the sky,
and call out to Me with your urgent voice,
your ancient joy and pleasure,
with all the pure love you can wield.”
By Annelinde Metzner
Nine degrees in the early morning dark
was too cold to walk my usual four miles.
Instead I listened to a suggestion to circle
the taller hotel to a nearby smaller park.
Glad to step off these commercial streets,
I quickly found the park. There a small
pond frozen solid was circled by a path
with a tiny grove of leafless trees beyond.
My new ballcap – a gift yesterday from my son –
wasn’t enough so I pulled a wool cap over my ears.
That helped but sucking in cold air even with
no wind got to me sooner than expected.
Decided not to walk onto the inviting frozen pond
just in case the ice wasn’t as solid as it looked --
some choices just come easier with advance years.
(My aching back from the last bad choice helped.)
Rather I quickly retreated to warmth of our hotel,
accomplishing less than a mile in the cold.
Sunup from our fifth-floor window confirmed
how short I traveled to this nearer park.
Of course the shorter distance matters little
except it confirms by degrees my aging
and constant narrowing of experiences that
accompany these supposedly wiser choices.
No longer do I push myself as much these days,
leading me to wonder what I’ll forego next.
How much else have I already retreated from or
soon will only remember than newly experience?
How much less living by degrees will I next choose?
by Jim Carillon
December 19, 2021
"Down the Road" - a recorded song written and performed
by Bill Altork
January 6 - Kathryn Coyle
January 7 - Robert Tynes
January 9 - Teresa Ballinger
January 17 - Jean Brown
January 20 - Anne Sillman
January 24 - Nancy Gavin
January 31 - Jim Carillion
2022 is here already
The New Year always brings such an interesting balance of poignance and promise. This year, in the face of yet another wave, a new variant of the Covid 19 pandemic that has upended all our lives I find myself longing for the renewal of new beginnings and the chance to reinvent myself anew, but finding frustration, anxiety, and exhaustion. Though I’ve been enjoying my holiday with family I’m having a hard time getting excited (even as excited as I was a few months ago) Once again I turn to Braver/Wiser for a bit of hope, comfort, and inspiration. This has been a very challenging year for me and at the moment I see little to assure me that 2022 will be much easier, but I’m attempting to recalibrate my expectations. I’m trying to (again) slow down, meditate more, try to appreciate the natural introspection that this darker time of year inspires. I’m trying too to be gentler and more patient with myself and others. If you’re also in need of someone else’s words to lift you up below are a couple recent submissions that spoke to me. I hope you’ll find something (if not this) that can help you find what you need.
Best wishes today & throughput the new year.
by Susan Enwright Hicks
Once a great order, a decaying monastery had only five monks left. The order was dying. In the surrounding deep woods, there was a little hut that a Rabbi from a nearby town used from time to time. The monks always knew the Rabbi was home when they saw the smoke from his fire rise above the tree tops. As the Abbot agonized over the imminent death of his order, it occurred to him to ask the Rabbi if he could offer any advice that might save the monastery.
The Rabbi welcomed the Abbot at his hut. When the Abbot explained the reason for his visit, the Rabbi could only commiserate with him. “I know how it is,” he exclaimed. “The spirit has gone out of the people. It is the same in my town. Almost no one comes to the synagogue anymore.” So the Abbot and the Rabbi sat together discussing the Bible and their faiths. The time came when the Abbot had to leave.
“It has been a wonderful visit,” said the Abbot, “but I have failed in my purpose. Is there nothing you can tell me to help save my dying order?”
“The only thing I can tell you,” said the Rabbi, “is that the Messiah is among you.”
When the Abbot returned to the monastery, his fellow monks gathered around him and asked, “What did the Rabbi say?”
“He couldn’t help,” the Abbot answered. “The only thing he did say, as I was leaving was that the Messiah is among us. Though I do not know what these words mean.”
In the months that followed, the monks pondered this and wondered whether there was any possible significance to the Rabbi’s words: The Messiah is among us? Could he possibly have meant that the Messiah is one of us monks here at the monastery? If that’s the case, which one of us is the Messiah?
Do you suppose he meant the Abbot? Yes, if he meant anyone, he probably meant Father Abbot. Certainly he could not have meant Brother Elred! Elred gets crotchety at times. But come to think of it, even so, Elred is virtually always right. Maybe the rabbi did mean Brother Elred. Of course the Rabbi didn’t mean me. He couldn’t possibly have meant me. I’m just an ordinary person. Yet supposing he did? Suppose I am the Messiah?
As they contemplated in this manner, the monks began to treat each other with extraordinary respect on the off chance that one among them might be the Messiah and in turn, each monk began to treat himself with extraordinary respect.
It so happened that people still occasionally came to visit the beautiful forest and monastery. Without even being conscious of it, visitors began to sense a powerful spiritual aura. They were sensing the extraordinary respect that now filled the monastery. Hardly knowing why, people began to come to the monastery frequently to picnic, to play, and to pray. They began to bring their friends, and their friends brought their friends. Then it
happened that some of the younger men who came to visit the monastery started to talk more and more with the older monks.
After a while, one asked if he could join them. Then, another and another asked if they too could join the abbot and older monks. Within a few years, the monastery once again became a thriving order, a vibrant center of light and spirituality in the
Happy New Year! Looking forward, not backward, and trying to stay focused on NOW!
Next month's theme:
"Living Safe in Body, Mind and Spirit."
|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 and Maggie Schlubach
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, Deb Evenchik, AV producer/editor
Annelinde Metzner, Choir director and piano
Sue Stone, piano