March 2022 Vol. III: Issue 9
" March on. Do not tarry. To go forward is to move toward perfection."
--- Kahlil GIbran
March is one of the months that is sometimes described as an "in between" month regarding the transition from winter to spring. It is a month of events such as daylight savings time (March 13th this year), as well as St. Patrick's Day, and March 1st is Mardi Gras aka "Fat Tuesday." Let's also remember that March 2, is Ash Wednesday on the Christian Calendar. We also begin our Canvass Kickoff on March 13th
so don't forget to set those clocks if you want to attend the service that morning. March is named after the Roman god of war, Mars. In the early Roman Calendar, March (Martius in Latin) was the first month of the calendar year because it brought the first day of spring with the equinox, and so it is a time of new beginnings. And boy could we use it!
After two years of pestilence, insane politics, social upheaval, wars and rumors of wars, a new beginning will be nice, even if only psychologically. Many of us have covid fatigue and need a lifting of our spirits and sunshine and warmer temps sure do help. What is also helpful is knowing that we have each other. The theme of this month's Canvass Kickoff is Marching Forward Towards Growth. To be sure, this theme can also be said as the reason for living as a sentient being and I would not argue with that. However, this canvass will suggest the importance of how we march forth as a free, liberal, religious community, and what that means for us as individuals and for our congregation.
I want to leave with you with a few things to mull over as we turn the page and prepare for the season of Spring. It has been a long two years so be gentle with yourself. I too anticipate a time when this virus will subside and we can begin a new normal. Let me suggest to you that at this time in our history, as a nation and as a part of a global community, to remember the power of forgiveness. The world will never be what we would like it to be, at least not completely, and we must learn to forgive the world for not being what we thought it would be. In this way we can see it for what it really is. That is true freedom. To release unrealistic expectations--of ourselves as well as others. In this way we can enter this time of rebirth with a little less baggage than before.
This does not mean that we do not work for the world we would like to attain, not at all. But it does mean that we will have to endure less wear and tear on our psyche and on our nervous systems. You have to forgive this reality for being different than you imagined it to be. For those who believe in a God, you may have to re-examine and forgive that God for not being the god you imagined He, She, It, to be. In this way we can not only embody the change we wish to see in the world, we will get to observe it and enjoy it as well. Forgive yourself. Forgive the world. Forgive God. Begin to live.
"As human beings we make choices. Choices have consequences. The only way wrong gets in is when we put it on the path, when we judge ourselves and others. Life is merciful! Life offers us an endless supply of do overs. Life always offers an opportunity to do it over until you receive the desired results of your heart. This is the key of your righteousness (right-use-ness)."
--- Ron Hulnick
Rev. Michael J. S. Carter
March 6 - Sue Stone, piano: prelude, postlude, offertory and 3 hymns
March 13 - Second Sunday, trio, Rochelle, Deb and Spence;
Deb and Ro have been playing and singing together since 1977, when they met at Kent State University. They played coffeehouses, fundraisers and small concert venues all throughout college and music has been a part of their life together ever since.
Spence is a longtime drummer, freelancing and playing with various ensembles, professionally and for fun. He took up the ukulele and morphed into Trent River Slim, the bluesman a few years ago.
This is the first collaboration of this trio, and they look forward to a wonderful musical sharing with the congregation of UUCSV!
Linda Metzner piano: postlude and 2 hymns
March 20 - Linda Metzner, piano: prelude, postlude, offertory and 3 hymns
March 27 - Two Choir videos; Sue Stone, piano: prelude, postlude and 2 hymns
|From Our Membership Committee|
He is a very interesting man, a scholar one might say. His partner is Ruh, they often come to church together.
They live in Swannanoa with their chihuahua, Alice. Scott comes to us from many places and just to start with he grew up in Denver and Salt Lake City. Then he lived in Florida, Indiana, Panama and Germany. Those are the places he lived. Someday he might be willing to share stories of all the places he has visited! He has lived in this area for 11 years total and 3 years ago returned from some of those adventures I hinted toward.
His education is vast and has many letters behind his name, PhD(Philosophy), DBA(Managment), MDiv, MA, MS and MSEo! If you ask what he did during his career the answer would be Professor of organizational management and philosophy. What is so cool is that all that education still plays a large role in what he does today. He volunteers with hospice, does interfaith ministry, and grief counseling.
Scott says the 3 main things to know about him are that: the army made him into a teacher mainly in the way of becoming a counselor; he taught students at the undergrad and graduate level and thirdly, he has been volunteering for hospice for 25 years and works especially with veterans! This begs me to ask how old he is but I didn’t.
He was first a UU in Greensboro and has been a general assembly delegate 6 times! Then there is a whole other topic of expertise he has gained. He is very interested in 1st century Christianity and especially the authentic letters of Paul. He once taught a course on these letters that was supposed to last a few weeks and it ended up that he and his students studied them for 5 months!
And finally, one thing he would still like to do is to erase the ignorance of the impact that Christianity has on our culture. Very interesting man. I hope you will welcome him, and Ruh as well.
I’ve seen Jonny B around town and at ArtSpace Charter school for years, but it wasn’t until he started attending UUCSV that I really got acquainted with him. Until that point, I knew him only as the friendly guy that would easily offer a smile.
I’m so glad to have had the opportunity to sit down with him for this interview. The stats are important: he's married to Mary Noble, a local realtor, and they have two children, Foster (17) and Lily (14). They also have three springer spaniels and a small herd of goats and chickens.
But what I find really interesting is who Jonny is and who he is becoming. A little background may be helpful.
He was born and raised in Fresno California. His family moved to Missoula, Montana, when he was in high school. He lived in Colorado and found his way to Birmingham, Alabama, where he met his wife and Foster was born. Maybe it was living in these places, or maybe it is innate, but he has an adventurous spirit. When asked about his education he replied that his greatest growth has been through life itself, not necessarily formal education.
Jonny’s had quite a number of “Aha!” moments that have made a significant impact. He and Mary Noble remember the moment they knew their lives would be together. At some point later he and Mary Noble put the names of three places in a hat and repeatedly pulled out Black Mountain. That was 17 years ago.
Johnny’s newest endeavor is a tea truck called Root Tea Fruit Tea. He and his business partner are hoping to kick off their venture this spring and, especially, be present at festivals to offer healthy, balancing beverages.
Please join me in welcoming Jonny B to our community.
Retreat at Wildacres
The cabin is silent, no footsteps but mine.
At the desk, my choices,
this poem or that, the world's bounty before me.
I choose some for now, and some for later.
At the piano, yesterday's work, glowing,
my father's pencils,
a friend's best erasers.
I live and breathe here in the center of the world.
I do what I was born to do.
Last night the owl woke me, right by my window,
and stood the hairs up on my arms.
Ten times she hooted, "Who are you?"
But now I know.
Annelinde Metzner, composer and poet
- August 26, 2021
Sounds of No Silence
A meditative moment of silence eludes me still:
Waking hours filled with near constant barrage of seemingly
music when I can get to it, conversations among those with whom I work,
frequent squeaks and non-verbal pleas from our infant
whenever he’s awake.
I can hardly remember earlier quiet moments
with time to think, to feel, to reach within.
Even now my baby calls to retrieve him from his crib
so I must leave this writing yet again.
I realize much of this I choose to include in my life --
no one need fix this problem save me.
Also remember that when I die there WILL be time to sleep.
Till then, much noise (like the poor) will be with me always.
Friends and family,
This is my attempt to describe, in the most tender way I know how, the passage from here to what is next. In doing so, may the passing be more comfortable.
Please remember to read below the video (on YouTube) for the lyrics to be followed if needed.
The Relative Quietude of Life with Children
As I write this my house is as quiet as it ever gets…my husband is out, my children are asleep, but is it silent?
Not. Even. Close.
The dishwasher hums and swishes and clicks.
The kit-cat clock ticks, ticks, ticks, eyes and tail darting.
Our actual cat, having successfully displaced my laptop in part, purrs her soft, old purr.
If I were to creep to the door of their room I’d hear the soft purrs of my children too - the nearly imperceptible snores of the two boys I’m fortunate to call my own.
Through the windows I hear the song of crickets.
And of course the light clattering of my own keystrokes breaks the silence, but still this mock-quiet brings me peace so long have I been steeped in the chaos of Motherhood.
Children are loud. Maybe not all, and maybe not taken individually, but my two children (especially together) are loud.
Their voices can be quite shrill, they love noisy toys, they often squabble, and even when they aren’t quarreling, their excited, physical play frequently sounds like fighting (or transitions from one to the other).
When they are happy they prattle on non-stop, when tired, or upset they’re prone to whine.
I wouldn’t trade my children for the world, but the never-ending noise can be overwhelming.
Being a parent in the pandemic has really made me come to terms with the more introverted parts of my nature, and the barrage of daily noise (and my difficulty in escaping it) has been a big part of that.
In trying to “live in the moment” and cultivate a practice of gratitude I have tried to revel in the fact that my children want my time and attention. They want to tell me jokes, and stories, they want me to download and sing ridiculous songs with them, and knowing they probably won’t always, I’m trying to appreciate each moment more. At times, however, I just have to try to hide away, or employ another strategy for finding a little quiet.
If you, dear reader, need some pointers on finding peace with children I offer the following links for your use.
Best of Luck!
Susan Enwright Hicks and family
It Takes a Village
In our congregation we pull together as a group to walk the talk of justice. That couldn’t be more true than our recent Social Action Committee’s response to sponsor the three member Afghan refugee family living in Jane and David’s basement apartment. UUCSV is providing support for just one of the 100 families recently settled in our area by Lutheran Services. Lutheran Services’ Immigration Support Program is called, The Circle of Welcome.
Katherine Tharp sprang into action along with Anna Marcel de Hermanas to be the co-coordinators for UUCSV’s Circle of Welcome in coordination with Lutheran Services. Although their job descriptions overlap, Anna is the primary liaison between Lutheran Services and our congregation’s support of this family. Katherine took on the primary responsibility of lining up church volunteers when Jane posts the need for a volunteer on an online calendar. Over 27 folks from our congregation have offered to answer Katherine’s call for transportation, grocery gift cards, community orientation/walks, tutoring, and as healthcare advocates for this young family. When asked why Katherine took on this volunteer coordination role, she says that our young family, whose entire life has been lived in a war torn country, deserve a chance for a better life.
You may also know Katherine through her work of distributing packets of postcards we write to inform citizens that they have been removed from the voter registration roles in their county. This postcard writing campaign is a nonpartisan national UU initiative to get out the vote. Look for announcements from Katherine in The Current for opportunities to write postcards.
We appreciate Katherine’s leadership to take on social action projects for the 6 years she has been involved at UUCSV. We are delighted that Katherine thrives in our “village”.
|Silence and Sensory Deprivation|
"The moment you start talking you create a verbal universe, a universe of words, ideas, concepts and abstractions, interwoven and inter-dependent, most wonderfully generating, supporting and explaining each other and yet all without essence or substance, mere creations of the mind.
"Words create words, reality is silent."
(inquiry before snow)
—E. E. Cummings
Sensory Deprivation and Silence
I sometimes try to be silent, to just "Be" as Rev. Michael reminded us last month in his sermon “Nature and the Sounds of Silence"...we are "Human Beings not Human Doings."
But even when we are completely still, our body still makes its own insistent small noises. Breath in, breath out. Heart beat. Sounds of digestion. And if you're like me, a ringing/buzzing in my ears constantly.
To try to sit in silence means getting away from all the other environmental noises. I have tried it once, many years ago, in a Sensory Deprivation Tank. It was a big long box, with a hinged lid in the middle. Inside was a pool of warm salt water about 18 inches deep, enough to float upon. When lying in it in my most comfortable bathing suit, perhaps with some headrest, and the door closed, there was nothing to see, hear, or feel except myself.
I don't remember how long I lay there, but I do remember the outcome for my personality. I had met myself. I had nothing but my own beingness to consider for that time. And I went through a lot of emotions while going through that experience.
When I finally stepped out, snuggled into a robe and then snacked something to become acclimated to physical reality again, I was pretty speechless. I wanted to journal, not chat about my experience.
That experience had been prompted through a book by John Lilly. who "...trained as a psychoanalyst. He gained renown in the 1950s after developing the isolation tank. He saw the tanks, in which users are isolated from almost all external stimuli, as a means to explore the nature of human consciousness." (Wikipedia article)
Silence may not be an attainable physical reality to our Beings while we are living and breathing; it can only be attained completely when we no longer are living. That is seldom a goal we rush towards, though as we age we become more aware of its inevitability. And with that consciousness of our own mortality, we come to deal more consciously with our own death.
The main outcome of my silence experience was introspection and an inventory of my faults, assets, dreams, and sorrows. I also realized how much I depend upon others in a community of friends and family. I am not one that can go into isolation for a very long time.
It's been great to see how those more immersed in family life have shared about the lack of silence in their lives. Being single and retired, I have more opportunity for silence; but I still go into the woods to really experience the incredible inspiration that (for me) can only happen there.
And I continue to find teachers, who have spent years experiencing their own spiritual growth, who speak wisely about silence. I listen to them.
by Barbara Rogers
"Silence will carry your voice like the nest that holds the sleeping birds."
March 7 - David Wells
March 8 - Kenny Phillips
March 14 - Ann Lutz
March 17 - Rochelle Broome
March 18 - Linda Metzner
March 19 - James Sheeler
March 20 - Elizabeth Bryan
March 23 - Susan Culler
March 24 - Anna Marcel de Hermanes
UUCSV Board Meeting Abbreviated Minutes
February 24, 2022
Our volunteer treasurer, Lee Reading, indicated that our financial situation is in “full recovery mode.”
There was unanimous approval to move most of Phil Fryberger’s bequest into the UUA UU Common Endowment Fund. Proceeds from that fund will be used to enhance our music program.
Evan reported that Lee plans to retire as treasurer at end of this fiscal year, June 30th. Presently Lee volunteers about 8 hours a week as Treasurer and much more during the budget formation and canvass.
The Building and Grounds Committee continues to coordinate with the Safety Committee on implementation of recommended safety protocols for access to and security of the building. They will begin planning for spring work on the drainage area in the back of the building.
The Congregational Care Committee provided services to 5 congregants including providing at least 3 meals, at least 9 house or hospital visits, at least 1 errand, sent cards, made phone calls, and provided 12 rides for non-medical purposes.
The Safety Committee is still researching window coverings for the sanctuary and is looking for a speaker for the planned armed intruder training.
The Social Action Committee (SAC) is busy with the New Americans (Afghan refugees) project. There are approximately 30 UUCSV volunteers helping with the project.
The Personnel Committee is working to make employee policies more uniform and permanent rather than annual contracts for all employees.
The Stewardship Committee has met and will roll out the annual canvass this month. The budget development for the 2022-23 Fiscal Year will be discussed with the Financial Committee and committee chairs before being sent to the Board for approval. Then it will be presented to the congregation at the annual meeting for final approval. Pledge forms should be filled out and submitted by April 1st. The budget process should be finished by early May. Anticipated pledges for the 2022-23 Fiscal Year goal is $113-$122,000.
Respectfully submitted by Milton Warden, Board Secretary
Next Regular Board meeting: March 24th @ 6:00 p.m.
The times have been very demanding. We’ve been hunkered down and isolated. Our interactions with loved ones and friends are strangely limited, digitized, and mediated. Zoom for meetings. Zoom for worship. Zoom for get-togethers. We’ve changed our lifestyle, but life has not changed along with us! And, no more profound reminder of this is the fact that we have lost
friends and loved ones. No, these heart-wrenching events could not...would not...wait until things got "back to normal." Our ways of responding to these losses were always somewhat tenuous (what can you say to your bereaved friend that hasn’t been said by thousands of others in equally ineffective ways?). Grief and bereavement, especially in the time of COVID, continues to mark our lives and the lives of our family, friends, and neighbors. As a culture, Americans are sadly inept in dealing with loss, expressing our pain, and conveying compassion for those touched by death. And in the age of COVID, that ineptitude can be magnified.
Under "normal circumstances," we tend to treat loss, bereavement, grief, and mourning from a number of unstated conceptions (or, more accurately, misconceptions) that, despite our best intentions and most sincere feelings, tend to make us ineffective grievers and, regrettably, insensitive friends, companions, and volunteer care-givers. What are some of these misconceptions that have shaped our approaches to death, dying, bereavement, care-taking, and general support?
These are just a few of the general misconceptions we carry around with us in our society. When encountering a friend or acquaintance who has lost someone, these misconceptions result in some extremely awkward (and often mean-sounding) expressions of comfort: "I’m sure you’ll feel better soon." "Well, at least his/her suffering is over." "I do hope you’ll get out and
- Grief proceeds in orderly phases. Actually, the notion of phases or stages of grief only makes sense when writing about it, after all words on paper must follow one after another. But, as all who have experienced grief can attest, there is no simple series of steps one takes to move into, through, and out of grief.
- After a time, you should be able to control your public displays of grief (especially if you are a man). Two things are wrong with this notion. First, grief is not on a time schedule. And, public displays (more correctly called "mourning") should be seen as making us uneasy rather than being somehow unacceptable expressions by the bereaved.
- When someone you love dies, you should "get over" (or move away from) grief as soon as possible. Statements such as this suggest that we (the non-bereaved) view grief and bereavement as some sort to malfunction that, if you are disciplined (like following a diet, or taking your medicine on a prescribed schedule), you will be able to somehow "get well."
- When you keep telling others how much you miss your loved one, or about the times the two of you enjoyed together, you are simply being selfish; you need to get over it. Storytelling is a vitally important activity for anyone suffering loss. If you don’t like hearing these stories about a lost loved one, then simply excuse yourself and join the others who are talking about the weather, or COVID, or whatever. But, grievers need to be able to tell stories, and friends need to learn to appreciate those oral memorials.
- Grief is a private journey; no one else can understand what you’re going through; no one can help you with your grieving–its up to you. Wrong! As a culture based on rampant individualism, we might like to have others grieve in private, but the reality is that grief really is a social activity, and requires interaction by and with others. Grief really is a community activity.
mingle, it’s not good to drown in your sorrow." Thankfully, many of your friends, neighbors, and acquaintances will stop making these and other clumsy remarks in a few weeks, then you will truly be alone with your grief.
For those suffering loss, for those who wish to become more
compassionate supporters of their bereaved friends, or for those who simply want to know more about the complex subjects of grief, bereavement, and mourning the Congregational Care Committee will host a series of seminars.
Indicate your interest by contacting Scott Traxler (828-460-6078) or answer the survey located in the church lobby, then watch for announcements in the church’s various media.
by Scott Traxler, CCC
|In February I attended a zoom reading group sponsored by CUUPS (Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans). I met some people who were just exploring Earth Centered concepts, and others who had been involved in something pagan for a while.|
It's called the "Pagan and Earth Centered Voices in Unitarian Universalism" book group!
We enjoyed getting to know each other in our first "big circle." Next month we'll be using break outs for "small circle" discussion.
We'll meet next month at 7 PM EST on Sunday March 20, 2022 to read
“Designing Ritual for All” by Maggie Beaumont pg 189
“Cultural Sharing and Misappropriation” by Carol Bodeau pg 211
You may choose to come for the whole series of 6 or just for the essays you like best. It's always the same Zoom "digital classroom." Those who register will get an email reminder about a week before. You can register at https://tinyurl.com/PaganVoicesBookGroup2022
by Barbara Rogers
|Thank you again to the great folks who contributed to this issue. Next month we're going to leap into supporting the Stewardship Campaign, so the Tidings Topic will be "GROWTH."|
At this moment in time, our world is disrupted by Russia's attack on the Ukraine. There are many ways this is beginning to affect our own lives. May we all look at each other with peace in our hearts, use our UUCSV community to support each other, to be our tribe in this world today.
|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 - Jane Carroll
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 - Contact RE Director Susan Enright Hicks
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, and Deb Evenchik
Annelinde Metzner, Choir director and piano
Sue Stone, piano