July 2022 Vol. IV Issue 1
“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”
- From Dune by Frank Herbert.
Well July is upon us. The year is officially more than half over and how the time flies. If you are like me, and your desire to stay informed is interfering with your desire to stay sane, just roll with it. It's a hot lazy time. Fear is running rampant in the streets and it may seem like the world is going up in flames. Yet those who let fear run their lives will never be at peace. Fear defeats more people than any other thing in the world.
This is not to say that we should live life recklessly and not use common sense in our day to day affairs. It does mean that it would be wise to not let too much of the outside noise during our 24 hour news cycles sway you too much. Many of human fears are born out of loneliness and fatigue.
Summer gives us many chances to hit the pause button. A pause in the journey is not a signal that nothing is happening. It just means it may be an opportunity to be present and to catch up a bit with all that is going on.
July (and summer in general is like that for me). So don't just do something---stand there! Enjoy this month of July.
And remember the above quote from the author of Dune. And also remember that almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes---including you!
Rev. Michael J. S. Carter
Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let not this blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore, be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams; it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.
|Music schedule for July 2022|
July 3 - Sue Stone, piano: prelude, postlude, offertory and 3 hymns.
July 10 - Second Sunday: Rochelle Broome, voice; Deb Evenchik, guitar; Spence Foscue, percussion. Linda Metzner, piano: postlude and 2 hymns.
July 17 - Linda Metzner, piano: prelude, postlude, offertory and 3 hymns.
July 24 - UUCSV Choir, 2 anthems; Sue Stone, piano: prelude, postlude, and 2 hymns.
July 31 - Linda Metzner, piano: prelude, postlude, offertory and 3 hymns
See below for concert with many of our musicians offering their talents.
Put this on your calendars! Our talented community is giving a concert on Sunday, July 24th, 2 to 4 PM at the Lake Tomahawk stage, to benefit the Afghan family that we have adopted. Admission and refreshments by donation.
Performers include Bill Altork; Andy Gwynn and Paul Garrity; Rochelle Broome, Deb Evenchik and Spence Foscue; Danu and Chelsea; and the UUCSV Choir.
|Some Thoughts on Integrity |
From Susan Enwright Hicks, RE
When contemplating the word “Integrity” this week all I can seem to think is how bankrupt of integrity several of our Supreme Court Justices seem to have been when answering questions on the subject of Roe v. Wade during their confirmation hearings. I suppose each of them felt they were acting with integrity according to their own moral alignment, but it is painful to see how those choices have come to bear on our nation.
To an extent the two meanings of integrity feel at odds to me within the scope of the Supreme Court. One definition is “a quality of being honest and having strong moral principles…” I suppose the justices’ moral principles allowed them to feel justified in being disingenuous at their confirmations. The second definition of integrity is “the state of being whole and undivided”; the Supreme Court is certainly not undivided as a body on this, or perhaps any, issue. Additionally it seems to me that the very notion of being a judge should lead one to always being at least somewhat internally divided. How can you impartially decide on a matter if you cannot, to some extent, empathize with more than one position?
F. Scott Fitzgerald is quoted as saying: “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.” In these fraught and frustrating times I’d urge us all to hold to our moral integrity, but try to keep minds and hearts open enough to maintain our compassion and our intelligence.
Director, July 2022
Alan Maddox and Susan Moore
I came to their log cabin via a long wooded driveway. We sat on the screened porch, which overlooks a long-range view in the direction of the Blue Ridge Parkway. They are settled, happy, and content. They found one another 20 years ago and they found us during the pandemic.
Alan’s not quite a native, but he did spend some of his childhood here. Before his family moved to Black Mountain in 1961, they had lived in California, Kentucky, South Carolina and Franklin, NC. But he graduated from Owen High School in 1963 – and finally came back 34 years later, in 1997! So what took him so long? Well, you’ll be glad you asked.
He spent about 20 of those years as a veterinarian working on farm animals – often as a public servant of sorts, since he'd barter when the farmer couldn’t afford the vet bill. But eventually he decided to become, of all things, a truck driver – and was clearly in it for the long haul, since he did it for 25 years! (Sorry, I just couldn't resist that.)
Alan has one grown daughter, as well as a nickname given to him before he was even born, "Spike" Apparently it fit him well, because it's stuck with him all his life.
As for Susan, she, too, has local roots, in her case going back generations. She grew up in Hot Springs, in Madison County, and she too was a public servant: a home health and public health nurse for 40 years. Susan returned to Hot Springs after living in Asheville, other areas of Madison County, and Clark County (home of Las Vegas), Nevada. She is the mother of two
Susan was back in Hot Springs when she met Alan, though the first time one of her nursing colleagues suggested that the two might enjoy one another, the image of "Spike the truck
driver" just didn’t spike her interest. But about a year later, when she learned a little more about him, they started to get to know one another. The lesson they learned: don’t be fooled by stereotypes. And anyone who gets to know them will experience their sparkle and a chuckle about life which allows for the unexpected.
Spike said to me. “We are living in the Garden of Eden and it's up to us to make the best of it.” And while this truly seems to be a match made in heaven, Susan pointed out that 20 years ago, while they were dating, they realized they're both “perfectly imperfect.'' (Sounds kind of like a UU sentiment to me.)
In fact, making the decision to become members at UUCSV was big. Neither of them had found what made sense in terms of religion...until they found us. It really is a big deal that they signed the book!
BTW, Spike plays golf and Susan plays the baritone and tenor ukulele. Let's all welcome Alan and Susan with your UU minds and hearts.
By Heidi Blozan
|Call of the Valley: Peggy Moore|
Clearly, Peggy Moore’s sacred journeys stem from her grandfather’s manifesto.
“At the time,” Moore said, “I lived with my extended family in the country outside of Nashville. When I was ten years old, my grandfather set me down and said I can do anything I set my mind to: ‘Not let anything stop you from what you know you want to be doing.’ I didn’t know how unusual that was, but I was always outgoing and different from those in my immediate family. So my grandfather was very intent on my knowing who I really am all the way back to my family line in Ireland and Scotland. He died only a few minutes later which opened the door for me to seek a broader perspective of the world.”
By the time she was sixteen, during those heady times in the nineteen-sixties, she was taken with extrasensory perception and psychic awareness because she found it so mystical, reaching out past what she could see. Knowing there was more out there than what she’d been exposed to, taking her beyond the edge of her small Southern community. In turn, she also discovered the Civil Rights movement, that schools were becoming integrated, and all kinds of things were happening. Seeking a universal thread while attending a Methodist college in Nashville, she began to explore what was behind all the world’s religions utilizing the nearby Vanderbilt University library. She ultimately found that “we’re all part of the oneness, including the plants, rocks and trees as well as the people.”
She began meditating and then taught meditation while in her mid-twenties to enhance this unfettered awareness. Later on, she visited Ireland and Scotland to get in touch with the far reaches of the family line her grandfather spoke of and the basis of courses she taught in Celtic spirituality.
“In fact,” she said, “I didn’t realize how deeply ingrained the Irish culture was in me until I got to Ireland. I’ve had past-life memories, but walking across the fields of Moher, I felt the presence of Eiru, the goddess of Ireland, and knew I’d come home, and it touched a significant part of who I am today.”
In addition, intuitively sensing a link, she taught Egyptian spirituality as well and visited Egypt three times.
Much earlier, she visited Cherokee, North Carolina and because of the Native American nature-based belief system, also felt at home in these mountains. After that initial experience, while traveling with a choir for a weekend engagement, she also discovered that Black Mountain was very special and eventually moved here.
“It was another homecoming,” she said. “Like Ireland. A feeling in the bones of my body where I belong. And when I went to Luxor in Egypt, the same thing happened. So I am a part of three places.”
All told, she realizes she will never reach an ultimate state of development. Every day is a new day and a new breath. There’s new growth to be had. By the same token, over the past three years she has been building a spiritual center in Luxor. She started with the first floor (which has been completed) and, as soon as she acquires the funds, will add a second. At the same time, for her seventieth birthday she created a new tour business called Mother Earth Sacred Tours which has temporarily been put on hold due to the pandemic. The plan is to live here and conduct tours in Luxor part of the time. Her completed center will offer meditation and spiritual retreats for seekers, primarily (so far) from the U.S. and Canada.
For the time being, she will continue teaching online from her Black Mountain home giving courses like “Journey to your spiritual path.”
Coming full circle, one of her favorite offerings is entitled 'Remember who you are.' “Becoming aware of your connection to the earth, what the trees teach us with their roots down deep, growing and stretching during the dark, cold winter; the branches and leaves reaching up to the heavens; the sap beginning to rise in the spring. And so we humans have to gather ourselves now and prepare for another new beginning.”
by Shelly Frome
(originally published in Black Mountain News, published here with permission of the author)
|Rob Greenfield on Integrity|
Several months ago, Rob Greenfield spoke at Lenoir-Rhyne University and told us about how he lived his life. Not that he expected every one of us to go out and reduce our number of possessions from an average of 100,000 to 40 and cycle across the country as he did at one point, but just to show us what could be done with a little mindfulness.
At the end of his presentation during the question and answer period, a person asked, "Do you think that humans will survive?"
He paused and said, "No, I don't think we will. It could be 100 or 200 years but I don't think we will. But I don't stay in that space...I plan to live my life with integrity according to my values."
Whenever I start to walk near the pit of despair (ala The Princess Bride), I immediately think of the wonder of Rob Greenfield saying "I plan to live my life with integrity according to my values" and I move into a better space. If you are inclined, check out robgreenfield.org. It is a treat!
by Suzanne Ziglar
|Moral March on Washington June '22|
On Saturday, June 18, thousands of people gathered on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC to speak out against the moral injustice of poverty and discrimination at the Poor People's & Low Wage Workers Assembly and Moral March on Washington.
Deb Vingle, Mary Soyenova and Jackie Franklin represented UUCSV, traveling long hours on a bus with representatives from St. James Episcopal in Black Mountain and Fight for $15 and El Centroid Hispano in Durham. People of many faiths, ethnicities and walks of life came from all over the country to be heard.
As the article in the Washington Post said, “Instead of being presented as a grab-bag of competing progressive causes, this event bridged different agendas and platforms with a universal call for reform and change of the political status quo.” It was a truly beautiful day, great weather and a diverse crowd of committed, inspiring activists.
by Jackie Franklin
“If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.”
― Mark Twain
I think I live my life with integrity, but what does that really mean? Miriam Webster's first definition is "firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values."
I initially thought of the honor that is expected of soldiers or those who pledge themselves to serve our country (usually by swearing to do so on their chosen religious text.) Truth telling is a basic value or code which seems linked to integrity. It is so important that our legal system expects it in all gatherings of courts and congress. Raising that right hand!
Whether the people go home from those gatherings and live with integrity is another matter. Do they drive anywhere near the speed limit? Do they try to work around any truths that might arise to expose them negatively in court or congress? Is "deal-making" taking the part of standing for their values? Would a gathering of persons trying to avoid the law, or perhaps breaking it, be persons of integrity? Where does the fight for justice cross the line into illegal activities?
The phrase "speaking truth to power" is used to describe the courage needed to stand up to those who have some kind of influence over our well-being. This is how our legal system works. This is how a person who knows the truth can bring it to the public. Our Social Justice arm of UU is part of this effort, speaking truth and standing on the side of love.
It isn't easy living with integrity. We think it is until we are confronted by someone who clarifies our words or actions as stepping over a line. A difference of opinion can open our eyes to ways we may be blinded by our own desire to protect ourselves by telling half-truths. My mother didn't like the phrase "white-lies" but she practiced a lot of lying by omission. Where was integrity then? Perhaps she was "Standing on the Side of Love" by keeping the peace between different views of the truth.
Enjoy a July full of celebrations, challenges, flowers, fire-works if you wish, and being outside in nature in all her glory!
By Barbara Rogers
We welcome these three new members to our Board of Trustees!
Our Board volunteers meet monthly to oversee the operation of our church.
Larry Pearlman has agreed to serve as our Treasurer and Board Member. He’ll coordinate with our accountant and our Office Administrator to document all incoming money and oversee the pay out of expenses. He will present our financial balance sheet to the other Board members at the monthly meetings. He also chairs the Auction Committee. He lives in Black Mountain. Larry enjoys playing bridge, telling stories on stage, and walking doggies! Oh, and eating homemade desserts!
Marti Saltzman currently serves as the chairperson of our Safety Committee. She lives in Asheville. She has a history of marketing the arts, playing bridge, taking care of Sparky and Marti really enjoys visiting her family.
Dan Hadley is a long time UU and has an interest in church finance. He lives with his wife, Diane, at Givens Highland Farms. Dan’s passion is writing and performing plays in the format of Reader’s Theater.
Please welcome and thank them for their volunteer service!
By Carolyn Shorkey
|Committee Focus for the month|
Time and again our members have come up to the the microphone on Sunday mornings to express their appreciation for the support they have received from our Congregational Care Committee (CCC). Many of these folks have served on the committee for years and never thought that they might be at the receiving end for care!
The mission of this committee is to support the physical, mental and emotional health of the congregation (members and friends). When needed, the committee chair coordinates with our minister to determine the most appropriate ways to meet the needs. Then, a notice goes out to the committee members asking for volunteers to assume certain tasks.
We provide care when desired. This primarily includes transportation to doctor and other appointments, doing grocery runs or other errands, spending time with the person, and providing meals. It does not include trips to the airport or helping people move.
We have a small inventory of medical equipment to loan.
In all cases, our committee maintains confidentiality, sharing information only with your permission.
On July first, Larry Pearlman will be stepping down as chairperson of the CCC to assume the responsibilities as our volunteer UUCSV treasurer. Many, many thanks to Larry! Carolyn Shorkey has agreed to serve as the new chair. Please contact her if you would like to be on the committee. You will be added to the list of volunteers to receive emails when a need arises. Also, please contact her with your request for assistance. She can be reached by text or voice message at 828-242-4389 or email email@example.com
And, may your life be to you, a blessing!
To be listed in your birth month, just let the Tidings editor know by sending your info at any time to Tidings.firstname.lastname@example.org.
|June Board Meeting and Committee Reports|
Our volunteer treasurer, Lee Reading, reported Income with one month left in the fiscal year exceeded income goals for plate and fund raising but there is $6000 left to collect from pledges. Lee is projecting that we will end the year on a positive note because we have been thrifty and have not exceeded our expense projections. Lee is passing the Treasurer responsibilities at the end of the month to Larry Pearlman who will have three roles for the church: Treasurer, Board Member, and Chair of the Auction Committee. After leaving the Board at the end of the month, Evan will be budget director next year when the annual budget is proposed. Dan Hadley, a new board member, will also help. Lee reported that his last official act will be to write UUA to explain our pledge will be $4000 paid in four installments which is less than the $7000 suggested by the UUA. Evan summarized our cash assets as being a total of $126,000.
The Social Action Committee (SAC) has presented their Sunday service. The other big project is the 'New Americans Project' which is the support for an Afghan family. The Committee is organizing a fund raiser to be held on July 24th at Lake Tomahawk. There was a discussion about how to handle funds raised to help the Afghan family. Lee suggested that the easiest way to handle the money is a one-off pass through account where the money comes into the church but quickly goes out. No one opposed having the funds go through the church. Anna will return at the next Board meeting with a comprehensive plan to manage and distribute the funds raised to support the Afghan family. Anna is excited that Alison Adams will join the Committee which may encourage other young people to join.
Evan summarized the safety policy that the Board previously approved. It states that there should be someone out in the portico to lock and watch the doors, shortly after the Sunday service begins. This should be either a Board member or a greeter. After some discussion it was decided that Rose will work with Marti Salzman to update the existing draft policy to include the current policy and present the proposal to the new Board in July.
Next Regular Board meeting: July 28th @ 6:00 p.m.
Milt Warden, Board Secretary
Congregation Care Report through 6/22/22 from Larry Pearlman
There were no new Covid cases in our congregation this month that I am aware of. However, one congregant was thrown from a horse and suffered broken ribs, pelvis and vertebrae. She is currently hospitalized. Another went to the hospital with chest pains and needed attention to an artery in their heart but it was not considered serious.
* Eight different members of our Care Committee provided services to 8 congregants including providing at least 8 meals, at least 7 house or hospital visits, at least 7 errands and 15 rides for non-medical purposes and 3 for medical purposes. Four extended phone calls were made.
As always, the above numbers are minimums as many visits etc don’t get reported to me. Many phone calls and cards were also made/sent to folks who are experiencing joys we want to celebrate or sorrows we want to recognize.
Sunday Service Associates report for June, 2022
The Sunday Service Associates group met on June 14. We began by reviewing the recent guest speakers. Everyone who attended the service put together by Evan Yanik and his family about their trip to Ireland on May 15 enjoyed it very much. Everyone who attended Rev. Claudia Jimenez’s service was impressed with her energy, as well.
Next we discussed the recent issues the congregation has been having with the Joys and Concerns portion of Sunday service taking too long. We discussed various alternatives to having everyone speak and decided that a ritual involving placing a stone into some kind of vessel when someone has a joy or concern might be a viable substitute. Someone from the group will further discuss the issue with Michael when he comes back from vacation .
Upcoming guest speakers were also discussed, including the Social Action Committee service on June 19; John Owens, a gun safety advocate, on July 3; Meta Commerse on July 10; Congregant Tim Perry on August 4; Rev. Neal Jones on August 14; and Rev. Jay Augustine o September 25.
Other dates to be filled include October 2, October 30, November 6, and December 4. It was suggested that we approach Linda Metzner and the choir to do a service paying tribute to Phil Fryberger because of his generous gift to the music department. Another speaker we decided to pursue is Tayria Ward, an Asheville psychologist and Jungian dream interpreter.
Building & Grounds Committee - Action Summary June 2022
B&G has completed work on the rain garden until time to do planting in the fall. The playground equipment has been power washed and will be stained in the next 2 weeks.
The Betty's Trushine Cleaning Service will begin cleaning the church on Thursday, June 23. The cleaning will be done every other week, on Tuesday or Thursday depending on the cleaners' schedule. This is when Michael D. is in the office so it will not be necessary for anyone else to be there. Deb will meet with Ms. Mercado the first time to show her around and introduce her to Michael. Trushine will be using their own equipment and supplies and will invoice the church at the end of each month.
The code for the lock box is changed and board members and committee chairs have been notified. Jackie will check with the new Board members to see that they have the new code.
Jackie will meet with the new Board members to familiarize them with the process for locking the doors during the service. This is normally done by the Board member doing welcome/announcements on each Sunday.
Religious Education Report for June, 2022
Sunday Mornings: Online RE
I have largely stopped doing Zoom RE. I continue to post stories for families to explore on their own for now. In the last month I have asked for any families who would like a Virtual RE option to reach out to me, but so far none have. I have heard that some families do watch the stories, however, so I will continue to make those suggestions.
I think we’ve been having a lot of fun on Sunday mornings. I have had a few pretty informal discussions with the children in attendance (usually inspired by a story book/video), but largely I have focused on simply having fun and allowing the students to enjoy being together and get to know one another again.
I’ve put a sign up sheet out at UUCSV with 2 possible dates (7/26, or 8/12), and also posted about it on Facebook. When I spoke to a representative at the Tourists’ Ticketing Office I was told these dates have plenty of seats/are far enough out to make suitable arrangements. Both these dates are evenings the Tourists are promoting Black-Owned businesses on the Concourse.
Adult RE ideas
I’m working on some possible Adult RE offerings I’m hoping might be of interest. Some ideas I had are:
A possible book/video discussion group, such as a group read of Dr. Becky Bailey’s Easy To Love, Difficult to Discipline: The 7 Basic Skills for Turning Conflict into Cooperation, or Michael Sandel’s Justice: What’s the Right Thing To Do? (this book is also supplemented by a lecture series available online). Alternatively if one-off workshops seem a better fit individual videos or Ted Talks or something could be chosen for watch and discussion sessions.
Or... An exploration of one of our UU Feminist/Goddess texts: Rise Up and Call Her Name or Cakes For The Queen of Heaven. I have participated and enjoyed both in years past.
Or... A Series of “Self Care/Health” workshops that could be taken independently (ie afternoon workshops on Stress Management, Vegan Cooking, Preventing Mental Decline, etc).
Or... Another thought I had was to sign up as a congregation for Transforming Hearts Collective’s 'Transgender Inclusion in Congregations' series (this 6 part series would incur a cost of $400-$800, but our congregation would then have “lifetime access” to the materials). It could be that individuals would be willing to pay say $15-$20/each for this information to offset the cost to the congregation. I attended a Bystander Intervention workshop by two Transforming Hearts members recently and was impressed by their warmth and candor.
If any of these are ideas that too closely resemble recent offerings, OR are topics someone in the congregation would be a possible resource for please let Susan know.
Summer plans - Suggested presenters?
My hope had been to line up some guest-led Summer programs to fill Sundays in June, July, and August. These volunteers would lead children in exploring a topic of their choosing, however, thus far no one has volunteered. If any of you know of Members or Friends of UUCSV with interests /hobbies /professions that might interest children, and they might be willing to share I’d love to know who I should be asking.
RE Committee & Volunteers
We’re still looking for new Committee members and Volunteers for the fall as well. If you know someone in our congregation who’d be a good fit please encourage them to reach out to Susan (or for permission to pass their name to her).
Susan Enwright Hicks, DRE
Thank you to all who submitted their words for this month's Tidings.
For August we have a suggested topic of "The Earth's Health" or "Environmentalism as UUs."
Barbara Rogers, editor
Board of Trustees:
Larry Pearlman - Treasurer
Milt Warden – Secretary
Building & Grounds - Deb Evenchik
Social Action - Jane Carrol (rotating)
Finance - Lee Reading
Nominating - Evan Yanik
Congregational Care - Carolyn Shorkey
Membership - Heidi Blozan
Personnel – Linda Tatsapaugh
Communications - Susan Culler (contact)
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 -
Memorial Garden - Dawn Wilson
Safety Committee - Marti Saltzman
Sunday Service Production:
AV producer/editor - Evan Yanik and Deb Evenchik
Music director and piano - Annelinde Metzner
Sue Stone, piano