January 2023 Vol. IV Issue 7
Endings, New Beginnings, and Long Live Life
Well, here we are. Another year has passed, and what a year it was! Both personally and collectively, there have been profound changes, yet this is the "stuff" of life, the things that dreams are made of. There is something utterly final about the end of a year. It means we are one year older, we are 12 months closer to the time of our deaths. It means that we are either farther away, or brought closer to the goals of our living, whatever those may be. It also means that perhaps some crucial questions which we could not answer a year or so ago have finally been answered---at least now we know. It means experiences have come into our lives in the past 12 months which revealed certain things about ourselves which we had not suspected.
We have met someone whom we have built a relationship with that opened us up to new worlds of wonder and magic which were completely closed to us a year ago. It means that we are wiser by far than we were at the beginning of 2022.
All of this and more may counsel us to finally believe that life is dynamic and that we are deeply alive, that the end of the year can only mean the end of the year and not the end of life. There are new beginnings and adventures ahead of us. We turn our faces toward the new year being born with a rising hope that will carry us into the days, weeks, and months ahead with courage and confidence. Life goes on, the poet Robert Frost reminds us. The old year dies and the new year is born! Long Live LIfe!
|Music Schedule for January 2023|
January 1st - Sue Stone, piano: prelude, postlude, offertory and 3 hymns
January 8th - Second Sunday, Sue Stone, guitar and voice: Linda Metzner, 2 hymns
January 15th - Linda Metzner, piano: prelude, postlude, offertory and 3 hymns
January 22nd - UUCSV Choir, 2 anthems; Sue Stone, piano, prelude, postlude, offertory and 2 hymns
January 29th - Linda Metzner, piano: prelude, postlude, offertory and 3 hymns
Susan is new to us at UUCSV, but not to these beautiful mountains.
The native North Carolinian was born in Thomasville and grew up in southern Virginia. She attended UVA and then Guilford College in Greensboro, NC, where she earned her BA in Biology and Physical Education. Later, after raising her family, she enrolled at NC Central University in Durham to earn her elementary school teaching certification, and then taught third grade for 20 years–including eight years teaching English in a Spanish dual-language program. In that program she met and was enlivened by colleagues, including many visiting native Spanish speakers.
In addition to her partner Rae, Susan has three grown children and one grandchild, as well as an older brother and sister-in-law, with whom she is very close. That very supportive family has seen her through some challenging life changes.
Upon retirement and meeting Rae, Susan moved to our welcoming western North Carolina. Their mountain home is nestled in the trees with marvelous views. Their dog Hamilton (aka Hami), is always happy to greet a visitor.
Now, though retired, Susan substitute teaches about eight days a month in local schools. If she isn’t in a classroom, though, you’re likely to find her, Rae, and Hamilton picnicing up on the parkway … or perhaps in another learning situation: she’s already taken a stained glass course at AB-Tech and would like to enroll in another.
Other favorite activities, besides hiking and walking, include gardening, doing Sacred Circle Dance, and volunteering at the community garden. And, though Susan does not see herself as musically inclined, she loves our church because of the music. Kudos to Annelinde, our talented membership, and our choir!
When I asked her what else appeals to her about our congregation, she told me that she loves the laughter–and that we seem real! She feels comfortable with us, and the tunes of our hymns are familiar to her from her childhood Presbyterian upbringing.
You might, as I did, find Susan as someone quiet and contemplative. So please welcome her into our UU family with a warm smile and joyful greeting.
We are glad you are here! Welcome.
This photo was taken high on a hill in Asheville's East End, home to St. Matthias Episcopal Church--regarded as the oldest African American Church in Buncombe Co. The brick church, founded by freed slaves, is over 150 years old and is on the National Historic Registry. I often walk there because it is a serene, beautiful place.
I love the Peace Pole at the front which overlooks several City of Asheville government buildings. To me the picture represents the hope and anticipation we feel on the cusp of a new year. May Peace Prevail on Earth in 2023.
By Marti Saltzman
Thank you Khadafi
for coming to the library
for my book reading.
You were beyond cute
when you came up, grabbed my leg
while I read aloud.
So fitting during
me sharing fostering poems
with neighbors and friends.
You squealing, “Poppie!”
running around the room, me
trying to go on.
Your two-year-old glee
better than the words I read
about foster love.
Thanks for who you are,
our mutual affection, and
being there for me.
Jim Carillon, November 2022
where did the hour go what about the other
was it lost or in the wings or
discarded in fields of wasted hours…
squandered, barely remembered.
nobody remembers wasted hours.
forgotten were their sixty moving parts,
each shining more worthy than a diamond sparkle
like the glance in your eye or turn of Lot’s wife
or standing still to see. or that slight hesitation.
what do you want he asked,
the moment she said,
I want theoment.
2022 time change
Excerpt from my poem titled Good People
“You, too, have masked your
Fears with anger
To appear in control.
Yet, the bluster kept you
Out of control
Loving witnesses remain
Forever present in the
Quiet last breaths before
Death awakens the
First breaths of
The wondrous moments
Every person you meet
Remains a mirror
Of your own
Walking Ella and Goose today, I was admiring the beauty of the blue
sky background against the etchings of the dead trees.
But then, I know they aren’t dead
Just in their winter array
Isn’t that a bud I see on the end of one of those twigs?
And another there….and there….and there.
We call it Life bursting forth
But this sculpture of wood is already alive
Even the ones laying on the ground and rotting
Are teaming with life when you look close enough
The totality of the cycle of Life is beautiful
All of it
Then I thought of the 500K we call dead here in the US
And the 2 1/2 million globally
Yes - their bodies are gone and their loved ones grieve
But the truth is that Life doesn’t die
Forms change like our friends the trees
How often do you feel the Spirit of one who we call gone?
Is the joy they shared dead or does it bring a smile to your face when
you think of them?
Don’t the lessons that they taught still live with you?
Haven’t the atoms that they breathed out found another place to live?
No - Life doesn’t die
Life is simply change
Change is constant and will always be with us
I thank the trees as they remind me of this.
By Larry Pearlman
|The Social Action Committee Offers An Ecological Product|
Updated for end of 2022...UUCSV has already raised $87 for the Social Action Committee through your purchases! Good going!
Do you want to reduce the use of plastics in your life and at the same time earn money for our Social Action Committee to fund projects? Consider using laundry strips instead of plastic jugs of detergent.
Tru Earth is a Canadian based company that is pairing with nonprofits to help reduce plastic and they give 20% of the cost of the products back to UUCSV through this special link below.
They offer many plastic-free products (toilet bowl cleaners, laundry strips with a fragrance-free option, dryer balls etc.) Right now, they are offering a number of holiday discounts. You can still use all the offers from the company, (holiday sales etc.) but UUCSV only receives our 20% if you use the link. When you open the link, there is a blue box at the bottom that says Access Our Fundraising store here, that is where you start.
Please take the time to go through the link and shop the products and the deals. Think Holiday gifts for family and friends, stocking stuffers and presents to help everyone make the change! Share this link with your family and friends who can then share the link with others.
If you already use these products and have a subscription (scheduled deliveries) the 20% discount will not work unless you use the link to help with this fundraiser. Any questions, please email Sue Stone (the other Sue Stone)
Many of us already use the laundry strips and have been happy with the results. Sue will be in the portico after the next few services and will have some samples for you to try before you order.
What's a good way to start a conversation about Climate Change?
"Hi everyone. Have you any news about Climate Change? Anyone have any suggestions to be a little bit more conscious of our contributions to the environmental disaster?"
"Puerto Rico is likely to be in court for years in its attempt to sue the big oil companies for causing climate change leading to the disasters that hurricanes caused in the last few years. This is a true story! (Puerto Rico Sues Big Oil
"I just heard about a really good effort being made by 'Name your non-profit here.' "
"Did you know about the Earthshot prize, given each year for ideas that will improve life and the environment? It's run by the UK and probably they choose the 6 winners of a million pounds UK."
"Isn't it a bit overwhelming to think about the Climate Crisis? Let's just go to lunch."
I talk with other interested people, who read and research a lot of good ideas. They are always full of interesting information. But does it trickle down into everyday conversation? I don't really think so. I know I walk around with a big suitcase full of denials. I would just rather think of here and now...and after all, isn't that a good way to live? Yet in the last week of this year, our own Asheville area had a breakdown of the water supply system, due to the Climate Crisis. The people weren't prepared for such severe cold, nor were the water systems. And so for several days, over 38,000 households were without water. This is a lesson for me. When our infrastructure fails, look to see how Climate Change has contributed to it.
So I try to find ways I can live just a bit more ecologically conscious. Let's definitely get rid of single use plastics. Phase out those plastic things in my kitchen (where most of them lurk.) Use mason jars...wonderful keepers of dry or wet, or even frozen foods. I just purchased my cotton mesh bags to shop for produce and reuse after washing. And I always have my reusable shopping bags when I visit a grocery store.
What are you doing? How are you talking about this?
|Ruth Hubbard Lovinsohn
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“How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world.” ~ William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice
Here we are once more at the precipice of a new year. Another year of pandemic statistics, and political turmoil, and any number of human and environmental catastrophes being reported from week to week.
How draining it can be.
And yet, the new year reminds us that we can always begin again.
As George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans) wrote “It is never too late to be what you might have been.” This year I’m trying to remind myself of those things. I’m trying to become my best self and to put as much light into the world as I can. Improving the lives of others a little bit each day in the hopes that I brighten my little corner of the world.
I hope 2023 affords you the opportunity to do the same!
by Susan Enwright Hicks, DRE
|UUCSV Dec. Board Meeting Abbreviated Minutes |
Thursday, December 1, 2022
Our volunteer treasurer, Larry Pearlman, reported the plate collection has recovered some from last month but is still below projections. Larry believes the collection plate will continue to improve this month. Pledges remain above expectations but a group of pledges typically are received early. Larry reported the auction income is around $11,000 with 60% going to the church and 40% going to Bounty and Soul.
Communications Committee: Marti Salzman will be the new chairperson for the Communications Committee, beginning on January 1st.
Membership Committee: Rose reported that New Member Sunday will be on February 26th which is also our monthly potluck.
Social Action Committee (SAC) Rose reported that the Committee is working on three projects which are the Circle of Welcome for the Afghan family, organizing a covenant group around the 8th Principle, and the Tru Earth fund raiser.
Stewardship Dan reported that he is organizing a meeting early next year and one item will be to review the auction results.
See attached reports from other committees. (Available on bulletin board by office)
Needs and Direction for Safety Committee
The Committee has found a point person be present at each Sunday Service to call out directions to folks in the Sanctuary should an armed intruder enter our building. They are still working on recruiting a larger group of folks to support the point person. It was decided that the next step is to train the safety volunteers before trying to educate the whole congregation. Rochelle also wants to review the Committee structure to make sure it can remain sustainable
Review of the Congregation Care Committee updated Policies and Procedures: The Board reviewed the attached proposed revision of the policies and procedures for the Committee. While everyone agreed they were well written, there were concerns about the Long Term Care section and the extent of the responsibilities that might be assumed by volunteers. After discussion it was agreed that the Board will read and mark up the document before discussing it again and sending it back to Carolyn Shorkey.
Adjacent Property to UUCSV For Sale: Recently, it was reported to the Board that an adjoining property was going to come onto the market. The Board spent time discussing whether to buy the property, whether the church could afford the property, possible uses of the property, and how to analyze the decision. Larry offered to talk to Dawn Wilson to get an estimate of the cost of buying the property and the possibility of the property being donated to the church. Also, the 5 Year Plan for the church will be reviewed. The Board will wait until they have more information about the sale of the house on the adjoining property before continuing this discussion.
Next Regular Board meeting: January 26th @ 6:00 p.m. in person.
Respectfully submitted, Milton Warden, Secretary
New Secretary, Deb Evenchik, will begin on next meeting.
Thanks for a last minute wondrous delluge of poetry and articles for this edition. Please be a bit more gentle in the future, and send things by the deadline of the 25th of the month!
Have a great year ahead, and may all your really deepest dreams come true. (Why not?)
Let's join the rest of the country (I doubt that the Valentine frenzy leaks into any others) and celebrate LOVE for February, in all its wonderful forms!
By Barbara Rogers
Board of Trustees:
Rochelle Broome - President
Sally Smith - Vice-President
Larry Pearlman - Treasurer
Deb Evenchik – Secretary
Building & Grounds - Deb Evenchik
Social Action - Jane Carroll (rotating)
Finance - Lee Reading
Nominating - Evan Yanik
Congregational Care - Carolyn Shorkey
Membership - Heidi Blozan
Personnel – Linda Tatsapaugh
Communications - Marti Saltzman
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 - open
Memorial Garden - Dawn Wilson
Safety Committee - Marti Saltzman
Stewardship - Dan Hadley
Sunday Service Production:
AV producer/editor - Evan Yanik and Deb Evenchik
Music director and piano - Annelinde Metzner
Sue Stone, piano