Spring is on the way, believe it or not! The month of February reminded us that winter was still alive and well but we survived it. I must admit that despite the cold and ice, I do love the season of winter, which is why my family and I still choose to live in the eastern part of this land of ours. Without the season of winter we cannot truly appreciate the spring and summer. I love the seasons. And so here we are again in the month of March. As you know we begin our Canvass this month and we ask all of you to give generously within your comfort zone.
We are slowly but surely learning to become a church and these are exciting times for us and our world. As I write this column, two new members have joined us in the month of February which is always exciting. They too obviously feel and recognize the great potential we posses as a free religious liberal congregation. I hope you do as well. Our initial “Dialogue on Race” held on Tuesday, February 10, brought in 36 people. People attended from Asheville and the surrounding area. We had Quakers, Methodist, Baptists, and of course a liberal sprinkling of UUs. We are making a difference in our community in this and so many other ways.
We have our Habitat House activities continuing and our Men’s group. We have our LUUNCH Bunch discussions once a month, and our social action group, as well as our Coming of Age program. In short we are growing numerically, we are growing in our community outreach, as well as growing, cultivating, and enriching our inner lives, which may be the most important growth of all.
With that said, I want to share this passage from Paul of Tarsus. It is taken from the book 2 Corinthians, chapter 9, verses 6-8. He is asking one of the churches to raise funds to assist one of the Macedonian congregations. The Corinthian church at the time was in better economic condition to help itself and other churches at the time. He is what Paul writes:
“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously, will also reap generously. Each person should give what he or she has decided in his or her own heart to give, not reluctantly, or under compulsion.”
Please remember that Canvassing is not a competition and no one is going to be graded on what they give or do not give. Our church has needs and that is a fact. It takes money and resources to keep us going. But just know that it is really the intent behind your gifts that keep us afloat. You will be enriched in every way for your generosity, which through us will produce great thanksgiving.
Peace and Richest Blessings to You All,
March 8 - Rev. Michael Carter
"To Whom Much Is Given"
UUCSV String Band with Rick Ott
Canvassing Sunday. When we think of Canvassing Sunday, we normally think of the Sunday where the minister gives a “fundraising” sermon to raise funds for the church. The minister, if he or she is good at it, is supposed to do it like a dentist, first gently putting in the right amount of Novocain to numb the pain and then doing the tough stuff about raising money but in a painless way so the patients won’t feel it. Or it is “time, talent and treasure” Sunday and so we talk about the time, talents and treasures we are going to pledge to the church. Or, we may think of a steward and stewardess on an airplane, making sure the passengers are comfortable during the flight, tending to their needs and so forth. Yet stewardship (or canvassing) is not about that narrow slice of life we call offerings to the church or that narrow slice of our time, talents and treasures that we give to church. Stewardship is taking care of the precious property and people that we have been entrusted with by Life itself. It’s a paradigm shift. In short, it is the intentionality behind our giving that makes the difference. We must all count our blessings. To whom much is given, much is required.
March 15 - H. Byron Ballard
"Beware the Ides of March"
Small Ensemble Singers
As the season changes to full-on Spring, we may be te
mpted to pull the blanket up and set the alarm for five minutes more. Please don't! Now is the time--both in the natural world and in the o-so-human part--to step up, step forward and be both brave and bold. Byron Ballard returns to UUCSV to soothsay a way of being in our changing world. "It is the bold (one) who always fares best, at home or abroad across the wine-dark sea" - Homer
March 22 - Rev. Michael Carter
Yes, we still hear this term used every so often about what constitutes real “American Values.” Especially now that marriage equality is alive and well hear in the old US of A, and I must admit, I usually hear the term coming from more conservative politicos and neighbors. What does this really mean? Are white, heterosexual, suburban values what we are to strive for in our day to day lives? Are these words merely code words for racism and sexism. Let’s try again to unpack what this really means for religious progressives like you and I. Perhaps we can come up with our own definition, one that is more inclusive and compassionate. If one definition of power is the license to name things, then lets use that power for more inclusive and affirming results.
March 29 - The UUCSV Players
"The Joke's on UU!"
Silly Ensemble Singers
One of this congregation's greatest gifts is our ability to laugh. We can be serious, but rarely does a Sunday go by without at least a few chuckles. This means we are extremely healthy people. Perhaps the most spiritually advanced form of humor is the ability to laugh at ourselves. Spearheaded by David Groce, with the help of several co-conspirators, our service on the 29th will include stories, jokes, parodies and funny songs, all directed at the special foibles of Unitarians and Universalists. Since the traditional April Fool’s day did not fall on a Sunday this year, we hereby assert our UU contraryness by celebrating foolishness on March 29th.
April 5 - Rev. Michael Carter
"Easter and Universalism"
Small Ensemble Singers
For many UUs, Easter is a tricky holiday. First of all, it is a traditionally orthodox Christian story in the sense that many of us feel that we are asked to believe a story of high strangeness on penalty of being burned in a very hot place. My goodness! A human being being raised from the dead! All of this when some of us are still trying to wrap our minds around a virgin birth... But all of that aside, Easter is really about the cycles of birth, death, and rebirth, and our tradition encourages us to interpret this in our own personal ways. To be sure, this cycle surrounds our life each and every day--- we’re already swimming in it. Our Universalist history has a say in this story as well. Lets explore.
The Board of Trustees at UUCSV is seeking a new Director of Lifespan Religious Education (DLRE); the position begins with our
new fiscal year on July 1.
The DLRE is responsible for the overall day-to-day functioning of the religious education program for children, youth and adults in compliance with the congregation’s Comprehensive Safety Policies. The DLRE recruits, trains and supports volunteer teachers and others to support the Religious Education classes throughout the year. The position is 40 hours per month with a rate of pay of $14.00/hour.
If you are interested in this position, please contact Jim Carillon ASAP at email@example.com
or call him at 828-628-1320. Jim will send you a complete job description and ask you to provide a resume in support of your application. Your candidacy will be reviewed by a newly formed selection committee for this position with the goal of choosing a new DLRE by late April.
Thanks, Jim Carillon
UUCSV has had quite a journey since 2001 when it was decided to branch out from the Asheville church into Black Mountain. Some of you have been on the journey from the beginning and have witnessed the growth and change in UUCSV. Others have joined along the way and some are just now finding our church and may be wondering if this is a journey they would like to take. Every year the journey continues, and adds more to the experience. More music, more activities, more opportunities to enrich our lives and the lives of those in the community. We have come to the time in this year when we “Embrace The Journey” by making a pledge of our time and treasure to UUCSV for the year. We will be kicking off this year’s canvas on March 8th, and look forward to addressing each of you about your pledge. This canvass is necessary for UUCSV to be able to budget for the coming fiscal year. Please help us continue our journey as we move toward a full-time Minister, facility updates and other improvements for our church community. Thanks you.
David Groce and Jim Carillon,
March 17th and March 31th, 6:30 - 8:00 pm
Have you ever wanted to put down into words the beliefs
which drive your behaviors? If so, this adult Religious Education class is for you! A two part course will be offered to provide you with the guidelines to assist you in writing your personal credo, AKA a “This I Believe” essay. Instruction and support will be provided! On March 10th we shall explore guidelines for writing a "This I Believe” essay and participate in some warmup exercises. Between the two class dates, participants will write a rough draft of their essay. At the second and final class, we shall present our rough drafts to each other. You will not be expected to complete a final product in these two weeks of clarifying your Truth. Most poets say that a poem is never considered finished until the poet dies. So it goes with personal credo’s. All we expect of you is to begin the process of writing your credo or edit one you have written in the past. The class will be taught by Carolyn Shorkey. Contact her before March 10th to sign up for the class. 299-9456 or firstname.lastname@example.org
. We need a minimum of 10 persons to sign up in order to offer this class.
Religious Education Corner
We are grateful to all of our volunteers who give their time and talent to the children and continue to encourage families, friends and visitors, to join us on Sundays. Whether we are teaching to two children or teaching to twelve children, as we have a few times over the last few months, it takes considerable time to teach the children and prepare the lessons. We welcome your input and insight. Here are some curriculum updates:
Preschool – Ages Infant through Age 4
On select Sundays, this preschool curriculum will continue as will cooperative playtime, whereby the children interact with meaningful play, social interactions with teachers and other children, and the child’s ever important development of language. Teachers: Sarah Kirkpatrick, Patricia Fahey, Jim Carillon, Carolyn Shorkey, Milt Warden and Helen Bell.
Denton the Dragon
Early Elementary – Grades K-2: Ages 5 through 7
Denton the Dragon and Tales in Bubbleland may continue to be taught in spring with other curriculum interspersed in April. This group of children has been grouped together with the upper elementary classes and will continue to join the older group as needed on Sundays. Teachers: Patricia Fahey and Sarah Kirkpatrick.
Spirit of Adventure
Upper Elementary – Grades 3-5: Ages 8-11
This group has been combined with the early elementary group and has also successfully stood on its own with just a handful of children in attendance. Teachers include Evelyn Carter, Beata Ball, Linda Blasky, and Patricia Fahey, DLRE.
In March, this group will be studying from the Web of Life unit and will be learning about several notable UUs:
Henry David Thoreau, an American author, poet, philosopher, abolitionist and naturist. Thoreau was a leading Transcendentalist who “lived deliberately” in a small log cabin in Concord, MA. Patricia Fahey wrote her thesis on Thoreau and Emerson and will offer some insight into Thoreau’s life, and the significant influence he had on the Unitarian Universalist who followed him.
P.T. Barnum, an American philanthropist, small business owner, and showman who founded the Barnum and Bailey Circus, which continues today as Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey Circus.
Beatrix Potter. An English author, illustrator, natural scientist and conservationist, Potter is best known for her imaginative children's books, such as The Tale of Peter Rabbit, which celebrated the British landscape and country life.
Together, we will discover what all these people have in common. Yes, they were all UU's, but there’s more and you won’t know until you join us!
Saturday, March 7th Set your clocks ahead before bed, so you won't be late to church on Sunday!
Spring meeting of the Western Carolinas Cluster April 25 at the Hendersonville UU Fellowship . Diane Graham and Ginny Moreland will be there. We hope you will save the date and attend. The topic is Exploring the Arts in Congregational Life. The main gathering will be "Broadway meets UU" (a concert of Broadway songs that reflect UU values and principles.) Another will be storytelling by Sheila Kay Adams, nationally acclaimed storyteller, plus Readers Theatre, etc. Let’s go!
Volunteers Needed for April 3rd, 2015
This program provides meals and lodging for homeless women in our area, at the Black Mountain Methodist Church annex. Thanks to all who have already signed up to help! UUCSV will be providing all meals and volunteers for the day. We still need back-up van drivers (morning and evening shifts) and back-up overnight volunteers. Help is needed to provide bag lunches and items for the evening meal. These women need a hot meal after being on the street all day.
Room in the Inn coordinator
and Silent Auction!
Saturday, March 14!
If you haven’t marked your calendar and invited your friends, please do. We appreciate your help to pack the sanctuary and have a stompin’ good time! The evening starts at 6:00 with hors d'oeuvres served by the youth. A variety of enticing products and experiences will be available through a Silent Auction! All proceeds support the COA trip to Boston in June. For more info contact Bill Altork for the talent show, and Ursula Goebel-Ellis for the auction.
Ursula requests that you let her know if you can provide a product, service, or experience for our Silenct Auction on March 14. (Concurrent with our Talent Show and benefitting COA!) Please use the form provided in the Current or send Ursala a descirption of your donation, retail value, recommended starting bid (minimum $25) and your contact information. email@example.com
The Sunday Service Associates are pleased to announce committee funds have been used to purchase additional copies of "Singing the Journey." This is the "Teal Hymnal Supplement" that contains alternative and newer compositions for congregational singing. More great music is in our future!
It is always a joy to gather together to sing for our congregation. In March we will be rehearsing on Sunday the 15th at 12:15 after the service, then on Wednesday the 18th at 7 PM (hey, that's my birthday!) and then on the day of performance, March 22nd at 10 AM before the service. It will be good to welcome Spring in song! We are a friendly group, and new singers are always welcome.
March’s Friday Fling, a fun party for grown-ups, will be held on 20 March at the church. Red and white refreshments will be provided; please bring a potluck dish to share. The movie “Blue Jasmine” (2013; Cate Blanchett, Alec Baldwin, and Sally Hawkins) will be shown. Potluck begins at 6:30. For further information call Norm Kowal (458-4537).
Under the coordination of Heidi Blozan, the COA group continues to teach twice a month on Sundays, attend services here at UUCSV, and will take a trip to Boston in the third week of June. Fundraising efforts continue throughout the year; however, if you want to individually or jointly sponsor a child to go on the Boston trip, we welcome donations of $100 or more. Thanks for supporting our tweens and teenagers.
Thank you, Middle School facilitators, Heidi Blozan and Linda Tatsapaugh, and Scott Conklin and Courtney Smith, our High School Facilitators. We appreciate the preparation and coordination that you are bringing to this program.
"Our Whole Lives is a series of sexuality education curricula for six age groups... Our Whole Lives helps participants make informed and responsible decisions about their sexual health and behavior. It equips participants with accurate, age-appropriate information in six subject areas: human development, relationships, personal skills, sexual behavior, sexual health, and society and culture."
- We are planning on starting the O.W.L. (Our Whole Lives) curriculum for next year, fall 2015. To this end, we hope to have at least several teachers attend training this spring. If you have an interest,please take a look at the information on line at: http://www.uua.org/re/owl
Also on the docket for our Spirit of Adventure group is a field trip that will involve animals! We are excited to report that we are developing a visit with the animals at Brother Wolf Animal Rescue or the often forgotten and misunderstood wolf-dogs that live here in Black Mountain at Full Moon Farm. As the plan firms up, look for additional information coming up in the weekly Religious Education news.
Please continue to support the RE program. We are always looking for parents and volunteers to teach in the program and with various age groups. If interested in these opportunities or anything else you want to discuss, please contact Patricia Fahey at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time – as we move toward spring, enjoy Nature and never forget the childlike sense of wonder that lives in each of us.
Director of Lifespan
Several months ago a merry band of communications enthusiasts embarked on a path to improve congregational publications by unifying formats and better utilizing digital technology. They selected
MyNewsletterBuilder as the platform of choice. What you see here is just the first iteration of the monthly newsletter, as we get to know the software. It may evolve. Design elements were selected to harmonize with our website and begin to build a visual identity.
The initial impetus for this came from our Board of Trustees, with Sue Miller and Rebecca Williams leading the way. Tricia West has been working with us and Ginny Moreland did most of the compilation of this first issue.
Printed copies will continue to be mailed to those without regular access to email! The Current will still be issued weekly, using a similar format.
Suggestions, questions and concerns may be addressed to any of those named here - or you can email your thoughts to:
We hope you like it!
At the February 28th Congregation Meeting, the membership approved with great enthusiasm the proposed Covenant between the Minister and the Congregation of UUCSV. The text of the document will soon be added to our website