|Spirit of Life, thank you for Unitarian Universalism. Thank you for reminding me I’m not guilty. Thank you for reminding me that I am worthy of love and that I am entitled to happiness. Thank you for reminding me that while I make mistakes, I am not a mistake and that I have learned from the things I needed to know about myself. Thank you for showing me that when I judge myself, others will judge me and when I condemn myself, others will support my efforts. Thank you for showing me that when I complain about what I think is missing from my life, I miss the opportunity to be grateful for what I have.
Thank you for the sage and artist Kahil Gibran who once said that “between what is said and not meant, and what is meant and not said, most of love is lost.” I need to remember that. Thank you for the Zen wisdom that says knowledge is learning something every day and wisdom is letting go of something every day. Grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know it’s me.
Thank you for forgiving me for all the times I have spoken words of blame and fault-finding. Thank you for allowing me to feel the sting of my own words in the words others have directed at me. Thank you for being so patient with my impatience. Thank you for being so giving when I was withholding. Thank you for the knowledge of having to discover a new way to think before I can find a new way to be. God said love my enemies and I obeyed—and I loved myself. Thank you for being so gentle and compassionate with me when I have been so hard on myself. Thank you for reminding me to accept the truth about myself, no matter how beautiful it is. I am growing, I am learning, I am learning the truth about Life! And so is everyone else, at their own pace and time. I will not forget this. I am forever grateful.
L’chiam (To Life)
|The congregation was saddened to learn of the recent death of our member Jay Ellis. (You may find a full obituary here.)
Ursula Goebels-Ellis shared this message in the Current, and we repeat it here for those who might have missed it:
"It is with great sadness that I announce that my husband Dr. George John “Jay” Ellis died on June 18, 2017. While I was visiting my son in Thailand, Jay had spent father's' day weekend enjoying a large family reunion, complete with childhood playmates, shared meals, a train ride, and funny stories. After the reunion, he visited Mammoth Cave with his three adult children. He died quietly in their presence, in a familiar natural setting within an hour’s drive of his childhood home. A memorial service was held on Saturday, July 8, at the Eno River Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Durham, NC.
Interment Service with Military Funeral Honors will be held on Friday, August 11, 10 am, at the State Veterans Cemetery, 962 Old US 70 Highway, Black Mountain, NC 28711.
An Open House Celebration of Life will take place Saturday, August 12, 2-5pm, at our home, 112 Spring View Dr., Givens Highland Farms, Black Mountain, NC.
Memorial gifts may be sent to Eagle’s Nest Foundation
or Doctors Without Borders. "
Sunday, 13 August 2017, 11am
Sunday, 6 August 2017, 11 am
"Fanning the Fires of Desire: Passion, Transformation, and Sustenance"
"Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." - Howard Thurman. Desire and passion often get relegated to the back burner when it comes to religion and spirituality. For Unitarian Universalists, there can also be the fear of “losing our cool” or “not being rational.” Yet, it is from our passions that we come alive, that we find the ways to change ourselves and change the world around us. Let's get passionate and find what we can transform and what can sustain us on the journey! Rev. DiAnna Ritola is a minister and teacher of Sacred Embodiment. She believes we are most connected to the Divine when we are intimately connected with our embodied human experience. She’s been living in Asheville for 16 years and will be moving to New York City to live and work.
Rev. Michael S.J. Carter
“A Rose by Any Other Name"
Shakespeare reminds us in his play Romeo and Juliet, that “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Why do we name anything? Why do we give a label to a rose for example? Why must we always label a person, or even a feeling? We do this either to communicate one’s feelings, (for instance if I say, "I am angry") or to describe a flower, or to identify oneself with that feeling, and let’s face it, by giving something a name, we think we have understood it. Yet we have merely put it into a category; we think we have understood it, but sometimes we need to go deeper. By not naming something, we can look at it with fresh eyes; we look at it as though we are seeing something for the first time. The same is true when we label not only ourselves but other people. In his poem about six blind men experiencing an elephant for the first time, John Godfrey Saxe writes about how each man had a different opinion of what an elephant is; a wall, a spear, a snake, a tree, a fan, and a rope. Yet they were all wrong. Is there a better way to view this world of ours?
Sunday, 20 August 2017, 11 am
Rev. Michael S.J. Carter
“A Lasting Happiness”
In The Book Of Joy, by the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and Douglas Abrams, Tutu says that ultimately, the greatest joy is the good we seek to do for others. Now many people will wonder if the way to lasting happiness is really that simple. Yes, the masses of humanity lead lives of quiet desperation, as Thoreau famously wrote. But Tutu says that the joy or happiness we seek is much more than just a feeling. And he is correct, as feelings change from moment to moment.
The “pursuit of happiness,” enshrined in the American Declaration of Independence, is a worthwhile endeavor only when considered within the context of other pursuits -- the search for meaning, for instance, acts of service, the following of conscience. And yes, suffering is involved -- including that of relinquishing the ego -- for happiness is not something that can be corralled and fenced in.
But happiness can be cultivated. Indeed, research suggests that cultivating your own joy and happiness has benefits not just for you, but for others in your life. When we are able to move beyond our own pain and suffering, we are more available to others. Psychiatrist Howard Cutler shared these findings: “In fact, survey after survey has shown that it is unhappy people who tend to be most self-focused and are socially withdrawn, brooding, even antagonistic. Happy people, in contrast, are generally found to be more sociable, flexible, and creative, and are able to tolerate life’s daily frustrations more easily than unhappy people. And, most important, they are found to be more loving and forgiving than unhappy people.” (The Book of Joy) p.62-63. Let’s search together this morning for a lasting happiness
Sunday, 27 August 2017 11 am
Rev. Michael S. J. Carter
"Against the Grain"
The prolific African American writer James Baldwin was once quoted as saying that he had to leave home in order to preach the Gospel. His statement resonated with me on many levels because of my leaving the African American Baptist tradition of my youth, and the so called good news of the gospel at that time being the “good news” of someone being a savior to and for me. Let’s explore the many ways we each, at one time or another, have to swim against the tide of society, family, loved ones; let’s discover the pearls of wisdom we gather when we have the courage to go against the grain.
Sunday, 10 September 2017 11 am
Rev. Michael S.J. Carter
"When the Going Gets Tough"
From 24/7 news cycles driven by partisan politics both local and global to climate change, mass migration, and rising nationalism, these times aren’t for the faint of heart. But neither paralyzed by despair nor hiding our heads in the sand, we engage the world with empathy and integrity. We know that even the end of the world may not be the end after all, for every ending is a new beginning. These are tough times and we are called to find a clear path through them. The old adage says that when the going gets tough, the tough get going. Let’s talk about the tools and outlook we will need to survive the challenging, exciting, and yes---the tough times ahead!
*Just a reminder that this is our Homecoming Sunday and we will be having our Water Communion as well.
|This report was prepared by Ginny Moreland, adapted from the full minutes taken by Carol Sheeler at the July 17th Board of Trustees meeting.
♦ The Treasurer’s report shows a very positive year for FY 2016-2017. Our income outperformed the budget by $19,000, and our total expenses were only at 95% of budget. This surplus translates into a stronger cushion for any major expenditures that might come up outside of the budget plan.
♦ Member Rosemary Ostertag attended the meeting and brought two requests. One was to allow people to light their own candles during Joys and Concerns. The Board suggested this might be an option, but not the routine procedure. The second is to create a “Breakfast Forum” that could meet before Sunday Services to allow an opportunity for discussion and presentations of experiences by friends and members. David Wells agreed to contact Rosemary about this idea.
♦ Election of officers: David Wells was elected Board President for the coming year by acclamation. Selection of a Vice-President was deferred because two board members were not present.
Volunteers to do the Announcements were assigned for August - September.
♦ A change of meeting nights from Mondays to Thursdays was suggested, and was acceptable to those present. David will poll others not present to see if the change will work for everyone.
♦ Discussion of Liaison Assignments to committees and groups. Frank suggested creating a position on the board called a Program Trustee who would be a liaison to all the committees. The Program Trustee would report back to the Board concerning each group's activities as well any issues or concerns that may need Board action. Frank volunteered to fill this position. The board agreed to try this plan. (Ed. note: in the past liaison assignments were distributed among various board members.)
♦ Through email correspondence, Bob Falanga requested that a second board member serve with the three members of the Social Action committee and himself to attend a meeting to explain in detail what making a commitment to being a “sanctuary assistant church” world mean. At the time no Board member wished to volunteer.
|On Sunday, August 6th, at 3 PM, let's gather to honor the Goddess in Her many manifestations, with Rebecca Williams and Linda Metzner. Our plans are to meet on the cross-quarter days of the Wheel of the Year, this one being Lammas, a day to celebrate the first fruits of the harvest. The event will include singing, a guided meditation, and visual art. Bring an image of a Goddess of Abundance if you have one, and also a drum or shaker!
For more info call Linda at 669-2293, or Rebecca at 280-6235.
|It was fun to sing in July for the anniversary of the UUCSV's founding, and also to share some new music. In August, we will perform on the 27th. We will rehearse on Sunday the 20th at 12:15 after the service, then on Wednesday the 23rd at 7 PM, and then at 10 AM on the 27th. Please come sing with us- we are a fun group! Linda Metzner, choir director
|August’s Friday Fling, a fun party for grown-ups, usually every third Friday of the month, will be held on 18 August at the UUCSV church. Red and white refreshments will be provided; please bring a potluck dish to share. Movie choices: Trumbo (2015; Bryan Cranston, Diane Lane, Helen Mirren is the first movie choice. In 1947 Dalton Trumbo was Hollywood's top screenwriter until he and other artists were jailed and blacklisted for their political beliefs).
1984 (1984; John Hurt, Richard Burton, Suzanna Hamilton; George Orwell's classic tale of a totalitarian future).
Potluck begins at 6:30. For further information call Norm Kowal (458-4537).
|The Intuitive Development (Psi) group will meet at UUCSV on Tuesday August 15 at 11:00 am to carpool to Judaculla Rock near Sylva. If you would like more information or have questions, contact Lois Heintz at 357-5152.
The Women's group will meet Friday August 11 at 1:00 pm at Lynx condo club house. At this meeting the group will explore suggestions for future discussion topics and gauge which are of the broadest interest.
|Some of you may have met Larry Pearlman, who has been a recent visitor to UUCSV. Among many other adventures, Larry has authored two books. The most recent one is: "Journey to Bliss: Stories to Inspire You to Find and Explore Your Passion".
Watch the Current for announcements of bookstore events coming up soon.
|The following wrap-up of the 2017 UUA General Assembly is from the July Issue of the UU Bulletin.
More than 4,000 Unitarian Universalists from around the world gathered for five days of workshops, worship, and witness around the theme of "Resist and Rejoice" at the 2017 General Assembly in New Orleans, Louisiana, held June 21-25. Major highlights included the election of UUA President Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray, the second-line parade and public witness with the #LoveResists campaign, and the Ware Lecture from Bryan Stevenson. See complete coverage of General Assembly in UU World.
|The deadline for the September Newsletter is August 25th. Please submit items to this address. The best format is simply in the body of an email.
Ginny and Jackie
|Board of Trustees:
David Wells, President
Rev. Michael Carter,