Check out Green America’s article “Pick a Composter, Any Composter” on its website that provides details on some of the most popular options. Green Tip brought to you by Earth Community Circle action group. Click here for more ideas/
One of the qualities of our congregation I admire is your willingness to experiment. We have been experimenting with The Wednesday Thing (this is year three!) and with multigenerational worship. These are two of the programs that generated excitement when I interviewed for my job with UUCA almost two years ago. I have updates on both.
The purpose of The
Wednesday Thing has been to create a midweek opportunity for multigenerational
community-building and spiritual growth through a shared meal, worship and
engaging programs. Much staff time and resources are allocated to making this
midweek gathering possible. This year the planning team (Kim Collins, John Bloomer,
Elizabeth Schell, Linda Topp, Winslow Tuttle, and me) has worked hard to
diversify our programs with a focus on engaging multigenerational programs such
as storytelling with David Novak, Fiber Friends knitting circle, Spiritual
Experiences with Nancy Bragg, and drumming with Will Jernigan. We are grateful
for all the volunteers who offer programs and preside at Vespers.
We have a small group of attendees each Wednesday and struggle to find hosts for the communal meal. At the last planning team meeting we discussed the value of this midweek program and the challenges of sustaining it. And….here it comes….we decided it is time to try something new! Starting in March—not February—in March we will offer only Vespers and Programs—no meal. Folks are welcome to bring their own food and eat in Sandburg Hall before Vespers. We will observe how this works as we continue to explore ways to create spaces for fellowship, fun, learning, and worship beyond Sunday mornings. Your thoughts and feedback are enthusiastically welcomed and encouraged. We are proud of our programming and hope that some or all of these will entice you to attend:
- February 5: Storytelling with David Novak; Earth Community Circle’s Invitation to Green Sanctuary Projects
- February 12: Peacemakers’ Book Study – An Indigenous People’s History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar- Ortiz
- February 19: The Story of the UU Chalice Design with Jerry McLellan and Chris VanWandelen
- February 26: Black History Trivia with Brett Johnson
- March 25: Hidden Faces of Asheville: Exploring Asheville’s Hidden and Not So Hidden Racial History with local educator Betts Conti
- April 29: Odyssey Interview: Rev. Ward
Multigenerational worship is another area of experimentation. I appreciate serving a congregation that understands participation in worship to be an important part of faith formation for our children. It allows them to learn to be part of our faith community and learn the songs, rituals, and cadences of worship. Multigenerational worship is an invitation for us to honor our differences and support our children in developing their “worship skills.”
I also acknowledge that crafting a multigenerational service is challenging. How does one craft worship that nourishes the spiritual needs of all ages? It isn’t easy, but it IS doable. I have received feedback about the things that work and those that don’t. I am reaching out to colleagues to discuss best practices and will be visiting our congregation in Oakridge, TN to observe one of their Whole Church services.
After meeting with RE staff and listening to your feedback (This is an ad: There will be more opportunities for feedback at the RE Town Hall after both services February 2nd!), we will experiment with offering Multigenerational Services for children in grades 3 and above with extended childcare. Whole Church services with childcare for PreK and younger will be crafted to be shorter, with more music and embodiment as well as content that appeals to adults and children.
So we begin experimenting! For the remainder of the year we will have two Multigenerational worship opportunities (3rd grade and above) on February 23, our YRUU Service led by our youth group and May 17, the service where our Coming of Age youth share their credos. There will also be two Whole Church services (childcare for preK and younger) on March 8 for Celebration Sunday and April 19 for Earth Day/Flower Communion.
Mark your calendars and join us in this ongoing experiment in Faith Development.
Rev. Claudia Jimenez, Minister of Faith Development
Dinner–Vespers–Great Programs! Be Sure to RSVP by 10am Tuesday Morning, February 4
Dinner is at 5:45pm
Suggested donation for dinner is $10 per person, $20 per family or pay as you are able. Vespers with Elizabeth Schell begins at 6:30pm. Programs begin at 7pm: Storytelling with David Novak (SH), Green Sanctuary Re-accreditation Kick Off (Sanctuary) Dinner is soup and salad from Loretta’s Cafe.
Master Storyteller David Novak Presents: String Stories
Join UU storyteller, David Novak, for a telling experience. We will tell stories with shoestrings and string figures inspired by oral traditions. David is a remarkable speaker who brings stories to life and engages audiences of all ages. You won’t want to miss this! And you have to pay a lot of money to see him anywhere else!
Green Sanctuary Re-Accreditation Kick-Off Program
Come learn about the 5 Action Plans we have identified (Earth Awareness Landscape, Religious Education, Net Zero Campus, Alternative forms of Transportation to reduce our carbon footprint, & Environmental Justice). Help us brainstorm and fine-tune our plan! Where can your talents fit in to help? FMI contact Wink Zachritz.
Share your thoughts, bring your questions and wishes, and give us feedback about Religious Education for children and youth at our upcoming RE Town Hall on Sunday, February 2. Please join us in the RE Commons after either service that day. Rev. Claudia, RE staff, and a member of the RE Council will be there to listen, answer and greet. We look forward to seeing and hearing from you then. Everyone is invited!
Last Sunday after Melissa Murphy’s call to action to get out the vote and advocate for electoral justice, the congregation joined in “Social Justice Stretching.” We touched our toes reaching down to get the power of the grassroots. We reached our arms up to the sky for inspiration. We stomped our feet on the ground to stomp out injustice and used our hands to wipe out white supremacy. Finally, we raised our arms swaying side to side to move in the winds of change. That quick energy break during the service reminded us that we each should find our way of contributing to positive change this election year. Your participation matters.
This election year the Justice Ministry Council is encouraging all of us to participate in our denominations #UUtheVote campaign. The bulletin board in Sandburg Hall is continually being updated with ways we can each participate. You are invited to share your commitment on one of the forms on the bulletin board. So far, we have 39 commitments out of a possible 558 members & friends. I hope we have at least 100. Will you be one of those hundred?
To follow up that call to action, Melissa will be offering two workshops:
“Voting Essentials” January 29, 7PM; a Wednesday Thing program. Join us for dinner and Vespers if you can. You would leave knowing:
1. How to look up your own voter info in the public voter search
2. Leave with your sample ballot on your phone
3. Leave with a good nonpartisan resource to use for candidate info
4. Leave with the early voting schedule in hand
5. Leave knowing the importance of sharing with all your friends as a voter turn-out strategy
There will also be a TED Talk “How to Revive Your Belief in Democracy” and discussion.
“Engaging Voters” February 11; 6:30 PM, Sandburg Hall. This training is for people who want to be active in educating voters in the spaces where they volunteer or work. It will provide more in-depth information on: voter registration; what’s on the ballot and the influence of those races on issues that align with our UU values; and how to show voters where to find essential voting information.
Lastly, there is one more opportunity to get involved. On February 23rd there is an opportunity to get “Souls to the Polls” after the YRUU (Young Religious Unitarian Universalists) youth-led service. Folks could carpool to the North Asheville library to vote early in the primary election. Why? Because NC could lose Sunday voting in any given year. To keep it we need to show that it is needed. One thing faith communities can do is organize group voting on the Sunday of early voting to keep the numbers up, demonstrating to our government leaders that Sunday voting is used. If you are interested, please let me know at FaithDev@UUAsheville.org.
How will you s-t-r-e-t-c-h this year and make a commitment beyond your vote?
Rev. Claudia Jiménez, Minister of Faith Development