Celebration Sunday

Sunday, March 8, 2020 9:15 & 11:15am
Annual Budget Drive Team & Rev. Claudia Jimenez, Minister of Faith Development

With song, story, and inspiring words, we close our annual budget drive with a celebration of all that we make possible as people committed to the work of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Asheville.

No audio or text available.

Church or Cafeteria?

Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

This past Sunday, UUCA Board President Ryan Williams spoke about his membership path at UUCA, where he arrived as a consumer (look at all the cool things I can get from this!) to his current position much further down that path as a supporter (what can I do to keep this congregation alive and vibrant?).

As luck would have it, Rev. Claudia ran across an article that speaks to this same idea but in a somewhat humorous (and yet telling) fashion.  The original author is Thom S. Rainer.  I have de-Christianized the language a bit and made it UUCA-specific in a couple of cases.  You’ll see.

Seven Differences Between Your Church and a Cafeteria

The article starts with a reminiscence of a first visit to a commercial cafeteria.  Mr. Rainer wrote, “For a small-town kid who had never seen such a feast, I was amazed.  The concept was basic.  If you paid your money, you could choose whatever you wanted.  Your preferences were paramount.  It was all about you.”  But a church is NOT a cafeteria.  And here’s why.

In a cafeteria, you pay for your preferences.
In a church, you give abundantly and joyfully without expecting anything in return.
If you ever hear someone say, “We pay the bills in this church,” you know they act like the church is a cafeteria.

In a cafeteria, the focus is on you.
In a church, the focus is on others.
If you ever hear someone say, “I’m not getting my needs met in this church,” you know they act like the church is a cafeteria.

In a cafeteria, you can expect to have things your way.
In a church, you should sacrifice your own needs for others.
If you ever hear someone say, “I want the order of service to be the way it’s always been,” you know they act like the church is a cafeteria.

In a cafeteria, the business must continue to make things more appealing and attractive for you to return.
In a church, you should not expect to be entertained to get you to come back.
If you ever hear someone say, “I’m going to a church where the preacher is more exciting,” you know they act like the church is a cafeteria.

In a cafeteria, if the customer does not get their way, the business must make every effort to address and remedy the complaint.
In a church, we should be so busy doing for others that we don’t have time or the desire to whine or complain.
If you ever hear someone say, “People are saying…,” you know they act like the church is a cafeteria.

In a cafeteria, you have a full staff serving you behind the glass partitions, indulging your every desire.
In a church, you should not expect the staff to do all or most of the ministry or service.  Instead, the members are to do the work of ministry.
If you ever hear someone say, “Rev. Claudia, you should….,” you know they act like the church is a cafeteria.

In a cafeteria, you will likely complain to others in person or on social media if you are not fully satisfied.
In a church, you should not have a gossiping or complaining spirit in public.  Complaints get directly communicated to the person with whom you are aggrieved.
If you ever hear or see public complaints, you know they act like the church is a cafeteria.

And a bonus one from me:

In a cafeteria, you will not return if your needs or expectations are not met.
In a church, you should (and I’m quoting from our covenant) attend to our differences with openness, compassion and trust; create healing by listening and speaking in the spirit of love; and be steadfast in support of our community in times of disagreement.
If you ever hear someone say, “I don’t like the decision that was made so I’m leaving,” you know they act like the church is a cafeteria.

Have any you want to add?  Send ‘em along.

Linda Topp, Director of Administration

Wednesday Thing February 26

Dinner–Vespers–Great Programs! Be Sure to RSVP by 10am Tuesday Morning, February 25
Dinner is at 5:45pm
Suggested donation for dinner is $10 per person, $20 per family or pay as you are able. Vespers by The Reines Family, begins at 6:30pm and programming begins at 7 pm. Programs: Multigen – Black History Month Trivia with Brett Johnson (SH); Minister Transition Talk with the Board (S). Childcare will be provided in RE Commons. Dinner is pizza and salad from Del Vecchios.

RSVP for dinner here

Black History Trivia!
Come celebrate Black History Month with a fun, interactive, and educational multimedia trivia challenge! Don’t worry if you don’t know much…we’ll divide into teams, learn, and have fun. Led by Brett Johnson in Sandburg Hall.

Please Note: We will not be offering dinner as part of The Wednesday Thing in the month of March. Folks are still welcome to bring their own food and share a meal together in Sandburg Hall. Vespers will still begin at 6:30.

Rekindling Moral Imagination

Sunday, March 1, 2020, 9:15 & 11:15am
Rev. Claudia Jimenez, Minister of Faith Development
In these challenging times we are called to imagine possibilities that do not yet exist and are based on the good and the just.  As always, we are called to action! Join us in an exploration of how our UU faith can sustain our moral imagination during moments of despair.

Wednesday Thing, February 19

Dinner–Vespers–Great Programs! Be Sure to RSVP by 10am Tuesday Morning, February 18
Dinner is at 5:45pm Suggested donation for dinner is $10 per person, $20 per family or pay as you are able. 

Vespers with Rev. Claudia begins at 6:30pm. Programs begin at 7pm: Multigen –Drumming with Will Jernigan; Cultural Competencies Conversations with UUCA board Pres. Ryan Williams; WWII and the Flaming Chalice-Learn how WWII gave birth to the Unitarian Service Committee (USC), Sharps’ War and the flaming chalice logo. Dinner is soup and salad from Loretta’s Cafe.

RSVP for Dinner Here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSd5lx3i4Y9lGYa018ECn2x0k-pe4VIyYYtLzoY8OTVlH_YMmA/viewform?usp=sf_link