Donation Sunday is December 6!

christmas tree with ornamentsDon’t look now but we’re rounding the corner to “the holiday season.” Of course, it’s a COVID holiday season so there’s no telling how things will go but we can assume there will be a high premium for creative celebration ideas.

UUCA Wish List
Usually I write a blog around now that provides information about “things” that UUCA needs that can be funded through our “wish list.” UUCA’s operating budget (general fund) handles our usual expenses, but often we need things, like an upgrade to our “backyards” or video equipment, for which we ask for money. This year I could mention that we’re planning to complete a seating area outside of Sandburg Hall, so if you’re inclined to designate “Wish List” for a donation, that’s where we’ll spend it.

Donation Sunday Is December 6
UUCA is in good financial condition considering the circumstances. Consequently, we’d be happy if you chose to make holiday donations to charitable organizations that you respect. For this season, UUCA is encouraging donations to several organizations.

  • Unitarian Universalist Service Committee through the Guest at Your Table program. You can pick up boxes and information at UUCA on December 6, 1-4pm. NOTE: RE families will receive their boxes in the Dec. “Church in a Box.”
  • Beloved Asheville – donations of money are always needed(!), but UUCA is also collecting a variety of winter gear for those experiencing homelessness. Drop of your donations December 6.
    • Tents  ###  coats  ###  blankets  ###  gloves  ###   hot hands  ###   sleeping bags
  • Tree of Happiness & Hope – Through a UUCA member who works as an assistant principal at Sand Hill-Venable Elementary School, we have offered bring some holiday joy to their students and families, many of whom are struggling financially this year. Pick up a tag for a specific recipient on Donation Sunday or click here to find out more and donate online.

Year-end Giving from IRAs
Normally, individuals who turn age 70-1/2 in the previous year are required to take a minimum amount out of their IRA each year. Because of this, many folks make a direct donation from their IRAs to UUCA to avoid paying taxes on that amount. However, in 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, waives required minimum distributions during 2020 for IRAs and retirement plans, including beneficiaries with inherited accounts. This waiver includes RMDs for individuals who turned age 70 ½ in 2019 and took their first RMD in 2020. We are still happy to take donations for your own tax reasons, though.

Linda Topp, Director of Administration

A Truthful Thanksgiving

Consider taking some time with your family this year to discuss the roots of the Thanksgiving Holiday. Here are some resources to get you started!

Learn about it and talk about it: Read and share with your family this reflection on the first Thanksgiving from a member of the Wampanoag tribe https://www.uua.org/blueboat/guides/unequal-helpings-%E2%80%93-thanksgiving-history. Watch these videos that explain what it was like then (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ociHVDWxDaY), and how we got to where we are now (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lslqtUMwDxA). Before watching the videos, ask questions like “What have you heard about Thanksgiving?” and “what are some things you’ve learned in school about Thanksgiving?” After watching the videos, follow up with more questions “What did you think of this video? Did you learn anything new? Is this different from what you’ve previously learned about Thanksgiving?”

Honor the indigenous people who originally lived here: If your family lights a chalice as part of your Thanksgiving celebration, consider using this chalice lighting.

Territorial Acknowledgment

By Sean Neil-Barron

We gather together as a community of seekers,

to honour the interdependence of life,

to respect the dignity of all,

and to honour the land we walk humbly upon.

Friends, Let us acknowledge that we walk upon the traditional territories of the Cherokee (or insert name of indigenous peoples whose land you are on), the original nations of this land, who continue to cry out for justice and self determination.

We are blessed with a space and opportunity to strive to live out our common principles:

To bring justice, equity and compassion into our daily lives,

To resist all that threatens the earth and her people,

And to live out our dream of a world community of peace, liberty and justice for all.

Let these thoughts carry us forth as we journey and worship together.

Blessed Be.

You can also incorporate this meditation ritual.

Centering: 

I invite you to move into our meditation position.

Sit comfortably in your chair or on the floor. 

Put your hands on your lap or on your knees.

Sit up nice and tall.

Focus your eyes in front of you.

Find your breath moving in your body by taking in one breath through your nose and then slowly breathing it out through your mouth.

Mindful Moment Script:

Think of a time when you felt wounded, sad and ignored. Indigenous Peoples have had their history twisted and erased. In this song, the children want to be listened to. “I have a big heart filled with hopes and dreams/ But I feel low, for what I’m going to see./ Our people have been through the darkest times/ It seems hard to find the light so we can start to shine…”
Think of times when you wished to be listened to.

N’we Jinan Artists – “COME & LISTEN” // Penticton Indian Band, B.C. 

The work of decolonizing Thanksgiving ties in with all of the other work that we are doing here at UUCA. Learn more about advancing racial justice with your kids from this great article that we used in our Anti Racist parent group recently: http://www.raceconscious.org/2016/06/100-race-conscious-things-to-say-to-your-child-to-advance-racial-justice/

Soil Enrichment

Welcome mushrooms and allow them to grow in your yard and mulch. The mushrooms enrich the soil and provide nourishment for numerous organisms.

Christmas in Story and Song

Thursday, December 24, 4pm Zoom
Rev. Mark Ward, Lead Minister and Rev. Claudia, Minister of Faith Development

This live Zoom service will blend the best elements of our traditional Christmas Eve service, with wonderful stories and music, and a candle lighting ceremony.

At Peace With Mystery

Sunday, December 20, 2020
Rev. Mark Ward, Lead Minister

The stillness of the longest night of the year invites us to embrace the dark and with it the mystery it holds.