It’s Time!

After enduring a year of hunkering down to avoid COVID 19, we are finally nearing a moment when we can begin planning for how we will be back together again. But there is one big if that will guide how soon we get there: if we all make every effort to get ourselves vaccinated.

Governor Roy Cooper announced last week that North Carolina has accelerated the timeline guiding who can be vaccinated when to the point that as of April 7, next Wednesday, all state residents who are at least 16 years old will qualify for a COVID-19 vaccine.

That is such good news. But it means that now the onus for ending the pandemic shifts from the state to its residents. So, I urge every one of you, if you have not yet been vaccinated, please make that appointment now.

If you’ve been hesitating, here are some important things to know:

  • The three most widely used vaccines, made by Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson, are 90% or more effective not only in preventing you from being infected with the virus, but also, scientists have recently learned, at preventing you from carrying the virus undetected. That means that your vaccination prevents you from being infected with the virus and from transmitting it to anyone else. Vaccines stop it short.
  • Vanishingly small numbers of people experience side effects from receiving the vaccine.
  • Vaccines can reduce long-term side-effects among those who tested positive for the virus. So, even if you were infected, you should get the vaccine.

Even if you are young or in some other demographic group considered to be at low risk, don’t presume that you are protected. In various spots around the country, there are signs of a fourth wave of COVID infections taking shape, and the greatest number of people affected are those in their 30s and 40s. We can halt another wave of illness, hospitalizations, and death if all of us are diligent about getting vaccinated.

Perhaps the greatest risk we face is the emergence of new variants of the virus. COVID-19 is one of a group of viruses whose genetic make-up is extremely unstable and can change quickly. We are already seeing this happening.

 Luckily, so far the vaccines in circulation still work well against the variants, but it’s possible that a variant could appear that is unaffected by the vaccine. As long as strains of the virus are in the general population, even they aren’t actively causing disease, they can continue to evolve variants. Only vaccines can shut down this process and provide the protections we need.

So, friends, it’s time: time to act so that we protect ourselves and each other. It’s the way forward to defeating this menace. For all of our sakes, I urge you: do it now!

Rev. Mark Ward, Lead Minister

 

 

Exploring the Meaning of Becoming

This month we are invited to consider that our spiritual journeys are not just about revealing, healing and sustaining ourselves but about considering our collective journey, in community toward becoming a people of Beloved Community. This quote from theologian Howard Thurman alludes to the inner and outer journeys of becoming:

“Do not 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.”

What makes you come alive?

How does your coming alive contribute to Beloved Community?

Here are a few more questions to consider this month:

Many of us mark the first day of our becoming as the time when we discovered one of our core passions. When did you discover your first passion? How has it grown and morphed over the years? How are you being called to rekindle it anew?

What are you doing to ensure that you don’t become a person who has regrets?

What if you finally  allowed yourself to say out loud, “I am an artist!” or “”I am a leader!” or “I am beautiful!” or “I am smart!” or “I am…”? 


What inhibits our becoming?

These are a few questions being discussed in our covenant groups using Soul Matters packets. if you are interested in being part of a covenant group contact Rev. Claudia faithdev@uuasheville.org.

Vespers 6:30 Exploring this month’s theme: Becoming & 7:00 PM Program

This Wed. at 6:30 PM Join Rev. Mark Ward in “Looking Over the Edge.” As we enter this month with the theme of Becoming, Lead Minister Mark Ward will lead a vespers service focused on becoming toward the end of life. What is the work for us in the closing stages of life?


Stay after Vespers service, 7:00-8:00 PM to discover what UUCA and the Kentucky Coal Mining Museum have in common, and learn more about the climate crisis from a presentation by Ed Prestemon and Wink Zachritz of the Earth Community Circle. There will be time for discussion and Q&A after the presentation.

 

April – Becoming

7
Vespers Leader: Rev. Mark
Program: Earth Community Circle,
Ed Prestamon, Wink Zachritz

14
Vespers Leader: Rev. Claudia
Program: Anti-Racism Conversations; TBA

21
Vespers Leader: Mary Alm
Program: Spiritual Practices – Aging III;   Jim Steffe, Rev. Claudia

28
Vespers Leader: Anna Martin
Program: Religious Naturalism, Rev. Ward