Things are changing…and staying the same. The best of both worlds?!?

The first big change is the name of our program. We have been making the shift from Religious Education to Religious Exploration for a while now, so it was time to make that change official. While there is still education involved, we feel that exploration more accurately reflects what we are doing in RE. We have learned over the last couple of years that flexibility and adaptability are key. We had hoped to begin RE in a more “normal” way this year, but the Delta variant put a stop to those plans in late August so we’re adapting and flexing our way to a program that we hope will lead to more community, commitment, and putting our values into practice.

So, what’s happening in RE this year? 

For our K-8 groups, we’ll have a combination of online and in-person gatherings. We’ll be using the fabulous Soul Matters material for children and youth to keep exploring our monthly themes, our UU values, how to work towards liberation for ALL people, and hopefully keep connections going as we look forward to being able to be all together again on our beautiful campus. We have new, lovely outdoor spaces, and we’ve invested in outdoor furniture and shelters so that we can utilize those outdoor spaces as long as the weather cooperates. Make sure to register your kids for RE so you can receive up-to-date information about what we’re doing in RE.

We’re happy to bring back Coming of Age (CoA) this year for our 9th-10th graders. They have already begun their journey to look deeper into themselves and our UU community — to better understand and define their spiritual beliefs, how our liberal faith shapes their lives, and how to enact that in the world. These 10 youths are joined by their 4 group facilitators and 10 mentors, who are also more deeply exploring Unitarian Universalism alongside the CoA teens. The group is meeting in person (mostly outside) and are headed to their fall retreat at the YMCA campus in Black Mountain this weekend for some community building and UU exploration. 

Note: in hopes of a youth trip while they’re still in high school, the families will be offering some modified “Soup Sundays – and other days!” Coming soon at the Third Thursday events, the Remembrance and Halloween celebration 10/31, and the UUAsheville Auction (11/6), watch for the announcements about how to get fed by and support our youth – and sometimes enjoy fellowship on the UUAsheville grounds too!

YRUU = Young Religious Unitarian Universalists, our high school youth group, will kick off their meet-ups this Sunday, October 3, at 11:00 outdoors on campus. We look forward to bringing our older teens together for some new and classic adventures and exploration: 

  • This fall we hope to get involved with the BeLoved Village homebuilding project to help combat housing insecurity in our community.
  • We’ll explore our congregational themes to discover and deepen what is holy and sacred to us.
  • We’ll cook together! We’ll provide food for our congregants in need and send care packages to our college students. We hope to learn bread- or bagel-making from Rev. Cathy!
  • We’ll offer the high school version of Our Whole Lives (OWL) to foster healthy sexuality and relationships.
  • We’ll take a “Hood Tour” with Hood Huggers to learn about the powerful and resilient history, present, and future of African Americans in Asheville. Info here.
  • We look forward to bringing you the annual YRUU-led worship service in February.
  • We’ll discover what it means to be a member of UUCA and invite youth to join.
  • And we’ll play, laugh, converse, create…and so much more! We can’t wait to be together again and discover what we can do together.

Click here to register for 21-22 RE.

Kim Collins, LRE Coordinator

The Spirituality of Imperfection

Sunday, September 26, 2021  11am Live Zoom
Rev. Cathy Harrington, Interim Lead  Minister
William James, author of Varieties of Religious Experience, came to believe that human existence, even at its best, is left with an irremediable sense of precariousness”; it is a bell with a crack.”  Human existence, life, is a bell with a crack.  I wonder if Leonard Cohen read William James….?

In Person Gathering: Sunday, October 3, 1-3pm at UU Asheville

We’re dedicating and celebrating our new patio and sculptures in our Memorial Garden.

It may not be fully completed (benches and a railing will take months to arrive) but we sure do need to celebrate.  All are welcome to have lunch at Maria and Estaban’s Food Truck, dance to the music, and see your friends.  Even though it’s an outdoor event, social distancing or masking is required.  We’ll also dedicate new sculptures in the Memorial Garden.  See you there!

photo of paved patio in yard of UU Asheville

The Violence and Virtue of White Women’s Tears, September 30, 6:30pm, Zoom

white woman with long blond hair, wearing a red blouse, crying into a tissueUU Asheville’s Anti-Racist Immigration Justice Action Group (A-RIJAG) invites you to a free Faith4Justice virtual event on Thursday, September 30, 6:30-8pm, Zoom

This is an opportunity to explore a painful and controversial topic , “white women’s tears,” from a biblical and historical perspective with a diverse group of local women including progressive clergy. The presenters are Ashley Cooper, Keaton Hill, Libby Kyles, Marta Acala-Williams, Rev. Marcia Mt. Shoop, and Rev. Tami Forte Logan. Register  here.

Rev. Claudia will be available on Zoom the following Monday evening to facilitate a discussion among UUAshevilleans who attend the event and want to go over it with others.  The Zoom link will be in the Worship eNews on Monday, October 4.

Taste of Soul [Matters], Sunday, September 26, 1pm, Zoom

logo for Soul Matters

Rev. Cathy will lead a monthly “Taste of Soul” session. Even if you don’t join a small group for the whole church year, you can still try an experience.  The monthly Soul Matters packets that we use as resources for our Soul Matters groups are a wealth of resources for self-reflection and exploration. Send an email to Rev. Cathy for the Zoom link.  She definitely wants to meet you!