Welcome to the Month of Holding History

This month we are invited to explore our relationship with history: personal, family, local and national. Are we willing to engage with the fullness of history both good and bad? Are we willing to explore what truth-full stories need to be told? Below are a few questions from our Soul Matters packet this month for your reflection.

As you consider national history, here are two links that invite us to consider a more truth-full telling of American history. Reflecting on this history can mobilize us to act.
Black Wall Street: https://one.npr.org/?sharedMediaId=1002538572:1002597102
Wilmington Massacre 1898: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=os23nj92SsY

As you consider personal history below is an inspiring poem by George Ella Lyon “Where I am from”
Poem read by author: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZdnHl_yW1dQ
Contact Rev. Claudia if you would like a template to create your own. We have used this as an ice breaker in the Religious Education Council retreat as a creative way to get to know each other.

Reflection Questions
Do you believe that history is “written by the victors”? How have you experienced the “losers” version of history winning out? Or altering your own calling in the world?

When you tell the history of the pandemic ten years from now, what story do you think you will begin with?

What if the question isn’t, “Did it really happen that way?” But instead, “Why do you want to remember that it happened that way?”

Have you figured out the story you want to be remembered by?

These are just a few of the questions that our Soul Matters Groups will consider this month. If you are interested in learning more about Soul Matters Groups or joining one please contact me faithdev@uuasheville.org

In faith,
Rev. Claudia


Vespers 6:30 PM & Liberation Conversation 7:00 PM

Join Rev. Cathy for a meditative service exploring the theme: Holding History.

7PM Liberation Conversations with Noah Hall and Rev. Claudia will continue to keep us informed about the work of the Racial Justice Advisory Council. This will be a time of listening, reflecting and learning.

Wednesday Vespers & Program themes:

1st Wed.    Theme Talk or Special Program
Discussion about the monthly Soul Matters theme.

2nd Wed.    Liberation Conversations: Pursuing our Congregational Goals to practice Anti-racism. These conversations will provide updates on the work of the Racial Justice Advisory Council and an opportunity to ask questions and discuss why the work of liberation at UUAvl matters.

3rd Wed.    Spiritual Practices: Centering Love
Centering Love – Love is a core value of our UU faith. On the 3rd Wednesdays this fall at 7 p.m., we will center our spiritual practice of love-in-action with self, others, and the world. 

4th Wed.    Theology
We began with an introduction to theology: What is it? Do UUs do Theology? Future sessions will focus not theological themes: Hope, Death, Forgiveness, Reconciliation, Evil, Covenant. 

November Calendar – Theme: Holding History 

3       Vespers Leader:  Rev Claudia
Program: Theme Talk, Rev Claudia

10     Vespers Leader: Rev. Cathy
Program: Anti-racism conversation, Noah Hall, Rev Claudia

17     Vespers Leader: Nancy Bragg
Program: Spiritual Practices, Nancy Bragg

24     Thanksgiving Vespers Leader: Rev Claudia and/or Rev. Cathy

No Program 

Three (3!!) Opportunities for Engagement

UU Asheville continues to explore ways to live into our values by supporting local and UU organizations that challenge us to put our faith into action. Below are a few ways you can be involved:

BeLoved Pantry Installation
UU Asheville is sponsoring a pantry stocked with necessities for those living on the streets and/or living in poverty

When? December 5 immediately after the post-service  Christmas Caroling the pantry will be installed. Starting in November, you can donate items to a bin outdoors on our back porch.

Where? The Charlotte Street Pantry will be located across from City Bakery. The pantry will be next to the sidewalk and just in front of the chain at the parking lot. You can pull right up to the pantry in the parking lot and easily fill it from your vehicle. 

How can you get involved?

  1. Become an Adopter. Commit to gather donations from the UU bin (or use your own) and fill the Charlotte Pantry on a certain day/s of every month . Schedule at www.volunteersignup.org/TXRAE . We will need an Adopter every day to fill and check on the pantry. Don’t worry if you are out of town. Ask a friend or contact Anita Feldman: anita.feldman@hofstra.edu . Cell: 516-375-9919.
  2. Become a Sustainer: Make a commitment to bring your donations once a month any time to the UU bin on the back porch. Schedule at www.volunteersignup.org/TXRAE
  3. Be a Random Filler: visit the Charlotte Pantry whenever convenient to check on it and fill it up.
  4. Be a Random Donor: Donate items or even ask neighbors and friends to donate too. Deliver to the UU bin when convenient.

Click below for details and a list of supplies.

Winter Pantry Supplies

Adopter Instructions

Tree of Hope and Happiness – Year 2

Why? For a second year, UUCA is partnering with Sand Hill-Venable Elementary School to bring holiday joy to students and families. Sand Hill-Venable is a Buncombe County school with a diverse student body and high level of economic need 

How? UUCA members will have the option to shop for a specific child, or to provide gift cards to give families the option to shop for their children. 

What? You can select an ornament with gift details from an actual Tree of Hope and Happiness at our caroling event on December 5, or from our virtual tree (link coming soon).  Gifts can be delivered either to the school (154 Sand Hill School Road in Asheville) from 8am-2pm the week of December 6th, or to UUCA at the cookie exchange and tree decorating on 12/12 (you can also reach out to Laurel Stolte at laurel.stolte@bcsemail.org if you need to coordinate a online delivery).

UUSC & Guest at Your Table: Supporting Human Rights
What? The UU Service Committee (UUSC) advances human rights by partnering with grassroots organizations.  They often partner with groups not helped by any government or NGOs.   Examples are working with Rohingya access to education and health, indigenous peoples in Louisiana and the Marshall Islands to fight climate change and human rights for Maya communities in Guatemala. Join us for a UUSC Sunday service Nov. 14, 11:00 AM

Why? The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee once a year asks for your support in strengthening our UU values in the US and the world through Guest At Your Table.   

How? You can help through your contributions.  Normally, we would have boxes for congregants to add a small donation each day of the holiday season.   This year during COVID, you can mail your contributions directly to UUSC, 689 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02139.  We have envelopes which you can pick up at UUAsheville during office hours which are 9:30 – 2pm on Mondays and Tuesdays 
One can be mailed to you if you email Deb Holden at djholden51@icloud.com.  
In all cases, be sure to note you are a member of UU Asheville on your check.  Any donation, makes you a contributing member of UUSC!