Creating an Ancestor Altar for Halloween and Honoring the Pagan Roots of this Holiday.

Sunday, October 30, 2022  11am  In person & YouTube
Chaplain Sequoyah Rich, Guest Speaker
Bring a framed picture of a loved one that has passed away. We are going to celebrate Halloween by creating an Ancestor Altar. Children are welcome to participate by bringing flowers to adorn the altar. Children may have seen a similar Ancestor Altar in the Pixar/Disney movie Coco from 2017. During our service we will:
*Learn about the Pagan roots of Halloween
*Experience and witness the Pagan ritual of calling in the Directions
*Commune with the altar by offering our joys and sorrows to the your ancestors and loved ones.
*Honor the memories of loved ones that have passed away in the last 12 months, by a public reading of their names.

Sequoyah is a Chaplain at the VA Hospital. She became a member of UU Asheville in May of this year and has become very involved. She co-leads the Buddhist Sangha and is a Worship Associate and a Pastoral Visitor. She graduated from Meadville Lombard Theological School with a Master’s Degree in Religion.

Q’ Pasa? What’s Happening?

rev Claudia JiménezWelcome back, y’all! Bienvenides de nuevo! It has been a joy to see our sanctuary alive with your presence. It has been heartwarming to see all our children, youth and Religious Exploration volunteers join us for the Wisdom Story. Kudos to our religious educators, Kim Collins and Jen Johnson for their preparation for another year full of learning, relationship building and spiritual deepening.

Religious Exploration for adults is also launching this month. Our lay team, Jim Steffe, Kelly Weddell and Sherry Lundquist, supported by Kim Collins and me, has also been preparing for the new congregational year. A few highlights:

Women & Spirituality: The Goddess Trilogy. Facilitators: Susan Foster and Sherry Lundquist

Reproductive Justice: Expanding Our Social Justice Calling. Facilitators: Jane Bramham, Neal Jones, Rev. Claudia
Initially scheduled for the Fall, we decided encouraging engagement with UU the Vote this fall is the best way to support reproductive justice and access to abortion healthcare in NC for women and our trans and nonbinary siblings. The program will be offered in January 2023.

Soul Matters Groups. Facilitated by members of UU Asheville.
Groups meet October-July. We have 9 groups that a ready to gather. There are three types of groups that gather to explore the monthly themes using the Soul Matters packets that include prompts and readings. Soul Matters Groups focus on dialogue; Creativity Matters groups focus on artistic expression; and UU Writers share written reflection. Questions? Contact Venny Zachritz.

And, of course weekly Vespers & Program.

I will also be hosting a Bagged Lunch Dialogue on the book Search by Michelle Huneven, October 21 from Noon-1pm in Sandburg Hall. Although the author broke covenant in writing the book and that is deeply troubling, it is a useful learning tool. I know some of you have read it and I think a conversation about it is important.

Y, tenemos un programa nuevo! And, we have a new offering to support spiritual deepening and the work of liberation. It is an opportunity to discuss novels (and an anthology) that invite us into covenanted, deep listening conversations that can be challenging. Rev. Cathy and I will be co-leading a 1st Thursday Noon Bagged Lunch and 7pm Zoom “Embracing Discomfort” Book Dialogue.

Nov 3               There There by Tommy Orange

Jan 5                Wild Tongues Can’t Be Tamed, edited bu Saraciea J. Fennell

March 2           Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

May 4              On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous: A Novel by Ocean Vuong

I look forward to seeing you at one of the many offerings at UU Asheville! Nos vemos!

Rev. Claudia Jiménez, Minister of Faith Development

Reproductive Justice: Updates & Opportunities

Beyond UUCAvl….

The Asheville “Freedom for All: Rally for Reproductive Justice and Abortion Access” rally that was postponed in August due to inclement weather has been rescheduled to Mon., October 3. 

Where? The Orange Peel; 101 Biltmore Ave., Asheville
Doors open at 5:30pm; Program 6:00pm – 7:30pm

Why? To hear from candidates, abortion providers, and activists on how you can get involved to protect our rights in this midterm election. We are one bad election from losing access to abortion in NC and this is going to take an all-hands-on-deck effort to get out the vote this November.

Another Opportunity
Support the Carolina Abortion Fund which offers a confidential, toll free hotline providing financial, practical, and emotional support to callers in North and South Carolina trying to access abortion healthcare. 


Reproductive Justice (RJ): Expanding Our Social Justice Calling
Facilitators: Jane Bramham, Neal Jones, Rev. Claudia
Initially scheduled for the Fall, we decided encouraging engagement with UU the Vote this fall is the best way to support reproductive justice and access to abortion healthcare in NC for women and our trans and nonbinary siblings. The RJ program will be offered in January 2023. 

UU the Vote: We are part of a network of 22 UU congregations across the state who have come together to write 27,000 postcards to voters of the Global Majority in Cabarrus County in partnership with Reclaim our Vote. Cabarrus is one the three counties whose vote for candidates supporting access to abortion healthcare will be crucial in maintaining access to abortion in NC. On Sunday, October 9 at 9:30 am we will have another big post carding push! Join us!

Oh, What a Wonderful World! Imagining a More Perfect World.

Sunday, September 25, 2022  In-person and YouTube
Rev. Cathy Harrington, Interim Lead Minister
Join Rev. Cathy and members of Unitarian Rainbow Unity (URU) as we celebrate LGBTQ+ lives and commit to fight for their rights. As Barack Obama once said, “When all Americans are treated as equal, no matter who they are or whom they love, we are all more free.”

Purpose and Possibility

It’s been 17 years since our congregation last searched for a called minister. That means many of us have never engaged in the work of a ministerial search, and for others it’s been a while. So now is a good time to reflect on what the search process is all about and what role we all play in finding our new minister.

First, know that the process is well underway. We’ve chosen a committee to help guide us through the search process, but you may be surprised to learn that the committee’s job is not to decide who the next minister should be. Rather their task is to find the minister who can help us realize our vision for UU Asheville.

We all have a role to play and the committee can’t play their part if we don’t play ours. Our committee needs to know what we want “church” to look like, what role we want to play in our community, the concerns we have, and what we see as UU Asheville’s purpose. In other words, we tell the committee where we want to go, and they find a faith leader who can take us there.

The committee is not looking for their minister, they’re looking for our minister, so they need to hear from us. To make that easy, they’ve laid out two tasks for everyone in the congregation. Let’s do both.

First, complete the congregational survey. This is your first opportunity to tell the committee your hopes for UU Asheville. Admittedly, the survey is a little long so set aside some time to give it some real thought. You’ll find that the survey will not only help the committee get a picture of who we are, it’s also designed to help you envision what we could be. It’s well worth the time investment.

Second, attend a cottage meeting. In these small group meetings, you’ll once again be thinking about the purpose of UU Asheville, but unlike the survey, you’ll be sharing your ideas with and listening to those of fellow congregants. It’s an opportunity to begin building the community you want to be a part of.

Those are the two tasks we can all do to help. Complete the survey and come to a cottage meeting. Pretty simple.

While the search process is a time for reflection about who we are, it’s also a time filled with possibility. May we approach the search process with excitement, curiosity, and openness to the possibilities a new minister can bring.

Gina Phairas, Ministerial Search Committee Chair