Christmas Eve Services

Saturday, December 24, 2022
4 PM- Rev. Claudia Jimenez, Minister of Faith Development
7:45 PM Mini Concert -UU Asheville Choir and Dr. Leslie Downs, Music Director
8 PM Candlelight Service – Rev. Cathy Harrington, Interim Lead Minister


Looking Forward to Winter

Margaret McAlisterDear Friends,
I have grown to look forward to winter…strange, perhaps, after living for most of my adult life in sunny & lush and impossibly bright Miami…but in the 4 years I have been here, I have come to relish the winter; to allow it to nourish me. I have found that it nurtures and restores me. I am getting better at leaning in to let it ground me & to calm me, because I seem to come to this time of the year worn out from a hard year of life & growth & challenges & yes, losses, too. And I see this in many of your faces, too. Our spirits are tired!
    So can I invite you to do what Winter is asking you to do: can you lean into Rest wherever you are able? Even if you don’t have the privilege of an abundance of restful time in your life, can you find small, simple places where you can embrace rest? Can resting receive just as much focus as your ‘to do’ list? What a concept! I have a To Do List daily…bet you do too. Can we put Rest on that To Do list?
    Let’s pretend, if even for a little while, for this time of year, let’s pretend that we are in the chrysalis stage of our personal evolution….Winter is the chrysalis stage in the evolution of the butterfly. It’s the time when the caterpillar is wrapped up quietly, in the dark of her cocoon. To the outside world it doesn’t look like anything is happening. (And this is one of the most challenging things about embracing rest: to the outside world it doesn’t look like anything is happening. Our brains scream at us, telling us “You’re not doing anything. You’re wasting your time.”) But actually, deep in the dark, a quiet transformation is happening: the caterpillar is evolving into a magnificent butterfly.
    Let this be a time of a transformation of our spirit, as it is a transformation of all of nature in this season. All the experiences & lessons learned over the past year are being integrated into our spirit & into our lives. And we are evolving because of it.
    Let us embrace that our only work right now is to be like the caterpillar. We don’t have to do anything. Just wrap ourselves all snug in your cocoons, and simply rest.
    Winter is the season when things are revealed by turning deep within ourselves. Embracing the quiet & the darkness – recognizing that we don’t need to do anything for the magic to unfold. This is truly the season of receiving.

Margaret McAlister, UU Asheville Board of Trustees 


Justice Ministry Opportunities & Updates

UU Justice NC Friday Action Hour – This Friday, December 23, 11 AM and Save the Date: Year End Celebration – Friday, December 30th at 11 AM.
Join UU Justice NC for this End of Year Celebration of all the work UUs have done this year to contribute to the movement for justice and liberation. Rev. Lisa will offer a detailed review of the major local, state, and national issues that our state network worked on in 2022.  She will also give a preview of what we anticipate happening in early 2023. Join via Zoom:  and don’t forget to sign up for the reminder email by clicking here. 

8th Principle Reflection Circles Schedule
Come explore not only why the 8th principle matters but how it can transform our congregation. Below is the schedule for Reflection Circles that will be facilitated by members of the 8th Principle Team and the Anti-Racism Immigration Justice Action Group. Please RSVP to Rev. Claudia at

Jan 15  (MLK Service); Feb 5,  and March 19: 
In person: 9:30 AM;       12:30 PM 

Jan 19;  Feb 8, and March 23
Zoom: 7 PM

Reproductive Justice Connection
Carolina Jews for Justice (CJJ) is doing important work to support access to abortion healthcare in our state. Is this an issue you care about?  CJJ has invited us their meetings. Rev. Claudia would like to recruit an attendee who can share ways our congregation can partner with CJJ and other organizations who support abortion access.
The goals of the monthly meetings are below:

  • Build trust and relationships within the group
  • Learn and collaborate with other organizations also mobilizing in this work
  • Share information gathered
  • Mobilize for action

The next meeting is via Zoom, Thurs, Jan 12, 7:00PM. If you can attend please  contact Rev. Claudia

Liberation & Learning 
A little history…How the racial gap was created

Speaker at UNCAvl
January 18 (Wednesday), 7:00-8:30 pm; Lipinsky Auditorium, Free

Clint Smith, staff writer for The Atlantic, “Our History Reimagined”


New to UU Asheville? Click below to learn about our on-going Anti-Racism Initiative

Solstice Service

Sunday, December 18, 2022 11am
Rev. Claudia Jimenez, Minister of Faith Development
Drumming Circle following the service
NewComer Gathering 12:30-1:30 in the Sanctuary

Reframing Darkness

One of the gifts of my move to Asheville almost five years ago has been experiencing the change of seasons. After living in Florida for twenty-two years where nature is lush and green year-round, the annual progression of seasons has increased my connection to and awareness of earth’s circular rhythm. Winter months bring an appreciation of darkness. I grew up, as many of us, with negative associations and fear of darkness. And yet, darkness is essential to life. Seeds germinate in the darkness of the soil. Embryos develop in the darkness of the womb. Our sleeping bodies re-energize in darkness. I have learned to embrace the long, dark winter evenings as an invitation to stillness, letting go the need to always be doing something. I even welcome the opportunity to go to sleep earlier than usual. When our children were little, the onset of darkness earlier in the evening also signaled to them it was time to sleep and they also went to bed earlier than usual. Eventually, the days will get longer; the busy-ness will begin again. Until then, I will enjoy these slow, quiet dark evenings. May this also be a time of stillness and introspection for you.

Prayer to the Dark by Jan Gehris
Darkness  enfold me
nurture and protect me
hold me in
your velvet wings
Darkness loose your
creative powers in me
Quiet my eyes
quiet my ears
quiet my mind
Take the rush and
distractions of daytime
from me.
with your magic
let me be
created anew
and born from you
the light.

Rev. Claudia Jimenez,  Minister of Faith Development