Justice Ministry Opportunities

In the larger community….

Film & Conversation:  Leaving Afghanistan, a one hour documentary about one family’s resettlement journey from Kabul to Canada. 
Friday, March 3, at 5:30 p.m., at the East Asheville Library (3 Avon Road) community room. 
To connect with volunteers and supporters of the Afghan refugees who have been in the Asheville area for over a year. UU Asheville is one of the congregations that has sponsored an Afghan Family. Tea and cookies will be served. Please RSVP to

Anne Vilen annevilen016@gmail.com

With other UUs….


What are the NEXT STEPS BEYOND LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT  of the Indigenous Peoples who lived on and cared for this land before us?

Several members of the Black Mountain UU congregation attended the powerful and moving online workshop “Roots of Injustice, Seeds of Change” in February, and they highly recommend attending one of the online sessions coming up soon. 

Sessions are available on these dates:

Sunday March 12, 4:00 to 6:00 pm ET or

Saturday April 15, 4:00 to 6:00 pm ET

Created by the national project, Toward Right Relationship with Native Peoples (TRR), this interactive workshop will help us to:

  • Learn the real history of our country through the voices of Native peoples, European colonists, and historians
  • Understand why this history matters to all Americans today
  • Interact and experience this history as you never have before
  • Learn to respect Native Americans’ rights, culture, and presence

Registration is limited to 60 participants, on a sliding scale from $20 to $50, minimum $5.  Please register at:  https://friendspeaceteams.org/trr

Please also let Rev. Claudia Jiménez know if you have registered for one of these sessions so we can plan a follow up conversation with the Black Mountain UU congregation. 

Adult Faith Exploration – March

All our Soul Matters Groups will be exploring this month’s theme: Vulnerability. If you are new to UU Asheville, Rev. Claudia will be offering “A Taste of Soul” to provide an experience of a Soul Matters Group. Check out our calendar below for details.

Join Revs. Cathy and Claudia for an opportunity to discuss novels (and an anthology) that invite us into covenanted, deep listening conversations about challenging issues. We will meet at noon in Sandburg Hall (bring a bagged lunch) or join us via Zoom at 7:00 PM.
Contact Rev. Claudia for the link.

This month: Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
Next month: May 4  – On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous: A Novel by Ocean Vuong

March 16: Curious Conversations
Noon-1:00pm; bring a bagged lunch; Sandburg Hall. 7pm Zoom option. Contact Rev. Claudia for the link.
THIS MONTH: What are the Article II (2) Revisions? Why should I care?
Have you heard about the Article II study? Did you know the wording of the 7 Principles & 6 Sources are in the process of change? The Article II Study Commission has completed its two-year study. They submitted their report (PDF, 26 pages) to the UUA Board of Trustees at their January meeting. Join us for an informal conversation on the Study Commission’s recommended revisions to Article II. 
Facilitator: Rev. Claudia

March 19: 8th Principle Reflection Circles (in person)
9:30 am and 12:30 PM. All are Welcome

March 23: 8th Principle Reflection Circles (Zoom)
7:00-8:00 PM. Contact Rev. Claudia for link.

March 30: A Taste of Soul
Noon-1:00 in Sandburg Hall; bring a bagged lunch or 7PM via Zoom
Experience and learn about our Soul Matters Groups. These groups offer an opportunity for practicing deep listening and theological reflection using the monthly themes to explore meaning and purpose in our lives.
Contact Rev. Claudia for the link.
Facilitator: Rev. Claudia

Will You Be A Lighthouse?

Sunday, February 26, 2023 11am
Rev. Jake Morrill, Guest Speaker
When the night is dark, there is a choice. When the seas are stormy, there is a choice. When things are uncertain, there is a choice. When lives are in danger, there is a choice. Yes or no: will you be a lighthouse? On this Sunday, as you gather to kick off this giving season, you are asked how you will shine, and for what holy purpose. In other words, UU’s of Asheville: will you be a lighthouse?

Rev. Jake Morrill is a product of the religious education program of the Tennessee Valley UU Church. He served the Oak Ridge UU Church as Lead Minister for 19 years. A former UUA Trustee and a former Chaplain in the US Army Reserve, Jake is a leadership coach and consultant, working with companies seeking cultures of emotional maturity, able to manage relationships effectively, with depth and care. A long-time student of Bowen Family Systems Theory, he is on the faculty of the Bowen Center for the Study of the Family. His most recent book is The Boundaries Workbook, published by Rockridge Press in 2022. Jake and his wife Molly are the proud parents of two soccer-obsessed teenagers. His website can be found here.

Reflection on Change

laurel amabileI have been reflecting on change as 2023 gets rolling. Not only the changes in my life, family and work, but in the life of our congregation.

Change is always at work in healthy and thriving congregations. Newcomers visit and many join as new members. Some people move away—from the congregation or Western North Carolina—for their own reasons. Ministers, Religious Educators, and other members of the staff change over time. Board members serve their terms and are replaced. Babies are born, youth come of age, and people dear to us pass away. Rites of passage help us to mark these changes in meaningful ways.

As we all are aware, the COVID pandemic forced sudden change upon all of us, with disruptions and concerns causing many layers of change in our society and lingering effects in our work, school, medical and faith communities. In the midst of this context, we experienced the retirement then sudden loss of our lead minister, Rev. Mark Ward—challenging us to adapt and be open to a changing congregational landscape.

We have spent the last year re-opening our programs and services and to learning more about ourselves during this period of Interim Ministry with Rev. Cathy’s reassuring presence and skillful leadership. The Racial Justice Advisory Council and Rev. Claudia have guided us through a process of self-assessment and learning about racial justice and our role in creating the changes we want to see in the world. Our Ministerial Search Committee has been dedicating a great deal of time and energy in the search for our next settled minister.  Your Board has been committed to supporting all of these efforts as positive developments.

Wow! So much has been happening and will be happening for us here at UUCA. Ours is a healthy and thriving and changing congregation. Let us rise to the challenges and celebrate our accomplishments as we move forward in 2023 together in this Beloved Community.

Laurel Amabile, UU Asheville Board of Trustees

Early Spring Tasks

Yes, I’m getting antsy to start gardening. This has been a strange winter, but with the pleasant weather we keep getting tempted with, I’m warming up the spading fork and thought I’d organize my tasks so I’m ready. And, I’ll share my list with you so you can get antsy, too!

Cut back ornamental grasses as early as you can. Leaving them standing will delay the onset of new growth and will also make the grass look ragged when it does emerge because it’s impossible to avoid cutting off the tips when you do finally cut it back. I like to let mine fall where they are to provide a nice mulch.

If you need a soil test, wait until the soil temperature is above 50 degrees. Temperatures below this may give you false readings. You can test your own soil with a home test kit or send it to a soil lab for more consistent results. Soils labs will also give you recommendations on what you might need to add.

Be ready to spray dormant oil on fruit trees, shrubs and shade trees. Oil should be sprayed when the temperature is at least forty degrees with no chance for rain or frost for twenty-four hours. Oil can help control aphids, scales and mites. Follow label directions carefully.

Wait until soil has begun to dry out before walking in the garden or working the soil. Take a handful of soil and squeeze. If the ball holds together, wait a few days. If the clump is easy to break apart, the soil is probably ready. Working when too wet compacts the soil and ruins its structure.

Put away the rototiller. Tilling the same spot every year breaks down the soil structure and will make your soil actually worse than if you left it alone. Plant roots are amazing structures that will take care of any soil cultivation that is necessary.

Seed into the cold frame cool season leafy plants such as lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard, and other greens.

When it’s finally time to select transplants from a garden center, make your choices carefully. Try to avoid plants that already have blossoms on them. Plants need to put out sturdy roots before using energy to push flowers. Ask if the plants have been hardened off yet so you’ll know if you must do this yourself.

Kate Jerome