Adult Faith Exploration – February


The Soul Matters January theme is “the gifts of Equity & Justice.” Our Soul Matters Groups will be exploring this theme through conversation, art and writing. 

Below are a few questions from this month’s packet for you to consider:

What did “fighting injustice” look like in your family of origin?

Were you a child that wanted everything to be fair? Either way, how has that childhood relationship fairness played out in your adult life?
How do you differentiate between justice and equity? Does that distinction matter?
What personal or societal injustice has most shaped your life?
What have you learned about the relationship between anger and justice work?
When the enormity of injustice looms, what enables you to hold onto hope?What have you learned about balancing the competing desires to save and savor the world?

Registration Open!
Power for the Peaceful: A Class on Taoism
Are there Original Instructions on how to live the most responsible life? Yes! While you may have heard about such Instructions before, Marc Mullinax will invite us to explore how Taoism, a 2500-year-old set of original instructions” – a theory of everything” spirituality, still speaks to us today. Marc is a retired Mars Hill professor, author of a new translation of Tao Te Ching and frequent speaker in UU congregations in the area.We will meet Wed. evenings, 6:00 -7:30 PM in the Sanctuary,  March 13, 27, April 10, 24.
To register contact Jane Bramham 

Faith Development Calendar

Feb 24 – The Big Event, 5:30-8:30 PM, Sandburg Hall; Contact for details
Feb 27 – Buddhist Sangha, 7:30- 9:00PM, Sanctuary
March 3-  Meditation Circle; Buddhist Sangha; 10:15 AM, RE 6

March 6 – Reproductive Justice Vespers, Dinner 6PM, Vespers 7PM. Please RSVP.
March 17 – Let’s Celebrate the Coming of Spring!
Blue Ridge Spirit CUUPS celebration of spring equinox, also known as Ostara, on Sunday, March 17, at 5:00 pm. Join in! This holiday marks a point of equilibrium, when dark and light,masculine and feminine, and inner and outer are in perfect balance. Ostara celebrates surviving the long, dark winter and honors the Goddess Ostara, or Eostre, after whom Easter is named. Please bring a dish to share for the potluck afterwards.

March 20 – Blood Drive @UUAvl. Details here.

March 28 –
An Opportunity for Connection: A Taste of Soul
Curious about the Soul Matters Groups here at UU Avl? Join Rev. Claudia to learn about these groups as you explore this month’s theme: the gifts of equity and justice. In person, March 28, noon-1PM.
To register contact Rev. Claudia

May 5  Small Groups Facilitator Meet-Up, 12:30-1:30 PM, SH

Spiritual Deepening Groups
Life Abundant –
Join Rev. Audette any Thursday at 10 am via Zoom forLife, Abundant – a weekly exploration of spirituality, science, poetry, biology & more. Zoom access information on our UUAvl website calendar.
Covenant of UU Pagans – CUUPS.
Contact: Sherry Lundquist
Buddhist Sanhga – meets 2nd and 4th Tuesdays at 7:30 pm in Sandburg Hall; 1st Sunday Mediation Circle, 10:15AM.
Contact: Sequoyah Rich, or Stef Garvin
Soul Matters Groups – Conversation Groups, UU Writers Group and Creativity Matters group explore monthly themes Sept.- June.  Contact: Rev. Claudia

We Can Win This Tug-of -War

We Can Win This Tug-of -War

Image of a group playing tog of war in the park

More than just a few times throughout my life, I have attended outdoor parties, field days, or family reunions where one of the activities was a tug-of-war. Perhaps you yourself have played that game before: Two opposing teams pull on opposite sides of a long rope with a marker tied around the center. The game is won when one team pulls hard enough to
move that marker a certain distance in the direction they are pulling.

I can remember one time in my youth when I took part in a tug-of-war at a fairly large, multi- generational outdoor neighborhood party. The attendees were of all genders, shapes, sizes, ages, fitness levels, and personalities. The rope was long, and most of the neighbors participated. So we had grandparents, teenagers (I was one at the time), parents, athletes, couch potatoes, and young kids – all pulling on the rope together. This particular game started normally enough. But the teams were sufficiently equally-balanced that the rope didn’t move much – just a few feet either way. As the game wore on, those pulling on the rope joyously encouraged others who were sitting down to come pull for their team. Many of those people joined, even if somewhat reluctantly. Some pullers got tired and had to take a breather, often to come back and rejoin the effort. The game was just a lot of fun – full of laughs and the joy of being in these impromptu groups of old friends and new acquaintances that were putting everything they had into their team effort. The game went on for what seemed to me to be a very long time. And I don’t actually remember which side won. It was
just a lot of fun, and somehow I felt closer to those folks pulling in our direction.

It’s now that time of our church year when we plan our budget for ’24-’25 and really get moving on the Annual Giving Drive effort. The AGD is currently scheduled to kick off on Sunday, March 3rd . (You might say to yourself, “Ah, now I see where he’s going with all this…” Please read on anyway.) As you may know, our dear church has weathered the storms of the pandemic and a ministerial transition over the last several years. We’ve lost some members, but we’ve gained some too. Our dedicated membership has stepped up to keep us afloat financially – responding to our pleas with increased support. And with the arrival of Rev. Audette, it appears to me that our church is turning a corner, in many ways. Excitement is up, RE enrollment is up, attendance is up, average pledges are up, and I feel like our collective church moods are up as well. Together, we are charting a future direction that can make UU Asheville even more of a force for good in this ourselves, our community, and our world.

Still, we have significant financial obstacles to overcome, and even though we’ve been pulling hard on that community tug-of-war rope for some time, we need everyone to pull harder still on our rope. We need every single one of us to step up and lend a hand. On the other side of that rope are increased expenses, aging buildings, and maybe some complacency. On our side of the rope is everyone who participates in our church lives. We’ve got people who have pulled very hard for a long time, and we count on them to continue, and even pull harder, if possible. We’ve got many people who can’t pull all that hard, but together can still make a
huge difference by pulling harder. We have new people on our team, who have just added their strength. We have people who have had to take a break from the rope, but we hope

they can find the strength to grab it again and rejoin our party. The other side is pulling very hard against us, and we need everyone. The wondrous thing about pulling on this rope is that even though it is hard, it is a joyous undertaking – all of us pulling together, smiling, laughing, loving each other and, I hope, pulling that marker far enough to win.

Clyde Hardin, Board President

Melanie DeMore Community Sing February 17th at 3:30 PM

Melanie DeMore Community Sing February 17th at 3:30 PM

melanie at beach

Melanie DeMore is a 3 time Grammy nominated singer/composer, choral conductor, music director, and vocal activist who believes in the power of voices raised together.

In her presentations, DeMore beautifully brings her participants together through her music and commentary. DeMore facilitates vocal and stick-pounding workshops for professional choirs, and community groups as well as directing numerous choral organizations across the U.S., Canada, and beyond.

She is a featured presenter of SpeakOut!-The Institute for Social and Cultural Change, the Master Teaching Artist for Music at UC Berkeley/ CalPerformances; works with everyone from Baptists to Buddhists, and was a founding member of the Grammy-nominated ensemble Linda Tillery and the Cultural Heritage Choir. She became Music Director for Obeah Opera by Nicole Brooks as part of the Luminato Festival in 2019.

She is a charter member of Threshold Choir founded by Kate Munger and conducts song circles with an emphasis on the voice as a vessel for healing. In her own words: “A song can hold you up when there seems to be no ground beneath you”.

The community sing and potluck will be held at:

The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Asheville

1 Edwin Place Asheville, NC 28801 


Advanced on-line tickets: $20 per Adult/Free for Youth (limited to a maximum of 6 youth tikcets per purchase transaction).

Please include the names of those attending in your party at time of purchase.

Advanced on-line ticket sales end at 12 Noon on Friday, Feb. 16th.

Tickets may be purchased at the door beginning at 3:00 PM on the day of, based on tickets available.

Door tickets: Adults – $25/per ticket. Applicable credit card/bank processing fees and taxes applied at time of purchase.

Flyer featuring details of Melanie DeMore Concert

Winter Family Ministry Update

Family Yoga is Coming!!

Join us on Saturday, February 3rd and Saturday, March 3rd 1-2 pm for family yoga with Donna Hollinshead! People of all ages and abilities are welcome to explore this mindful, spiritual practice. Please bring your own mat or blanket if possible, we will have a limited number of mats available to share.

Do you have a kiddo who is 5 or younger? Are you looking to connect with other little UU’s and their folks?

We have some interest in setting up a monthly play and connect group that would be a mix of planned activities and free play, with the possibility of inviting occasional speakers. We’ve got the space for it, we just need to know if there is interest in something like this. Reply to this email if you want to get involved!

Girl Scout Cookie Season is Here!

A few Girls Scouts will be selling cookies in Sandburg Hall for a number of upcoming Sundays and we want to make sure that all Girl Scouts have an opportunity to be included. If you have a scout who would like to sell cookies, please use this link to sign up for a day and time. If you have any questions please reach out to Monica Youngman ( Thank you!

The Coming of Age Big Event 

Each year, our Coming of Age group does fundraising for youth trips. You may have already enjoyed some of their hot soup on Soup Sundays! Save the date for Saturday, February 24 5:30-8:30 pm! They’ll serve baked ziti, salad, garlic bread, lemonade and cookies! Other refreshments available for a donation. They will also have fun games for all! Tickets are sliding scale. Adult tickets are $15-$20, children’s tickets are $7-$10, and family tickets are $40-$50. Child care will be available upon request. Reserve your tickets and pay in advance here!

Sign up to be a chalice lighter!

We are always looking for children and youth to light the chalice for Worship on Sunday mornings! There are also opportunities to be a reader in Worship. Let me know if your family wants to sign up by replying to this email.

No Nuts Please!

Friends, we have several kiddos in our program with serious nut allergies. We are asking that you refrain from bringing any food or snacks with nuts in them to church, even if you are not sharing with anyone else. Sometimes just the presence of allergens is enough to trigger an allergy. We are also working on asking the whole congregation to be mindful about labeling foods that we don’t have the original packaging for when sharing food at church. Folks with allergies depend on this to eat safely, and everyone deserves to make informed choices about what they eat. Please help us be more inclusive in this way!

RE Teacher RE-Fresh! Sunday, January 28th 9:30-10:45 am

Join Kim for an RE teacher RE-Fresh! We’ll talk about how things are going, share some tips and tricks, answer questions, and have some planning time. All current and future Religious Exploration volunteers are welcome! Not ready to commit but want to see what it’s all about? Join us! We will be recruiting for next year in a month or so and this is a good way to find out more info! We’ll meet in RE Commons and we’ll provide some light breakfast and coffee. Please RSVP to Kim by Thursday, January 25.

Child Care Helpers Wanted!

We are extremely blessed to have Via and Phoebe doing such a great job in child care, AND we are growing! We recently opened up our new nursery space, but we really need some volunteers to help out on Sunday mornings so we can open up both child care spaces. We are looking for folks who can give about 1 hour per month to helping out in child care on Sunday mornings. We are looking for folks who feel comfortable spending some time on the floor and who can move fairly quickly if needed. Reply to this email if you’d like to sign up – we are working on a new and improved sign up system!

It’s a Mystery…

Mystery Friends is coming…stay tuned for more info and the link to register!

Save the dates for these upcoming events:

Saturday, February 10, 5-7 pm – It’s Family Fun Night! Join us for pizza and games – look for the link to RSVP next week!

Saturday, February 17, 3-6 pm – Melanie DeMore Community Sing & Potluck – see the eNews for more details soon!