Dear ones,

It is a busy and exciting time as we begin the new church year and our second year of the interim process. Your seven-member Search Committee met with Keith Kron in August following the Beyond Categorical Thinking workshop, and they met last weekend with their UUA coach for a retreat. Watch for invitations to join them for Cottage Meetings and other events that will assist them in their task of choosing your new settled minister. These meetings will be your opportunity to share your hopes and dreams for the future.

The UU Asheville staff had a wonderful retreat at the beautiful Montreat Conference Center in early August for teambuilding/brainstorming, and we spent time discussing UU Asheville’s assets and how they might be used to fulfill the mission of the congregation.  It is no surprise that aside from having a talented and dedicated staff, you have much to be thankful for!

YOU HAVE: a beautiful sanctuary with great acoustics, natural light, and a wonderful piano, a great location with beautiful outdoor spaces, a stone patio, a fire pit, a lovely Memorial Garden, and Sandburg Hall is a great place to gather. There are many Religious Exploration rooms, Les brings in wonderful guest musicians, you have a great choir, and you have Les J. Asheville is a beautiful place to live, and UU Asheville is connected to and benefits from and many non-profits and social justice organizations such as Beloved, CoThink, Planned Parenthood, Faith4Justice, Mother Read, the Arboretum, and so many more. UUCA has its fun annual Mountain Retreat, a rich and vibrant Religious Exploration Program that is under the creative and competent leadership of Rev. Claudia, Jen, and Kim J This includes the OWL Program, the Coming of Age Program, and the children’s religious exploration classes being this Sunday! OMG, we are so lucky to have our house band, the Sandburgers, the Soul Matters curriculum enriches our lives with Small Groups, Creativity Matters, UU Writers, and so much more. There is a new Buddhist Sangha that meets twice a month, and the 8th Principle/Anti-Racism work happening. The Wednesday night Vespers and programming are starting up this week, and the choir will be singing twice a month beginning on September 18th.  And then there is YOU!

Yes, your presence matters!

Don’t miss the fun and our Opportunity Fair on Sunday, September 18th.  Maria is bringing her food truck, the Sandburgers will serenade us while we eat tacos and explore opportunities to get involved in the shared work of creating beloved community.

Unitarian theologian, James Luther Adams, once said that church is where we get to practice what it means to be human. Being human, with all its ups and downs, is so much better in a community where you are loved for who you are, where you are safe and can grow and learn, share your gifts, and receive the gifts of others while working together to make the world a better place.  We look forward to seeing you in church!

In faith,

Rev. Cathy Harrington, Interim Lead Minister