Wouldn’t it be great if we glimpsed the same sort of view of the world that George Bailey got in It’s a Wonderful Life? It’s really impossible to know what effects you leave in your wake (where is Clarence when you need him?), and it’s just as hard to know how UUCA affects Asheville. But we do—at least a little! Here’s how I know.
If you ever wondered whether building, maintaining, updating and expanding buildings are a good use of your donation, here’s something to think about. Sure, we use these buildings ourselves. We have offices, RE classrooms, meeting spaces and of course a worship space for the “work of the congregation.” But we also rent our spaces for quite low fees, not so much for the income (though of course, that helps us pay for maintaining these spaces) but as a service to the community.
But we go beyond that, too. We frequently reduce our prices or charge nothing at all for groups such as the Racial Equity Institute, CIMA, Nuestro Centro, Guardian ad Litem, Pisgah Legal Services, and more. Last month, we offered our space to Congregation Beth Israel for their High Holy Day services. (Their construction project wasn’t done on time and we know all about that.) Here’s an excerpt from a lovely note written by Rabbi Goldstein (accompanied by a donation to UUCA):
“It was so moving and confirming for our congregation to be welcomed into your home. All of us benefited immensely from the beautiful space, but most of all we experienced an incredible and unquantifiable spiritual and emotional elation from your having opened your doors to us.
We all know that we live in a special community in Asheville, and your congregation consistently helps make this community special in innumerable ways. In this instance, your neighborliness and heartfelt community contributions meant, for us, the opportunity to celebrate some of our most significant holy days of the year. For that, we will be forever indebted and forever grateful.
Be it in our communications in preparing for our holidays, in your willingness to allow us to move in and out of the space as we needed to bring in our items, for the sound engineers who helped amplify our services, and in the general welcoming we were shown, the true nature of your community shined brightly throughout all of our interactions.”
Not quite an It’s a Wonderful Life scene, but pretty good confirmation that we matter to Asheville. Our presence makes a difference. And we couldn’t BE that presence without the combined acts of stewardship from all of us; our gifts of time, talent and money. Thank you.
Linda Topp, Director of Administration