Justice Ministry Calendar – July

UU Avl & UU Justice Events
UU Justice NC’s Friday Action Hour –  11:00 AM every Friday Sign up for the Zoom link & weekly Friday Action Hour promo email here.
TOPIC: This week, we will conclude our Two Part Series on The Politics of Polarization, brought to us by The Carter Center and the North Carolina Center for Fair, Safe, and Secure Elections. We will watch a presentation by Nathan Stock who will discuss what we can do to navigate the ever-increasing polarization of American society. If you missed Part 1 of the series, you can view it here. Review this week’s Actions on our Google Doc

Mark your Calendar
Aug 4 – screening “Racist Roots” & Post carding
, after service, 11:15, details TBA
Sept 25 – UU the Vote Post Carding, Sandburg Hall, 4-6 PM 
Oct 16 – Collective Liberation in Action
(3rd Wed., 6:30-7:45 PM; details TBA)

Community Events & Beyond

July 9 – Webinar on the updated “Dismantling Antisemitism Message Guide” offered by several organizations, noon. Get details and how to register here

July 17 – Buncombe Election Services offers an information session for those who wish to be a poll worker in Buncombe County for the upcoming election. Get details and how to RSVP here.

July 18 – The Workers Circle offers its monthly “How to Be an Effective Citizen’s Advocate” with the Center for Common Ground, 7 pm. Get details and register here,

July 20 – The WNC Votes Coalition continues to hold canvassing events, 12:30 am – 3:30 pm. Get details and register here. (Note: the time for this event has changed.)

July 23 – The League of Women Voters Henderson County is offering a lunch and learn, “Data Counts: What We Know (and don’t know) About WNC Voters”, with Professor Chris Cooper, 11:30 – 1:30 pm at Agudas Israel Synagogue in Hendersonville. Get details here.

August 10– The WNC Votes Coalition continues to hold canvassing events, 11 am – 2 pm. Get details and register here

August 24 – The WNC Votes Coalition continues to hold canvassing events, 11 am – 2 pm. Get details and register here

NOTE: Additionally, mark your calendars for these future canvasses: September 14th and 21st, October 5th and 19th, and November 2nd. 

2024-25 Religious Exploration is Now Open!

2024-25 Religious Exploration is Now Open!

I’m pleased to let you know that registration for our 2024-25 year is open! I know it seems a little soon, but doing this early is tremendously helpful for us as we plan for the coming year. You can find out what we’re planning to offer, including info about Coming of Age and OWL in the registration form, which you can find here: https://forms.gle/3nSCY45qnjDcwE6E6 We can’t wait for another year of exploring and learning with you all!

Banned Book Summer is underway! Most Sundays this summer we will explore a book that has been banned or challenged. We’ll have our chalice lighting and check in, followed by a story and discussion and an art project!

This summer we are exploring banned and challenged children’s books at UU Asheville. The idea for this came from a Worship service offered by Rev. Audette that you can find here! I was inspired by this service to spend the summer exploring banned and challenged children’s books with our children. Since then, I have learned a lot about the conservative book banning movement in this country. There are coordinated efforts by groups all over the country to ban any books that deal with race, equity, difficult truths about history, gender, LGBTQ+ history, sex, perceived “witch craft” (the beloved Strega Nona!) and other important topics. Many parents and non parents who are calling for the banning of books have been provided with lists of books from these outside organizations. In most cases, the people calling for the banning of books have not actually read the books. In many cases, the books with “sensational” material that they read out loud at school board and library board meetings are not even in the libraries that they seek to ban it from. You can read more about this movement here.

We love to learn here and we have some big ideas about how people should have access to information in order to make up their own minds about things. We also believe in listening to people’s lived experiences in order to understand the world more fully.

In faith, Kim Collins LRE

Adult Faith Exploration – Summer Theme: Renewal

The Soul Matters June (and our summer) theme is “the gift of renewal.” Soul Matters Groups explored the theme through conversation, art and writing. Below are a few questions from the packet for you to consider during the summer months. Our groups disband during the summer and resume in October. Contact Rev. Claudia if you are interested in joining a group in the fall faithdev@uuasheville.org

  1. Whose way of being in the world renews your faith in humanity?
  2. How does your body tell you it is in need of renewal? What is it telling you now?
  3. If one were to propose that you make room for a day in which you produce nothing, don’t check a single thing off your to-do list, confront no problems and search for no solutions, what would your first reaction be?  
  4. How would your life change if you saw rest as “a form of resistance”?
  5. How would your life be renewed if you put presence before productivity?
  6. Have you ever been renewed by failure?
  7. Renewal often happens through becoming lighter. So, what might your inner wisdom be nudging you to shed, let go of, or give up this summer?

Summer Calendar
Buddhist Sangha –  Meets 2nd and 4th Tuesdays at 7:30 pm in Sandburg Hall
June 11, 25
July 9, 23

Spiritual Deepening Groups

Life Abundant –
Resumes in the Fall.
Join Rev. Audette any Thursday at 10 am via Zoom for Life, 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 sherry_lundquist@yahoo.com
Buddhist Sangha –  Meets 2nd and 4th Tuesdays at 7:30 pm in Sandburg Hall; 1st Sunday Meditation Circle, 10:15AM (Resumes in the Fall). Contact: Duanne Bigelow duanelbigelow@gmail.com

Soul Matters Groups – Conversation Groups, UU Writers Group and Creativity Matters group explore monthly themes Oct.- June.  New groups launch in October. Contact: Rev. Claudia faithdev@uuasheville.org

Summer Updates!

Everyone in for summer fun!

Please join us this Sunday, May 19 for the Faith Development Worship Service!
We will have All Ages Worship at 11:15 am this week and it’s all about Faith Development! We’ll hear from parents, teachers, youth, children, and your religious educators, PLUS Rev. Claudia. Talk about an all star lineup! We will also recognize folks who have served with Religious Exploration this year. Additionally, we will recognize our emerging adults who are graduating from high school this spring with a Bridging ceremony. Oh, and one more thing – it’s a Sundae Sunday so we’ll share some ice cream after worship in Sandburg Hall.

About the playground…
You may have noticed that we have had to remove the slides and the wooden decking that supported them from the playground. This is because the wood was really rotten and it was unsafe for it to remain in use. One of the slides remains on the playground for now, because it’s really heavy and we haven’t been able to move it yet. We are looking at this as an opportunity to reimagine our playground and we are going to want your input! Staff will meet soon to discuss plans, so be on the lookout for an invitation to get involved with the planning and execution! Special thanks to John Bates, Mara Sprain, and Adam Griffith for jumping into action to make our playground safer for the time being!

Widening the Lense – Support one of our youth!
For the last 9 weeks, two youths (including our very own Eliza Martin!) have been hard at work with photographer Peter J. Robinson, Jr. and Religious Educator Jil Novienski, using their photographic eye to capture UU values of justice, equity, transformation, pluralism, interdependence and generosity. They’re ready to show their stories their way, so please show your love and support and join us for the exhibition film screening and artist Q&A on Monday, May 20th at 8:00pm (ET) on Zoom. All are welcome to attend. Here’s the zoom link: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/84214954302

Help us mind the gap in child care!
One of our stellar child care providers, Phoebe, has headed home to Charlotte for the summer and won’t be back until school starts again in August. I am hoping that our community can help us make sure we are covered for the summer. Do you know someone who likes working with kids looking for a part time job this summer? Send them my way! I would love to hire someone to help out, but I am also hoping that you all can step up to help us out over the next few weeks – email lrec@uuasheville.org if you’re up for spending an hour in the company of the fabulous Via and our sweet kiddos!

Speaking of Summer…
We’re exploring banned books this summer! Do you have a passion for reading? Have books made a difference in your life? Come share that joy with others! I am actively recruiting collaborators for the following: Helping out on Sunday mornings with sharing stories and exploring art, or just being an extra set of helping hands. This is a great way to dip your toes into RE if you’re new to us. I am also seeking folks that would be interested in facilitating a youth book club if you prefer to work with older kids. Sign up here and I’ll share the schedule with you to choose your date(s)! https://forms.gle/hHzd4EkfYiHNaz3eA

Don’t forget about camp!
I heard on Sunday that several camps at The Mountain still have openings! Find out more here: https://www.themountainrlc.org/mountaincamp

Ready to sign up to be a Collaborator?
2024-25 Teaching teams are forming now! Find out about all the options and sign up here: https://forms.gle/HyMqqU2Ghg2L5BJ69

Sunday, May 26 All Ages Worship
Join Rev. Audette outside for some bubble fun! Bring a blanket for your fam and enjoy our beautiful campus! Weather permitting, of course!

Finally, a language update!
Maybe you’ve noticed that we’ve started using the word “collaborator” instead of volunteer – there’s a good reason for that! This faith community belongs to YOU. Without you, we simply can’t do all the good things we do here. Staff is here to support and guide, but the real work is done by the congregation. When you serve in our community, you are supporting the congregation that supports you, which is different from volunteering. We continuously update our language to reflect our understanding of this important work – it probably won’t be the last time! We are also going to be shifting from using the term Faith Development to using Faith Formation instead. This will help us define the work of our staff and make sure we are in alignment with our current understanding of what we do here at UU Asheville. Let us know if you have questions about any of this!

In faith, Kim Collins LRE

Adult Faith Exploration – May

The Soul Matters May theme is “the gift of pluralism.” Our Soul Matters Groups will be exploring this theme through conversation, art and writing. Below is a reading to consider as you explore this month’s theme.

Less Beautiful Without You
by Tess Baumberger
This place would be less beautiful without you
Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Jew,
Hindu, Humanist, and Earth-centered, too.

This place would be less beautiful without you,
Your heart honed by hardship, grief, illness,
Seeking solace and comfort here among us.

This place would be less beautiful without you,
Filled with joy and gratitude,
Seeking celebration of life’s bounty.

This place would be less beautiful without you,
Curious, inquisitive, asking questions, 
seeking transformations emerging from within.

This place would be less beautiful without you,
Striving to resist a world that tells us
We are so much less than we can truly be.

This place would be less beautiful without each of us,
Borne here in this morning to seek heaven’s fire
in each other’s souls, our own flames rising to meet.

Faith Development Calendar
May 1 – Dinner, 6:00PM & Vespers, 7:00PM – Celebrating Our Work Together! Final Vespers of the Congregational Year RSVP
May 5 – Buddhist Sangha, meditation, 10:15 AM RE 6
May 14 – Buddhist Sangha, 7:30-9:00 PM, Sanctuary
May 28 –
Buddhist Sangha, 7:30-9:00 PM, Sanctuary
NOTE: 1st Sunday meditation resumes in Sept.

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. Last session May 30, resumes in the fall.
Covenant of UU Pagans – CUUPS.
Contact: Sherry Lundquist sherry_lundquist@yahoo.com
Buddhist Sanhga – meets 2nd and 4th Tuesdays at 7:30 pm in Sandburg Hall; 1st Sunday Mediation Circle, 10:15AM.
Contact: Duanne Bigelow duanelbigelow@gmail.com
, or Stef Garvin stef@giftsintogold.com.
Soul Matters Groups – Conversation Groups, UU Writers Group and Creativity Matters group explore monthly themes Sept.- June.  New groups launch in Sept. Contact: Rev. Claudia faithdev@uuasheville.org