Story Medicine is an Indigenous healing modality blending ritual with the written word. Medicine begins with words in Indigenous cultures. Myth and legend heal because they remind us of balance and right relationship. In Western culture, we are disconnected from our ancestral stories, and from the value of our individual story. To reclaim our story is to reclaim the lost self. This is what makes Story Medicine so transformational.
Meta Commerse is a Blues Doula. A former professor of History and English, she’s an award-winning author. Meta is a social entrepreneur, creator of Story Medicine Worldwide, a community-based healing movement.
UUCA’s Anti-Racism Immigrant Justice Action Group is sponsoring this free three-hour workshop as we explore th
e work of becoming an anti-racist congregation. For an optimal experience, the workshop will be capped at 21 individuals. The workshop provides a taste of the transformative work of Story Medicine. Expect to encounter community learning and healing through the sacredness of story. Meta uses memory as raw material and community resource, along with heart-centered language for what has happened to us.
It’s a Flower Communion Ceremony, IN PERSON!!! We’ll have a food truck, ice cream, and maybe some activities (we’re looking for volunteers right now). Come for the ceremony at 3:30, stay for the food and fellowship! Bring a chair if you don’t like standing around. And for heaven’s sakes, bring flowers!!!! Rain date is April 18.
Grief is a fact of our lives these days with all the losses we’ve suffered with the COVID-19 pandemic, but it doesn’t have to consume our lives. It can be the key to growth if we understand it as Francis Weller suggests as “a threshold emotion” that can help open up our lives.
“The Five Gates of Grief” is sponsored by UUCA’s Pastoral Visitors and will be led by facilitators Jan Booth and Trish Rux. Booth and Rux are holistic nurses and end-of-life doulas in the Asheville area. The class is intended to explore the weight of griefs that we carry and the way that those griefs impact how fully we love and live our lives. Contact Rev. Mark Ward to register. Space is limited.
This is a 3-session book discussion group using the book Turning Point: Essays on a New Unitarian Universalism, edited by Fredric Muir. We’ll pull a few essays from the book for each session as we explore the three sins of today’s Unitarian Universalism, its three promises, and examples of organizations trying to live the promises. We’ll also learn more about what “Beloved Community” means and how being an iChurch is not a good thing. Contact James Cassara to register for the link and get the book. Brought to you by the Leadership Development Committee.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, churches and faith communities have had to move many of their ministries online, including worship and faith formation. As we look forward with hope as vaccinations are distributed and something resembling normal appears on the horizon, how can congregations carry what they have learned from this time, from new technologies to new skills, and ways of connecting with local and distributed communities the future? How do we stay connected to those with whom we have forged relationships online when our ministries begin to return to in-person gatherings? What have we learned, what will we carry forward, and what can we leave behind? Join us for this webinar as we discuss these questions, and more, with two thought leaders who have been working on extending community and welcome to people near and far well before the pandemic began.
This event is brought to you by the department of Lifelong Learning at Virginia Theological Seminary. It will be using a Christian perspective but addressing issues that affect all religious communities.
Rev. Jim Keat is the Digital Minister at The Riverside Church in New York City and the Director of Online Innovation at the Convergence Network. He is also a Digital Consultant to various progressive faith agencies and organizations. He is the producer of original media projects from The Riverside Church like Be Still and Go and Church Talk as well as the creator of the Thirty Second Bible project and Thirty Seconds or Less.
The Rev. Zack Nyein is Associate Rector for Community Engagement and Children and Youth Formation at All Saints Episcopal Church in Atlanta. Zack is enthusiastic about developing creative ways of connecting and communicating the Good News of God in Christ across generations and difference as the church lives into its new and ancient calling as a community of reconciliation and renewal. Active in the wider Episcopal Church, Zack currently serves on the Task Force for Prayer Book and Liturgical Revision, the Board of the Episcopal Evangelism Society, and as Director of Worship for Imagine Church, an innovative online worship experience sponsored by the Diocese of Atlanta.
For this event, Lifelong Learning offers a voluntary three-tier fee program. You choose the rate that best suits your needs. No matter your choice, you will receive the same experience. Those who pay more will help support the content and costs of Lifelong Learning events. Thank you.
– The film is 2040, about the future we could create if we embraced the best climate solutions available today. This film cannot be shown on Zoom so please watch it on your own and join the discussion on Friday, March 12 at 7pm. Contact Charlie Wussow to obtain the links to view the film and the guided Zoom discussion.
Award-winning director Damon Gameau (That Sugar Film) embarks on a journey to explore what the future could look like by the year 2040 if we simply embraced the best solutions already available to us to improve our planet and shifted them rapidly into the mainstream. Structured as a visual letter to his 4-year-old daughter, Damon blends traditional documentary with dramatized sequences and high-end visual effects to create a vision board of how these solutions could regenerate the world for future generations.
Many academics believe that people become inactive or paralyzed on this topic because it all just feels too overwhelming and alarming. 2040 is an aspirational film full of hope about the possibility to make changes that will shift the course for humanity and the planet. This is the narrative the next generation needs to see, to aspire to, and to believe is possible.
Join a continent of UUs as we explore next steps in creating Beloved UU Communities
On Your Own:
Watch compelling video TED-talk style testimonials from selected congregations around the continent sharing their learnings, hopes and next steps in their quest for racial equity in their congregations
Together on February 27, 2021
Worship ~ Workshops ~ Caucusing
With plenty of breaks
Register Now Do note that youth need to have permission forms signed before they can attend.
Our Justice Ministry Film Night is returning to second Friday evenings at 7pm. Our first offering is a film by Kathleen Dowdey. John Lewis: Get in the Way is the first biographical documentary about John Lewis. It is an inspiring portrait of one man cast into extraordinary times and his unhesitating dedication to seek justice for the marginalized and ignored. The film spans more than half a century, tracing Lewis’ journey of courage, confrontations, and hard-won triumphs. A discussion period will follow the film.
Mr. Lewis was the youngest speaker at the historic 1963 March on Washington, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his legendary “I Have a Dream” speech. And in March 1965, Lewis led the Bloody Sunday march in Selma, where Alabama State Troopers attacked peaceful protesters with billy clubs, bullwhips, and tear gas. Their horrific actions were broadcast on nightly news reports into living rooms across America; eight months later, the Voting Rights Act was signed into law.
There is no charge for viewing the film but donations are welcome. Or text UUAVL to 73256. Or send a check to UUCA, 1 Edwin Place, Asheville, NC 28801. You may donate to our General Fund or to our Community Plate outreach program. In February we will be donating all Community Plate income to an Asheville High School scholarship fund established by UUCA to be awarded once a year to a student who will attend a North Carolina publicly funded college, has financial need, has participated in community service, and has a weighted GPA of 3.0 or better. Extra consideration is given to first-generation college attendees.
Fear not. UUCA is not in any financial danger. But there ARE dangerous shoals up ahead as we find ourselves in a new normal after COVID times. Members of the Leadership Development Committee will lead a discussion about the near-future of UUCA using this article as a conversation starter. All are invited to attend. We’ll use breakout groups if necessary. Contact James Cassara for the session link. Brought to you by the Leadership Development Committee.
We are sad. The RE Council was planning another in-person, outdoor event for us, this time a Black Lives Matter vigil on the afternoon of our Martin Luther King, Jr. Sunday Service. With local infection rates high and hospitalizations soaring, we don’t think it’s a good idea. As soon as we are comfortable gathering outside in larger groups, we’ll come up with another idea!
Join Brett Johnson in celebrating Black History Month from the comfort of your home with a fun, interactive, and educational multimedia trivia challenge! Don’t worry if you don’t know much…we’ll divide into teams, learn, and have fun. Contact Brett Johnson for the zoom link. (I’d go just to see how you play trivia online!)
– Note that this class is filled but Jeff Jones is compiling a wait list. Nonviolent Communication (NVC) or Compassionate Communication is referred to as a language of life or a language of the heart. More than a way of communicating, it is grounded in a consciousness that can be practiced moment by moment. This four-week class will begin with an overview of Compassionate Communication and Consciousness, cover the skills of expressing Observations, Feelings, Needs and Requests without judgment, blame, or demand, and will cover empathy using contemporary real-life examples. While the class will teach skills (appealing to the head), it will be grounded in consciousness (appealing to the heart).
The four sessions will be on Zoom, Thursdays January 7, 14, 21, and 28; 7-9pm
Our facilitator, Rev. Jeff Jones, began studying and became inspired by Nonviolent Communication (NVC) while serving at the Emerson Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Marietta, Georgia, from 2010 to 2017. He left parish ministry in 2017 to become a UU Community Minister and studied NVC more intensely in Asheville, NC. He has taught NVC at UU congregations, at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), at UNC Asheville, and has led an NVC Practice Group since January 2019. He is a member of the NVC Sharers’ Group (those who teach NVC) in Asheville and is an Affiliated Community Minister with the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Asheville.
WHEN? January 10 at 3 pm and every other Sunday at the same time through March 7, join Rebecca Bringle and Susan Steffe in an hour of discussion and exploration via Zoom of Pema Chödrön’s new book. This is a participatory group – we will all share the work!
WHY? We experience unexpected and unwelcome events constantly in our lives. We can’t change the fact that this will happen, over and over again. But what we can do is change how we react to it, and use the tools out there to cope with how we pick up the pieces again.
This is what renowned Buddhist and spiritual teacher, Pema Chödrön is addressing in her book Welcoming the Unwelcome: Wholehearted Living in a Brokenhearted World.
Books can be purchased through: Malaprop’s https://www.malaprops.com/search/site/welcoming%20the%20unwelcome
SemiColon Bookstore, a Black woman-owned store and gallery in Chicago https://bookshop.org/books/welcoming-the-unwelcome-wholehearted-living-in-a-brokenhearted-world/9781611805659
This holiday season we invite you to consider supporting the projects listed below that will support individuals in our community and abroad during this time of pandemic and economic upheaval. Our “Donation Day” is over, but the opportunities to give are not. There are still online opportunities to you. Here are links to the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) and for gift opportunities for students at Sand Hill-Venable Elementary School. You may also send a check to UUCA (that’s us!) for the Ministers’ Discretionary Fund to help struggling UUCA congregants this time of year. Thank you! Gracias!
Christmas in Story and Song
– Rev. Mark Ward, Lead Minister and Rev. Claudia Jiménez, Minister of Faith Development
-This Christmas Eve service will blend the best elements of our traditional Christmas Eve services, with wonderful stories and music, and a candle lighting ceremony. Sign up to receive links to our services on our home page.
This Wednesday Thing PROGRAM continues on 2nd & 4th Wednesdays, 7pm, through December 9. Drop in any time.
Learn how to develop anti-racist habits and skills that will show us a path to building the beloved community we dream about. We’ll use our own personal histories and UU beliefs and values to understand anti-racism work through frank conversation and reflection about race. Participants are encouraged to attend all sessions, although drop-ins are OK, too.
“We need to approach racism as it exists in our lives today, and not as an exercise in studying history. We need to share our experiences and viewpoints, and listen with open hearts and minds to each other, especially when we disagree.”
-Ruth Alatorre in Bringing Gifts
September 23 – Telling Our Story: Multiple Truths and Realities II
October 14 – You Are How You’ve Lived: Exploring Individual & Group Identity
October 28 – Exploring Your Multiple Identities
November 11 – Problems and Promises of Unearned Privilege
One of the ministers, a UUCA Board Member, Linda Topp, or Venny Zachritz will be loitering on the Sandburg Hall deck every Thursday at noon, just waiting to talk to someone. Bring a chair, your lunch if you’d like, and sit a spell and chat. (Weather-permitting so it’s not likely we’ll meet on rainy days or those days below 40 degrees!) However, if you really want to talk with someone, feel free to contact Rev. Mark and he’ll set up something for you.
We’re reaching out to 1 million voters by November 3! That’s 1,000,000!
Join us for the last UU the Vote virtual mobilization before Election Day. At our Gather the Spirit event, on Wednesday, September 23rd at 7:30 ET / 4:30 PT we are unlocking the full power of our community and our values to go All In during the UU the Vote Fall push.
We’ll have musicians, speakers from our national partners, and volunteers announcing our progress toward our goal to contact 1 million voters! Then we’ll invite you to our October Week of Action and give you the tools you need to activate your congregation. Register Here
Second Thursdays at 7pm starting on October 8, join Rev. Ward as he facilitates a discussion he’s calling “White People Wondering.” It will be a brave space for reflecting with others on where you are on the journey of recognizing and disrupting racism in your life. Contact Rev. Ward to sign up.
On Thursday, September 10, at 7PM. UUCA’s Justice Ministry in partnership with NC Democracy: WNC Region will host a public screening of Suppressed 2020: The Fight to Vote.
This brief film documents the story of widespread voter suppression during the 2018 midterm election in Georgia when Stacey Abrams ran to become the first black female governor in the US. Following the film, Edward Peters, WNC Regional Organizer for Democracy NC, will lead a Q&A and discussion about strategies for overcoming voter suppression and volunteering during the current election season.
You will receive an email reminder with the Zoom link
closer to the date of the event.
“Black Voters Matter applauds Brave New Films for sharing the story of voter suppression in Georgia. More than ever it’s important for citizens to understand how fragile and vulnerable American democracy is in the current political environment. We hope that this film advances the national discourse around voting rights and voting suppression and catalyzes a new commitment to protecting and advancing voting rights in this country.”
The 21-Day Racial Equity, and Social Justice Challenge provides an opportunity to dive into racial equity and social justice topics where participants will be provided curated resources like articles, podcasts, activities, and more conveniently delivered straight to their inbox. Resource emails will begin Sunday, August 9th, and continue for four weeks. It’s free.
A 21-day, habit-building series like this helps you discover how racial inequity and social injustice impact our community. This series will allow you to connect with others and identify ways to dismantle racism and other forms of discrimination.
Registration is now open on our YWCA of Asheville’s website.We will also be facilitating conversation in the 21 Day Racial Equity and Social Justice Challenge Facebook group, where participants can discuss the content and engage with participants taking the challenge.
Register through the link below and begin your journey towards creating equality for all.
Our challenge was inspired by the YWCA of Greater Cleveland, who was inspired by Food Solutions New England. Food Solutions New England was the first to use an exercise from Dr. Eddie Moore, Jr. and Debby Irving’s book and adapt it into an interactive 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge. The challenge is designed to create dedicated time and space to build more effective social justice habits and bring awareness to issues of race, power, privilege, and leadership.
Starting on August 17. Presented by The Mountain Learning and Retreat Center, lead by Rachel Kinback, Mountain Staff & Certified Yoga Teacher (500 hr), $50 for all 4 classes, or $20 per class.
Have you ever wanted to learn about Yoga? Perhaps about the postures and movements, yes, but what about the rich philosophical concepts from which the movements of Yoga were developed?
As with any practice, a strong foundation is key. This offering is for anyone who has interest in learning about the science of Yoga from the ground up. Excellent for first-time yoga students or for those who seek a refresher or more philosophical context to inform an existing practice, or for those who would just like to plug into a community of people practicing together.
Starting on August 12th, NC Interfaith Power & Light and the North Carolina Council of Churches will be hosting an eight-week forum series detailing the important issues facing us this election. The forums will highlight their multi-issue faith voter reflection guide –Democracy, Values & the 2020 Election: A Reflection Guide for Faith Communities– in addition to featuring expert speakers, and educating attendees on the policy/the reality of voting during a pandemic.
Click on the titles below to register and please spread the word.
You need to register for each session to get the session link!
Join UUs from across the state to advocate for justice from home with Forward Together. All you have to do is show up. There will be a list of easy, impactful actions that Forward Together’s partners have called on us to DO. They’ll begin with a brief check-in, introduce that week’s actions, and then get to work for an hour. Along the way, we’ll be accompanied by good justice music, fellowship, and support! Contact Rev. Claudia for the Zoom link.
This is a virtual program sponsored by The Mountain Retreat and Learning Center. It starts Wednesday, July 1 at noon and continues for eight Wednesdays thereafter.
“Adaptive Living: From Fear to Love – Pathways to Progress” is free – – with donations to The Mountain welcomed. It’s designed to open our minds and hearts so we are more adaptable, productive, and committed to a higher level of personal development in this rapidly changing world.
This program is offered to help The Mountain recover from its $500,000 loss in COVID-19 program cancellations. The coordinator and presenters are doing this pro bono. Every dollar goes to The Mountain. Our OLLI-recognized keynote speakers (Drs. Rita Brodnax and Dudley Tower) will introduce content, facilitate discussion, and encourage new practices during the nine sessions.
As the 2020 election draws near, the UU Living Legacy Project is offering a monthly online series focused on voting rights. In these sessions, we’ll be exploring what we can learn from the Voting Rights Movement of the 1950s and 60s to apply to challenges we face today in these amazing (and not necessarily in a good way) times. UUCA’s Justice Ministry invites you (yes, you!) to participate!
WHEN: Last Tuesday of every month starting May 26 until Election Day 2020! TIME: 7:30 pm Eastern; each program is 60 minutes followed by informal discussion time. MODERATORS: Dr. Janice Marie Johnson and the Rev. Carlton E. Smith REGISTRATION:http://www.uulivinglegacy.org/votingrights.html
TODAY!! At noon!!!
The event will be on Church Street, which will be closed to vehicular traffic. Speakers: Rev. John Grant will open with comments and prayer, with L.C. Ray, Herbert Grant, Tyrone Greenlee and the pastors at Central United Methodist, First Presbyterian and Trinity Episcopal also being involved (plus others).
Attendees are asked to social distance and wear masks.
You are invited to join in anytime during this 12-week class on Unitarian Universalist History online! The class will meet on Thursday evenings from 7:00 to 8:30pm through June 18. It is facilitated by Rev. Jeff Jones, Affiliated Community Minister with UUCA. We will be using the video series Long Strange Trip by Ron Cordes. The class will cover 2000 years of Unitarian Universalist history. Each class will have 30 minutes of video followed by discussion. You are welcome to join us for all classes or you can drop in as your schedule permits.
This is going to be fun. Get your kit, write a prescribed note, decorate, and send! We’re setting up a Zoom writing party. Join this postcard writing campaign led by Reclaim Our Vote who partners with NAACP, Black Voters Matter, Mi Casa, Mi Familia Vota, and others to reach out to voters who have been de-registered from voting and may not know it. This campaign is being organized through Forward Together, which is the North Carolina UU justice ministry. Kits with stamps, postcards and instructions will be made available. You can have a Zoom postcard writing party or do it solo! Contact Rev. Claudia to join us. Why can’t we have 100 people doing this? UUCA could send out 2000 postcards!!!!!
The curated list of other opportunities curated by Melissa Murphy (thank you, Melissa) can be found at bit.ly/UUtheVote (last edited 5/4/20)