UUA General Assembly, Portland, OR and online, June 22-26

General Assembly: The Unitarian Universalist Association's Annual Meeting |  UUA.orgGeneral Assembly (GA) is the annual meeting of our Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA). Participants worship, witness, learn, connect, and make policy for the Association through democratic process. Anyone may attend.  Additionally each UUA congregation can have a specific number of voting delegates according to its size.  UU Asheville can have 10 delegates.  If you’re interested in being a delegate, contact Board President Clyde Hardin.

In 2022, we will have the option of meeting online or in-person! For those who enjoyed the convenience and accessibility of remote participation, General Assembly will continue to offer virtual attendance with robust programming and enhanced delegate discussion tools. For those who have been missing the physical experience, GA 2022 will also feature face-to-face interactions, hanging banners, a browsable exhibit hall, meals with friends old and new, local site attractions, and more! Join us June 22 – 26, 2022 online or in-person in Portland, Oregon.

All GA attendees and exhibitors are required to provide proof of Covid-19 Vaccination for in-person attendance at General Assembly. In addition, masking is required and physically distanced seating options will be reserved in our meeting spaces.

General Assembly registration information.
General Assembly housing information.
General Assembly programming information.

Equitable, Affordable Housing in Asheville, Past and Present, Sunday, May 15, 12:30pm, Sanctuary

After coffee in Sandburg Hall, head back to the Sanctuary to view This Divided Land, a 20-minute film that was made by Asheville Habitat for Humanity. Andy Barnett, the Executive Director of Asheville Habitat, will be here to answer questions about the film and to discuss their contributions to providing equitable affordable housing in our community.

After discovering a racial covenant on a property developed for affordable housing, Asheville Habitat decided to learn more about discriminatory housing practices that took place in our community, how those shaped our city, and how practices like racial covenants have contributed to current day racial disparities.

Justice Ministry Film: Suppressed and Sabotaged, Friday, May 13, 7pm, Zoom

Logo of film titleSuppressed and Sabotaged: The Fight To Vote (2022) is a powerful documentary about the growing threat of voter suppression and election sabotage. In 2021,19 states passed 34 new voter laws following the 2020 Presidential Election. The film focuses  on this recent wave of voter suppression and subversion laws being enacted in states, and how the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial race between Stacey Abrams and Brian Kemp provides a deplorable example of today’s voter suppression laws across the country.

The film includes perspectives from voters in Arizona, Florida, and Texas that highlight how these new laws will affect their constitutional right to vote. Suppression tactics covered in the film include: registration hurdles; polling place closures; voter purges; missing absentee ballots; extreme wait times at polling locations; exact match disqualifications; new vote-by-mail limitations; changes to ballot collection and drop off; and more. Voter suppression laws disproportionately affect American Students, Senior Citizens, Black, Indigenous, Latine, and People of Color from casting their ballots. Suppressed and Sabotaged is a  call to action against the calculated, unconstitutional and racist attacks intended to suppress the right to vote in America.

Note: This film will be viewed on Zoom.  Send a request for the link to Charlie Wussow at mnpopi@icloud.com by Thursday, May 12th.  There will be a discussion after the screening of the film.

Official Trailer                      https://youtu.be/_RhrbEh-osI                           runtime: 44 minutes

RAISE  A HOME AUCTION for the BeLoved Village Micro Homes Project, Saturday, April 30, 5pm, AB Tech Event Center

Support our Justice Ministry partner, BeLoved Asheville, by attending their fundraiser auction.  Proceeds will fund the building of a home in The Beloved Village Micro Homes Project. The struggle to find deeply affordable housing is the #1 problem in Asheville, our state, and our country. Enjoy the event knowing that you are part of the solution. Please join us for an evening of live jazz, delicious culinary & beverage treats. PLUS a “something for everyone” selection of auction items & experiences, services, vacation trips and entertainments. Click here for more information and tickets or ask Fredda Mangel, UU Asheville’s Ambassador for this auction.

Primer Leadership Experience, Wednesday, June 1

This is a self-paced experience with recorded lectures, supplemental materials, and one live processing session presented by the Southern Region of the UUA. The topics covered in the Primer LE are UU Theology, Covenant, and UU History.

Sending leaders to a Leadership Experience is an investment in the future of a congregation and in the future of Unitarian Universalism. Leadership Experience participants return to their congregations more grounded in Unitarian Universalism and hear a deeper call to serve. They function at a high level and are able to inspire and invite others. Because this experience is so valuable for individuals, teams, and congregations, the Southern Region staff recommends that congregations build leadership development, in general, and sending teams to Leadership Experiences, in particular, into their budgets. Register today!

The cost is $35 per person; UU Asheville congregants are eligible for scholarships so money cannot be your excuse!  Here’s what James Cassara has to say: I’ll speak from experience and say this is a powerful and engaging experience, one I have now done twice.  It is a great way to deepen your commitment and understanding of UU Asheville and how we can build the Beloved Community we all desire.  For more information watch an introductory video here.
I’ll be glad to share my experience.  Feel free to contact me, James Cassara.

UUA Common Read 2021-22 – Lead a discussion group!

This UU Common Read invites us to ask ourselves, “Why is it important for UUs to Defund Fear?”

Once we find a leader, we can plan to gather for a deep dive into Zach Norris’s Defund Fear: Safety without Policing, Prisons, and Punishment (Beacon Press, 2021). While Zach Norris’s book is secular, the issues it confronts and the solutions he offers raise core theological questions for Unitarian Universalists. Groups can meet for one 90-minute session or adapt the discussion materials to go deeper together with multiple meetings.

Here’s a recorded conversation (Vimeo, 1:10:00), moderated by UU World executive editor, Roger Santodomingo, that engages author Zach Norris with UU religious professionals on ways the book resonates for UUs. The conversation calls us to respond individually and collectively with prophetic, faith-based participation in our shared public safety.

Contact Rev. Claudia Jiménez if you are interested in leading a single-session or 3-three-session discussion group for UU Asheville.  Here’s the resource for doing that: This discussion guide, for any UU congregational group (Word, 59 pages), offers a single 90-minute session and a three-session option for online or in-person gatherings.

Get started now:

The Haunting Church, 4 Mondays, April 11-May 2, 7-8:30, Zoom

If you are struggling with the concept of faith, theology, worship, and other religious words, I invite you to consider attending next month’s Adult Faith Development Program “The Haunting Church: Owning Your Religious Past” which invites participants to reflect on their religious journey. What do you leave behind? What do you bring to the present? What do you redefine?  Contact Rev. Claudia Jiménez to register.



Justice Ministry Film: Meltdown in Dixie, Friday, April 8, 7pm, Zoom

This is a documentary film about BBQ, ice cream and the Confederate flag.

The Confederate flag has flown in the corner of an Orangeburg, SC parking lot since 2000, when former ice cream shop owner Maurice Bessinger raised the flag in protest over it coming down from the SC State House dome. Bessinger, a self-avowed segregationist, deeded the plot of land where the flagpole stood to the local chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans to ensure the flag continued to fly in Orangeburg long after his death.

In the wake of the 2015 Charleston Massacre, new creamery owner Tommy Daras, who once considered the flag an acceptable sign of a rebel, has a change of heart and commits to doing anything possible to get it down. But “Keeper of the Flag” Buzz Braxton and the Sons of Confederate Vets refuse. With Confederate symbols coming down around the country, can Tommy get the flag down in Orangeburg?

Send a request for the ZOOM link to Charlie Wussow at mnpopi@icloud.com by Wednesday, April 6th.  There will be a discussion after the screening of the film.

Official Trailer                 https://www.meltdownindixie.com              runtime: 54 minutes

8th Principle Event with Paula Cole Jones, Sunday, April 3, 8pm, Zoom

UU Justice NC is teaming up with DRUUMM (Diverse Revolutionary Unitarian Universalist Multicultural Ministries) to offer a virtual event for North Carolina UUs interested in learning more about the 8th Principle. We’ll have the incredible opportunity to hear directly from the co-author of the 8th Principle, Paula Cole Jones. We’ll also learn more about the process of adopting the 8th Principle from two lay-leader panelists who have led this work in their own congregations.

Register Here!

UU Asheville Blood Drive, Sunday, March 20, 10am-3pm

YRUU and Family Ministry are partnering with The Blood Connection to sponsor a blood drive because our area is dangerously low on blood supplies.  Each blood donor will receive a $10 eGift card. A $10 charitable donation will be made to the church per donor.  Your support is urgently needed!

Each blood donation saves up to 3 lives!  Donors need to be at least 16 years old (16-year olds need a permission slip signed by a parent or guardian, which will be at the blood drive), weigh at least 110 pounds, have ID and be in general good health.

Please schedule an appointment by clicking on this link. 
Walk-ins are welcome but appointments will be honored first.

Click here for more information about donating than you can imagine.

Mindfulness, Pizza, and Games! Thursday, March 10, 5:30-7pm in Sandburg Hall

two piles of board games on a tableAll families with school-aged children are welcome to gather for Mindfulness, Pizza, and Games night!  At 5:45pm, Amy Wright Glenn will lead us in a 5-10 minute family mindfulness practice ~ appropriate for all ages. Then, we all enjoy pizza (which will be provided) and board games together until 7pm!

Please RSVP to Kim if you want pizza – families are also welcome to bring their own food. While we have board games on hand, feel free to bring any extra board games that you love. We hope to see you on Thursday, March 10!

Come Warm Your Heart With Us! IN PERSON – OUTSIDE! Sunday, January 30, 12:30pm

red cup of hot cocoa with marshmallows held by girl with green gloves and a furry white coatEveryone of all ages is welcome to join us for a hot cocoa and a cozy fire in our new fire pit. We’ll have a hot cocoa bar so you can customize your cup and spend some time around the fire with your fellow UU Asheville folks!

This is also a Soup-er Event!  Pick up your pre-order at Sandburg Hall  12:30-1:30pm 
Choose from a variety of delicious homemade soups and pre-order using the link below (order early for the best selection). Each quart of soup comes with 2 generous pieces of garlic bread AND the joy of supporting the youth of our congregation! Pay for and pick up your order at UU Asheville between 12:30 to 1:30pm. Take home to enjoy! **Orders close on Friday, January 28 at 5pm, to allow time for the chefs to prepare. Click here to order.

Spirited Improv Class Starts Sunday, January 30, 6:30pm, Zoom

Spirituality and Improvisation may appear – at first glance – to be an unlikely pairing.  Most people know improvisation only from the perspective of entertainment or performance.  But the actual craft of improvisation is about authenticity.

This is the intersection with spirituality.  Introducing improv into our spiritual journeys brings the opportunity for heart-learning and growth in self-awareness to happen.  During the embodied process of having fun and laughing, seeds for transformation can be planted.  If you join this 6-week class (last date is March 6), be prepared to “go deep” – joyfully!

Our facilitator will be Rev. Dr. Jade Angelica, Improv Practitioner!  The class is full but there may be a second offering.  Contact Rev. Claudia to get on the waiting list!

30 Days of Love 2022, Monday January 17-Monday, February 14

30 Days of Love is our annual celebration that runs approximately from Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in January through Valentine’s Day in February. It is an opportunity to collectively nurture our spirits, deepen our understanding, and take action on our values for collective liberation.

In 2022, 30 Days of Love will focus on Side With Love’s four intersectional justice priorities, with opportunities each week for communities and people of all ages to ground, grow, and act together for justice. Want to be notified when materials on online and available? Sign up to receive our text alerts!

What will 30 Days of Love 2022 be like?

Each week, we will share a ‘playlist’ or ‘menu’ of activities for individuals to interact with, connected with our weekly theme. We will have a full playlist of offerings each week for multigenerational families/communities, as well as many activities for general adult audiences. Each week will include activities in the categories of Read, Watch, Act, Listen, and Worship.

  • Week One: January 17 – 23 – Reproductive, Gender, & LGBTQIA+ Justice

  • Week Two: January 24 – 30 – Democracy & Voting Rights

  • Week Three: January 31 – February 6 – Decriminalization & Racial Justice

  • Week Four: February 7 – 14 – Climate Justice

Help Keep UU Asheville’s BeLoved Street Pantry Stocked

Photo of mailbox-size street pantry adopted by UU Asheville.  Side painting is of a red octopus.

UU Asheville members and friends have stepped up to adopt our Charlotte Street BeLoved Street Pantry!  We now have a Charlotte Street Pantry Google Group that we have been using to easily communicate with each other. If you are an Adopter or a Sustainer you should be receiving emails from Charlotte Street Pantry. If you are not yet a member of the Google Group, but would like to keep informed about what is needed at the pantry, please email Anita at anita.feldman@hofstra.edu.

There are still a few 5th days of the months available to adopt! (meaning you would only need to fill the pantry 4 or 5 days a year). Schedule now at www.volunteersignup.org/TXRAE !

Donations most needed, to be delivered to the bin at the back entrance to UU, are pop top cans of full meals and small bottles of water that will fit in the pantry. Thank you!! We are helping our neighbors!!

Here are more instructions and tips for Adopters.

Here are three other ways to volunteer in addition to becoming an Adopter:

Become a Sustainer: Make a commitment to bring your donations once a month any time to the UU bin on the back porch. Schedule at www.volunteersignup.org/TXRAE

Be a Random Filler: visit the Charlotte Pantry whenever convenient to check on it and fill it up.

Be a Random Donor: Donate items or even ask neighbors and friends to donate too. Deliver to the UU bin when convenient.

People gathered to hear a dedication of the UU Asheville/BeLoved Street Pantry on Charlotte Street




Undecorating and Valentine Making! Sunday, February 13,  after the service in Sandburg Hall

Help us take down and put away our December holiday decorations. We’ll also have stations set up to make Valentines red heart peeking out of white envelopefor someone you love.

This is also a Souper-Event for the Coming of Age class. Choose from a variety of soups using this pre-order link. Each quart of soup comes with bread. Pay for and pick up your order at UU Asheville between 12:30 to 1:30 PM. Take home to enjoy! **Orders close on Friday, February 11th at 5PM.

The Work of Christmas

When the song of the angels is stilled, When the star in the sky is gone, When the kings and princes are home, comet trail across a blue night sky
When the shepherds are back with their flock, The work of Christmas begins:
To find the lost,
To heal the broken,
To feed the hungry,
To release the prisoner,
To rebuild the nations,
To bring peace among others,
To make music in the heart.

Howard Thurman

Worship Services on 12/26 and 1/2

santa claus sitting on a lounge chair on a beach with a sweatshirt that says I heart Boxing DayWe’re giving everyone a break.  On Sunday, December 26 the worship service will be pre-recorded so you can watch it any time after you get the link that morning.

On January 2, we will return to our in-person and live-streamed format with the service starting at 11am.  We will continue limiting worship attendance to 75.

Two Christmas Eve Services, 5pm and 7:45pm

Vaccinations, masks and registration required to attend in person.  The 5pm service will be live streamed on a closed link and can be watched at any time thereafter.  To receive the closed link, sign up for worship service emails on our home page. 

A lit red, column candle amid sparkly lights in a "candlelit" environmentWe gather to mark a night our ancestors have marked for thousands of years. Stories of kindness, generosity, hearts re-opened to love, and the miracle of hope will center our time together.  You are invited to be touched by story, by candlelight, by tradition, by ancient rhythms of the soul.  Come and share in this timeless celebration of mystery, magic and wonder.

Both services will be nearly identical, led by Revs. Harrington and Jiménez:

For the 5pm service, music will be provided by Sandra Goodson, vocalist, and Dr. Leslie Downs, Music Director. Click here to register for the 5pm Christmas Eve Service.

For the 7:45pm, there will be a Pre-Service Mini-Concert Followed by an 8pm Service.  Music will be provided by Tabitha Judy, soprano, and Dr. Leslie Downs, Music Director. Click here to register for the 7:45pm Christmas Eve Service.

When the Holidays Hurt, a Special Worship Service, Sunday, December 19, 2pm

Person in red raincoat with hood, facing camera, with face in shadowThis service will be offered at 2pm in the Sanctuary for all who wish to attend (registration required) and will be live streamed on YouTube.  The link will be added to the 12/19 Sunday email.

The winter holiday season can be difficult.  With all the colors and lights, festive songs and parties, it can be hard to find a quiet place that acknowledges some of us are hurting.  This may be especially true as we enter a second holiday season impacted by COVID.  Please join Rev. Cathy Harrington and leaders from the Good Grief Group and Pastoral Visitors for an afternoon service that includes music, readings, quiet reflection, and healing ritual.

Please use this link to register if you plan on attending the service in person.

Cookie Fest, Ornament Making, and Tree Decorating, Sunday, December 12, 12:15pm, Sandburg Hall

snowman with yellow and green scarf, carrot nose and small black top hat

Party like it’s Christmas! Full details below, but the short form is:

  1. Share cookies that are packaged in small clear plastic bags.
  2. Make ornaments with all supplies provided.
  3. Add your ornament to our NEW Christmas tree!
It’s also a Soup-er Event. To-go soups will be available on a first come, first served basis. We will not have a pre-order this time. There will be a variety of delicious homemade soups and each quart comes with 2 generous pieces of garlic bread. Please come out and support our youth, thanks!

Christmas Caroling Around a Campfire, Sunday, December 5, noon-ish at UU Asheville

three cartoon carolers with dog howling in groupFollowing the worship service on December 5 we will dispatch to the fire pit behind 21 Edwin Place for Christmas caroling! If you’re coming from home, aim for noon-ish. There will probably be some suitably seasonal goodies available. Following the fun there, head on down to City Bakery (well, technically across Charlotte Street from there) where we will join the Installation Celebration of our adopted BeLoved Street Pantry at 1pm. Parking will be available in the lot behind the pantry.

Estate Planning Virtual Workshop, Saturday, November 13, 10am,  Zoom

The UUAsheville Legacy Circle Committee is hosting a free estate planning workshop for members and friends of all ages and all income levels.

Every year, tens of thousands of people in the United States die without an estate plan, leaving it to a judge to decide what happens with the assets one has accumulated from a lifetime of work. Smart estate planning doesn’t have to be difficult.
Hendersonville estate planning expert and lawyer, Carolyn Knox, will share with you tips that will be helpful in starting and updating an estate plan and protecting your assets from unexpected expenses that may come later in life.   Click here to learn more. Contact Mike Horak for the Zoom link.

Justice Ministry Film: A Crime on the Bayou, Friday, November 12, 7pm, Zoom

A Crime on the Bayou is the story of Gary Duncan, a Black teenager from Plaquemines Parish, a swampy strip of land photo of swamp with water in foreground and trees in backgroundsouth of New Orleans.

In 1966, Duncan tries to break up an argument between white and Black teenagers outside a newly integrated school. He gently lays his hand on a white boy’s arm. The boy recoils like a snake. That night, police burst into Duncan’s trailer and arrest him for assault on a minor. A young Jewish attorney, Richard Sobol, leaves his prestigious D.C. firm to volunteer in New Orleans. With his help, Duncan bravely stands up to a racist legal system powered by a white supremacist boss to challenge his unfair arrest. Their fight goes all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, and Duncan and Sobol’s lifelong friendship is forged.

‘Vivid…Provide[s] an unusually palpable sense of just how much deeply-ingrained institutional and cultural bias needed to be overcome for the civil rights movement to make real headway…[An] engrossing, flavorful document.’ Dennis Harvey, Variety

‘A Crime on the Bayou never explodes with fury. But that doesn’t mean you won’t feel enraged while taking in the maddening series of systematic wrongs committed against Sobol and Duncan.’ Robert Daniels, The Los Angeles Times

Send a request for the link to Charlie Wussow at mnpopi@icloud.com by Wednesday, November 10th for the Zoom link.  There will be a discussion after the screening of the film. Runtime: 91 minutes

There is no charge for viewing the film but donations to cover the license are welcome.  Click DONATE on the left menu and select General Fund or text UUAVL to 73256.

Third Thursdays – Make a Joyful Noise, 5:30pm, In Person

Third Thursdays for as long as the weather holds out, we’ll be gathering in person, outside, behind 1 Edwin Place on the paved parking lot, to drum!  All ages welcome!!  Bring your own or borrow a noisemaker from us.  Next date, November 18.

Halloween Soup-er Sundays PLUS by our Coming of Age Class At the Sunday, October 31 Service

Our Coming of Age youth is offering “Soup-er Sunday” at the Remembrance and Halloween celebration on October 31.  You can purchase the soup on-site and eat it there or we can fill a container to take home. This is to raise funds for a future youth trip.  Please come out to enjoy delicious soups and support our youth.

Save the dates for all of the Soup-er Events:
Saturday, November 6
Thursday, November 18


Explore Anti-racism in UU Life in a Reading Circle, 5 Sunday Sessions beginning October 31-December 12, 4:30pm,  Zoom

Join a new study group reading Widening the Circle of Concern, the book-length report of the UUA Commission on Institutional Change. Led by Mary Alm, member of the Board of Trustees, this reading circle will dive deep and explore the 36 recommendations proposed after analyzing structural and systemic racism and white supremacy culture within Unitarian Universalism.  Read the attached description here.  Contact Mary Alm to register.



IN PERSON Worship Service, Sunday, October 10, 11am

All Creatures Great & Small, We Will Bless Them All!
In the UUAsheville Parking Lot, 1 Edwin Place

We’re in person for an Animal Blessing service at 11am in the paved parking lot. Bring your chairs and your pets!

If things work out right, the service will also be live streamed.  If you’re on our email list, you’ll get the link on Sunday morning at 9am.  To sign up for worship service links, head back to the home page and give us your email address.