New Day Rising, UU Conference, Saturday, February 27, noon-9pm

Meme advertising New Day Rising Conference

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
  • 12n-9p ET

Register Now
Do note that youth need to have permission forms signed before they can attend.

Scholarships from UUCA are available.

Turning Point: The Challenges Facing Unitarian Universalism-Three sessions, February 22, March 8 and 22, 7pm, Zoom

Book cover or Turning PointThis 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.

Will the Church Survive COVID? One session, Monday, January 25, 7pm, Zoom

Fear not. UUCA is not in any financial danger.  But there ARE dangerous shoals ukayaker on a waterfallp 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.

Black Lives Matter Vigil, January 17, Cancelled due to high COVID rates

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!

Compassion, Consciousness, and Practice; Thursdays in January, 7-9pm

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.

Contact Jeff Jones to register and for Zoom link.

Welcoming the Unwelcome – 2021 Book Study

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
SemiColon Bookstore, a Black woman-owned store and gallery in Chicago

Holiday Generosity at UUCA

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 Eve Service, Live Zoom at 4pm

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.

Adult Faith Development: Building the World We Dream About

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

November 25 – No session – Happy Thanksgiving!

December 9 – Navigating the Landscapes of Power

Midweek Meetup with Ministers and Minions Every Thursday at Noon

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.

UU the Vote BIG EVENT on September 23, 7:30pm

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

White People Wondering

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.

UUCA Presents a Zoom-showing of Suppressed 2020: The Fight to Vote

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.”

~LaTosha Brown, Co-founder of Black Voters Matter

YWCA Invites You to their 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge

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.


Introduction to Yoga and Vedanta: 4 Mondays at 6:30pm

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. 

Learn more here.  Register here.

Eight Weeks of Forums on Election Issues, Wednesdays, Noon

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!

Friday Action Hour with Forward Together, 11am–It’s Group Action, Online–FUN!

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.

Adult Faith Development: Adaptive Living, from Fear to Love

cartoon butterfly is blue sky next to oak tree with words Adaptive Living, From Fear to LoveThis 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.

Enroll Now Here

Join this Online Series, “Voting Rights: The Struggle Continues,” Tuesdays, 7:30pm

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

Prayer In Action: A Gathering of Solidarity for Peace and Justice-TODAY!

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.

Online Faith Development: Unitarian Universalist History, drop in on Thursdays, 7pm

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.

Contact Jeff with questions or to get the Zoom link.

Topic: Unitarian Universalist History via Zoom
Time: Apr 2, 2020 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Apr 2, 2020 07:00 PM
Apr 9, 2020 07:00 PM
Apr 16, 2020 07:00 PM
Apr 23, 2020 07:00 PM
Apr 30, 2020 07:00 PM
May 7, 2020 07:00 PM
May 14, 2020 07:00 PM
May 21, 2020 07:00 PM
May 28, 2020 07:00 PM
Jun 4, 2020 07:00 PM
Jun 11, 2020 07:00 PM
Jun 18, 2020 07:00 PM

Write 20 Postcards to “Reclaim Our Vote”

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 (last edited 5/4/20)


UU the Vote During COVID-19: A UUA Update on Tuesday, May 12, 7pm

The Justice Council invites you to stay connected with the #UUthe Vote initiative. Register for How We Thrive! and join other UUs in staying engaged in justice-seeking.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020 7:00 PM –  9:00 PM ET

What does it mean to practice our principles during a pandemic? What are we doing to guarantee free and fair elections in states targeted by voter suppression?

How is UU the Vote rising to the challenges of COVID-19, while creating a movement towards UU values in the 2020 elections?


Join us LIVE for a special update from UU the Vote. This event will feature musicians from across the country, a message from UUA President Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray, and opportunities for you to get involved and make meaningful impacts in 2020!


Inspiration: Chalk the Walks

Don’t want you to miss this trend altogether.  Chalk the Walks is all about spreading joy, optimism and inspiration through the magical power of sidewalk chalk.

Remember when you were a kid and you’d draw pictures and write happy thoughts with chalk in your driveway and down the sidewalks of your  street? And the adults always smiled when they read the big, pastel-colored messages? This is just like that. Only we’re bigger now. And we don’t have to go in the house when the street lights go out.

The idea is as simple as it was in childhood: write happy messages, have fun doing it, spread some joy while you’re at it.

Is sidewalk chalking legal in Asheville?  (from a Citizen-Times Answer Man column): “The city of Asheville reviews each situation based on its own facts, but, generally, writing on the public sidewalk is prohibited,” said city spokeswoman Polly McDaniel. “The specific ordinance violation will depend on the situation, but usually writing on the public sidewalk with chalk is a violation of either the city’s sign ordinance or graffiti ordinance.”

The city does make an exception for children’s activities. Mostly the city does not like advertising.

Best Practices:

  • Be respectful – consider your neighbors and others who will see your chalked walks.
  • Remember the mission – the goal here is to spread joy, optimism and inspiration; if what you’re writing doesn’t accomplish that in a pure and simple way, please reconsider.
  • Keep it clean – it’s very difficult to spread joy if your content is offensive; if an 8-year-old shouldn’t read it, don’t write it.
  • Have fun – play is important to our mental and emotional health; connect with your inner child, be playful, have fun.

You have permission to use the church’s sidewalks!  (That’s outdoor exercise, right?)  Just stay 6 feet apart.

Inspiration: When This Is Over by Laura Kelly Fanucci

When this is over, may we never again take for granted
A handshake with a stranger
Full shelves at the store
Conversations with neighbors
A crowded theater
Friday night out
The taste of communion
A routine checkup
The school rush each morning
Coffee with a friend
The stadium roaring
Each deep breath
A boring Tuesday
Life itself.

When this ends
may we find
that we have become
more like the people
we wanted to be
we were called to be
we hoped to be
and may we stay
that way — better
for each other
because of the worst.

Online Faith Development: Haunting Church, starts Monday 4/13, 2pm

Rev. Claudia will be facilitating “The Haunting Church: Owning Your Religious Past” as a Zoom class on four Mondays, April 13, 20, 27 and March 4, from 2 to 3:30pm.

This class is an invitation to explore your religious journey in a way that promotes greater self-understanding and personal peace.  We’ll address questions like:

What do you leave behind?
What do you bring to the present?
What do you redefine?

Supplies needed: journal; pen or pencil; markers (optional)

Please email Rev. Claudia to register and receive the Zoom meeting ID.

Inspiration: “Lockdown,” A Poem by Fr. Richard Hendrick

Yes there is fear.
Yes there is isolation.
Yes there is panic-buying.
Yes there is sickness.
Yes there is even death.

But, it’s said in Wuhan after so many years of noise
You can hear the birds again.
They say that after just a few weeks of quiet
The sky is no longer thick with fumes
But blue and grey and clear.
They say that in the streets of Assisi
People are singing to each other
across the empty squares,
keeping their windows open
so that those who are alone
may hear the sounds of family around them.

They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland
Is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.
Today a young woman I know
is busy spreading fliers with her number
through the neighbourhood
So that the elders may have someone to call on…..

All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting
All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way
All over the world people are waking up to a new reality

To how big we really are.
To how little control we really have.
To what really matters.
To Love.
So we pray and we remember that
Yes there is fear.
But there does not have to be hate.
Yes there is isolation.
But there does not have to be loneliness.
Yes there is panic-buying.

But there does not have to be meanness.
Yes there is sickness.
But there does not have to be disease of the soul
Yes there is even death.
But there can always be a rebirth of love.
Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.

Today, breathe.
Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic
The birds are singing again
The sky is clearing,
Spring is coming,
And we are always encompassed by Love.
Open the windows of your soul
And though you may not be able
to touch across the empty square,

Caring for Each Other: Video Meeting Help

Remember, that amid all this mess, what we CAN all do is be as compassionate and kind and helpful and understanding as possible (which is hard when you’re totally stressed yourself), to our family, friends, neighbors and strangers we encounter, and to yourself.  All you can do is the best you can do.  Take a deep breath.  Maybe 5.

We know a lot of you are trying to connect through video–but it can be intimidating.  So, we have 5 congregants who are willing to host a meeting for you.  Whether you want to connect with fellow UUCAers or family members or friends, contact one of these people who will either help you figure out how to host a meeting or actually host it for you, so all you have to do is click in to join.

Many thanks to these volunteers.  Look up their contact info on REALM or email Tish for that info.

Evelyn Becker
Virginia Bower
Rebekkah Hilgraves
Jeff Jones
Kelly Wedell