Book Study with the Revs

Join Revs. Cathy and Claudia for an opportunity to discuss books that invite us into conversations about challenging issues. 
We will meet at noon in Sandburg Hall (bring a bagged lunch) or join us via Zoom at 7:00 PM. Zoom link in the e-News.

    When? Thursday, March 2
    What?
 “Embracing Discomfort” Book Study: Sing, Unburied, Sing,  by Jesmyn Ward

Future Meetings

May 4  
      On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous: A Novel by Ocean Vuong 

Fall Dates TBA   
    Mistakes and Miracles by Nancy Palmer Jones and Karin Lin

Four session discussion series

New to UU Asheville? Learn about our on-going Anti-Racism Initiative

Justice Ministry Film Night-3 Short films for Black History Month

Justice Ministry Film Night, Friday, February 10, 7pm

Streets of Dreams

Streets of Dreams tells the stories of grassroots activists in communities of color around the U.S. who are using community land trusts (CLTs) to preserve the affordability of their homes, prevent displacement and shape the future of their communities.

Arc of Justice

Arc of Justice traces the remarkable journey of New Communities, Inc. (NCI) in southwest Georgia, a story of racial justice, community organizing, and perseverance in the face of enormous obstacles.  NCI was created in 1969 in Albany, Georgia by leaders of the Civil Rights Movement, including Congressman John Lewis, and Charles and Shirley Sherrod, to help secure economic independence for African American families.  For 15 years, NCI cooperatively farmed nearly 6,000 acres, the largest tract of land in the United States owned by African Americans at the time, but racist opposition prevented them from implementing plans to build 500 affordable homes as part of their community land trust.

Unable to secure government loans to cope with the impact of successive years of drought, NCI  lost the land to foreclosure in 1985. But 25 years later it was given new life.

Reparations

Reparations explores the four-century struggle to seek repair and atonement for slavery in the United States. Black and Asian Americans reflect on the legacy of slavery, the inequities that persists, and the critical role that solidarity between communities has in acknowledging and addressing systemic racism in America. This story is told by Black and Asian Americans who believe that our collective liberation can only be achieved by standing with one another. Reparations seeks to raise awareness of the Black reparations struggle and how vital it is to healing this country.

 Note: This film will be shown on Zoom Only.  If you intend to view the film on Zoom, send a request for the link to Charlie Wussow by Thursday, February 9.

There will be a discussion after the screening of the film                       runtime: 68 minutes

Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Asheville, One Edwin Place, Asheville, NC 28801
There is no charge for viewing the film 

Side with Love: 30 Days of Love

30 Days of Love 2023! Side with Love’s annual month of spiritual nourishment, political grounding, and shared practices of faith and justice, 30 Days of Love will go from Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (January 16) through Valentine’s Day (February 14). This year’s 30 Days of Love is a love letter to our whole beloved community – families, religious professionals, partners and communities that embody our values and work for justice and liberation year round. Each week will feature a spiritual theme overlapping with one of Side With Love’s intersectional justice priorities, and we’ll share an array of offerings to help nourish your spirit and give gratitude and affirmation. Learn More Here

  • WEEK 1 (January 16-22): Interdependence :: Democracy & Electoral Justice
  • WEEK 2 (January 23-29): Embodiment :: LGBTQIA+, Gender & Reproductive Justice
  • WEEK 3 (January 30 – February 5): Resilience :: Climate Justice
  • WEEK 4 (February 6-12): Healing :: Decriminalization
  • BONUS DAYS (February 13-14): Blessings :: Liberatory Intersections

 

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Weekend

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Weekend Events

  • Saturday January 14 – Dr. MLK, Jr. Prayer Breakfast, 8:00 am at the Crowne Plaza Resort. We are not purchasing tickets for tables this year, but individuals are encouraged to attend. There is more information, and you can buy tickets at http://mlkasheville.org/
  • Sunday January 15 – UU Asheville 9:30 AM All Ages making posters for the rally; Service at 11:00 am with homilies by Religious Educator, Kim Collins and Rev. Claudia Jiménez centering on the legacy of Dr. King.
  • Monday January 16 – Dr. MLK, Jr. Peace Walk and Rally. Meet at 11:30 am at St. James AME Church for a 0.4-mile walk to the rally in Pack Square Park. UU Asheville participates in this event every year and this year it will be a yellow shirt brigade event.

Those attending the Peace Walk can also bring nonperishable food items to the collection site at St. James AME Church before the walk. The food will be distributed between Manna Food Bank and the East End Valley Street Neighborhood Food Pantry.

 

 

 

 

Book Study with the Revs

Join Revs. Cathy and Claudia for an opportunity to discuss novels (and an anthology) that invite us into covenanted, deep listening conversations about challenging issues. We will meet at noon in Sandburg Hall (bring a bagged lunch) or join us via Zoom (link in the e-News) at 7:00 PM.

When? Thursday, March 2 
What? 
 “Embracing Discomfort” Book Study:  Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

Future meetings
May 4 
On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous: A Novel by Ocean Vuong

Justice Ministry Update: What is the status of the RJAC recommendations?

What has been happening with the recommendations from the Racial Justice Advisory Council – RJAC? They are not collecting electronic dust!
The board has approved the recommendations and identified stakeholders responsible for making each of them happen. The Justice Ministry Council has been charged to be an accountability partner so that the recommendations are fulfilled. Currently, the top recommendations being worked on are
1. Education about the 8th Principle in preparation for the vote to adopt the 8th Principle at the June 2023 Congregational Meeting.
Stakeholder: 8th Principle Team and congregation. Please participate in the 8th Principle Learning Circles being offered by the various groups and committees of the congregation. Of course, that means lay leaders have said “yes” to hosting them. We need all of us to make this happen!
2. Identifying a consultant to provide an Equity Audit of our policies, procedures and governance model. This will apparently be the first time a UU congregation has such an audit. Yeah, UU Asheville!
Stakeholder: The board has asked board member Mary Alm and Rev. Claudia Jiménez, Justice Ministry lead, to identify, interview and recommend consultants who will provide proposals for board consideration.

Racial Justice Advisory Council (RJAC) Report: What’s that?
We strive to become a radically inclusive and welcoming congregation as we are called to do if UUism is to be the liberatory faith it can be. This work started with an internal assessment led by a board-appointed small team of congregants working in partnership with our Minister of Faith Development, Rev. Claudia Jiménez. Their learnings and recommendations known as the RJAC Report were shared with the congregation and the board. One of the top recommendations was to engage the congregation in learning about the proposed 8th Principle which aligns with the work of liberation. The 8th Principle Team was formed and is actively hosting Learning Circles, tabling on Sundays and exploring other ways to prepare the congregation to vote in the June congregational meeting to adopt the 8th Principle. They are creating space for all to discuss hope, fears and dreams as we consider this important vote.

The Proposed 8th Principle:

“We, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, covenant to affirm and promote: journeying toward spiritual wholeness by working to build a diverse multicultural Beloved Community by our actions that accountably dismantle racism and other oppressions in ourselves and our institutions.”

WHAT IS BELOVED COMMUNITY?

Beloved Community happens when people of diverse racial, ethnic, educational, class, gender, abilities, sexual orientation backgrounds/identities come together in an interdependent relationship of love, mutual respect, and care that seeks to realize justice within the community and in the broader world.

UU the Vote Calls Georgia

We need your voice! Join us on December 5th, at 6pm EST as UU the Vote Calls Georgia for the final time before the Georgia Runoff Election Day. If you have never phone banked before, we will train you! The phone banking system is easy to use and you’ll have a great time calling with fellow UUs. Sign up below!

 

UU the Vote Runoff Update

“It Ain’t Over!” UU the Vote Runoff Update Thursday, November 17, 2022 7:30 PM –  9:00 PM ET What is going on in Georgia? How can I get involved? What in the world is a runoff anyway? What about our Good Trouble Congregations? Sign up to hear the answers to these questions and more! Register Here

Article II…….What’s That?

Change is coming to our denominational documents. The section that houses our UU Principles, sources, purposes and statements of belief and inclusion is being revised. Check out this document which explains the process and has a link to the proposed changes. As you read, I invite you to reflect on these questions: How does it make you feel? What do think about the recommended changes? What feedback do you have? There are opportunities to share your feedback via a a Google form. The form closes Nov. 28. I will be hosting a bagged lunch discussion to discuss the proposal in person Sunday, Nov. 27 (not Nov 30) at 12:30 in person and at 7 PM via Zoom. Details will be in the e-news. Please consider attending.

Embracing Discomfort Book Study

Join Revs. Cathy and Claudia for an opportunity to discuss novels (and an anthology) that invite us into covenanted, deep listening conversations about challenging issues. When? 1st Thursday NOON Bagged Lunch (Sandburg Hall) and 7PM Zoom (link in the e-News)

Dec 1               There There by Tommy Orange

Jan 5                Wild Tongues Can’t Be Tamed, edited by Saraciea J. Fennell

March 2           Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

May 4              On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous: A Novel by Ocean Vuong (tentative book)

UU/BeLovedVillage Project

As part of our congregation’s ongoing support of BeLoved Asheville— a local nonprofit focused on lifting up fellow community members most in need — we are providing UU volunteer opportunities to help BeLoved build small homes for our neighbors who otherwise cannot afford “affordable housing.” The BeLoved Village project is an innovative way to enable people earning approximately 30% of area median income (AMI) afford a home while building equity and community—so needed here in the Asheville area where rental rates are the highest in the state. Regardless of skills or experience, there are ways for everyone—adults and youth—to contribute their time and energy to this vital community project. For more information and to sign up as a volunteer, contact Jim Gamble.

Another project UU has initiated with BeLoved is the Pantry Project. UU congregants and friends have been supplying and filling our pantry on Charlotte Street every day since December. If you would like to know more, contact Anita Feldman

Justice Ministry Film Night-Border South

Friday, October 14, 7pm  Zoom Only
ABOUT THE FILM

Mexico and the United States crack down on the trails north, forcing immigrants into more dangerous territory. Told against the backdrop of the North American migrant trail, ‘Border South’ weaves together migrant stories of resilience and survival from different vantage points. The film exposes a global migration system that renders human beings invisible in life as well as death.

“Gut-wrenching intimacy…BORDER SOUTH personifies the statistics of failed U.S. immigration policy.”   Dr. Peter Laufer, Chair, Journalism, University of Oregon

 “Compassionate…Vivid…We receive the message strongly that these are ordinary people expected to do extraordinary things…This is skillful film-making, not to present the migrants as heroes, but just as people with mundane plans and dreams like the rest of us.”

Charlie Phillips, The Guardian

 Note: This film will be shown on Zoom Only.  If you intend to view the film on Zoom, send a request for the link to Charlie Wussow by Thursday, October 13th. 

There will be a discussion after the screening of the film                       runtime: 87 minutes

Justice Ministry Film Night       Friday, October 14th, 7 PM
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Asheville
One Edwin Place, Asheville, NC 28801
There is no charge for viewing the film             Donations are welcome

UU the Vote OPPORTUNITIES FOR ACTION!

….Midterm Elections Approach!

Save the Date: UU the Vote All Ages Postcard Project- October 9, 9:30AM (Before Service)
We are partnering with 22 UU Congregations in NC to mail, 27,000 postcards to infrequent registered voters of the Global Majority in Cabarrus County. This is one of the three counties that will be pivotal in maintaining abortion access in our state. Thank you to all who have already claimed postcards and to all who will join us October 9. Gracias!!!And as a reminder, please make sure that all postcards are completed and put in the mail no sooner than October 14th and within a few days after that date. 

Moore v. Harper Supreme Court Case – The next major challenge to American democracy comes from North Carolina. Experts say an extreme interpretation of the Constitution by the Supreme Court in North Carolina’s Moore v. Harper redistricting case would make it even easier for state legislatures to suppress the vote, draw gerrymandered election districts, and subvert election results, among other concerns. You may not know that the “Harper” in the case is Becky Harper, a UU from Raleigh! Below are opportunities to learn more about this important case directly from Common Cause NC, a lead plaintiff in the case. 

  • Wednesday, September 28th at 7:30pmon Zoom hosted by the UU Church of Hillsborough. Register here.
  • Friday, October 14th at 11:00amat UU Justice NC’s Friday Action Hour. Zoom Link. 

Carolina Jews & UUs Faith in Action Phonebank in Partnership with the New North Carolina Project Foundation. Thursdays from 6:30 – 8:30 from September 15th through November 3rd. UU Justice NC is teaming up with Carolina Jews for Justice to co-host this weekly Get Out the Vote phonebank in the run up to the midterm elections. We’ll be calling voters of the Global Majority across North Carolina empowering and equipping them to Vote Love and Defeat Hate. Register Here

 

UU/BeLoved Pantry Project

Our UU Congregation adopted the 14th BeLoved Pantry on December 5, 2021, the first that has been adopted by an outside organization. BeLoved is a local nonprofit focused on lifting up fellow community members most in need. The Street Pantries placed throughout Buncombe County in boxes donated by Mountain Xpress, provide easy 24/7 access to supplies near where people in need live or gather. UU congregants and friends have been supplying and filling our pantry on Charlotte Street every day since December. We know it is well appreciated by our neighbors because it empties every day. We can use your help!! Sustainers donate items once a month to the bin that is outdoors at the back entrance of the UU building. Adopters get donations from the bin and fill the pantry with them once a month. For information on how to get involved email Anita Feldman at anitasfeldman@gmail.com .

As part of our congregation’s ongoing support of BeLoved Asheville we are providing UU volunteer opportunities to help BeLoved build small homes for our neighbors who otherwise cannot afford “affordable housing.” The BeLoved Village project is an innovative way to enable people earning approximately 30% of area median income (AMI) afford a home while building equity and community—so needed here in the Asheville area where rental rates are the highest in the state. Regardless of skills or experience, there are ways for everyone—adults and youth—to contribute their time and energy to this vital community project. For more information and to sign up as a volunteer, contact Jim Gamble at jamesgamble89@gmail.com

Justice Ministry Film Night-Border South

Friday, October 14, 7pm  In person and on Zoom
ABOUT THE FILM

Mexico and the United States crack down on the trails north, forcing immigrants into more dangerous territory. Told against the backdrop of the North American migrant trail, ‘Border South’ weaves together migrant stories of resilience and survival from different vantage points. The film exposes a global migration system that renders human beings invisible in life as well as death.

“Gut-wrenching intimacy…BORDER SOUTH personifies the statistics of failed U.S. immigration policy.”   Dr. Peter Laufer, Chair, Journalism, University of Oregon

 “Compassionate…Vivid…We receive the message strongly that these are ordinary people expected to do extraordinary things…This is skillful film-making, not to present the migrants as heroes, but just as people with mundane plans and dreams like the rest of us.”

Charlie Phillips, The Guardian

 Note: This film may be viewed in Sandburg Hall OR on Zoom.  Viewers in Sandburg Hall MUST wear masks.  If you intend to view the film on Zoom, send a request for the link to Charlie Wussow by Thursday, October 13th. 

There will be a discussion after the screening of the film                       runtime: 87 minutes

Justice Ministry Film Night       Friday, October 14th, 7 PM
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Asheville
One Edwin Place, Asheville, NC 28801
There is no charge for viewing the film             Donations are welcome

UU Justice NC Reproductive Justice Event

Thursday, August 18, from 7pm – 8:30pm. 
Join UU Justice NC and our statewide partners Pro-Choice NC and The Carolina Abortion Fund
for this special event. We’ll hear analysis about the current state of abortion rights in NC and the
stakes of the mid-term elections, learn how we can support our state and local reproductive
justice partners, and review the brand new Repro Justice resources developed by our national
Side With Love Team for UU congregations. Register Here.

Registration Open: Beyond Categorial Thinking Workshop

Saturday, August 20, 9am-1pm (SH)

Click here to register.
Rev. Keith Kron, Director of the UUA Transitions Office, will lead us in a workshop and then in our Sunday worship service. Beyond Categorical Thinking (BCT) is a highly recommended part of the search process for our congregation. In finding the person who would be the best match for our minister, we could potentially overlook or even let biases keep us from knowing what a particular person would be the best match for us. The selection of a minister is important, and this workshop is another opportunity for everyone in our congregation to be part of that process.

Gathering at The Mountain October 14-16


It’s time to register for UU Asheville’s annual weekend gathering, October 14-16! This is a weekend for families, singles, and any other variation. We hold worship, workshops and outdoor activities, and evening entertainments. Come for the scenery, stay for the fun. There is programming for all ages.

Hurry and sign up today before it sells out! Click here to register. This sells out fast, so register today! If costs would prevent you from attending, please also request a scholarship by filling out this scholarship form. If you’d like to volunteer to lead a workshop or activity, please fill out this form. If you have any questions, please contact Anna Martin (anna.ward.martin@gmail.com) and Sandra Goodson (Sandraaudreygoodson@gmail.com).

Service of the Living Tradition: 6/23 @ 7 pm

Led by the The Ministries and Faith Development Staff Group, this service honors fellowshipped and credentialed religious leaders; remembering those who have died, recognizing those who have completed active service, and welcoming those who have received fellowship or credentialed status in the past year. The service includes a collection to benefit the Living Tradition Fund.

Join us in Sandburg Hall as we watch the livestream of the General Assembly worship service. This year, Rev. Claudia receives full fellowship and will be honored in this service. Gather with us or watch from home at https://www.uua.org/ga/off-site/2022.

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.

Transgender Justice and Inclusion, Tuesday, June 14, 5:30-7:30pm (Sanctuary)


Universal Rainbow Unity invites you to a ‘viewing party’ of Transgender Justice & Inclusion with a discussion following.
This webinar will give participants an overview of how to think about gender expansively, the experiences and needs of trans, non-binary and gender non conforming people, the current landscape of violently anti-trans legislative efforts and what congregations need to do to be spaces of safety and resilience for trans people and their families. Read more and register here for home viewing.
LATE-BREAKING NEWS – FOOD will be available for a nominal cost in Sandburg Hall between 5:30 and 6pm.

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.

 

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