Kindling the Flame: A Mad libs Service

Sunday, July 30, 2023 11am
Rev. Claudia Jimenez, Minister of Faith Development
A participatory service exploring the benefits of play which some play researchers describe as an essential part of being human. We will be using a madlibs format. Don’t know what Mad Libs is? Join us and find out!

The Enigma of Evil

Sunday July 23, 2023, 11am
Tobias Van Burn, Guest Speaker
Our first UU principle is to affirm the worth and dignity of every person.  Does that include Hitler? Putin? Sexual predators? What is the nature of evil, its origin and workings? How might we confront it?  Is Peace on Earth, without evil, possible?

–A sermon by Tobias Van Buren, member of our congregation and former UU minister 1967-79, serving churches in Atlanta, Baton Rouge, and Beverly, Mass., after which he was a commercial fisherman in SC near Charleston.

Music will be provided by  Friction Farm, a husband and wife team of internationally traveling troubadours. Aidan Quinn and Christine Stay combine storytelling, social commentary and humor to create songs of everyday life, local heroes, and quirky observations. From ballads to anthems each song is filled with harmony and hope.


An Undeclared War

Sunday, June 16, 2023 11am
Rev. Dr. Neal Jones, Guest Minister
While our UU denomination focuses on racism, homophobia, and transphobia and the Right Wing foments a culture war and attacks our democracy, a war is occurring right underneath our noses which hardly anyone is talking about. On July 23, we will. Here’s a clue: you can’t achieve racial, gender, or reproductive justice without economic justice.

Rev. Dr. Neal Jones is a psychologist at the Pisgah Institute in Asheville, North Carolina. Born and raised in North Carolina, he earned his B.A. in Political Science from Wake Forest University, his M.Div. from Southeastern Seminary, and his Psy.D. from Baylor University. He has served as the minister of five congregations in North and South Carolina, Texas, and Pennsylvania, including the UU Congregation of Columbia for 11 years. He has also served as the chair of the National Board of Trustees of Americans United for Separation of Church & State. Rev. Dr. Jones teaches and practices a spirituality of personal wholeness, relational respect, and social justice.

Lessons From a Granddaughter of the Strawberry Moon

Sunday, July 9, 2023  11am
Kelly Riedesel, Member and Guest Speaker
Carolyn Cartland was a founder and former president of EqUUalAccess, a UU program promoting equality and access for UU’s with disabilities. Kelly dedicates this sermon to Ms. Cartland and the merciful reciprocity that comes from the shining of each of our spirits. Join us for a heartfelt celebration of the power of super YUU.

Stories in Our Head That Get in the Way

Sunday, July 2, 2023 11am
Rev. Dr. Roger Jones, Guest Minister
Human beings live by our stories.  Yet individuals, couples, families and organizations can get stuck in stories that limit our sense of possibility or make us feel bad.  We don’t have to hide anything in order to gain a fresh perspective on who we are–and to appreciate it.

Guest minister Roger Jones (he, him) preached for us in July of 2022 and is happy to return to Asheville.  He is a co-minister at the UU Society of Sacramento, where he has served since 2008.  He has served congregations in Silicon Valley, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Indiana.  He holds degrees from Indiana University, Meadville Lombard Theological School, and Pacific School of Religion.  

Loving Kindness

Sunday, June 25, 11:00am
Guest Speaker, Sequoyah Christine Rich
Join us for an exploration of the Buddhist perspective on: Loving Kindness. Rumi said, “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”

Offering Compassion

Sunday, June 18, 2023
Rev. Claudia Jimenez, Minister of Faith Development
In 2015, our denomination approved a Reproductive Justice Statement of Conscience. For there to be reproductive justice, all women and birthing people must have the freedom, without shame or judgment, to choose to have children, to not have children, to have the right to bodily autonomy and to parent in a safe, well-resourced environment where children may thrive. Join Rev. Claudia, Worship Associate Joyce-Hooley Gingrich and Alexis Crosswell as they reflect on today’s complicated legal and moral landscape after the repeal of Roe.

The Flower communion-100 Years Later

Sunday, June 11, 2023
Rev. Cathy Harrington, Interim Lead Minister
On this 100th Anniversary, join as we celebrate one of Unitarian Universalism’s most significant ceremonies.  Unitarian Rev. Nobert Čapek created this meaningful ritual in 1923 to help the people of Prague heal from the ravages of WWI.
Please bring a flower with you as we bless these flowers and the gift of our beloved community.

Bread For the Journey

Sunday, May 28, 2023 11am
Rev. Cathy Harrington, Interim Lead Minister
The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.” These words from Joseph Campbell were particularly meaningful to me as I left my comfortable life and career to enter the unknown and become a minister. Something within us calls us to life, and somehow through the process, we learn to hope and trust.

Rethinking Your Bucket List

Sunday, May 21, 2023 11am
Rev. Cathy Harrington, Interim Lead Minister
What is the difference between resume virtues and eulogy virtues, David Brooks asks in his book, The Road to Character.  What if Erik Erikson’s eight stage of life is not the ultimate but the penultimate, a question asked by Lenora Montgomery at my Meadville Lombard Theological School graduation where I received my Doctor of Ministry degree.  Kathleen Taylor said in her Ted Talk “Rethinking the Bucket List,” that it is never too late to shed what is false, and it is never too early to find out who we are.

What Kind of Mother

Sunday, May 14, 2023 11am
Kim Collins, Religious Educator
In these times when children are under attack from many angles, what kind of mothering are we talking about? How do we balance fiercely protecting our children from school shootings and regressive legislators with getting the dishes done? Kim Collins will lead us in a time of rest and reflection as we consider that balance and how we can mother each other.

Faith Development Service

Sunday, May 7, 2023  11am
Rev. Claudia Jimenez, Minister of Faith Development
Join us to celebrate Faith Development for all ages in our congregation. We will honor graduating seniors and share gratitude for all who have worked with children and adults to promote spiritual deepening.
Worship Team: Rev. Claudia, Kim Collins, Jen Johnson, Les Downs

All That Rises

Sunday, April 30, 2023  11am
Rev. Audette Fulbright Fulson, Ministerial Candidate
What comes next? A meditation on hope and our future.

Gods of Space and Time

Sunday, April 23, 2023  11am
Rev. Audette Fulbright Fulson, Ministerial Candidate
Science. Story. Mystery. And us, in between.

Making Peace With Mother Earth

Sunday, April 16, 2023  11am
Rev. Cathy Harrington, Interim Lead Minister
Join Rev. Cathy, members of the Environmental Justice group, and Chris Rosser, singer/songwriter, for a special Earth Day service.
“If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.” –Dalai Lama

After Jesus, Before Christianity

Sunday, April 9, 2023 11am
Rev, Cathy Harrington, Interim Lead Minister
Who was Jesus really? “The first two centuries following Jesus’ death were not an interim period that allowed Christianity to get its act together, they ended up being an absorbing, unfinished story, or a series of unfinished stories” according to the authors of the book of After Jesus, Before Christianity. How did Jesus, the anti-Roman, anti-oppression egalitarian who was a political threat to the Roman Empire become the Son of God who died for our sins?

Spirited Sunday-Worship and Spiritual Practices (Music, Art, and Meditative Movement)

Sunday, April 2, 2023 11am
Rev. Claudia Jimenez, Minister of Faith Development
Join Rev. Claudia Jiménez and Religious Educator Kim Collins for all ages worship reflecting on this year’s General Assembly (GA) theme: Faithfully Becoming. Meet our UU Asheville delegates and join us during the second half of the service to explore spiritual practices: a labyrinth walk, zentangles , or a sing along with our guest musicians, local acoustic duo Friction Farm. Come ready to try something new!

Celebration Sunday-Roots and Wings

Sunday, March 26, 2023, 11am
Rev. Cathy Harrington, Interim Lead Minister
This Sunday marks the formal conclusion of the Annual Giving Drive.  We will welcome new members as we celebrate with gratitude UU Asheville’s “being and becoming” with lots of music, a skit, and fun.  Following the service, there will be food, games, more music, and fellowship!

Oops! Ouch!

Sunday, March 19, 2023  11am
Rev. Claudia Jimenez, Minister of Faith Development
Many years ago, a youth group I worked with added “oops/ouch” to the covenant they were writing. What a concept! Join us for a multigenerational service exploring the importance of covenanting in our UU faith as well as the gifts and challenges of embracing the oops! and ouches! in our relationships.

Forgiveness: An Exploration

Sunday, March 12, 2023  11am
Rev. Cathy Harrington, Interim Lead  Minister
Marina Cantaczino is the founder of the Forgiveness Project and has been gathering stories of people who have lived through trauma and injustice yet sought forgiveness rather than revenge. Drawing from her insights and my own personal experience, I will explore how by changing the stories we live by and tell ourselves we can create hope for a better future.

Building Connections Through Vulnerability

Sunday, March 5, 2023  11am
The YRUU Teens
We generally don’t look forward to feelings of vulnerability – they can be scary and painful, yet it is often necessary to open oneself for learning and growth. There are many ways to experience vulnerability, including making mistakes and meeting new people. This Sunday’s service will be led by our high school youth group, Young Religious Unitarian Universalists (YRUU), as part of their Religious Exploration. They will share stories and reflections about building connections through vulnerability. Come to hear from, support, and worship with our youth!

Will You Be A Lighthouse?

Sunday, February 26, 2023 11am
Rev. Jake Morrill, Guest Speaker
When the night is dark, there is a choice. When the seas are stormy, there is a choice. When things are uncertain, there is a choice. When lives are in danger, there is a choice. Yes or no: will you be a lighthouse? On this Sunday, as you gather to kick off this giving season, you are asked how you will shine, and for what holy purpose. In other words, UU’s of Asheville: will you be a lighthouse?

Rev. Jake Morrill is a product of the religious education program of the Tennessee Valley UU Church. He served the Oak Ridge UU Church as Lead Minister for 19 years. A former UUA Trustee and a former Chaplain in the US Army Reserve, Jake is a leadership coach and consultant, working with companies seeking cultures of emotional maturity, able to manage relationships effectively, with depth and care. A long-time student of Bowen Family Systems Theory, he is on the faculty of the Bowen Center for the Study of the Family. His most recent book is The Boundaries Workbook, published by Rockridge Press in 2022. Jake and his wife Molly are the proud parents of two soccer-obsessed teenagers. His website can be found here.

Theology of Love

Sunday, February 19, 2023 11am
Rev. Claudia Jimenez, Minister of Faith Development
Our denomination is re-imagining its foundational documents i.e. Article II. Have you heard about this? The last major change was in 1985.  The charge to the team reviewing the documents emphasized that one core theological value shared among UUs is LOVE. Join us to explore the meaning of love as a theological statement that moves us to choose the path of love for personal and societal change.

Taking the War Out of Words

Sunday, February 12, 2023 11am
Rev. Cathy Harrington, Interim Lead Minister
Based on the work of Sharon Ellison and Marshall Rosenberg, we’ll explore ways we can improve our communication by paying attention to unconscious words and gestures we employ when feeling defensive, angry, or frustrated. Ellison argues, “We have adopted war strategies in our communication.”  We can change this by not focusing on the feelings of anger or frustration, but by looking for our common humanity. We can improve our lives by taking time to learn better strategies for communicating in every area of our lives.

What Your Minister Wishes You Knew

Sunday, February 5, 2023 11am
Rev. Cathy Harrington, Interim Lead Minister
This is an exciting time for UU Asheville as you move closer to calling your new settled minister. There is evidence from your previous ministries that this is a congregation that knows how to love a minister. But, what does that mean? What can you do to cultivate a mutually healthy, meaningful, and collaborative relationship with your new minister?


Embracing Possibilities in Times of Change (Recorded UUA Service)

Sunday, January 29, 2023 11am
Susan Fredrick-Gray UUA President
“We know from these last several years the challenge, the loss, and the creativity and possibility of these transitional times. In liminal times, there’s always a risk that fear and anxiety will dominate and lead people to cling more tightly to what has been.”—Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray, UUA President
What does it mean for us as Unitarian Universalists to live as a people of hope and imagination—especially during in-between times? How can we challenge ourselves (and each other) to learn and grow in uncertain times?
Join Rev. Cathy this Sunday to explore what possibility looks like in UU Asheville’s time of change.  This timely and inspiring sermon was pre-recorded by our UUA President for use in congregations experiencing transition.
Discussion will follow the service.

Do UUs Pray?

Sunday, January 22, 2023 11am
Rev. Claudia Jimenez, Minister of Faith Development
This month as we explore the the path of finding our center you are invited to consider the spiritual practice of prayer. What does prayer mean to you? Is it a “UU practice”? 

From Celebration to Action

Sunday, January 15, 2023 11am
Rev. Claudia Jimenez, Minister of Faith Development and
Kim Collins, Religious Educator
Join us for an embodied, joyful thought provoking All Ages Service honoring the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He said “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” How does Dr. King’s message and example inform the work of co-creating the Beloved Community? It is not enough to celebrate his legacy, we honor him through our actions.

Quiet: the Art of Being an Introvert in a Noisy World

Sunday, January 8, 2023 11am
Rev. Cathy Harrington, Interim Lead Minister
Historically, introverts have been unfairly misunderstood. They are not necessarily shy, though introverts often avoid social situations because they are draining. They are not misanthropic (distrustful of humanity), they are not anti-social, they are not timid or insecure, and they are not rude. They are just different from extroverts.  You might be surprised to learn that there are many comedians and action actors who are introverts such as Harrison Ford and Steve Martin.

Into the New Year

Sunday, January 1, 2023  11am
Rev. Cathy Harrington, Interim Lead Minister
Join me as we welcome the new year by taking a journey through four successive stages: Coming from Gratitude, Honoring our Pain for the World, Seeing with New Eyes, and Going Forth.