We Remember

Sunday, August 2, 2020
Rev. Mark Ward, Lead Minister

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the US twice dropping atomic bombs on Japan. We reflect on how we remember this world-changing event as the generation of both Japanese and Americans who experienced it are dying.

Click on this link for a print version of the sermon.

Poetry Sunday

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Our theme this year is “Uplifted Together.”  Indeed, we hope that this Poetry Sunday will do just that–uplift us as we “gather” together. You can anticipate an inspirational lineup of poetry, original and/or published, as well as music that will make our hearts glad, thanks to our musical director, Les Downs. In these turbulent times, allow poetry and music to be a balm that lifts, encourages, and delights.

Living in Storyland

Sunday, July 19, 2020
David Novak, Storyteller and Rev. Mark Ward, Lead Minister

Stories, whether they are our own or from ancient traditions, shape our lives and our sense of meaning. Today, we’ll explore how stories are operating in these times and how they help us make sense of them.

Bio: David Novak tells stories to enhance learning, engage emotion, and find common ground. A performing and teaching artist with over 30 years of experience, David is an A+ Fellow for the North Carolina Arts Council, instructor for the graduate storytelling program at East Tennessee State University, and veteran of the National Storytelling Festival, as well as schools and stages across the nation. David’s international tours include Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Poland, and the Czech Republic. A recipient of the Circle of Excellence from the National Storytelling Network and formerly Master Storyteller for The Disney Institute. David lives in Asheville and regularly leads workshops and gives concerts for The Mountain Retreat and Learning Center.

Spiritual, Religious, Neither?

Sunday, July 12, 2020 – Video link arrives at 9am (We will be experimenting with Live Zoom worship at 11am)
Rev. Claudia Jiménez, Minister of Faith Development

In these times of societal disruption, what is the role of the church in grounding our spirits and nurturing hope? Join us for an exploration of how our individual journeys led us to this non-dogmatic tradition known as Unitarian Universalism. You will hear from participants of the “Haunting Church” program as they share reflections from their search for meaning and connection.

What’s Democracy For

Sunday, July 5, 2020 – Video Link Arrives at 9am –
Rev. Sally Beth Shore, Guest Minister

The development of American democracy is intertwined with the development of our faith, important enough that our 5th principle states “we affirm and promote the right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large.” I was taught that democracy was the best system of governance because it was fair. But what if this is an incomplete view? Starting with the unofficial motto of the United States, E pluribus Unum (Out of many, One) we explore the tantalizing possibility that democracy’s aim is not fairness, but success through unity. If we understood this, could we use it to help mend the rifts in our society?

The Rev. Sally Beth Shore received her MDiv from Meadville Lombard Theological School in 2012 and was ordained by the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Asheville in 2013. She has been a member of UUCA since 2001. She and her husband, Michael, raised their children, now 24, 22, and 19, here. She has just completed a year of interim ministry with the Unitarian Universalists of Transylvania County.

Rooted, Inspired and Ready

Sunday, June 28, 10am, 2020
General Assembly

We join thousands of UUs across the country in online worship prepared by leaders of the Unitarian Universalist Association and presented live at 10 a.m. Click here to view.

The Meaning of Life

Sunday, June 21, 2020 – Video link arrives at 9am
– Rev. Mark Ward, Lead Minister

The old cartoons tell you you need to climb to the top of a mountain to ask a guru about this. Maybe we don’t have to go quite so far.

UUCA would like to recognize congregants that are considered essential workers during the COVID-19 outbreak. If you are (or know a UUCAer who is) a healthcare worker (medical or social), an educator, a grocery store worker, a community volunteer, or any other job that is considered essential, please let Venny know. Stand up and be recognized, you have earned it!

You Gotta Own It

Sunday, May 31, 2020 9am
Rev. James McKinley, Guest Minister

It was the middle of a 24-day raft trip through the Grand Canyon last December. It was cold, I was suffering, and the Canyon is the ultimate “no way out only through” experience. When I mentioned it, my daughter’s response was, “Ya gotta own it, Dad,” where “own” is embrace and love and “it” is me, who I am here and now.

 That “a-hah” moment and phrase have become my guide, touchstone and koan in more adventure, study, personal growth and now the solitude, isolation and disruption of sheltering in place. My hope is that our reflections together reveal a helpful touchstone or two for you.

Rev. Jim McKinley retired in June 2019 as minister of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Hendersonville.

The Seventh One

Sunday, May 24, 2020 9am
Rev. Mark Ward, Lead Minister

It’s been argued that with our seventh principle – affirming and promoting respect for the interdependent web of existence of which we are a part – we Unitarian Universalists were given our key to the future as a religious movement. What might that mean? And look for a fun story from the Fletcher-Williams family and a bridging ceremony honoring our seven graduating seniors.

Click on this pdf for a text version of this sermon.

Credo Sunday

Sunday, May 17, 2020 9am
Coming of Age Class

“Who am I?”
“What does my UU faith mean to me?”
“What does it look like to live Unitarian Universalism?”

Finding answers to these questions requires some serious effort—exploring, excavating, interpreting, and differentiating from societal programming…not for the faint of heart! Our Coming Of Age youth have been hard at work this year trying to answer these questions for themselves, and they would like to share their journey with YOU on Credo Sunday, May 17!  This is a multigenerational service–all ages are welcome and encouraged to attend. Please join us and prepare to be inspired, moved and entertained! Please join us and prepare to be inspired, moved and entertained!

The Sixth One

Sunday, May 10, 2020 9am
Rev. Mark Ward, Lead Minister

Our sixth principle is where UUs go global: where we extend our concern far beyond our local situation and aspire to helping to bring about a community of all humankind united in peace and justice. How do we respond to these grand hopes?

Click on this pdf for a text version of this sermon. 

The Great Transition

Sunday, May 3, 2020 9am
Rev. Claudia Jiménez, Minister of Faith Development

Heard of the Great Depression?  Maybe now we are in the Great Transition.  We know things are going to be different sooner or later, but in what ways?  Can we take this time right now, this pause from our daily routines, to imagine how we might be different as individuals, as families, as neighbors, as congregants, as citizens? What if this isn’t a pause but a reset?

Liberating the Earth-Earth Day

Sunday, April 26, 2020 9am
Rev. Mark Ward, Lead Minister

Around the world, skies clear of smoke and smog due to social distancing remind us of the true beauty and wonder of the Earth. For all the fear and stress surrounding COVID 19, it also offers us a chance to explore how we might liberate the Earth from two and a half centuries of humankind’s polluting ways.

Flower Communion Service

Sunday, April 19, 2020
Rev. Claudia Jimenez, Minister of Faith Development

Join us for a celebration of Spring as we listen to the story of Norbert Capek and the ritual he created to bring people closer together. Please bring a flower real or created by you to our virtual coffee hour at 12:30 PM. Members and friends of all ages are invited to share a photograph of a favorite flower (real or created by you). E-mail it to faithdev@uuasheville.org

Easter-Renewal in Trying Times

Sunday, April 12, 2020
Rev. Mark Ward, Lead Minister

The Easter story has long been a touchstone for people who are struggling. Now we face another struggle, new to us but not to humankind. What does this ancient story offer to us today?

Click on this pdf for the text of this sermon.

The Fifth One

Sunday, April 5, 2020
Rev. Mark Ward, Lead Minister and Rev. Claudia Jimenez, Minister of Faith Development

So, what is “affirming and promoting the democratic process” doing in the middle of the principles of a religious body? Well, let’s just say that, yes, it has something to do with liberation.

Click on this pdf for the sermon text.

The Wisdom of “What Now?”

Sunday, March 29, 9:15 & 11:15am
Rev. Tiffany Sapp, Guest Minister

As a hospital chaplain, Rev. Tiffany Sapp encounters the questioning connected to suffering. Often, the questioning is phrased as “Why?” But she’s discovered that a Unitarian Universalist response often comes in the form of a different question, “What Now?” Come explore how we can navigate the difficulties of life together.

The Problem With Heaven

Sunday, March 22, 9:15 & 11:15am
Rev. Mark Ward, Lead Minister

The power claimed for the theological notion of heaven is that it’s what we all want. But what if it’s not what we want, what if it’s the last thing we want?

Click on this pdf to read text of sermon.

The Fourth One

Sunday, March 15, 2020 9:15 & 11:15am
Rev. Mark Ward, Lead Minister

There it lies at the center of our seven principles: “a free and responsible search for truth and meaning.” Can it hold this august place that we give it?

Click on this pdf for sermon text.

Celebration Sunday

Sunday, March 8, 2020 9:15 & 11:15am
Annual Budget Drive Team & Rev. Claudia Jimenez, Minister of Faith Development

With song, story, and inspiring words, we close our annual budget drive with a celebration of all that we make possible as people committed to the work of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Asheville.

No audio or text available.

Rekindling Moral Imagination

Sunday, March 1, 2020, 9:15 & 11:15am
Rev. Claudia Jimenez, Minister of Faith Development
In these challenging times we are called to imagine possibilities that do not yet exist and are based on the good and the just.  As always, we are called to action! Join us in an exploration of how our UU faith can sustain our moral imagination during moments of despair.

YRUU Service

Sunday, February 23, 2020, 9:15 & 11:15am
Friendship and Community
YRUU Youth
Join us for the annual YRUU- Young Religious Unitarian Universalist multigenerational service. Youth will reflect on friendship, community and the positive effects they have on our lives. Children in grades 3 and up are invited to join us. Childcare will be provided for those in grade 2 and younger.

Living Bravely, Giving Generously

Sunday, February 16, 9:15 & 11:15am
Rev. Mark Ward, Lead Minister, Will Jernigan and Wes Miller, Annual Budget Drive Co-chairs
It’s a time these days when we need to be brave, when we need to step up to what our values call for from us and support each other in doing it. We begin our Annual Budget Drive celebrating the role that each of us in this congregation has in making that happen.

Click on this PDF for sermon text.

The Third One

Sunday, February 9, 2020 , 9:15 & 11:15am
Rev. Mark Ward, Lead Minister

Acceptance & encouragement, what nice words! What could be hard about them? Today we’ll explore how our UU Third Principle can challenge us.

Click on this link for the pdf of this sermon.

From Concern to Action

Sunday, January 19, 2020,  9:15 & 11:15am
Rev. Claudia Jimenez, Minister of Faith Development

Join us as we honor the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr and reflect on how we can put our values into action.  As Rev. King said, “Every step toward the goal of justice requires the passionate concern of dedicated individuals.”  Let us explore ways of translating those concerns into purposeful action for justice in this new decade. Special guest, Womansong, will be providing music for our multigenerational service next Sunday

Magi and Wise Men: A UU Perspective

Sunday, January 12, 2020  9:15 & 11:15am
Phil Roudebush, Guest Speaker

The magi or wise men are regular figures in accounts of the nativity celebrations of Christmas and are an important part of the Christian tradition. Epiphany, which traditionally falls on January 6th, is a Christian feast day and western Christians commemorate the visit of the magi to the baby Jesus. Phil Roudebush will explore the magi story from biblical, historical and contemporary religious viewpoints with thoughts on how Unitarian Universalists might view these scholars and their message.

Click on this pdf to sermon text.

The First One

Sunday, January 5, 2020, 9:15 & 11:15am
Rev. Mark Ward, Lead Minister 

We begin the New year with a reflection with the first of our UU principles, which calls us to affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity. How does this principles call us to live and grow? We will also be welcoming new member to our congregation.

Click here for a pdf version of the sermon.

Christmas Music, Revels & Stories

Sunday, December 29, 2019  11:15am (SINGLE SERVICE)
Rev. Mark Ward, Lead Minister

Our musical guest for our service on December 29 will be Musicke Antiqua,a 13-member recorder consort of musicians who perform in costume and offer historically informed live performances and educational programs designed to inspire appreciation of early music and support its study.
    Musicke Antiqua began as a recorder trio in Brevard, NC, in 2001, and now includes 13 members from several areas of Western North Carolina, including UUCA members Jim Manhart and Nanette Muzzy-Manhart.
The single service, will be coordinated by Lead Minister Rev. Mark Ward and Worship Associate Susan Andrew and will include stories, readings and a meditation.