“What Makes a Good Life” is the title of a TED talk by psychiatrist Robert Waldinger. As Director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development, Professor Waldinger is the third to hold that position in the longest-running and most comprehensive longitudinal studies of happiness and satisfaction. Spoiler alert: this 75-year-old continuing study finds that the key to happiness and satisfaction in life is….. relationships. Deep, committed, nurturing relationships.

Unitarian Universalism is a covenantal religion. We aspire to do things together to improve ourselves, our congregation, and the wider community by forming relationships. I believe this is fundamentally what attracts so many of us to the UU Congregation of Asheville. We get happiness and satisfaction in the relationships we build in shared community.

You have, or will shortly, hear from Debbie and Ian Fischer, our Annual Budget Drive co-chairs. This year we are coming together in community, in a kickoff event on January 31 after the second service, to celebrate the success of the Welcome Project, to outline the priorities for the coming congregational year beginning in July, and to form new relationships in gatherings outside our normal UUCA events. We have a wonderful video of the congregation singing One Voice, put together by our talented Jules Smith, to share with you. Rev. Mark Ward will outline the priorities of UUCA for the next year and the challenges. You will get a chance to ask questions and provide input. And yes, we will ask you to consider your financial commitment to UUCA for the upcoming congregational year starting in July.

Please respond to the invitation from Debbie and Ian and attend this meeting. This is a unique opportunity to build relationships with your fellow congregants. So, what makes a good life? Relationships. Or as The Beatles put it: And in the end, the love you take, is equal to the love, you make.