News 4 Leaders

These posts are “news memos” for the lay leaders of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Asheville, NC.  

They provide a forum for staff and lay leaders to consider a variety of issues affecting the life of the congregation.  Most memos are written by the congregation’s Director of Administration with input from various staff members.

Comments are moderated by the Director of Administration.  All members are invited to comment – to comment click on post title, comment area will be at the bottom of the post.

Posts are irregularly timed.  

News 4 Leaders Blog

Leadership Path Development in Congregations Webinar, Feb 11, 6:30, 23 Edwin Parlor

We’ll be watching this webinar at 23 Edwin tomorrow night.  You’re invited to join us.  Bring snacks if you like that sort of thing.  Here’s the promo from the UUA:
Leadership Development and Recruitment are often difficult in congregations who always seem to have too many jobs and not enough energy. During this webinar, we will explore solutions that include setting goals for your Lifespan Faith Development Program that naturally grow leaders in the congregation, inviting more diverse and inclusive leadership, and cultivating a culture of leadership development that hinges on servant leadership and the celebration of those who have served.
Childcare available!! Just come!

Help Wanted: Test Out Our New Website This Week

Ta-da! This new website has just gone “live.”  We’re sort of doing a soft opening so we can work out kinks before the big grand opening.  However, it IS the only website we have so anyone that looks us up for whatever reason from now on ends up here.

Here are a few things you can do to help out: Pretend you are a person using the internet to scout us out before attending.  Can you find out what you want to know? Tell us all about it!

How hard was it to find answers to these questions?  If it was hard, was it important to find it? Tell me anything that you think we should know about the site.  (This is not a test–I know the answers so no need to report them back.  The point is if you wanted to find the answer, could you?)

  • I am running an event that will be collecting money.  How do I do that?
  • I have a 5-year old.  What’s the Sunday School like?  What do we do when we get to UUCA for the first time?
  • Do you have a choir?  How do I audition?
  • Who can be interred in the Memorial Garden?  How can I make it happen?
  • I need to get on Realm.  
  • I am looking to rent a room for a meeting.  Do you rent rooms?
  • Are there any adult faith development classes coming up?
  • What does the ECC do?
  • What’s this month’s theme?
  • I want to make a donation.
  • I want to nominate a group for our Community Plate.  How do I do that?
  • I need to know who is on the RE Council.  Where do I look?
  • Who’s in the pulpit this week?
  • I missed last week’s sermon.  Can I find it online?
  • I want to re-read the description of the thing I bought at the Auction.  Can I do that?

Well, that’s enough for now.  Send me your results, comments, thoughts, etc.  Be kind, though, because we DID try hard to get things right.


Need Your Help for Photo Sessions

Sign-ups for our photo sessions that start next week are lagging so we need your help! We have about 400 families at UUCA and only 100 have signed up. This is not good enough!! A photo directory with 1/4 of the congregation in it is not so helpful. Here’s what I need from you:

>>Please sign up for a photo session (it’s free + you get a printed directory and 8×10 photo for free, too). Please sign up for next week if you can. There’s a psychology to this; week 2 will fill if week 1 creates a good buzz.

>>Please remind your UUCA friends to sign up, too! This is only going to be a useful document if we have great representation. I’m wanting to get 250 or more. We’re at 100. Go out and recruit!!!

>>More optionally, if you have the time, please sign up for a couple of hours of greeting. It’s nice to have a church member greeting folks as they arrive for the photo sessions.

Now go, sign up now and recruit your friends!

Leaders Need to Know

Welcome back to a new church year! I am horrified to discover that I never made use of this communications tool all of last year! That is wrong and I hope to do much better this year.

We have information that UUCA leaders need to know about, so it’s time to review it (or introduce it, depending on your tenure). First off, use the website! There is actually a tab on the website called “Leaders Need to Know.” Catchy name, right? It’s under the home page’s tab, “For Members.”

When you get there, you’ll find all manner of helpful info. There’s a listing of all the leaders of the congregation. There’s a “check request form” that you need to get reimbursed for purchases. There are helpful instructions on how to schedule a room, or submit an eNews article, or what to do with money you collect. It’s all there!

There’s also a workshop you can attend to learn more about how things get decided here at UUCA:

Join the Leadership Development Committee on Saturday morning, September 28, 9:30-noon, for a UUCA Leader’s Workshop.

Are you interested in learning more about leadership in churches without leaving the comfort of your own home? There are many, many “classes” you can access through the UUA website. Visit the UUA’s Leader Lab or see the UUA Leadership Institute’s listing of classes, both scheduled and on demand. Remember that you can always apply for a UUCA scholarship to “attend” any UU-related leadership class or workshop.

Picnics, Workshops, Meetings, Wednesdays, Auction–YIKES!

I wrote a post on Tuesday, but things did not go so well. The post was messed up and so were the outgoing email notifications. It was about this past week’s Wednesday thing which is now over.  So don’t worry about.  Here’s what you need to know now.

There is a WHOLE LOT of stuff going on at UUCA right now.  It’s hard for staff to keep up, let alone the “UUCAer-on-the-street.”  Here’s a quick summary.  Everything mentioned here has more information available online or in eNews articles (find past eNews’s on our website).  Please help your friends to be informed.

Picnic, September 17, 4-8pm – We reserved Weaver Park for an activity that’s now happening elsewhere.  But we have the park so we may as well have a picnic.  Just show up!

Workshops – There are 11(!) possible choices for you to join in on the conversation about UUCA’s mission and ends.  We have to FOCUS, people!  Sign up for a LOV Project workshop.  Results of this work will be presented at the Congregational Meeting on October 29 at 4pm.

Meetings – Learn more about providing sanctuary to a person threatened with imminent deportation on September 28 at 6:30 from outside presenters and come to the Congregational Meeting on October 29 at 4pm to vote!

Wednesdays – Ask your friends about the Wednesday Thing.  We had a fabulous night this week with more than 60 people joining in the various activities.  We start with a $5 meal every Wednesday!

Auction – “The Things You Do” is a party, an auction, AND a dance on November 11 at The Asheville Event Centre, 5-8 pm.  What we need right now are DONATIONS!!!  The more things we sell, the more funds we raise.

The Wednesday Thing and REALM

Tomorrow night is the first Wednesday Thing but it’s just the first.  We’re doing it EVERY WEDNESDAY.  Get here at 5:30 to eat ($5 per person, $20 maximum per family), stay for the vespers service at 6:00, and then dabble in whatever activities are offered, beginning at 6:30.  There will always be something for everyone, often multigenerational, occasionally, um, unigenerational(?).  (You know, kids and adults apart.)  Leave when you need to.  Child care for little ones (6 and under) starts at 6:00.

Anyway, I need help from you leaders.  MANY of our congregants are not on REALM yet. REALM replaces MY INFO so unless you’re on REALM you will have no way to find your friends’ contact information  or your own giving information.  We have all the data from MY INFO, but it’s important that everyone signs on to REALM because frankly we just don’t have time to answer everyone’s calls and emails for contact or giving information.

PLEASE, please tell your friends (I’m not saying YOU are not on REALM–it’s just your friends) to sign in to the system.  Everyone who has not signed in yet received an email from me today, and will get one with a link tomorrow (from that they can use to sign in.  ANYONE needing help can come to the REALM-Help Room during the Wednesday Things.

Wake Now Our Vision Legacy Challenge; An Amazing Opportunity

By now I hope it’s registered in your brain that we have a literally once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get “free money!” as Rev. Lisa put it on Sunday morning.

UUCA is a pilot congregation for the Unitarian Universalist Association’s new Wake Now Our Vision Legacy Challenge, which will award up to $5 million in challenge grants to congregations who receive planned gift commitments in 2017 or 2018.  Matching money will be given to planned gift commitments to UUCA and/or other major UU institutions, including the UUA, the UU Service Committee, Meadville Lombard Theological School, Starr King School for the Ministry or the UU Ministers Association.

Legacy gift intentions made between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2018 will qualify for a 10% match, up to $10,000.  And the very best part is that the matching money will be distributed to congregations in 2019 as unrestricted money!  Woo hoo – it doesn’t get any better than THAT, does it?  We get money TWICE!!!  The matching money will come to us in 2019 and we will get your planned gift–uh, upon your demise (how to put that more graciously?–hmmmm).

How Can You Learn More?  A special UUA informational event on the Challenge is scheduled for Saturday, April 8.  The session begins with lunch at 12:00 followed by a 1:00-3:00  presentation.  Rev. Laura Randall, UUA’s Legacy Challenge Director, will be here at UUCA for a regional workshop.  We’d like to have you join us for an opportunity to learn about the Wake Now Our Vision  Legacy Challenge and ideas on how to give to UUCA and reduce your taxes.  Many more details will be made available on April 8 so your attendance is encouraged.  And did you see that?  It’s a free lunch, too!  (Gotta love this program!)

To reserve your space, please let Laura Randall (617-948-6511, know you would like to attend by March 27.

If you can’t join us on April 8, then members of the Legacy Circle Committee plan to host information sessions after the 9:15 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. services, too.  We really, really want you to have all the information you need!

We hope you are as excited as we are about this opportunity and help us take full advantage of the $5 million challenge grant.  Feel free to contact members of the UUCA Legacy Circle Committee with questions, and register as soon as you can for the April 8th presentation.

UUCA Legacy Circle Committee:

Beverly Cutter, 296-1047,
Jill Preyer, 505-2633,
Mara Sprain, 654-0551,
Stan Nachman, 299-0425,
Mike Horak, 687-9514,

Please Bring a Friend Who Needs Us Now

Please Bring a Friend Who Needs Us Now

We have welcomed dozens of visitors in the last two weeks. People are looking for community and solidarity now, and are grateful for the chance to be together in a congregational setting. Our songs and worship, our prayerful moments and meditations, our rituals and our shared covenant are fortifying and sustaining to many–some who may not even know a church like this exists. Who in your life might be held and strengthened by our faith and fellowship now? Share your faith. Speak up about the ways this congregation and your involvement in it adds value to your life. Invite them to join us.

Remember that we were made for these times. This is what we as a community of faith are called to do and can do better than any other institution in the post-modern age.

If you attend regularly, you likely already know how that supports you in your daily life and work. But know too that you are a dependable blessing to others and you help create the familiar faces and fellowship this community offers.

Attend occasionally? How could adding another Sunday or two of church and all it provides sustain your whole family now? Consider joining us to find out. 

Considering coming back? There is no time like the present to make your presence felt. If you feel called to show up, we are ready to welcome you, every Sunday. We are still here; it’s what we do.

This piece was written by Joy Berry, our Lifespan Religious Education Director for last week’s Religious Education Weekly eNews.  I didn’t want you to miss it!

Naming Our Core Values

Experiences of “the Holy”

The Board of Trustees needs your help.  Those good folks need for you to attend any one-hour session of workshops they are holding from now through November, and they need you to bring along your UUCA friends.

We need as many of our members and friends as possible to participate in a process to name the values of this faith community.  Sure, we are Unitarian Universalists and our CHURCH has agreed that as a member congregation of the Unitarian Universalist Association the church affirms and promotes the principles and sources that we know so well.  But these principles are not exactly “values.” (You’ll learn more about that at the workshop.)

We want to distill the values we hold individually into a set of 4 or 5 that are common to most of the congregation.  Those values will then be used to re-write a mission statement that will be more of a call to action than our current one (but that’s for a later time).

For now, please pick one of the workshops and attend.  I’ve done it and it’s not only painless, but gosh darn, it was even interesting and fun.  And I know one more UUCAer better now than I did before I attended.

Choose ONE and attend! (NOTE: no registration needed except for childcare.)

Sunday, October 23, 11:15am-12:30pm: 23 Edwin Boardroom
Sunday, November 6, 9:15-10:15am: 23 Edwin Parlor. Childcare-RE for all ages
Thursday, November 10, 1:30-2:30pm: Sandburg Hall. Childcare-RSVP Kim by Oct 27
Sunday, November 13, 11:15am-12:30pm: Jefferson House (21 Edwin Place)
Sunday, November 13, 12:45-1:45pm: Sanctuary. Childcare-RSVP Kim by October 30
Tuesday, November 15, 6:30-7:30pm: RE Commons. Childcare-RSVP Kim by Nov 1

Experience the Holy

exp-the-holyThere is no power equal to a community discovering what it cares about . . .

  • Margaret Wheatley


During November the Board of Trustees will be holding a series of workshops asking –

What timeless, transcendent qualities of our religious community will we embody in all we do?

Our goal is to identify our congregation’s core values – what Mark often refers to as the burning ember at our center. Having that conversation is a process we are calling Experience of the Holy – holy as what we value most.

Values are the foundation of our covenant, of the promises we make to each other. Our shared values are what we endeavor to make real in our congregation and in the world.

We have a strong mission and Ends, a strong sense of what difference we’re in the world to make and for which people, but we’ve never had an explicit conversation together about the values that inform our sense of purpose, the values that provide the underpinning to everything we do in the congregation.

The Board felt it was time to explore and articulate the values that provide the touchstone for everything we do together as a congregation.

The workshop process will tap into people’s real, lived experiences and uncover the values embedded in those experiences and how they connect us as a community. From the information shared in the workshops, the board will discern and articulate no more than five words or very short phrases that capture what timeless, transcendent qualities embody all we do. And, of course, share the results with the congregation.

Attend any of the one-hour workshops and shape our future.

by Kay Aler-Maida, UUCA Board President

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