The generosity of our and our partners’ congregants from Faith Communities Organizing for Sanctuary recently completed the funding needed for Maria’s legal fees. Her lawyer will pursue a different strategy requiring character reference letters that humanize Maria. If you know Maria, there is still time to write a letter of support. The deadline is September 30. An Action Alert was sent out with details. Contact me if you have any questions.

Also, please plan to attend the masked gathering on October 3 at UUAsheville from 1:00-3:00pm to dedicate our new outdoor patio. We will also be dedicating the new sculptures in our Memorial Garden. Maria and Esteban will bring their food truck. This is an opportunity to directly support Maria and enjoy her delicious tacos. There will also be a DJ and the possibility of salsa dancing instruction if there is interest. A bailar!

On October 3 during worship we will celebrate Religious Exploration facilitators and mentors with a dedication. October 3 is a busy day! It is also the date for our Coming of Age fall retreat. Since they will not be able to attend service, I want to be sure to recognize our Coming of Age mentors* and facilitators* who will be spending their day with our COA youth. Lots of dedications happening at UUAsheville because there are a lot of dedicated people! Yeah!

Faith Development programs start next month. Volunteers and staff have been planning and looking forward to your participation. Soul Matters and Creativity Matters groups launch with October’s theme, “Cultivating Relationship,” so appropriate to these times when relationships have been stressed and deepened. Contact Venny Zachritz if you are interested in joining a group. We have an “empty chair” for you!

6:30 Vespers and 7PM Programs also resume in October. Each Wednesday there will be a theme:
1st Wed (Oct 6) – Soul Matters Theme Conversation – October is Cultivating Relationship

2nd Wed (Oct 13) – Liberation Conversations (Anti-racism defines us by what we are against; liberation defines us by what we are for. Let me know what you think of making a name change)

3rd Wed (Oct 20) – Spiritual Practices

4th Wed (Oct 27) – Theology: Exploring Core Theological Themes (During the first session, “Theology 101,” we will discuss which themes we will explore in future months.  Beauty, Evil, God, Peace & Non-Violence, Suffering, Joy, Prayer, Forgiveness & Reconciliation, are just some examples. Our resource will be Theology Ablaze by UU minister, Rev. Tom Owen-Towle.

Contact me if you have questions or would like to lead Vespers. An outline and support are provided for Vespers leaders.

I am excited about what this new Faith Development year will bring. Amid the challenge of this moment, it is important we make time to connect and nurture our spirits.

P.S. Next week’s blog will feature our religious educators, Jen and Kim, highlighting our offerings for children and youth Religious Exploration.

Rev. Claudia Jiménez, Minister of Faith Development

*COA Mentors:

Shawn Landreth
Missy Reed
Tony Reed
Clyde Hardin
Maggie Reynolds Poist
Sarah Hargrove
Mame Fleming
Will Smith
Allison Hardesty
Laurel Jernigan
Deanna Banks
Tom House

COA Facilitators
Allen Currens
Brian Daniel
Steve Lapointe