As you probably know, the UU Asheville membership and Board of Trustees reviewed the congregation‘s overall purpose and reason for being over the last year. The result of this effort was a set of updates to the Mission, Core Values, and Ends Statements.
One of the things that we as a Board wanted to reinforce and which came up organically and repeatedly was that the congregation was a living community that needs your input and energy.  It is not something that can be only passively enjoyed if we want to thrive (or even ultimately survive long term).
From what I can see, this refocusing on the active aspect of engagement with each other in the congregation is making positive change. With the annual budget drive being only the latest example, there seems to be more engagement in all aspects of our congregation. We have added the Wednesday Thing, the preparations for offering sanctuary are progressing, and people are taking part in a variety of roles who have never done so before. 
I acknowledge that one of the challenges of our current society is being “too busy“ all the time. There are countless tasks and superficially interesting things constantly competing for our attention. However, when we can accomplish the feat of finding purpose rather than just being busy we can experience that paradoxical magic that happens where we come out of giving more energized than when we went in.
I thank you and the congregation thanks you for everything that you have done, are doing, and will do. As it has been said:
“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Mahatma Gandhi
James Schall, Board of Trustees