Text of Some Messages is Now Online
Sunday, 9 June 2013, 11 a.m., New Member Sunday
A Place To Belong
Rev. Michael Carter
Come join us as we celebrate the growth of our congregation and to welcome our new members. This Sunday’s message will explore what it means to join our UU congregation and to acknowledge the rich history that is ours as religious liberals and free thinkers. We must continue to honor our tradition by remembering that we stand on the shoulders of so many and we owe so much to those that prepared the way for us. Child care is provided. See you on Sunday!
Sunday, 2 June 2013, 11 a.m.
Charles Dickens Reincarnated
How would Charles Dickens react to our world? What were his prophetic concerns?
Diane's many years of teaching British Literature in high school and college, and Diane & Richard's travels to England with the Dickens Fellowship led to her desire to share her interest in this most singular individual with UUCSV.
Sunday, 26 May 2013, 11 a.m.
The Mystic as Activist
Rev. Michael Carter
We will memorialize and celebrate the life of Dr. Howard Thurman - mentor to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the first man of color to pastor the first interracial church in American, The Church Of All Peoples, in San Francisco in 1944. He was one of the first pioneers to bring Gandhi's teachings of non-violent social resistance to these shores and was an author of over 20 books, including his writing of the ground breaking, Jesus and the Disinherited. Join us as we celebrate the life of this great American!
Child Care is provided!!!
Sunday, 19 May 2013, 11 a.m.
Heart of the Earth: Celebrating Rainforests
Join us for our annual RE Sunday service as we explore the many ways we are connected, not only to the earth and the great web of life, but to each other in so many important ways. This morning will also honor high school senior Stephen Ball as we bridge him from the RE community into the larger congregation. Choir sings today, accompanied by the children for part of the morning, and we will have for your enjoyment some special rainforest snacks after the service.
Sunday, 12 May 2013, 11 a.m.
Rev. Michael Carter
Words usually get in the way for Mother’s Day in my humble opinion. For some our mother’s have been abusive, emotionally absent, and downright cruel. For others, mom has been the wind beneath our wings. And yet, what can be said that has not already been said? But words are all we have as we wrestle with what Mother’s Day means to each of us, individually and collectively; not to mention our Mother Planet that sustains us through it all. See you at church!!! Child Care is provided.
Sunday, 5 May 2013, 11 a.m.
Nonviolence and Middle East Conflict
For anyone looking at the conflict in the Middle East over the past forty-five years it should be clear that violence, whether in the interest of self-defense or aggression, has only produced more violence. Superior force has sometimes brought periods of calm but it has never achieved reconciliation between two sides in a conflict. Today's talk will explore the possibility of using nonviolence, both as a strategy and as a principle, to solve conflict. The talk will concentrate on concrete examples of when nonviolence has been embraced and will discuss the role of nonviolence in the possible transformation of the world, replacing the myth of redemptive violence with an ethic of love.
Anthony Bing is Professor of English and Chair of Peace and Global Studies Emeritus from Earlham College. He retired after thirty one years at Earlham in 2001. While at Earlham he also served as the national Executive Director of the Peace Studies Association, 1994-2001. Educated at Haverford College, Oxford University and the University of Michigan, Bing was a teacher of Shakespeare, Modern French Novel, Old and Middle English and Literature of the Middle East. In the Peace Studies field, he offered courses in the theory and practice of nonviolence, introduction to peace study, war and literature, and the contemporary conflict in the Middle East.
He spent a good portion of his career developing programs in international education, especially in the Middle East, where he taught at the American University of Beirut (1967-69) was chairman of he Great Lakes Colleges Association’s Middle East Advisory Committee (1970-76), and in 1982 began the Great Lakes Jerusalem Program, a semester of study of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict, study that involved living with Israeli and Palestinian families and having courses taught by Israeli and Palestinian professors. Based on that model, Bing set up a Northern Ireland Program in 1991, also with a peace focus, that studied the origins and development of the catholic/protestant conflict in Northern Ireland. For his work in Northern Ireland, he was given an award by the British government in 1993. In 1992 he was selected by the Peace Studies Association as its Peace Educator of the year. Bing has written widely on the conflict between Palestine and Israel, most notably a book about Joseph Abileah, Israel’s first conscientious objector. He also coauthored a 2004 work, When the Rain Returns, a study of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.
He has served on the Board of the American Friends Service Committee, has clerked its National Peace Education Committee and its Middle East Peacebuilding Program Advisory Committee. Currently he is on the AFSC’s Nobel Peace Prize Committee. In May of 2007, he co-led an AFSC delegation to Israel/Palestine that commemorated the 40th anniversary of Israel's occupation of Palestine. It was his 30th visit to that troubled land. In retirement he has been clerk of the Swannanoa Valley Friends Meeting and has offered courses at Warren Wilson and at McCall College for Seniors in Montreat.
Sunday, 28 April 2013, 11 a.m.
Rev. Michael Carter
As part of our congregation's contribution to "The Stand Against Racism" event on the last weekend of April, we will explore how racism affects the dominant culture; oftentimes referred to as---"White" or "European-Americans." Yes, I agree. These hyphens are a nuisance.
We will unpack what the definition of racism
really means and how we are all impacted as
individuals and as a society, whether we want to
be affected or not. It is a tough subject but
will be food for the soul! See you at church!
Child care is provided.
Sunday, 21 April 2013, 11 a.m.
Listening as Nature Speaks: One Seeker's Journey
Dr. Kathryn Newfont
"We care for the earth" is the nutshell version of one key Unitarian Universalist principle, and commitment to a "free and responsible search for truth and meaning" is another. My own spiritual journey has convinced me that nature is a powerful teacher, a rich source of meaning. Like the ripplings of a flowing stream, its divine offerings go on--regardless of whether or not anyone is listening. How do we tap into these offerings? How do we learn to listen? This Earth Day weekend we reflect on these and similar questions.
Dr. Kathryn Newfont is an associate professor of history and faculty chair for the Ramsey Center for Regional Studies at Mars Hill College and the 2012 recipient of the Thomas Wolfe Literary Award. Her book, Blue Ridge Commons: Environmental Activism and Forest History in Western North Carolina, details the development of a uniquely Appalachian type of environmentalism. She and her family attend UUCA.
Sunday, 14 April 2013, 11 a.m.
Rev. Michael Carter
What conversations go on in our heads each day as we go about living our lives? If thoughts are indeed things, (and indeed they are) how do we take responsibility for how we co-create our lives? The way we see our reality is how we create the events of our lives; perhaps not all of the events but many of them. The old adage reminds us that we don’t see things as they are; we see things as we are. What are the old tapes from childhood that still play in our heads and keep us from living the life that is good and beautiful and true? Let’s explore! See you on Sunday.
Sunday, 7 April 2013, 11 a.m.
The Courage to Love
Rev. Bob MacDicken
We have all heard "Love your enemies," but what about those people we once considered friends who have wronged us? What about people whose lives intersect ours but seem a contradiction of ours? What about people who are REALLY intolerant? Love as Jesus talked about it, compassion as the Dalai Lama talks about it, takes courage -- but it is well worth the effort.
Bob MacDicken is in his 12th year as the part time minister of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Catawba Valley (UUCCV) in Hickory, NC. Born and raised in Tacoma, Washington, he received his BA from the University of Redlands (CA) and his MDiv from American Baptist Seminary of the West in Berkeley. He was ordained as an American Baptist Minister in 1967, and became a Unitarian Universalist in 1982. In celebration of UUCCV's 50-year Jubilee, he published a book of his meditations titled Love and Breath (available at Malaprop's).
Bob and his wife, artist Eileen Ross, are former members of UUCSV and have lived in Black Mountain since 2004. Bob and Eileen are parents/stepparents of 6 adult children, and have five grandchildren, ages 22 months to 23 years.
Sunday, 31 March 2013, 11 a.m.
Every Moment, Easter
What does a Buddhist do with Easter? Where is the celebration and freedom of the redemption story present in a mindfulness practice? We will explore some possible parallels between the Easter story and the Four Noble Truths, which are the foundation of Buddhism. We may find that it’s all here, right now, in this present moment.
Anna Matheson, MSW, was raised Catholic and currently has a Buddhist mindfulness practice. She has trained with Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, and was ordained into the Order of Interbeing in 2007. Anna is the Co-Founder of Mountain Mindfulness Sangha (Asheville) and leads mindfulness practice groups at the local jail. She also volunteers with the Center for End-of Life Transitions which assists families with home funerals and after-death care, the perfect continuation of her previous career as a Hospice Social Worker.
Thich Nhat Hanh is a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, teacher, prolific author, poet and peace activist who has written more than 100 books on the practice of the mindfulness of each moment as a way to alleviate suffering and bring about peace. His titles include Living Buddha, Living Christ (1995), and Going Home, Jesus and Buddha as Brothers (2000).
Sunday, 24 March 2013, 11 a.m.
Psychology, Religion, and UUs
Rev. Michael Carter
How do these three disciplines intersect and co-exist in our personal, emotional, and religious lives? Is our religion (or any religion for that matter) a form of therapy as some have claimed? Is there even a difference between psychology and religion? If so, what is it? Let’s unpack these questions and explore together how this “unholy trinity” of the personal, emotional, and the religious can be of crucial significance in transforming ourselves as well as the society in which we live. See you at Church!
Sunday, 17 March 2013, 11 a.m.
I Yam What I Yam: The Zen of Popeye
Rev. Michael Carter
Popeye first appeared in the daily King Features comic strip Thimble Theatre in 1929 and continues in syndication today. Though at times he seems bereft of manners or uneducated, Popeye is often depicted as capable of coming up with solutions to problems that seem insurmountable. Perhaps his most memorable mantra is "I yam what I yam and that's all that I yam." What does that mean? More importantly, what emotion or state of mind arises when we repeat that mantra to ourselves? Regret? Guilt? A pledge to work out more? Liberation? One of these things is not like the other. Come and hear why it is what it is and that is all that it is.
Michael Carter (not our regular Michael Carter, but rather that other Michael Carter... really, you can't have too many of them) is a graduate of the Emory University Chandler School of Theology. He served in the United Methodist Church for eight years working in parishes in Georgia and Kentucky, as well as serving on the staff of one of the oldest statewide peace organizations in the United States. He spent many years in the corporate world and now is a starving entrepreneur living near Brevard.
Sunday, 10 March 2013, 11 a.m.
An Arc In The Clouds
Rev. Michael Carter
What does Unitarian Christian Minister, Rev. Theodore Parker, have in common with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.? Aside from the fact that they are both clergy you may be surprised. One man can only be described as a “Boston Brahmin,” and the other was the great grandson of slaves. One Baptist, the other Unitarian. However, they both view the machinations of the Universe in very similar ways! See you on Sunday....
Sunday, 3 March 2013, 11 a.m.
The Optimistic Atheist, or Atheists in Foxholes
This service will launch our annual Pledge Drive and Canvass of members and friends. Once again, Jeff Hutchins will serve as chair of the Stewardship campaign. He will tell us about the goals of the campaign, and he will deliver a sermon on how it is possible for someone without a belief in a traditional paternal God to find hope and happiness in their life.
Sunday, 24 February 2013, 11 a.m.
Rev. Michael Carter
It’s that time of year again when we are being asked to budget our resources for the upcoming church calendar. What are our priorities? Can we begin to talk honestly about money, our time, and the future of our congregation? Of course we can! Join us this Sunday as we prepare to search within ourselves and express what our church means to us and this community and how we can continue to support our dreams and visions for a free, liberal religious community in Western North Carolina. See you there.
Please note that on February 24th there will be another Town Hall Meeting from 12:30 pm –1:30 pm. The Topic is, Where Do We Go From Here? The focus will be to inform the congregation about the Ministerial Start Up Meeting held in October and to field any questions regarding our vision for the next year.
Sunday, 17 February 2013, 11 a.m.
Five Happy Things
Todd and Meg Hoke
Todd and Meg Hoke share through music and reflection how the practice of "5 Happy Things" has impacted their life. Todd Hoke is a singer-songwriter with three CDs and he is also a nurse at Four Seasons' Elizabeth House. Meg Hoke has a Masters of Social Work and is Director of the Palliative Care program with Hospice of the Carolina Foothills. When people hear about our work, they often say "How do you do that? It's so depressing!" 5 Happy Things is part of what keeps us balanced. This presentation describes a practice that has helped Meg and Todd work with hospice services for a combined 25+years. Meg and Todd Hoke will share a 3 step practice that is simple, do-able, and useful as a way to discover the positive even while acknowledging the sadness and pain that we wade into on an almost daily basis.
Meg and Todd met in the early 90's while serving as full-time volunteers at a residential hospice for people with AIDS in Baltimore. The daughter of a Methodist minister and of a teacher/community worker, Meg went on to become a social worker and has worked with patients with HIV, AIDS, cancer and community organizations in Austin, TX. For the last 7 years, she has worked as a hospice social worker and director of the Palliative Care program at Hospice of the Carolina Foothills in Columbus, NC. Todd is a native Texan and focused on music during the 12 years they lived in Austin, TX. He just completed his third recording, "Southland", and plays in venues ranging from house concerts to breweries. He works full-time as a nurse at the inpatient hospice facility in Hendersonville. Todd and Meg are currently members of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Hendersonville, where they live with their two dogs.
Sunday, 10 February 2013, 11 a.m.
Rev. Michael Carter
So much is made of the notion and spiritual practice of detachment in our culture today. Don’t get me wrong. I believe it’s a great discipline to commit to no matter how difficult it may be. This Sunday I would like to explore what it means to be detached, specifically in unhealthy relationships, with others as well as ourselves. Once we know what detachment is and isn’t, it just may free us up to live more authentically loving, serene, and compassionate lives.
We will also explore how the discipline of detachment also relates to at least 4 of our 7 principles of Unitarian Universalism. See you at church!
Sunday, 3 February 2013, 11 a.m.
A Leap of Faith
At this time of year, we have perhaps already disregarded our New Year’s Resolutions. We begin the shortest month of the year, awaiting spring, even as we learn what the Groundhog has in store for the coming of the seasons. I invite you to join me in an exploration of “faith,” that foundation of our actions in a religious community. Considering that without foundational faith, our actions may ring false and can lead to cynicism and burnout. Join me in taking a “leap of faith”… that weds attention to the life of our spirits to our efforts to better our world.
Rev. Judith Long is the Executive Director of The Free Clinics (Henderson County, NC), where she has served for over seven years, working in a community ministry capacity. During her tenure at The Free Clinics, the organization has tripled in size with respect to staff, programs, budget, and most importantly patients served. In 2008, The Free Clinics successfully completed a $1.85m capital campaign, built a new facility, and launched an endowment.
For five years, she has served on the board of directors of the NC Association of Free Clinics, the past two years as President. Locally, she has served on the board of the Partnership for Health for seven years and is an incoming board member for the United Way.
An ordained Unitarian Universalist minister, Judy earned her Masters of Divinity from Harvard University Divinity School and served both as a hospital chaplain and parish minister. She is the Affiliate Community Minister and a member of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Hendersonville. In her role at UUFH, she serves as facilitator of the Henderson County DREAM Scholarship program.
Judy is a nonprofit professional who has a Masters Degree in Nonprofit Administration from the University of San Francisco. She has over 20 years experience in various nonprofit organizations in Atlanta, Georgia; San Francisco and Oakland, California; Boston, Massachusetts; and Brooklyn and Manhattan, New York. Her nonprofit experience includes housing and homelessness issues, anti-racism efforts, community organizing in urban centers, and working with adult, teen, and child survivors of domestic, familial, or sexual violence, in addition to her current service as director of The Free Clinics. She has served in various staff and board capacities, as well as a fundraising consultant and nonprofit trainer. She earned her BA from Smith College in Northampton, MA.
A relative newcomer to North Carolina, she and her husband, Rev. Michael Carter, minister of UUCSV, relocated from Brooklyn, NY in 2005. A lover of the southern Appalachians, she was raised in the mountains of north Georgia where her family still resides. She is the proud mother of a beautiful almost seven year old daughter, Kevyn Mary.
Sunday, 27 January 2012, 11 a.m.
Rev. Michael Carter
Our first UU principle states that we as Unitarian Universalists covenant to affirm and promote, the inherent worth and dignity of every person. I personally feel this is the cornerstone of our faith tradition for it is something that one does not have to earn or barter for. Yet what does it mean to really live this principle of ours in the day to day life of the individual? See you there!
Sunday, 20 January 2013, 11 a.m.
Strength to Love
In 1963 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. published a book of sermons entitled, Strength to Love. His widow, Coretta Scott King, writes, "... this book best explains the central element of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s philosophy of nonviolence: his belief in a divine, loving presence that binds all life. This belief was the force behind all of my husband's quests to eliminate social evil ..." As we celebrate the national holiday honoring the activism and optimism of King's life, we'll look at how his invitation to having "a tough mind and a tender heart" and to putting "love in action" still speak to our nation today.
Laura Collins lives in West Asheville with her teenaged son, where she freelances as a writer, editor and retreat leader. She works part time for Habitat for Humanity where she is a fund developer. In previous lives she's been a Presbyterian minister, a chaplain, a climate change activist, and a provider of hospitality to ex-offenders., women in prostitution and a drama coach for inner-city children.
Sunday, 13 January 2013, 11 a.m.
Zebras; Black and White Together?
Rev. Michael Carter
What is it about interracial couples, particularly when they are African American and European American, that scares our culture so much? I find this to be especially true if they are showing their affection for each other in public. Sometimes referred to as “Zebras,” or having “jungle fever,” these couples even today, with intermarriage at it’s highest demographic rate in years in these United States, endure emotional, psychological, and at times even physical abuse from their fellow citizens. Let’s look at a bit of US history on the subject.
Sunday, 6 January 2013, 11 a.m.
Many cultures tell creation stories in which elements are separated into neat categories: sky, land, water, plants, animals, people. Then it becomes our sacred duty to finish the divine task of separating and categorizing things. But is it possible that we feel within ourselves a deeper calling to mix it all together into some sort of...casserole? And could this integration be sacred too?
John Snodgrass is a wandering preacher, currently
teaching at Brevard College, and making his third
appearance at UUCSV. He is the author of Genesis
and the Rise of Civilization – a book about
Biblical and mythical echoes of the Agricultural
Revolution. He lives with his wife and two
children in Hendersonville.