We meet on the second Wednesday of each month at 5:30 pm at the church.
Our Mission is
to stimulate the active involvement of our congregation in making a positive impact on the community and the world in which we live.
Our Objectives will be accomplished
locally, nationally, and globally, through both social service and social justice. Social service collaborative projects will address emergency relief and other community needs, whereas social justice work will address structural injustice and discrimination.
In a survey of our congregation, the top issues included: Peace Advocacy, Protecting the Environment, Homelessness/Affordable Housing, Racial Oppression and Racial Bridging, and Hunger. Thus much of the effort has been in these areas.
Habitat Interfaith Build 2011 Gets Underway
For the 13th year, the Asheville-area Interfaith community is coming together to raise funds and help build another Habitat for Humanity house in Carney Place in west Asheville. This year will be UUCSV’s first time to join with 15 other churches and congregations to help build the Interfaith home. The build begins August 30 and runs through the end of October.
The partner family includes Tanya Presha and her three children (see photo), who are overjoyed to partner with Habitat. Tanya has worked for the Asheville City School system for 15 years: the last five of which she has coordinated the
Tanya and her children will soon be calling Carney Place home. They are grateful to the Interfaith community for helping to make their dream of homeownership a reality.
Habitat for Humanity Dream House
Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity (AAHH) each year builds a “Building on the Dream” house sponsored by a coalition of diverse Buncombe County churches. The goal of “Building on the Dream” is to bring together local churches to build a Habitat house in tribute to the life and legacy of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
A hearty and hardy group of UUCSV volunteers have been working on the 2011 Home for Asheville Area Habitat. Our crew has helped to deck the porch, build the walls, raise them, get everything plumb and nail on the top plates. The roof will be set on the walls next, then decked. Once it is dried in, subcontractors will come in for electrical, plumbing, mechanical systems and dry wall installation. Habitat carefully orchestrates each phase of construction to ensure efficient work flow and energy conservation.
Take a look at the house you are supporting! It’s looking more and more like a HOME instead of a construction site. Samantha Sutphin, your partner family and the homeowner-to-be, is eager to move into the neighborhood as well as the house. “I can’t wait to get settled into my home. I’m especially excited because I have gotten to know my new neighbors and we’ve already made plans for get-togethers. We’ve also figured out baby sitting duties!”
In 2010, the project began January 12, with the wall-raising celebration on January 15, King’s birthday.
UUCSV’s Building the Dream Team – 19 strong – completed seven workdays (one was snowed out) on the four-bedroom/two-bath home for Ruben and Luz Maria Llamas and their four children.
Before moving to their Habitat home, the Llamas lived in an overcrowded apartment in a neighborhood with documented drug activity, prostitution and violence.
Luz Maria sums up her desire for a Habitat house: “I don’t want to have my kids grow up in a place where drugs are sold, fights happen all the time and the police are always searching someone’s apartment. I want a Habitat house so that my kids will have a healthy and safe place to live so they don’t have to worry about getting picked on and getting sick.”
The UUCSV 2010 Building on the Dream Team included the following: Bill Altork, Cindy Jordan, Diane Hutchins, Evelyn Carter, George LeRoy, Jeff Hutchins, Mamie Hilliard, Marguerite Gregory, Mary Soyenova, Monroe Gilmour, Norm Kowal, Peter Boggs, Ruthye Lovinsohn, Sally Beth Shore, Su Lebund, Susan Culler, and lunch providers: Dawn Wilson, Evelyn Carter, Dr. Jane Carroll, Linda Metzner and Mamie Hilliard.
Room in the Inn
Actions speak louder than words. If you care about homeless women in our community, do something about it. Start by signing up for the next Room in the Inn. This usually takes place each quarter on a Friday at the Black Mountain Presbyterian Church or the Black Mountain United Methodist Church. We will need drivers, overnight volunteers, and servers as well as folks to prepare three hearty meals. By the way, if you heard the praise the women have for the meals we provide you would blush. Contact Connie Krochmal for details and check our special events and calendar for dates.
Community Bulletin Board
The Social Action Committee along with others in the wider community worked to bring about a new community bulletin board in the center of Black Mountain. Tom Motzko crafted it and it was dedicated to UUCSV member Rita Styer who was on the committee and died in November, 2010. Chamber Executive Director Bob McMurray cuts the ribbon on November 23 as Rita's family and others celebrate the opening and remember Rita's love of community and family.
Luncheon for Female Prisoners
On May 26, 2010, the Social Action Committee provided lunch for over 50 community volunteers and prisoners from the Swannanoa Correctional Center for Women.
Renae Brame, Swannanoa Valley Christian Ministries, was in charge of providing meals for one week to the group who performed construction projects for Black Mountains residents of low income. She contacted UUCSV about 2 months ago to see if we could provide one meal for the community service project. The committee was anxious to continue the eleven-year tradition. This year we provided sandwiches, fruit, chips, desserts and beverages to not only those who attended the luncheon but also those who stayed at the sites to work during mealtime.
We received many compliments on the meal; especially from the prisoners. It was a rewarding way to build community. Everyone seemed very enthusiastic about the entire experience. Many thank to Connie Krochmal, Emory Underwood, Susan Culler, Roberta Madden, Deb Vingle, Bette Bates, Monroe Gilmour and Diane Hutchins for a job well done.
Racial Oppression and Racial Bridging
News anchor Darcel Grimes of WLOS-TV moderated the discussion, following brief presentations by four prominent local leaders. The event was part of a nationwide awareness day, Stand Against Racism, sponsored by the YWCA USA and locally by the YWCA of Asheville.
In a survey of our congregation, we decided that peace advocacy should be our number one social concern to address. Thus, on August 6, 2005, sixteen members and friends of our congregation journeyed to the gates of the Y–12 plant in Oak Ridge, TN, for the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. We joined over one thousand others from all over the nation to protest the continued enhancement of nuclear weapons. This was the largest such gathering in east Tennessee history.
In addition, members of the congregation have participated in peace demonstrations in Washington, D.C. as well as local demonstrations. Most recently on January 17th, we participated in the MLK Peace Walk in Asheville. Peace continues to be important to our congregation.
The Green Sanctuary sub-committee stands ready to respond to environmental health and stability needs and challenges within our congregational community and in our larger local and state venues. As a Green Sanctuary, accredited by the UU Ministry for Earth in 2009, we encourage and promote living the values of the 7th Principle: Affirming and promoting respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.
Green Sanctuary Committee Co-Chairs: Jane J. Carroll and Connie Krochmal
Our Welcoming Congregation sub-committee held its first meeting on July 16, 2006.
On Sep 16, 2007 the congregation voted unanimously (57 - 0) to affirm that we are a Welcoming Congregation.
In May 2006, the UUCSV Board instructed the Social Action Committee to embark on the UUA's "Welcoming Congregation" certification process. Over 500 UUs have completed this process including Asheville, Hendersonville, and most recently, the UU Fellowship of Clemson which a delegation from UUCSV visited in May, 2006.
The certification process took about a year and concluded with a congregational vote to be an official "Welcoming Congregation." During the year, there were workshops meeting (usually) on the second Tuesday of each month , films, and other activities designed to educate ourselves and get us more involved in ensuring that gay, lesbian, transgender, and/or bisexual friends, visitors, and members feel fully welcomed and part of our congregation.