Upcoming Sunday Services - 11:00 a.m.

Sunday, August 1, 2021
Tim Perry
"How to Know When You've been Had"

Annelinde Metzner, piano

 

As Unitarians we are committed to the search for truth and meaning. An indispensable tool in that search is the ability to discern and dispense with falsehood. Yet most, if not all of us have friends who believe things that any rational person over the age of six ought to find laughable, while dismissing out of hand the sage advice of highly trained professionals. How does an otherwise seemingly intelligent person fall victim to such obvious shenanigans? And how do we know that you and I have not done the very same thing, though perhaps with different errors? Let's play around with this. It might be fun.

Tim Perry has explored many avenues in his search for meaning and wholeness. His desire for honesty and truth has led him on a journey through various forms of Christianity, including Presbyterian, Episcopal, and Roman Catholic denominations. Leaving these and "wandering in the wilderness" as he put it, Tim ended up here among our Unitarian Universalist Congregation, much to the delight of all the UU's who have come to know him.

Sunday, August 8, 2021
"The Arc of Justice"
Rev. Michael J S Carter

Annelinde Metzner, piano
Second Sundays Music: David Reid, piano and voice

What does a 19th century UU minister have in common with a 20th century Baptist minister? Probably a lot more than you can imagine. I'll give you a hint. One minister was an American Transcendentalist, a reformer, and an abolitionist who would inspire speeches by Abraham Lincoln and MLK, Jr. The other was a reformer as well and a leader of one of the greatest human rights movements in history. Join us this Sunday as we explore the visionary insights of two larger than life historical figures. Let's take a look at two firm believers in "The Arc of Justice."

Sunday, August 15, 2021
"Replacing Me with We"
Rev. Dr. Neal R. Jones

Annelinde Metzner, piano

 

The insurrection at our Capitol on January 6 was a graphic reminder of the fragility of democracy, even our American democracy. But the threat runs deeper than politics and ideology. It’s spiritual. It's the inability to put the common good before self-interest.

Rev. Dr. Neal R. Jones is a psychologist at the Pisgah Institute in Asheville. Born and raised in North Carolina, he earned his B.A. from Wake Forest University, his M.Div. from Southeastern Seminary, and his Psy.D. from Baylor University. He has served as the minister of five congregations in North and South Carolina, Texas, and Pennsylvania, most recently at Main Line Unitarian Church near Philly and at the UU Congregation of Columbia, South Carolina. He also serves as the chair of the national Board of Trustees of Americans United for Separation of Church & State. Rev. Dr. Jones teaches and practices a spirituality of personal wholeness, relational respect, and social justice.

Sunday, August 22, 2021

 

Andy Reed

Sue Stone, piano; UUCSV Choir Anthems; Annelinde Metzner, choir directory

 

Unicorns. Griffins. The Sphinx. A Manticore. Mythical beasts all. Or are they? Here in our small UU Congregation, and across the entire denomination, you might find one or another of these creatures of myth and magic—if you know where to look. What do they think, do, and believe? We’ll explore some of the values and beliefs that guide or challenge iconoclastic UUs as we hear from one of our own unicorns—that rare creature, a native of Asheville, and, even rarer, a birthright Unitarian.

Andy Reed joined UUCSV in 2018, where he sings in the choir and enjoys the occasional opportunity to preach to the choir as well. An editor and publisher, he has also been a theater director and manager, corporate television marketing hack, political activist and gadfly, and a perpetually “optimistic cynic.” A birthright Asheville Unitarian, a U-U since the denominations’ 1961 merger, and an Ethical Humanist since 2008, Andy has faced the challenge of defining, refining, and sometimes confining his belief system throughout his life.

Sunday, August 29, 2021
"Christian Unitarianism"
Rev. Michael J S Carter

Sue Stone, piano

 

No matter how much Theodore Parker is honored by almost all of Unitarian Universalism today for his radical stands on slavery and his bold defiance of traditional Christian Theology, it is a fact that many UUs are still not familiar with this Unitarian minister. In his sermon, "The Transient and Permanent in Christianity," Parker articulated a Unitarian Christianity stripped of the traditional reliance on miracles and supernatural events to validate and to stress its ethical teachings and approach to living a committed life. I'd like to riff just a bit on Parker's sermon and delve into the roots of Unitarian Christianity. There is much to unearth for us living today.

Sunday, September 5, 2021
"Labor of Love Day"

Jim & Aline Carrilon

Sue Stone - piano & guitar

Have you wondered what it takes to become a foster parent?  Might you consider becoming a foster parent or a child advocate in the courts?  Hannah Moore from the foster agency, Caring for Children will speak about how this non-profit trains, certifies and supports foster parents throughout WNC.  Molly Keeney will describe the vital role she provides as Guardian Ad Litem.  Jim and Aline Carillon will share their recent foster parenting experiences as they now embark on a second journey fostering a new infant son.  And Susan Enwright Hicks will welcome Lucas to our UUCSV community.  Please come meet Lucas for the first time and learn more about fostering as a Labor of Love.

 

 

 

Homecoming Sunday 2021

Sunday, September 12, 2021
"We Are Still Learning"
Rev. Michael J S Carter

Annelinde Metzner, piano

 

Well. Here we are back together again after our outer and inner summer journeys. A new and exciting church year is ahead of us and hopefully you have had at least some time for rest and at least a bit of rejuvenation. Some of us had vacations and some of us had “staycations.” Perhaps over the summer you have had eureka moments of insight into yourself and the world around you as we enter the last quarter of the year. On this day many UU churches across the country are having their annual Homecoming Services. I love the idea of Homecoming Sundays because we gather together for fellowship after our summer sojourns to share our travels and stories about what life lessons and experiences we’ve had over the summer. It’s a great way to begin the new church year—together. I love the Homecoming Sunday idea because it lifts up the primary human need in all of us and that is the need to belong—all of us and all parts of us. We welcome everyone here with a warm, embracing, and rejoicing spirit, knowing and encouraging you in the belief that you can find your sense of being at home in the world while on your life journey. We invite you to come as you are. We invite you to get involved. We also invite you to be gentle in these post-COVID days. After all. It's a new day and we are still learning!

Sunday, September 19, 2021
"Living With the Contradictions of Life"
Rev. Michael J S Carter

Annelinde Metzner, piano

 

With today's theme I want to share with you my journey since I have been your minister here. I hope to possibly shed some light on the contradictions of life that I wrestle with (especially as I get older and being an older parent) but also to illuminate those places in each and everyone of us where the contradictions of our lives can be shared, articulated, and, hopefully, contemplated. The stuff of our lives requires us to live with ambiguity, contradiction, and even disappointment, in ourselves as well as others. Yet these contradictions are never ultimate contradictions, and so we press on. We press on with the foundations of this community undergirding, and the love of this us through the good and the not so good. Let's explore.

Previous Sundays

Sunday, July 25, 2021
"From Endings To Beginnings"
Rev. Michael J S Carter

UUCSV Choir video performance
Annelinde Metzner, choir director
Sue Stone, piano

 

We now know, through scientific research in physics and other metaphysical disciplines, that what we focus on we create, and we can collectively and individually co-create an end time scenario because of where we focus our energies. However, is that what we really want to do as a species? You see, every ending is a new beginning.

For most of us, good stories or events are things we don’t want to end. For instance, if a good book makes us laugh or cry, we love that book and we want to hold on to those feelings. Yet even a happy ending can bring heartache. And we know that no story is complete without its ending, for a good ending can be the best part of the story.

Endings in our own lives are sometimes much harder to appreciate, because we resist them, not wanting to let them go. In many ways life itself is a series of learning when to hold on and when to let go. Let's explore and glean some much needed wisdom regarding beginnings and endings in our lives.

Sunday, July 18, 2021
"Joy in One’s Beliefs"
Rev. Michael J S Carter

Annelinde Metzner, piano

 

I’d like to ask you to think with me this morning about the feeling of joy in one’s beliefs, especially joy in one’s spiritual or religious beliefs. At the outset, I want to state that there is no prescription on how to attain joy. It's just a thought, but perhaps most of the joys and sorrows of living are not of our making, and that it is only the faith with which we respond to life that is our lot in life. For it is only natural to want to avoid sorrow, grief, misery. But as the poet Shelly reminds us, joy and woe are strangely and persistently interwoven with life.

 

 

Sunday, July 11, 2021
"An Interdependence Day Holiday"
Rev. Michael J S Carter

Live-stream via YouTube also available

Annelinde Metzner, piano
Second Sundays Music: Sue Stone, vocals and guitar

 

This month, as we do every July, we celebrate "Independence Day" as the birthday of our nation. I really never have given much credence to this holiday for all of the obvious reasons but I do enjoy the leisure time the holiday provides for me. I'd like to talk about this holiday, even though I was not in the pulpit during this year's July 4th weekend. Perhaps we can envision a different way to co-exist together, as individuals and as a nation.

At one time we used to say and believe, “Give me a fish and I eat for a day, teach me to fish and I eat for a lifetime.” This used to be a pretty popular sentiment. We hopefully know by now that this isn’t enough. As the late UU Minister, The Rev. Lee Reid once said: "We must also make room at the pond. There are still those people in the world whose only hope is that the powerful will be humble, merciful, and just." Let's explore what it would mean to have a holiday called Interdependence Day!

Please bring a flower or flowers from your garden or elsewhere for our flower communion as part of the service. This will bring back the beauty of the sanctuary but will be a wonderful way to begin to come together again as a congregation.

 

"Music always has been a part of my life. I started piano lessons at age 7, taught myself guitar at 35, have sung in church choirs and community choruses, and led sing-alongs at nursing homes. I even took a detour into mountain dulcimer when I lived in Arkansas. I live in an ecovillage, and love the mountains, gardening and bird-watching."
-- Sue Stone

Sunday, July 4, 2021
Rev. Ruth Vann Lillian
"Make America Again!"

 

Annelinde Metzner, piano

 

Rev. Ruth Vann Lillian is an Alabama native and graduate of Birmingham-Southern College, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and the Iliff School of Theology in Denver who started out serving Methodist churches, spent some years on leave to homeschool her children, and transferred to the Unitarian Universalist Church during that time. She celebrated the twenty-fifth anniversary of her ordination and her UUA Preliminary Fellowship at the same General Assembly in 2019! She will begin serving the UU Fellowship of the Emerald Coast in August. She and her husband Bill Malone keep their home base in Birmingham with two marvelous sons and an incorrigible cat.

Sunday, June 27, 2021 - 12:00 noon
UUA General Assembly
Virtual Service 

Live Stream from UUA.org
Watch on YouTube
Order of Service (PDF)

 

The UUA strongly recommends that congregations attend the virtual service from the UU General Assembly via live video. The worship will be streamed on UUA.org as well as YouTube and will include DVR functionality that allows you to play, pause, and rewind during the live steam. Five-ten minutes after worship ends the recording will be available for on-demand viewing. We recommend that you test your setup in advance.

With that in mind, we are not holding our own Sunday services this week. Please tune in to the service above instead. We will continue with our regular services next week.

Thank you for your cooperation in this matter. It is deeply appreciated.

In Faith,
Michael
Rev. Michael J S Carter

Sunday, June 20, 2021
"UUs and The Concept of Fatherhood"
Rev. Michael J S Carter

Annual Congregational Meeting after the service

 

Annelinde Metzner, choir director
Sue Stone, piano
UUCSV Choir performs

Our culture tries to tell us men what is women’s work, or mother’s work and what is not. Women and mothers are supposed by our culture to be more aware of the needs of others; after all, it is women who can give birth, which seems the most intimate connection that one person can have with another person. Perhaps there is some truth in what our society tells us, but the real point is that men are also capable of deep sensitivity to the needs and interests of another person. We, too, are capable of treating other people as ends in themselves, rather than as means to our own ends; we, too, are capable of unselfish love towards others. This Sunday, let's explore the early roots of Unitarian Universalism and its influence on the concept of Fatherhood.

 

Sunday June 13, 2021
"Commitment and Stability"
Rev. Michael J S Carter

Annelinde Metzner, piano
Second Sundays Music: Andy Gwynn, singer-songwriter

 

I think about this liberal church community often. I think about our commitment to the stability of this community and how to maintain it. Hopefully, we are entering into a phase of our church where we are moving into a time of BC (Before Covid) and AC (after Covid).

In dwelling on this, I am so appreciative and grateful, exceedingly so, that we still exist as an organization. Many businesses and institutions have folded under the weight of this pestilence. We are indeed fortunate, blessed, call it what you will. In this Sunday service, I want to explore our quest for commitment and stability to this congregation.

See you there!

 

Sunday, June 6, 2021
"The History of Racism"
Fritz Casey-Leninger

 

Annelinde Metzner, piano

 

Fritz Casey-Leininger is a life-long Unitarian Universalist and a retired American History faculty at the University of Cincinnati. He was raised in a family actively committed to Civil Rights and grew up with a Black cousin. This led him to study the history of race in America in graduate school and to researching, teaching, and writing about it for nearly forty years. He continues this work in retirement. He and his spouse Ginny are longtime members of the First Unitarian Church of Cincinnati where she is just completing a three year term on its Board. Fritz is currently advising a group of congregation members in studying the church’s history with an emphasis on how race and class have influenced its past and present.

In his talk, Fritz Casey-Leininger will explore the history of White racism in America starting with its invention in the 1600s as a justification for the enslavement of Africans and for the genocide against the indigenous peoples of North America. The talk will then look at the changing face of racism from the nation’s founding, through the Civil War, the Jim Crow period, and the rise of the modern Civil Rights movement, followed by an examination of efforts over the last 50 years to roll back the racial justice victories of the 1950s and 1960s, at first covert and now increasingly open. He will conclude with a personal reflection on the persistence of his own racial bias despite nearly a lifetime of efforts to eliminate it.

Sunday, May 30, 2021
"Who is My Neighbor?"
Tom Neilson

 

Annelinde Metzner, piano

Artist Tom Neilson's presents “Who Is My Neighbor?”, contemplating who our many neighbors are in the world. It begins with Tom’s farm neighbors from childhood and follows him as he leaves the country to include our global neighbors, many of whom are fighting for human rights. The message includes our neighbors with a shared mission of peace and justice; neighbors who do not follow societal conventions or who are in some way marginalized and our shared responsibility with them.

Tom Neilson combines art with activism. Performing since the age of 3, he has played his music in 22 countries on 5 continents. He has received 30 awards and nominations, to include two song of the year awards from Independent Musicians. In 2017, he received the Arab American Women Association Award for Human Rights work for Palestine through performance art. In 2015 he was nominated for the United Nations Nelson Mandela Award for Lifetime Achievement in Peace and Justice. This past December Tom won two awards from Just Plain Folks International for best Traditional Folk Album and best Social Commentary album.

One reviewer says, “Tom does a great job of reminding people of what is really important, and the power of folk music to say it. Tom will tell you he is just a farm boy with a guitar who likes a good ball game and human rights.”

Tom’s wife, Lynn Waldron, joins him in this Sunday service. Her activist work includes most currently working with the Wendell State Forest Alliance to prevent logging in public forests in Massachusetts. She has joined Tom as actress and singer in the Jobs With Justice annual “Voices of Labor History” production to celebrate and honor May Day. She also performs in a hospice choir singing at bedside for the critically ill and dying. They live in Greenfield, MA.

Sunday, May 23, 2021
"A Way of Life That is Worth Living"
Rev. Michael J S Carter

 

Annelinde Metzner, choir director
Sue Stone, piano
UUCSV Choir peforms

 

All human beings are on some deep level are seeking a way of life that is authentic, good and beautiful, a way of life that is true. Some people may not even know that this is what they seek, some do and don’t know how to get there. The difficulty is that this journey is different for all of us. Similar? Yes. Different? Yes. Because we are all see things differently, we interpret our experiences differently. Yet we are all human beings.
This morning I want to examine what it is that makes a life worth living.

 

Sunday May 16, 2021
"YES! to Diversity"
Rev. Chris Andrews

Annelinde Metzner, piano

 

Rev. Chris Andrews is a Creation Spirituality theologian. He is a minister connected to Jubilee! in Asheville and leads a Jubilee! community in Baton Rouge. The defining marks of this accepting community are love and compassion, and all are welcomed regardless of creed, color, orientation, or any other label.

 

Sunday May 9, 2021
"Stay Woke"
Rev. Michael J S Carter

Annelinde Metzner, piano
Second Sundays Music: Sue Stone, guitar and voice

 

When the Buddha began his ministry, he traveled around India and began to teach. Shortly after his enlightenment experience, he encountered several people who recognized him to be an extraordinary individual. They asked him, “Are you a god?” “No,” he replied. “Are you a prophet or Holy Man?” “No,” he said. “Are you some sort of celestial being?” Again, the Buddha answered "No." "Well, sir, then what are you?" The Buddha answered, “ I am awake.”

In the context of today's advice on "staying woke" let's explore what it takes to really stay awake as we walk our path in this life. On this Mother's Day, we can perhaps give the gift of a life well lived.

 

"Music has been a part of my life since the beginning - piano since starting lessons at age 7, singing in choirs and community choruses, teaching myself guitar at 35, singing for church and community events and leading sing-alongs at nursing homes. I even took a detour into mountain dulcimer when I lived in Arkansas. I live in an ecovillage, and love the mountains, gardening and bird-watching."
Sue Stone

 

Sunday May 2, 2021
"The Ripple Effects of Simple Actions"
David Roth


Annelinde Metzner, piano

We are happy to welcome David Roth back to our virtual pulpit for a sermon-in-song.

David Roth is a singer, songwriter, recording artist, and enthusiastic instructor who has taken his songs, experience, and expertise to a wide variety of venues in this and other countries full-time for more than three decades. His work has found its way to Carnegie Hall, the United Nations, several Chicken Soup for the Soul books, the Kennedy Center, Peter, Paul, & Mary and Kingston Trio CDs, the Kerrville and Falcon Ridge Folk Festivals (top honors at both “Emerging Artist” competitions), NASA’s Goddard Space Center (his song “Rocket Science” sailed on the space shuttle Atlantis in 2009), the Rise Up Singing and Rise Again (sequel) songbooks, and 15 CDs on the Wind River and Stockfisch (Germany) labels. The former artist-in-residence at New York’s Omega Institute has taught singing, songwriting, and performance at Summersongs (NY ~ where he serves as Executive Director), the Augusta Heritage workshops (WV), Common Ground on the Hill (MD), the Woods Dance & Music Camp (Ontario), WUMB’s Summer Acoustic Music Week (NH), Moab Folk Camp (UT), Rowe Center (MA), Pendle Hill (PA), Lamb’s Retreat (MI), the National Wellness Institute (WI), the Swannanoa Gathering (NC), and for many other songwriting groups and associations around the country. David is also creator of the Cape Cod Songwriters Retreat and organizer/host of the Cape’s Full Moon Open Mic which since 2005 has provided a forum for musicians to connect and be heard while at the same time collecting donations (cumulatively nearing $16,000 to date) for local non-profits to help neighbors in need.

Sunday April 25, 2021
"What Makes a Unitarian Universalist?"
Rev. Michael J S Carter

Sue Stone, piano
Annelinde Metzner, choir director
UUCSV Choir performs

 

By exploring the Greek tale of The Sphinx and the riddles within that story proposed to Oedipus, along with the UU commitment for learning to accept and to live with the mystery of existence, I will suggest to you what make a Unitarian Universalist -- maybe. I hope. We'll see.

 

Sunday April 11, 2021
"Earth Day Spirituality from Taoism"
Marc Mullinax

Annelinde Metzner, piano
Second Sundays Music: Spence Foscue & Family

 

We are celebrating Earth Day for the 51st time this year, on April 22. How are we doing? We can point to progress, yes! And…we can point to many places needing improvement. Today, Marc Mullinax will supply us with a different philosophy to help us understand the necessity of Earth Day. Last month he published his new translation of Tao Te Ching: Power for the Peaceful. Taoism has much to teach us about this Earth and Universe, out of which we have grown, like apples out of an apple tree, and not placed here by some deity. How do we live in flow, peace, and harmony with the Earth. Please join us!

Marc Mullinax has spent the last two years translating Tao De Ching from Chinese. Does a 2,500 year old text written in China have anything to say to today’s world and its ways? You bet!

Marc Mullinax is Professor of Religion and Chair of the faculty at Mars Hill University. He is a frequent guest speaker at this and other Unitarian Universalist congregations in the area. It is in these faith communities that Marc is able to s-t-r-e-t-c-h his faith and spiritual muscles, and bring insights from his own Christian practice, but also from compassion practices around the world.

Danu Macon Foscue (derived from his given name Daniel Macon) and Chelsea Spitzer-Morton met in a song circle a few years back and found that they were soul mates. They sometimes include the Old Man in their musical forays. They won't be performing together this time, as the pandemic finds us sheltering in different places but we are there in spirit! libero, sollicitudin aliquam, dapibus eu, faucibus eget, libero.

Sunday April 18, 2021
"The Beloved Community"
Rev. Michael J S Carter

Annelinde Metzner, piano

 

The term “Beloved Community” was coined by the early twentieth-century American philosopher Josiah Royce (1855-1916). But most of us learned it not from Royce but from The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who often spoke of the “Beloved Community” as his ultimate goal.

As an early example, after the Montgomery Bus Boycotts in speaking about the larger movement toward which they were building, Dr. King said:

"The end is reconciliation; the end is redemption; the end is the creation of the Beloved Community. It is this type of spirit and this type of love that can transform opponents into friends… It is this love which will bring about miracles in the hearts of men."

But notice as well what King is not saying. He is not saying what we are often accustomed to hearing in our highly competitive society: that the end goal is a decisive — or even crushing — victory over our opponents. For King, building Beloved Community requires the even harder work of reconciliation. Let's Explore!

Sunday April 4, 2021
"Songs of Hope"
The UUCSV Choir During the Pandemic

Annelinde Metzner, piano

 

Immediately at the onset of the pandemic of 2020, our choir director Annelinde Metzner jumped at the opportunity to expand her knowledge of mixing, editing and video. She continued choir rehearsals and monthly performances online, each singer recording themselves on their own smartphones. Now for Easter 2021, Annelinde and the UUCSV choir offer a review of their year of creativity featuring nine of their virtual songs and special seasonal readings introduced by choir members.

 

Sunday March 28, 2021
"When Elephants Weep"
Rev. Jeff Jones

Sue Stone, piano
Annelinde Metzner, choir director
UUCSV Choir performs

 

In his sermon, Rev. Jones will use the book "When Elephants Weep" as the starting point to explore the complex emotional lives of non-human animals. Most importantly, he will ask how we are to act in the absence of complete information, why most of us are challenged to consider the plight of factory-farmed animals, and how our Unitarian Universalist values inform us.

Rev. Jeff Jones has served as pastor at the Emerson Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Marietta, Georgia, from 2010 to 2017. He left parish ministry in 2017 to become a UU Community Minister in Asheville, NC. He has taught nonviolent communication at UU congregations, and at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UNC Asheville. He is an Affiliated Community Minister with the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Asheville.