Voices for 12/17/2014 - Unitarian Universalist Church of Charlotte

volume 39, issue 24
always available online at www.uuccharlotte.org
December 17, 2014
The Mission of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Charlotte is to inspire children, youth and adults to discover and articulate deeper
spiritual meaning evidenced in lives of integrity, compassion and stewardship of the earth.
La misión de la iglesia Unitaria Universalista de Charlotte es: inspirar a los niños, jóvenes y adultos para que descubran y articulen un significado espiritual profundo, evidente en una vida de integridad, compasión y en el manejo de los recursos de la tierra.
Celebrate Commitment!
The holidays are upon us. The
Unitarian Universalist Church of
Charlotte has a variety of events
to help you celebrate. Check out
our full list of holiday events and
volunteer opportunities below.
Holiday Events
Please join us for our annual Winter Solstice Service
on Saturday, December 20 – rain or shine!
(PLEASE NOTE: The gathering time is 4:45 p.m. and not 4:15 as
previously announced!)
UUCC will hold its popular annual winter solstice service
on Saturday, December 20. The service will take place outof-doors around a roaring fire in the UUCC driveway circle,
or in the event of rain, in Freeman Fellowship Hall. This
engaging and celebratory gathering will offer singing,
drumming, festive music as well as a Yuletide story for all
ages. We ask that participants wear warm clothing and
bring a chair to sit in (if the service is indoors, chairs will be
supplied). Please plan to arrive at 4:45 p.m. to tie your bundle of twigs (supplied) for a fire offering during the service.
The service will be immediately followed by a dessert reception. Happy Yule!
Christmas Eve Services
Wednesday, December 24 starting at 4:00 p.m.
There will be two family/children-friendly services at 4:00
and 6:00 p.m. At 8:00 p.m. we will have a Celebratory Service with the Adult Choir and brief homily. All of the ser(Continued on page 4)
As the solstice and “solstice holidays” approach, I find myself reflecting on the meaning of giving. For most UU's,
our Christian heritage, societal context, and the adoption of
pagan customs by our Christian brothers—think Santa
Claus and Christmas trees—are leading us to think about
gifts for those we love. For many the challenge is finding a
gift for someone who already has everything she or he
needs. As your stewardship rep, I suggest you ask, does
your church have everything it needs?
When I began writing this, I had just come home from hearing Minister Jay Leach’s deeply thoughtful sermon on
whether we have what we have because we earned/deserve
it, or because of the accidents of our births and the attendant
(Continued on page 5)
Scheduled for Saturday, May 2, 2015
We know UUs have a strong history rooted in social justice.
And we know our congregation demonstrates its commitment to justice, equity and compassion in human relations
through ongoing efforts centered on Homelessness and Affordable Housing, a focus chosen by a vote of the congregation in 2008.
But did you know?...The UUCC
Social Justice Team makes significant grants to Charlotte-based agencies working to address the root
causes of homelessness in our community.
(Continued on page 10)
Page 1
Now that we in the northern hemisphere have arrived at the
darkest time of the year—the week with the shortest days
and longest nights—my thoughts turn to . . . metaphor.
Stick with me: the connection may become a bit more obvious.
George Lakoff is a professor of linguistics and cognitive
science and is recognized as a master of metaphor study. In
More Than Cool Reason Lakoff explains: “Metaphors are
so commonplace we often fail to notice them.”
Lakoff offers a familiar example: the metaphor “life is a journey.” We know that’s not
literally true; living doesn’t really equate to
“going somewhere.” But, because it helps us
make and communicate meaning, we engage
this metaphor frequently—“It’s time to move
on.” “I feel stuck.” “She helped show me the
way.” “We’re at a crossroad.” “When we
look back, we can see how far we’ve come.”
I began this column with a variation of that
metaphor: “Now that we in the northern hemisphere have
arrived at the darkest time of the year . . .” We’re so wellacquainted with the metaphor “life is a journey” that we
accept the claim that we have arrived at a time of the year
without needing to stop and analyze it. As Lakoff claims,
we engage metaphor “unconsciously and automatically,
with so little effort that we hardly notice it.”
Let’s consider another commonly used metaphor, one that
is also offered in a variety of ways. “I was kept in the
dark.” “He was in a dark mood.” “Dark money.” “Dark
horse.” “A shot in the dark.” “Dark humor.” We readily
understand each of these idioms. We also understand, without giving it too much thought, that when used metaphorically “dark” almost always has a negative connotation.
What may be less apparent is how equating darkness with
ignorance or depression or evil or other kinds of negative
experiences may function at the subconscious level as a
way of making assumptions about people. Consider, for
example, that among the words a common online dictionary
offers as antonyms for the word “dark” are: “intelligent,
joyful, vivacious, moral, good, clean, hopeful.” So, subconsciously, what might that suggest about darker people?
Jacqui James is a retired Unitarian Universalist religious
educator and staff member of our Unitarian Universalist
Association. She wrote on this topic several years ago, a
piece that begins:
Page 2
Blackmail, blacklist, black mark, Black
Monday, black mood, black-hearted. Black
plague, black mass, black marker.
Good guys wear white, bad guys wear
black. We fear black cats, and the Dark
Continent. But it’s okay to tell a white lie,
lily-white hands are coveted, it’s great to be
pure as the driven snow.
In keeping with George Lakoff’s claims, James emphasizes:
“We shape language and are shaped by it.” Making the
connection completely explicit, she asserts: “Ascribing negative and positive values to black and white enhances the
institutionalization of this culture’s racism.”
I don’t think
Jacqui James is
claiming that
using “dark” or
“black” as a metaphor for negative or evil
makes one a racist. I do think she is trying to call attention
to the way this language functions subconsciously, “with so
little effort that we hardly notice it.”
In this darkest time of the year, we find our nation embroiled in upheaval. Cries of “no justice, no peace” and
“black lives matter” and “I can’t breathe” are sounding in
our streets here in Charlotte and around the country. The
attention given to the killing of unarmed black men has
forced more of us to admit what some of us have known all
along: justice—in policing, in the courts, in the criminal
“justice” system—is not blind. Justice still sees black and
white, dark and light and, too often, makes assumptions in
keeping with problematic metaphors.
Am I suggesting that a metaphor caused a white, 6’4″,
armed, trained police officer sitting in an SUV to perceive
an unarmed black teenager as, in his words, a “demon?” Of
course not.
My suggestion in this season is this: our inherently unjust,
inequitable system can only change if all of us—black and
white and all others too—examine the ways we not only
participate in the system as it is but help keep current ways
of thinking and acting in place. We must be willing to scrutinize our own lives carefully, not settling for the assumption that there aren’t really any changes we need to make.
Language is subtle and . . . powerful. As Heidegger put it,
“Language is the house of Being. In its home [humankind]
dwells.” When we risk bringing what is subconscious to
the conscious level, when we examine ways of speaking
that “are so commonplace we often fail to notice them,” we
may find that, as Jacqui James puts it:
The words black and dark don’t need to be
destroyed or ignored, only balanced and
reclaimed in their wholeness. The words
white and light don’t need to be destroyed
or ignored, only balanced and reclaimed in
their wholeness. Imagine a world that had
only light—or dark. We need both. Dark
and light. Light and dark.
I am not a metaphor or symbol.
This you hear is not the wind in the trees,
Nor a cat being maimed in the street.
I am being maimed in the street.
It is I who weep, laugh, feel pain or joy.
Calvin C. Hernton from
“The Distant Drum”
Sunday Morning Volunteer Opportunities
Now Hear This!
Your Sound Booth Crew is in a recruiting mode. We need two or three
technologically-unafraid individuals
to join the monthly rotation for Sunday morning sound booth duty. We
will train you. Please be prepared to
commit to take a spot at the controls
one service per month. Contact
[email protected] if interested.
Am I Getting Warmer Yet?
Got a hankering to control the thermostat in the Sanctuary?
Or be Jay’s right-hand gal or guy if other facility-related
issues arise? Live out those fantasies by volunteering for
Sunday morning Building & Grounds duty. The time
commitment is just one service per month! Easy peezy!
Contact [email protected] if interested.
Meet the UUCC Communications Team
The UUCC Communications Team’s charge is to serve the
congregation by developing and carrying out strategies and
tasks that help fulfill our mission and ends statements using
a variety of communications media. You surely have seen
our work, but you may not know who was responsible for
many of the brochures, flyers, posters and other media that
communicate our messages both internally and to the community at large.
In February, your UUCC
Communications Team plans
to launch a new church website, the product of many
months of work by the Team,
other dedicated volunteers
and staff members, and the
web developer hired to create
an updated digital portal to so
much of our important information and essential online
Some of you have contributed photos of church events and
activities for the website, and we plan to use some of them
in the final design. We are still accepting photos. When
you are ready to upload, please send an email to
[email protected] We will respond with information
on how to access the Dropshots website we use to collect
In addition to projects such as the website that serve the
whole congregation, the team assists other teams, groups
and gatherings and the UUCC staff on an as-needed basis.
For example, we are helping develop materials for the upcoming stewardship campaign that kicks off in February,
and we will soon be helping the Social Justice Team publicize their May 2 auction. Please contact Doug Swaim or me
if you have communications needs, whether you have a specific project in mind or you just need advice on getting your
message out.
Barry Ahrendt, Chair
Communications Team
Loyd Dillon
Melissa Schropp
Margie Storch
Paul Turner
Jim Van Fleet
Denise Weldon
Doug Swaim, Staff
Page 3
(“Holiday Headquarters” continued from page 1)
vices will focus in a celebratory way on the Christmas Story. They will each conclude with candle-lighting and singing. Receptions will be held between the services at 5:00
and 7:00 p.m.
Christmas Day Dinner
Thursday, December 25 from 3:00-5:00 p.m.
What could possibly
be better than sharing
Christmas dinner with
your fellow UUs?
Join us for the third
annual UUCC Christmas Dinner! Sign up
to bring your specialty, whether it's your
amazing green bean
casserole or your decadent cheesecake.
Appetizers and conversation will start at 3:00 p.m., and dinner will commence promptly at 4:00 p.m. We'll celebrate
with good cheer, good friends and good food. Questions?
Need help getting there? Email Lisa Hagen at
[email protected]
Ho-ho-hope to see you there!
Begin Your New Year with a Healthy Start
Outdoor Adventure Group’s January Hike Thursday, January 1
As some from our group did last year, and for those who
might be interested in starting off the New Year with a
healthy activity, our adventure group will once again be
heading to nearby Crowders Mountain State Park in Gastonia on Thursday, January 1, 2015. We will meet at 11:30
a.m. in the UUCC Parking Lot and plan on arriving back by
4:00 p.m. Please dress appropriately and bring water,
snacks and lunch.
Holiday Scheduling
Office Closings and
Voices Schedule
Office Closings: UUCC Offices will be closed on Thursdays, December 25 and January 1 in observation of the
Christmas and New Year holidays respectively.
Voices Schedule: Voices is now on its extended schedule
for the holidays and will resume its biweekly schedule on
January 25, 2015.
Page 4
Volunteer Opportunities
Contribute JOY to These Events
We have two memorable rituals in December –the Winter
Solstice Service for the Whole Congregation beginning
near sunset Saturday, December 20 and the traditional
Christmas Eve services.
 For the Winter Solstice Service, we need volunteers to
make ginger cookies. We’ll even provide a simple recipe for 4 dozen cookies. Please email
[email protected] if your family would like to
make these cookies and bring them to church before the
 For Christmas Eve, we will be
hosting two receptions and would
love to have an array of cookies—
all shapes and colors. Your
SWEET donations will ensure that
this is a JOYFUL event for all!
Please sign up in Freeman Hall or
send an email to
[email protected]
Christmas Day Dinner is being held in Freeman Hall. If
you would like to join us for a potluck dinner with all of the
traditional fixings, please sign up for a course at the Adult
Programming Table. Lisa Hagen and her family are organizing if you would like to volunteer in additional ways:
[email protected]
Room In the Inn
Where will you be sleeping tonight?
Room in the Inn, an interfaith
program sponsored by the Urban Ministry Center, provides a
warm bed and three meals each
day from December through
March for folks who would otherwise be out in the cold.
UUCC has participated in this
very worthy project for many years. We provide shelter for
nine adults each Sunday night.
We need your help! If you are not already on the list and
would like to consider being one of the approximately 20
volunteers who make this shelter happen each week by setting up, driving, cooking, hosting, and/or cleaning, please
email Rocky Hendrick at [email protected]
or go to www.signupgenius.com and pick a date.
(“In the Giving Season” continued from page 1)
advantages our families have given us. This got me to
thinking about my own good fortune and the benefits of
privilege I enjoy. I was born white, to middle-class parents—both scientists and highly educated—I am highly educated, I have a good job, and I was born a Unitarian!
The statement "to whom much is given, much is expected..." comes to mind. I first became conscious of this
quote as something Bill Gates attributed to his father. I decided to find its origin (via Google of course) and discovered it is one of many paraphrases of Luke 12:48:
Everyone to whom much was given, of him much
will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.
We—most of us—have been given a great deal. So, yes,
much is expected. And giving to our church is giving to
real need and carries real benefits. Without our commitment and generosity to our church, it would not exist. But
does our church have everything that it needs? Do you
know there are very few churches our size with only one
minister? As we are again looking to hire that second minister we probably should have had ten years ago, this year
would be a good one to increase our stewardship commitment. Giving generously repays itself with the good it does
for our church, and it empowers us to be a liberal religious
voice in our larger community.
This year we will continue the stewardship campaign theme
of “Celebrate Commitment!” Everyone will receive a
"commitment" mailing in January.
We will kick off the campaign on
February 8 with "Commitment
Sunday" when we will invite you to
step forward and put your pledge
card in a basket. This will be followed with a set of "bookend" parties—the first on February 14, and
the second four weeks later, March
14. The February party will be
Valentine's Day themed (it will be
Valentine's Day after all!), and the
March party will be St. Patrick's
Day themed (it's close, and there's something about the color green!). This will close the self-service portion of our
campaign and begin the period when your Stewardship
Team will start actively reaching out to those members who
have not committed.
While we are being generous to our families and loved ones
this holiday season, let's also consider being generous to our
religious community.
it’s funny it’s so you can’t even
walk out in the streets anymore
some maniac might shoot you
in cold blood.
what kind of world is this?
I don’t know.
Michael Goode from “April 4, 1968”
Tables for Eight
Tables for Eight is a wonderful, fun way to get to know
members in an informal setting. Dinners take place on
fourth Saturdays of the month: January 24, February 28,
March 28 and April 25. We’re making a slight change for
this next round—the participants will share the responsibility for the meal so that the host is more able to enjoy the
evening along with the guests. Sign-ups will continue in
Freeman Hall through December or by contacting Althea
Clark ([email protected]). Please know that anyone
over 18 can participate—singles, couples, visitors, friends,
and members.
Open Mind Book Club
Monday, January 5 at 7:30 p.m. in the
Conference Room
The Open Mind Book Club will meet
at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, January 5 in
the Conference Room. We will be
discussing The Signature of All
Things by Elizabeth Gilbert. Please
RSVP to Gwynne Movius at (704)
366-9409 if you plan to attend.
The night is beautiful,
So the faces of my people.
Langston Hughes from “My People”
Lincoln Baxter
Stewardship Team
Page 5
Exploring Humanism
Thursday, January 1 at 7:00 p.m. in the Bernstein Room
Dick Kistler, a retired electrical engineer and very well read
member of the UUCC, will be presenting on Waking Up: A
Guide to Spirituality Without Religion by Sam Harris. Sam
Harris's new book is a guide to meditation as a rational spiritual practice informed by neuroscience and psychology.
From multiple New York Times
best-selling author, neuroscientist, and "new atheist" Sam Harris, Waking Up is for the 30 percent of Americans who follow no
religion, but who suspect that
Jesus, Buddha, Lao Tzu, Rumi,
and the other saints and sages of
history could not have all been
epileptics, schizophrenics, or
frauds. Throughout the book,
Harris argues that there are important truths to be found in the
experiences of such contemplatives—and, therefore, that there is more to understanding
reality than science and secular culture generally allow.
Waking Up is part seeker's memoir and part exploration of
the scientific underpinnings of spirituality.
TED for the Soul (evening)
Tuesday, January 6 at 7:00 p.m. in the Bernstein Room
What if we embraced our imperfections and vulnerability
and engaged in our lives from a place of authenticity? This
TED Talk speaker suggests that what makes us vulnerable
is also what makes us beautiful and worthy. Join us in the
Bernstein Room on Tuesday, January 6 at 7:00 p.m. to
watch the talk and discuss how we might apply this message to our own lives.
“I came as a shadow
I stand now a light;
The depth of my darkness
Transfigures your night.”
Lewis Alexander in “Nocture Varial”
Page 6
Writing Your Spiritual Journey
Facilitated by Kathleen Moloney-Tarr and Carol Hartley
If you have heard about this course, then you probably know that it has become one of the most popular, life-changing courses at the UUCC. Last February, after seven years of procrastination, I finally
committed myself to this experience. I am so grateful for the time I have been able to devote to writing and sharing with this special, intentional group
of members. And now I can’t imagine my life at
the UUCC without each one of them. You do not
have to be an expert writer to join—only an authentic seeker. --UUCC member and participant
If you are curious about your spiritual path and the stories
of other’s experiences, then join us to explore the holiness
of the ordinary in our lives. This shared experience offers
space to see and make sense of your life experience through
discussion, writing exercises, drawing and reading with the
intent to produce a short spiritual autobiography.
Perhaps you seek continuity between your inner world and
the outer world, between your past
self and who you are now, or between what you claim to believe and
how you live. Perhaps you sense a
power beyond you that influences
and gives greater meaning to your
life. Perhaps your life is shifting in
focus and intention. It is with curiosity and an eye to the sacred in each
life that we write our stories.
We’ll gather for six sessions that include warm-up prompts,
individual writing, revising and readings. We’ll write three
preliminary pieces and create a spiritual roadmap in preparation for writing a draft of our spiritual autobiography.
Course is limited to 12 members, Thursdays, January 8March 5, 7:00-9:00 p.m. Sign-up closes at the end of December. To Sign-up email [email protected] or at
the Adult Programming Table in Freeman Hall.
Podcasts of Jay’s Sunday Sermons
Available on UUCC Website
If you have missed a recent Sunday service or you would
like would like to hear a podcast of just Jay’s Sunday sermons, please visit our website at
http://www.uuccharlotte.org/all_podcasts.asp. Sermons are
also available on iTunes, our RSS feed and via our Facebook page.
2nd Sunday Topic Discussion
Sunday, January 11 at 10:30 a.m. in the Bernstein Room
This is an opportunity to meet with the Minister to share
your thoughts, ask questions, and hear others’ views relative
to the sermon topic for that day. Begins promptly at 10:30
a.m. in the Bernstein Room. January Topic: Pluralism
A New Look at Unitarian-Universalist History
Lincoln Baxter, 5th Generation UU, will lead the discussion
on a six-part documentary new film series, Long Strange
Trip, which provides an engaging oral and pictorial history
of Unitarian and Universalist thought from the beginning of
the Christian era to what we know today as Unitarian Universalism. This course will present our rich (and largely
suppressed history) and give participants the opportunity to
relate this history to contemporary Unitarian Universalism
and connect our individual journeys to this history, Unitarian Universalism in general, and the UUCC in particular.
We will gather on Thursdays, January 15-February 19, 7:00
-8:30 p.m. in the Bernstein room. To sign-up for WAIT
LIST only: email [email protected] or visit the
Adult Programming Table in Freeman Hall.
Spirit In Practice
Begins January 20
Spirit in Practice was created to help Unitarian Universalists develop regular disciplines, or practices, of the spirit—
practices that help them connect with the sacred ground of
their being, however they understand it. Drawing on a model developed by the Zen Mountain Monastery in Mount
Tremper, New York, for the training of its students, Spirit in
Practice focuses on eight spheres of holistic and wholehearted spiritual practices. These eight spheres are:
Personal spiritual practices
Communal worship practices
Spiritual partnerships
Mind practices
Body practices
Soul practices
Life practices
Justice practices
These sessions will be led by different facilitators who have
special interests in the Practice, including Kathleen Moloney-Tarr, Martha Kniseley, Jay Leach, Janet Frederick,
Carol Hartley, Marsha Kelly, Bernice Mar, and Kelly
Greene. To register for this course, please visit the Adult
Programming Table in Freeman Hall or email
[email protected] Space is limited to 15.
You Might Already Be a Chalice Society
Member and Not Know It!
That’s what happened to me. Years ago I designated a bequest to the UUCC in my will, but I did not know that by
doing so I had (qualified to) become a Chalice Society
member. The specifics of that bequest remain private, but I
am glad to acknowledge more publicly that I have made a
legacy commitment to the UUCC. And, I would like to
encourage you to do so also.
Why would you do this? As you’ve read from other Chalice
Society members, it simply feels good to know you’ll help
sustain this vital spiritual community beyond your lifetime.
I believe that most of us appreciate the generosity and commitment of those who came before us, those who established and helped to ensure the financial viability of the
UUCC. I find comfort in knowing I’ve joined those elders
by making a legacy commitment that will benefit unknown
others in the future.
To be honest, we have a rather small (13 %) percentage of
Chalice Society members in our UUCC midst. I don’t believe it is because we don’t care about whether the UUCC
continues to thrive for decades to come. I suspect the low
Chalice Society membership may be, in part, attributable to
the human inclination to avoid thinking about life beyond
our own. I also believe that some of us are ill-informed, like
I was, about the purpose and membership requirements of
the Society.
It’s truly not a difficult thing to do. You do need a will—
and if you haven’t taken care of that, well, you should. And
in your will you need to designate a bequest to the
UUCC. While there are several different financial ways to
make a legacy commitment to the UUCC, some less and
some a bit more complicated, a bequest to the UUCC is
your admission into the Chalice Society.
I am completely out of my league with all the financial wizards on the Memorial Endowment Trust board that I have
recently joined. I’m only one step beyond keeping money
under my mattress. And even I have joined the Chalice Society. If I can join, so can you! And if you need further financial advice about how to accomplish this, the MET
board financial wizards—Dana Hershey, Gwynne Movius,
Richard Pratt and Cathlean Utzig—as well as Doug Swaim,
our Interim Director of Administration, will be more than
glad to help you.
Laurie Reed, Trustee
Memorial Endowment Trust
Page 7
From the Director . . .
… about fifteen minutes into the pageant, Mary
(aged 4 1/2) and one of the angels of the lord got
into an altercation over the drape of Mary's veil
while the heavenly (and human) choirs sang. The
angel was determined to continue the beauty
makeover, and Mary kept swatting at her until the
second angel of the lord, who thought Mary's hair
need work, got involved - must have been an archangel - she was pretty bossy. Before I could intervene in graceful way, Mary stood up, lower lip in
a great pout, grabbed baby Jesus by the heel,
slung him over her shoulder and marched off the
chancel and out of the Sanctuary.
Ah yes, it’s that time of the year. So many stories about
THE story.
… The service ended abruptly when Joseph became quite belligerent with the innkeeper, insisted
that his pregnant wife needed a bed to sleep. In
and then dragged Mary and the donkey into the
inn, collapsing the entire set.
Living in the U.S., it’s almost impossible to not know the
Christmas Nativity story. We hear it interpreted in song,
film and book. The story is filled with messages about acceptance, faith, hardship, sharing, wonder, and love. I personally like to think of it as a work of art. And like all
works of art, it is open to interpretation. Which means you
may not see what I see, and I may not see what you see.
But there lies its beauty, its depth and its mystery. For this
is a story representative of spiritual truths and timeless values, and of a man who tried to teach the world how to truly
Many Unitarian Universalists love the retelling of the nativity story for the tradition it represents in their lives. Others
are uncomfortable with it. For the latter, I challenge you to
ignore the ideas and interpretations that cause discomfort
and to embrace those that you find valuable and spiritually
Every year, we tell the story here during our Christmas Eve
family services, now offered at 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.
And we don’t just tell it, we act it out—or rather our children do. These are no-rehearsal performances, with roles
for interested children of all ages. I will be recruiting actors
immediately before each service so be sure to arrive in the
Sanctuary in time for your child to volunteer. This service
Page 8
is a magical ritual in many of our member’s lives. Please
join us.
In the last issue of Voices, I
reminded parents about the
Holiday Care Baskets being
prepared for selected members
of our congregation. I shared
that the Elementary and Preschool classes were focusing
their December 7 class time
on this project, discussing
community and then creating
cards and ornaments to place
in the baskets. I want to end
my column today acknowledging that for many people, the
weeks between Thanksgiving and New Years can be the
most difficult time of the year. For you, I wish peace and
acceptance and the knowledge that you are not alone. And
for the others here, I urge you to reflect on these wondering
 “I wonder what you do that makes you feel like an important part of our church.”
 “I wonder if everyone feels joyful in the holiday season.”
 “I wonder how you feel when you do something especially nice for someone else.”
I hope all of you join us on Christmas Eve as we come together in celebration as a congregational family. (Note:
There is also a more reflective service at 8:00 p.m.)
Yours in Faithful Partnership,
Kathleen Carpenter,
Director of Religious Education for Children and Youth
Mark Your Calendars
Saturday, December 20: Solstice
service (see details on page 1).
Sunday, December 21: Regular
classes held.
Wednesday, December 24: Family-friendly Christmas Eve
services at 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.
Sunday, December 28: Special CYRE Programming – regular classes not held.
Sunday, January 4: Sign Ups for Luna Rising and for February Friends Begin
Friday-Saturday, January 9-10: 10th-12th Our Whole Lives
(OWL) class retreat
Saturday, January 10: 8th-9th Our Whole Lives (OWL)
class retreat
Sunday, January 11: Operation Sandwich 1:15 p.m.; 5th6th Our Whole Lives (OWL) Parent/Child Orientation
Luna Rising 2015 –
It’s Time to Celebrate!
It’s Time to Sign Up for our
February Friends Program
Saturday, January 31
Non-Parents and Folks with Grown Children Especially Welcome!
 I live with my husband and two of my four sons, so it
was just wonderful to be with a group of women all
 I appreciated the great variety of topics, the passion of
the presenters and the spirit of all concerned.
 I loved getting to spend the day with my daughter,
watching her take on new experiences with such joy.
 Luna Rising is a wonderful space to gather with other
women to build trust and form deeper connection with
our feminine selves and one another.
 My two daughters wake up on the morning of Luna Rising at the crack of dawn, so excited and ready to go.
It’s their favorite day of the year!
Are you a newcomer to UUCC or are you looking to make a
new friend—from another generation? Join our February
Friends Adventure, and you will be treated to some intrigue,
multigenerational mixing, fab food, fun and community
This year marks the sixth year
for Luna Rising and we are celebrating by naming it “The Year
of the Mother”, recognizing the
importance of all stages of life
and life experience. Registration for the day-long celebration
is open. You can sign up with
Kathleen Carpenter (in the RE
office or by mail) or at the table
in Freeman Hall after services on January 4, 11, 18, and 25.
There is a suggested donation of $30/Adult and $10/Under
14, with a maximum family donation of $45. Scholarships
are available by contacting Kathleen Carpenter at
[email protected]
This event is a wonderful multigenerational celebration,
with many workshops and both the opening and closing
ceremonies open to all ages. Part of the mission of the annual event is to help young girls learn about their personal
power in a safe, empowering setting. Expect a warm,
friendly environment, charged with female energy and plenty of opportunities for spiritual exploration.
2015 workshops titles include: Drumming with the Goddess; The Power of your Birth Story; Finding Balance with
Reiki; Gentle Yoga; Memory Boxes; the Adult MotherDaughter Relationship; Creating Sacred Space and Altars;
Prayer Beads; Knit a Square and Get Health Benefits!;
Mindfulness and the Art of Self Compassion... and many
More details can be obtained by stopping by the table after
either the four January services or by contacting Kathleen at
[email protected]
This annual program
secretly pairs children
ages four years to
fourth grade with
youth sixth grade and
older OR adults. All
teens must be active in
our CYRE Program
and all adults must be
UUCC members and
approved by Kathleen,
our Director of RE for
Children and Youth.
Beginning Sunday,
January 4, you can sign up on the CYRE page UUCC’s
website or complete a hardcopy of the registration form,
available at the table in Freeman Hall or on the table in the
CYRE wing.
All program participants must plan to attend “The Big Reveal” Party & Potluck on February 28 from 5:00-7:00
p.m. in Freeman Hall. More details will be provided in
the next issue of Voices and in CYRE E-blasts. Please contact CYRE staff with any questions.
Put my black father on the penny
put his smile at me on the dime
put my mother on the dollar . . .
Vanessa Howard from “Monument in Black”
UU Kids Living Out Their Values
Let us hear about YOUR kids!
Has your child demonstrated his or her commitment to our
values through personal achievement/leadership? If so,
send a few lines to [email protected]
Page 9
(“Ah-hA Auction” continued from page 1)
And did you know?...The funds for these grants come exclusively from monies raised at the UUCC Auction!
This year’s Social Justice Auction will be a fun opportunity
for both fundraising and friendraising as we unite to devote
our time, energy and resources to this important work.
So much goes into the planning and implementation of a
successful auction. Please consider volunteering for an organizing committee and/or making a donation. Contact
Craig Miller ([email protected]) or Trish Hevey
([email protected]), auction co-chairs, for more information or to get involved in our Affordable housing and
homelessness Auction – Ah-hA!
Habitat for Humanity
Book Drive
Please don’t forget to continue to bring
in your donations for the book drive.
Please keep in mind that not only are
books acceptable donations, but DVDs,
VHS tapes, and CDs are as well. The
bin for donations can be found in Freeman Hall just inside
the doors to the left. If you would like to sign up to
transport the books for any week, contact Grace Clements
[email protected]
Thanks to Our Amazing
Food Bank Volunteers
Several of our Youth helped out with a special food drive
for Second Harvest Food Bank at Stonecrest shopping center on November 22. Great job Haley Hickman, Sean
McCaffery, Lance Visco, Olivia Jones and Morgan
Dunn. Amanda Dunn helped as an adult volunteer. For
each hour worked our UUCC Food Bank received a credit
of $4 towards our monthly invoice, enabling us to get 450
pounds of food for our food bank recipients. Sean wrote “It
was great for me! Olivia and I stood in front of Harris Teeter for a couple hours and raised a lot of money.” Many
thanks to all our Food Bank Volunteers!
A special thanks goes to Kathleen Carpenter for organizing
this event. Remember to bring your cans of healthy food to
the Freeman Hall. Fill our food barrels to help the 29 families we serve each month. Your donations are greatly appreciated.
Page 10
Green Sanctuary Interest Group Meeting
Sunday, January 11, 1:00 p.m.
Join a group of like-minded environmentally focused UUCC members
who are interested in the UUA Green
Sanctuary Accreditation program.
This democratically approved program is a multi-year effort that involves introspection and action both
at an individual and congregational
level that is focused on the 7th UU principle of respect for
the interdependent web of all existence of which we are
part. Please join a spirited group of individuals interested
to learn what this program might bring to the UUCC! For
more information please contact
[email protected]
Some view our sable race with scornful eye,
“Their color is a diabolic dye.”
Phyllis Wheatley Peters (1753? – 1784) from
“On Being Brought from Africa to America”
ODS Second Annual Clothing Swap
Consignment sales are one way to save
money on children's clothes, but
wouldn’t you rather swap those gently used outgrown items for a larger
size or an older child's clothes to accommodate a younger sibling? Well,
now you can! Our Swap Sale will be
held on Saturday, January 24 from
11:30 - 2:30 p.m. in Freeman
Hall. Please consider participating or donating clothing for this wonderful cause. Proceeds go towards ODS fundraising and remaining
clothes will be donated to Second Chance Boutique by
Turning Point. Their mission is to end domestic violence in
our community. The cost to participate in the swap is $5 and
sizes from newborn to six years will receive credits to swap.
You can drop items off the day of the swap from 10:3011:30 a.m. or any time before then at the ODS office. If you
have any questions, please contact Diana Zeni at
[email protected]
If you know about a need in our congregation—an illness or injury, a hospitalization or surgery, a death—what can
you do? Please inform a member of
our professional staff.
“Getting to Know Us”
Sunday, January 4
Every 1st Sunday after each service, visitors are invited to
an informal Q&A with a long-standing UU Church of Charlotte member. Grab a cup of coffee from Freeman Hall and
meet downstairs in the Bernstein Room immediately following either 1st or 2nd service. Hear about another person’s
journey to finding her/his spiritual home here at the
“Meet the Minister”
The night whose sable breast relieves the stark,
White stars is no less lovely being dark . . .
Countee Cullen from “From the Dark Tower”
Sunday, December 21
You’ve seen him behind the pulpit…now here’s an opportunity for visitors to get to know Jay Leach on a more personal level. Stop by the Conference Room for an informal
chat on the 3rd Sunday of each month at 10:30 a.m.
Audio Copies of Past Sunday Services
Available at Visitor Table
Each month the Coordinating Team creates a report for our
Board of Trustees. This report is comprised of vignettes
created by professional staff that reflect our progress toward
the achievement of our congregation’s Ends. A hard copy
of the entire report is posted on the office area bulletin
board. A full copy of this report is available on our website
via the electronic copy of Voices.
Stop by our bookstore in Freeman Hall after Sunday services to request a copy or contact Bill Cooke at (704) 3642107 (cost $5). Visitors can also check out audio copies of
past services at the visitors table on Sunday after services.
Newcomers and drop-ins are welcome! For more information about
these groups please visit www.uuccharlotte.org and select “Programs/
Get Involved.”
All Things Considered
Ron Maccaroni [email protected]
Exploring Humanism
Healing Threads: A Prayer
Shawl Ministry
Home of Joy
7:00 p.m. 1st Wednesday
(January 7)
7:00 p.m. 1st Thursday (January 1)
7:00 p.m. 2nd Monday (January 12)
Steve Bivens [email protected]
Kathleen Moloney-Tarr (704) 661-5409
10:00 a.m. 3rd Friday (December 18)
Doris Thomas Browder
Lotus Path
8:00 a.m. Sundays
Mystics and Metaphysics
Sunday Morning Meditation
7:00 p.m. 3rd Tuesday (January 20)
8:30 a.m. Sundays
Richard Kushmaul
[email protected]
Carol Smith [email protected]
Debbie George (704) 763-2193
Straight Spouse Support Group
“T.E.D for the Soul” (Day)
“T.E.D for the Soul” (Evening)
7:00 p.m. 1st Tuesday (January 6)
12:00 p.m. 3rd Monday
(December 15)
7:00 p.m. 1st Tuesday (January 6)
Women’s Circle
7:00 p.m. 2nd Tuesday (January 13)
Young Adult Group (YAG)
12:45 p.m. 3rd Sunday
(December 21)
Sage Brook (704) 366-7983
Melissa Mummert
[email protected]
Susan Cox [email protected]
Trish Hevey [email protected]
Sandy Vermillion [email protected]
Please RSVP to Sandy to attend.
Lincoln Baxter III
Page 11
[email protected]
Non-Profit Organization
Postage Paid
Charlotte, NC
Volume 39, Issue 24
USPS 346-850
Published biweekly by the
Unitarian Universalist Church of Charlotte
234 N Sharon Amity Rd
Charlotte NC 28211-3004
Postmaster: Please send address corrections to above.
The deadline for the next
Sunday, January 4, 2015 for the next issue which will be
published on Wednesday, January 7, 2015. Please include
your name and phone number on your submissions in case
there are questions. The Voices editor reserves the right to
edit all submissions to the newsletter for brevity, grammar,
clarity and consistency as space will allow. The preferred
submission is by email to: [email protected]
Address Label
Church Office hours:
Monday – Friday 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM Phone: (704) 366-8623 / Fax: (704) 366-8812
E-mail: [email protected]; Website: http://www.uuccharlotte.org
Staff Member
Professional Responsibilities
Kathleen Carpenter
Director of Religious Education
for Children & Youth
[email protected] ext. 225
Children and Youth Religious Education
Denominational Connections
Donna Fisher
Children’s Choir Director
[email protected]
Kelly Greene
Membership Coordinator
[email protected]
John Herrick
Director of Music
[email protected] ext. 230
Alesia Hutto
Office Administrator
[email protected] ext. 221
Martha Kniseley
Adult Programming Coordinator
[email protected] ext. 229
Jay Leach
Senior Minister
[email protected] ext. 223
Belinda Parry
Administrative Assistant
[email protected] ext. 224
Page 12
Doug Swaim
Interim Director of Administration
[email protected] ext. 222
Children’s Choir
New Members
Worship Team
Administrative Support
Adult Religious Education and Spiritual Development
Community Building
Congregational Care
Chief of Staff
Coordinating Team
Social Justice Team
Worship Team
Part Time Administrative/CYRE Support
Building & Grounds
Coordinating Team
Memorial Endowment Trust
Open Door School