Voices for 3/11/2015 - Unitarian Universalist Church of Charlotte

always available online at www.uuccharlotte.org
volume 40, issue 05
March 11, 2015
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 2015
With less than a week remaining in the
self-service portion of this year’s stewardship campaign, two-thirds of our
members have pledged. Of that number,
43% increased their pledges by 10% or
more. The Stewardship Team is grateful to all who have pledged and especially to those who have significantly
increased their commitments.
While we still have a chance of reaching an overall increase
of about 5%, it now appears certain we will fall short of
the—admittedly ambitious—goal of a 10% increase. That
goal was set because we need that kind of an increase if we
are going to fund the Second Minister position from our
operating budget. Your staff and Board are now considering
next steps—how to proceed with more modest resources.
In the meantime, the Stewardship Team is gearing up for
canvassing. Anyone who has not pledged by the March 15
cut-off will be contacted by a Team member, canvasser or
member of staff. Please be responsive when contacted. The
canvassers will be working hard on behalf of all of us and
our religious home.
Stewardship Team
Sunday, March 15 at 10:30 a.m.
If you are a UUCC member, you're invited to participate in
an upcoming conversation about our approach to finding a
second minister. We'll be having this conversation on Sunday, March 15 at 10:30 a.m. in between the two morning
services on that day. We'll offer an update and engage in
open dialogue then.
Our Social Justice team is sponsoring a UUCC MultiGenerational Volunteer Action Day on Saturday, April
18 from 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. The day will begin at 8:30
a.m. at the church where our volunteers will be provided
with a light breakfast and a send-off message from our minister, Rev. Jay Leach, before leaving at 9:00 a.m. to go to
their chosen volunteer project sites. We expect our volunteers to arrive at their project sites by 9:30 a.m. eager to
begin their volunteer work and complete their volunteer
projects by 12:30 p.m. that afternoon. There are six organizations offering volunteer service projects from
which to choose to volunteer and they are as follows:
1) Urban Ministry Center, “Housing Works” program,
providing permanent housing and support services to the
chronically homeless. Service Project: building seven
raised beds for vegetable and flower gardens for tenants
residing in scattered site housing. For Volunteers elementary school age and up! http://goo.gl/HxAMQn.
2) Changed Choices, giving hope and support services to
incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women.
Service Project: performing basic lawn maintenance and
planting of perennials at the transitional home for the women served by Changed Choices. For Volunteers elementary school age and up! http://goo.gl/5g6FtX.
3) Hope Haven, providing a foundation for recovery and
learning life skills, for homeless, chemically dependent
adults and families, within a supportive residential environment leading to independence. Service Project: planting
seasonal plants and vegetables in Hope Haven’s garden, that
is used to supplement Hope Haven’s kitchen, serving 400500 meals a day. For Volunteers elementary school age
and up! http://goo.gl/ZV9jCh.
(Continued on page 10)
Page 1
Just last week I had the great honor of preaching the ordination sermon for one of our brightest and most gifted new
ministers. The service, held in the sanctuary of the historic
All Souls, Unitarian congregation in Washington, D.C., included a ritual common to ministerial ordinations across
denominational lines and religious traditions. It is called
“The Laying on of Hands,” a
moving experience in which, in
one way or another, some or all
of the gathered actually touch the
person being ordained as an act
of blessing.
Whenever I participate in such a
ritual, I can’t help but remember
my own ordination now (how
can it be?) twenty-eight years
ago this month. I was asked to
kneel in the chancel of the majestic sanctuary where I was
ordained. Anyone present was invited to come forward, lay
their hands on my shoulders, and, if they so chose, to offer
some words of blessing.
It was, as you might imagine, an incredibly powerful experience. Friends, members of the congregation, colleagues,
children and youth, all offering me this embodied gesture of
support. What I remember most powerfully was my family’s presence and, most particularly, the fact that both of my
grandfathers processed forward to offer me their blessings.
Participating in this same ritual on a recent chilly Saturday
evening in Washington, I felt their touch again and experienced all over again the power of that affirmation.
In a poem he entitled “The Turning” novelist, essayist and
poet Wendell Berry writes:
We clasp the hands of those that go before us,
And the hands of those who come after us.
We enter the little circle of each other's arms
And the larger circle of lovers,
whose hands are joined in a dance,
And the larger circle of all creatures,
Passing in and out of life,
who move also in a dance,
to a music so subtle and vast
that no ear hears it
Except in fragments.
I’ve long loved his image of life as a sustained, ongoing
dance. How wonder-filled to think of people throughout
time moving first into and then out of the circle, all of us
dancing to a kind of music that is both “subtle” and “vast”
and that is beyond and within each of us. It’s a poignant
image: clasping both “the hands of those that go before us”
Page 2
and “the hands of those who come after us.” It includes the
intimate: “the little circle of each other’s arms,” and the expansive: “the larger circle of all creatures.”
Whose hands have held yours? From your birth imagine all
those who have clasped your hands in theirs—tender touches, healing touches, intimate touches, handshakes of greeting and of parting, friendly gestures. In what circles have
you danced?—family, friends, classmates, colleagues, spiritual communities, professional organizations, travelling companions, fellow
residents. In what way do
you imagine yourself
dancing with “all creatures,” “in touch with” the
larger community of sentient beings with whom we
share this fragile planet?
Not unlike “The Laying on of Hands,” we might imagine
each of these touches as a blessing, an affirmation. Each
time we clasp a hand, each time we reach out in a gesture of
touch, a transfer of energy takes place, we’re altered,
“moved.” We can, in spiritual terms, think of these as
“blessings,” as acknowledging the other and seeking connection. Such imagining can foster gratitude: many good
memories in a visceral recollection of hands that have
clasped ours and of hands we have clasped.
In “The Dance” Wendell Berry writes that we are
woven in the circle of a dance,
the song of long time flowing . . .
He acknowledges our
belonging to all, to each,
to the dance, and to the song . . .
I’m grateful for this years-long dance with you.
Peace, Jay
My energy just couldn’t stop dancing. I was
caught up in the music of struggle, and i
wanted to dance.
Assata Shakur in Assata: An Autobiography
I recently returned from my second Habitat for Humanity
building trip to El Salvador. You may know we have long
had a partnership with Habitat Charlotte through our Affordable Housing/Homelessness initiative at the UUCC.
You may not know that Habitat Charlotte sponsors a house
in El Salvador for every house they build in Charlotte. The
work is hard, physical and rewarding. The people are warm
and eager and fun, and the most hard-working people I have
ever known. There is much to admire and sometimes even
envy in the simplicity of their lives. It is a humbling experience. And yet, it is also easy to see why a comment often
heard in El Salvador is this: “our largest export is our people”. Try to imagine the desperation a parent must feel before she would send her young child alone on a long and
unbelievably dangerous trip across Mexico in hopes of a
better life in the U.S. Perhaps building safe and adequate
housing—and cultivating community in the multiple ways
Habitat does that—can reduce the number of times a parent
must make that unimaginable choice.
We have a much easier choice and exciting opportunity
here. We are actively engaged in bringing a much needed
and very long overdue second minister into our community.
I believe we will benefit from the addition of this person in
ways that we don’t yet even recognize, and that our lives
will be enriched both collectively and individually by the
addition of this person. In a recent survey by the UUA
about staffing in UU churches around the country, a UU
representative checked back with us when we reported we
had one minister. They were sure there had been a mistake
in the survey. We should, after all, have no less than 3 ministers at our membership level. This is a humbling experience when, in many ways, we are considered a “star” congregation. At the February board meeting, we had a spirited, difficult and lengthy discussion about how we will pay
for the new minister. Because the problem is this: with current and projected pledges, we expect to be approximately
$31,000 short in new money needed to fully fund this position. So what do we do? Do we delay the hiring another
year? Do we rob Peter to pay Paul? If so, how will we pay
Peter back? Do we seek outside funding sources? Do we
make drastic cuts in programming? If so, what would we
cut? Do we go for it and hope the elusive money tree my
dad talked about is finally discovered, hopefully on our very
own playground? What would you do? I personally can’t
bring myself to support any of those options and hope we
are not forced to choose from the list above. So I did some
simple math.
If each pledge unit contributed $64 more a year, above what
you have already or expect to pledge—yes, that is, indeed,
only $5.31 a month—we are there. That’s it.
I know, right? Will any of us really really miss that $5 a
month? I know we can do this, as a congregation. I believe
we can and will rise to this occasion because we are who
we are—shining beacons and a welcoming and loving community of people with generous spirits. This church community fills my heart and challenges me to be my best self.
I am proud when I see one of our own out in the community
making a difference. I am reassured about the future of our
country when our youth show us who they are becoming. I
love what we have and do here. Do you?
Susan Cox
UUCC Board of Trustees
In the context of the current stewardship campaign and the
appeal for a 10% increase in pledges “to fund the Second
Minister position,” a question keeps arising: “The congregation had a second minister on staff, so the budget has
included funds for that purpose. Why is there another push
to again raise money to hire a second minister—where has
the money originally budgeted for this purpose gone?”
Since the departure of our prior Assistant Minister 18
months ago, we have added two three-quarter time positions to our professional staff—Martha Kniseley as Adult
Programming Coordinator, and Kelly Greene as Membership Coordinator. These additions were made in close consultation with our lay leadership, our professional staff and
our Board.
Professional staffing was discussed at last year’s Congregational Conversation in June. Members strongly affirmed
the need to maintain the Adult Programming Coordinator’s
position and voted to support a budget with the addition of
a Membership Coordinator.
Both Martha and Kelly are addressing longstanding concerns of our members and are making important contributions in our pursuit of our stated ends. But, of course, there
are financial implications in these new staff roles and in the
program budgets we have expanded under their leadership.
These two staff positions and their expanded program budgets have absorbed all the funds that were allocated to the
Assistant Minister position, plus some.
It’s important to keep in mind that even with these additions, we are thinly staffed. Among a dozen of our peer
congregations in the UUA, we are currently 11th (out of 12)
in terms of adult members per full-time staff equivalent
(Members/FTE). Here’s the list: (Continued on page 11)
Page 3
UUCC First Author’s Night
Thursday, March 12 at 7:00 p.m.
This first group of distinguished authors will cover a wide
range of subjects designed to stir your senses and engage
your curiosity.
Bob Gorman, a long-time member of
UUCC, has written two books about
baseball. Find out how Death at the
Ballpark was written serendipitously. Interestingly, Bob’s second book,
The South Bend Blue Sox is a history of
one of the four original teams in the AllAmerican Girls Professional Baseball
League that was highlighted in the film,
“A League of Their Own.”
Glenda Bailey-Mershon’s novel, Eve’s
Garden began as a brief journal entry in
answer to a question from her son. The
story is a portrait of a Romani family
struggling to survive in the Deep South –
one that parallels some of Glenda’s own
life experience. Find out about how
Glenda’s own concerns as a UU are also
incorporated into the characters in her
Wild Plums is a book of poetry by Barbara Conrad. It explores the fine line between reality and illusion -- whether the
subject happens to be time, nature, color,
relationships or words. As a Unitarian
Universalist, she is drawn to write about
social justice and world events – to bring
heart and soul to the goings-on around
us. According to Barbara, “To write a poem is to first practice mindfulness.”
There will be an opportunity following the event to continue conversations with the authors. (Mark your calendars for
Thursdays, April 9 and May 14 as we continue the series.)
Mystics & Metaphysics:
Mediumship & the “Other Side”
with Guest Speaker Dana Childs
Thursday, March 12 from 7:00-8:30 p.m., Bernstein Room
Join us and our special guest
Dana Childs as she describes
how she became a medium,
what it’s like being a medium, as
well as what those who have
crossed over have to say about
“life” on the Other Side. As part
of her practice, Dana combines
expertise in a vast array of healing arts with her intuition in order to channel Spirit and provide individuals with the information and healing energy needed to bring balance to mind,
body, soul and relationships. Dana will share stories both
entertaining and moving from her own life and her work as
a medium. Her down-to-Earth approach to Spirit is a refreshing way to be introduced to what lies beyond our normal range of sensing. There will be additional time for
Q&A in case you have questions about mediumship or how
Spirit communicates. Beginning in March M&M will be
meeting on 2nd Thursdays in Bernstein. We are an open
group and everyone is welcome! More info: Carol Smith,
[email protected]
Third Friday Film Night
March 20 at 7:00 in the Sanctuary and Bernstein Room
For Adults and Families: Join us on Friday, March 20 at
7:00 p.m. to watch a film based on our Second Sunday topic: Compassion.
(Adults) The Intouchables (France, 2011)
Starring Francois Cluzet and Omar Sy.
In a film about compassion, love, and mutual respect, a quadriplegic millionaire hires
an African immigrant as his caregiver. Based on a true story. Rated R for language and some drug use. 112
(Children) My Dog Skip (US, 2000)
This morning the universe danced before you
as you sang—it loves that song!
Shelby Steele in
The Content of Our Character
Page 4
Starring Frankie Muniz, Keven Bacon,
and Diane Lane. A shy boy growing up in
Mississippi during World War II learns
the true meaning of compassion from his
beloved dog, Skip. Based on the memoir
by Willie Morris. Rated PG for some violent content and mild language.
95 minutes.
Credo: A Personal Spiritual Journey
Sunday, March 22 at 10:30 a.m. in the Bernstein Room
Speaker: Melissa Schropp
Raised “loosely” Presbyterian by a mother who rolled her
eyes at religion in general, and a father who was reticent on
the subject, Melissa was largely left to her own devices,
spiritually speaking. “Dad, how come we have a statue of
Buddha in our living room?” she once asked as a child.
“Well, that’s just in case.” he answered with a wink. Early ideas of
religion were also shaped by both
of her grandmothers, one Presbyterian and the other a mid-life convert to a Jehovah’s Witness. Bible
stories were both comforting and
confusing in childhood, and over
time, identifying as Christian felt
false, and too small and constrictive. “God is too big to fit into one
religion” about sums it up for her.
A member of the UUCC since
2000, and long-time teacher in the Children and Youth Religious Education (CYRE) program, Melissa will share her
faith journey and thoughts on parenting with a UU perspective on March 22 at 10:30 a.m. in the Bernstein Room.
Childcare provided.
Exploring Humanism
Beginning Thursday, April 30
We continue to explore the implications of our congregation’s End
Statement claiming “We are intentionally growing in our diversity as a congregation, each of
working with others to overcome
the barriers that divide the human
family.” Our reflection on the
implications of this aspiration are
set in the context of the difficult conversation taking place
in our larger society, one spawned by deepened awareness
of the continuing specter of injustice and inequity.
Beginning at the end of April, our ARESD program is offering an opportunity for us to reflect together guided by a
larger historical framework. Our minister, Jay Leach, and
our Affiliated Community Minister, Melissa Mummert, will
lead a six-week series that will include showing Henry Louis Gates, Jr.’s PBS series “The African Americans: Many
Rivers to Cross.” We’ll view the sessions together and engage in paired conversation between the sessions.
Because we’re hoping for a group of participants that is
diverse in age, experience and identity, this class will be
offered at two different times on Thursdays beginning April
30. An afternoon session will be held from 1:00 – 3:00
p.m. and an evening session from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. This
experience will be significantly enhanced by participants’
commitment to participate in every session and to engage in
conversation between sessions.
Thursday, April 2 at 7:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary
Rodger Clark will present on
the significant contributions the Unitarian
minister and Humanist pioneer John H.
Dietrich (1878–1957) made to the advancement of the humanist philosophy as a
part of the larger American landscape in
the 20th century. Dietrich served as minister in both Spokane, WA and Minneapolis,
MN. He also was one of the original signatories of the first Humanist Manifesto published in 1933.
“The African Americans: Many Rivers to
Cross” A Facilitated Conversation for our
John H. Dietrich
Rodger Clark is currently the Chief Development Officer
for WDAV Classical Public Radio 89.9 FM, a licensee of
Davidson College. He has served similar positions with a
variety of organizations over the past 24 years including the
Harrisburg (PA) Symphony Orchestra, American Baptist
Foundation, and Church World Service (CROP). Rodger
holds a Master of Divinity degree from Southern Seminary
in Louisville, KY and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland, College Park. While no longer active as
an ordained clergyperson, he is credentialed with the American Humanist Association as an official Celebrant.
To sign-up for this class go to the Adult Programming
table in Freeman Hall on Sundays or email our Adult
Programming Coordinator Martha Kniseley at
[email protected] Priority sign-ups will go to
members of the congregation with this offering also
available to visitors should space allow.
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.
Page 5
Wear GREEN and announce your GREEN cause!
Irish heritage
Green Sanctuary and environmentalism
Vegetarianism —I eat greens!
Successful conclusion of the Stewardship Campaign
This will be a family-friendly dinner
and dance in Freeman Hall. The Follies
Crew will entertain. You must sign up
online to participate in the dinner.
Date/time: Saturday, March 14, 6:30
p.m. until 10:00 p.m.
Dinner: Served 6:30 - 7:00 p.m. Main
course is two versions of Irish Stew, beef and vegetarian
(provided by the UUCC). Guests are invited to sign up to
contribute bread, salad, dessert and wine.
Entertainment: A skit featuring the Follies Crew.
Dancing: Tables will be cleared and furniture moved following the skit. Dancing to recorded music from 8:00 p.m.
until 10:00 p.m.
A Passover Seder to Celebrate Freedom
Saturday, April 4, 4:00 p.m.
Every Spring Jews around the world gather to commemorate the Exodus from Egypt over 3,000 years ago. This story of liberation from slavery is told and remembered
through a special service called the Seder and a festive
meal. Passover Seders have long been associated with social justice, freedom and a spirit of welcoming. Because
our Unitarian Universalist values also commend these values, hosting a Seder seemed like a natural way for UUs who
draw from Judaism as an important source to share the wisdom of this tradition with the entire congregation. On Saturday, April 4 beginning at 4:00
p.m. we will gather
as a community to
conduct an intergenerational Seder
complete with
readings from the
Hagaddah, which
contains the order of prayers, rituals, readings and songs
associated with the commemoration.
Adults and children of all ages are invited to participate.
Please sign up at: http://goo.gl/HNvQvR or at the Adult
Programming Table in the Freeman Hall.
Online signup: Is required for anyone eating dinner or using childcare. Sign-up here: http://goo.gl/zUK3bd.
Open Mind Book Club
Monday, April 6 at 7:30 p.m. in the Conference Room
The Open Mind Book Club will meet at 7:30
p.m. on Monday, April 6 in the Conference
Room. We will be discussing Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver. Please RSVP to
Gwynne Movius at (704) 366-9409 if you
plan to attend.
Something Maybe Calling Your Name
If you are missing a cookie
sheet, a casserole dish, beverage container or any other fine
item, it may be pining for you
in our kitchen. To rescue it,
just drop by the kitchen and
look on the shelves, especially
under the center island. Good
hunting! Questions, contact
Karen Achor at [email protected]
Page 6
You got to sing like you don't need the money
Love like you'll never get hurt
You got to dance like nobody's watchin'
It's gotta come from the heart
If you want it to work
from “Come From the Heart,”
lyrics by Susanna Clark and Richard Leigh
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.
Piedmont Unitarian Universalist Church
Latino Immigration Forum
Tuesday, March 24, 2015—7:00 to 8:30 p.m.
9704 Mallard Creek Road, Charlotte
You are invited to attend a forum on the most critical issues
impacting the Latino community. on Tuesday, March 24,
2015, at 7 p.m. at Piedmont UU Church. The presenters will
include, Benjamin A. Snyder, Associate Immigration Attorney, and Hector Vaca, Director of ACTION NC in Charlotte with a welcome by Reverend Robin Tanner, Lead
Minister, Piedmont UU Church.
The issues discussed will be the current status of President
Obama’s Executive Action on Childhood Arrivals and Parental Accountability, in-state tuition for Latino children
and municipal ID for undocumented immigrants. This forum is sponsored by the Social Justice Council of Piedmont
Unitarian Universalist Church and the Immigration Solidarity Council. Invitation to attend is extended to the community, church members, guests and friends. There is no
charge and refreshments will be served.
Join Us for a UU Summer Camp
for All Ages
July 19-25!
Think of all the wonderful activities your kids get to enjoy
in summer camp.
Great news - we UUs have our own
wonderful FAMILY summer camp!
Called the Southeast Unitarian Universalist Summer Institute (SUUSI), it is a
long-standing summer tradition for
many families in our congregation.
Imagine a week in the mountains with
about 1200 other UUs! There will be
hiking, field games, crafting (tie-dye,
pottery, etc.), rafting, wine tasting, worship, a full-scale musical production, and some really wonderful presentations
(and worship) on a wide variety of topics. Families of all
ages attend, also singles, couples, whatever!
SUUSI will be held at Virginia Tech this summer- less than
3 hours from Charlotte. Last summer our congregation had
about 30 people participate; the number is growing as more
people experience how wonderful a week with fellow UUs
can be! On-line registration opens on April 10. For more
info, check out the SUUSI website (http://suusi.org/).
“My Child Returned Somehow Changed”
The Power of Summer Camp at The Mountain
Reflections from Kathleen Carpenter, Director of Religious
Education for Children and Youth
And, speaking of the
magic of summer camp,
I have a personal story.
When my three kids
were young, both boys
were ball crazy and my
daughter was nature
crazed. She enjoyed
horseback riding and county park camps; the boys went to
every baseball and basketball camp offered – plus those
same county park camps. Most were great experiences but
only one camp changed them in a deeply powerful and
beautiful way – summer camp at the UU-affiliated Mountain Retreat and Camp. Yes, this is the same Mountain we
continue to send our UUCC children each spring and fall
for youth cons.
I am almost embarrassed to admit that I used to finagle the
carpooling responsibilities so that I could pick up the Charlotte area kids from Mountain Camp (rather than drop them
off). The way they spoke to each other and their conversations were just so wonderful after two weeks of intentional
values-based community. To this day, my young adult kids
still speak about the magic of the Mountain. I know for a
fact that two of them have taken friends there just to show
them the place that meant so much to their childhood/youth.
This is from the Mountain website: “The Mountain places a
strong emphasis on being an inclusive, non-competitive
environment where youth can develop a deeper understanding of themselves and form lifelong friendships. . . Camping
sessions are offered for first-12th graders. Activities include: arts and crafts, drama, music, campfires, outdoor survival skills, international field games, low and high challenge courses, whitewater rafting, swimming, canoeing and
hiking.” Registration is now open for Mountain Camps.
Click here for more information http://goo.gl/zUvLXG.
Kathleen Carpenter,
Director of Religious Education for Children and Youth
Life is the dancer and you are the dance.
Eckhart Tolle in A New Earth: Awakening to Your
Life's Purpose
Page 7
The UUCC Welcomes the
Following New Members
Program Area Spot Light
Reflection from our New Membership Coordinator
When I started visiting the
UUCC, back in 2005 or sooner,
I came to find religious community, to develop spiritually and
to join others in trying to do
good in the world. I remember
leaving the service feeling inspired and wanting to share my
experience or find ways to put my faith into action. I would
walk over to Freeman Hall, walk around once or twice, feel
incredibly uncomfortable in a crowd of people who were
talking to each other and not to me, and leave feeling more
lonely and discouraged than when I’d arrived. It took just
one person to start talking to me, introduce me to other people and tell me about what was happening here to help the
congregation feel welcoming. Then it didn’t seem like a
leap to join a discussion or class or to volunteer. My spiritual growth, the deep sense of community I feel here, and the
gift of the many ways I’ve had to live my values with our
congregation could not have happened if I hadn’t felt welcomed.
Thank you to all of you who make it a habit to talk to someone you don’t know on Sundays. You are opening the possibility for them to find what they are looking for among us
and giving yourself the gift of a new connection.
Kelly Greene
Membership Coordinator
“Discovering the UUCC”
Saturday, March 14 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
If you are a new or prospective member interested in learning more about Unitarian Universalism, the UU Church of
Charlotte and membership responsibilities, please join us
for Discovering the UUCC on Saturday, March 14. Facilitated by Rev. Jay Leach, this half-day session begins at 9:00
a.m. with a light breakfast and registration. The program
follows from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and covers our philosophy, history, programs, and organization. Along with several other participants, you will learn about our diverse religious heritage and what common beliefs Unitarian Universalists share. Childcare is provided.
To register, please sign up at the Visitor’s Table in Freeman
Hall or contact Membership Coordinator Kelly Greene at
[email protected] or (704) 366-8623 ext. 6039. For
childcare, include the number of children and their ages.
Page 8
Mary McDonough
Amanda Dunn
The community of believers is the place where we
learn the language of faith, hope, and love. The
speech and gestures of worship beckon us to a
dance between our woundings at the edge of
adventure and experiences of bliss at the still
center, a rhythm of journeying and homecoming.
Kent Ira Goff in Active Spirituality
Welcome Back, Scott Whitesell!
After a four-month absence, Scott Whitesell returns to the
piano bench on Sunday, March 15. Scott was diagnosed
with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in October, 2014 and began chemotherapy treatment that lasted through February.
Scott has been the UUCC accompanist since January, 2010,
and has been an integral member of the Music Program
staff. In addition to accompanying the choirs and subbing
for the music director, Scott has been involved in the annual Follies productions, serving as writer, arranger,
choreographer, actor and accompanist. In his absence, Kaarin Leach, a long-standing member of the Adult and Chamber Choirs, stepped-up and generously served as accompanist for the choirs. We are indepted to Kaarin for sharing
her time and immense talent with us.
In his first rehearsal back with the choir on March 4, Scott
shared that he was overwhelmed by the response he
received from members of the choir and congregation. In
addition to calls, visits in the hospital and food at home,
Scott received numerous cards, which he continues to peruse and enjoy. During his absence, there was rarely a Sunday when someone didn't inquire about Scott's health.
Many thanks to all who expressed care and concern and
who reached out to Scott and his partner, Tim Maness.
Thank you for making ours a caring community.
John Herrick, Director of Music
Journey toward a Dream
“Love Has No Borders”
Saturday, March 28 4:30-6:30 p.m.
During the month of March, our Children and Youth Religious Education Program is offering members (including
our children) the opportunity to reflect on some of the moral
issues surrounding immigration.
First, the CYRE-led service on March 8 reminded us that
we are ALL immigrants, encouraging us to reflect on how
welcoming we are to those who cross our borders today.
Then on March 28, there will be a follow up event
called, “Journey Toward a Dream.” It is designed to be
family-friendly, engaging, and provocative. The event will
consist of special activities, discussion, and a participatory
worship with ritual, music, and a walking meditation. Our
time together will conclude with an Hispanic-themed dinner. Participants are asked to bring children’s socks and underwear which will be donated to a UU group working with
immigrant children who cross the border in El Paso, Texas.
Childcare will be provided for our youngest children. We
are requesting a $5/family or $3/individual to cover the cost
of dinner. Any money left over will be used to purchase
socks and underwear.
Because we need to prepare the food, we ask that participants sign up either on-line
(http://goo.gl/forms/ykVazSzY3I) or at the table in Freeman
Hall after each service the next two weeks. The deadline is
Thursday, March 26.
Calendar of Events
(*must be pre-registered)
 Fri-Sun, March 13-15:
What?! It was last night?
How many times have you missed an event or a deadline or
even picking up your child because you simply forgot? Life
is crazy. Life has been crazy for more years than I care to
consider and its only getting worse. By crazy, I mean there
is simply too much going on and too much to remember.
For this reason, it has become increasingly difficult to plan
events and expect people to know about them-and then remember them-even if those events are fabulous. For instance, every spring the Children and Youth Religious Education team organizes a family-friendly social justice / faith
development event. Last year, it was the “Hunger Banquet”. The year before, it was a (UU) “Sources Supper”.
This year it will be “Journey Toward a Dream”. All, like
our biannual “Kids in a Box” event are interactive, involve
special food, and challenge participants to reflect on their
faith and values. But despite promotion in Voices, Sunday
orders of service, the website, Facebook, church e-blasts,
and messages on the class summaries handed out each week
(whew!), there will still be people frustrated that they
missed an event because they didn’t know about it or forgot
it. Your CYRE Team (and I) are scratching our heads as
we look for the best way to help our families not just remember the dates of events, but understand what these
events entail. One best bet: personal invitations.
I encourage you to read the article on this page about the
upcoming March 28 “Journey to a Dream” event. If you
have children ages 5-17, we hope you will come. Teens are
welcome as participants and are encouraged to volunteer for
leadership roles. We also hope to see you on Sunday,
March 22 for our quarterly “Operation Sandwich” during
which we make sandwiches for our homeless neighbors
and on Saturday, April 18 for or congregation’s community
-wide Social Action day (article page 1). I am so delighted
that this event’s planners looked at possible projects
through a multigenerational lens and purposefully chose
projects open to (almost) all ages. Let’s fill up those project
slots with kids/teens and parents who will work alongside
other adults in making our city a better place.
*Elementary Mt Con
 Friday, March 20, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.: Movie Night –
kids movie: My Dog Skip
Fri-Sun, March 21-22: *Middle School Mt Con
Sunday, March 22, 12:45 p.m.: Operation Sandwich –
all ages welcome!
Saturday, March 28 4:30-6:30 p.m.: Family-friendly
Immigration event, “A Journey Toward a Dream”
Saturday, April 4: Congregational Passover Seder (see
article page 6).
Saturday, April 18: Community-wide Social Action
Day, organized by our church’s Social Justice Team
(see article page 1).
And if you plan to attend one, two, or all three of these
events, tell your friends so they’ll come too. We think that
personal invitations will make a big difference.
Our church mission statement says “We inspire children,
youth and adult to discover and articulate deeper spiritual
meaning as evidenced in lives of integrity, compassion, and
stewardship of the earth.” Come and get inspired! And
spread the word.
Kathleen Carpenter,
Director of Religious Education for Children and Youth
Page 9
(“Come Put Your Principles . . .” continued from page 1)
Auction Committee Announces Website &
Ticket Sales
4) Men’s Shelter of Charlotte, providing safe emergency
shelter and meeting basic needs of men experiencing homelessness and advocating for systemic change to end homelessness in the community. Service Project: begins with a
brief orientation to the Statesville Avenue campus of the
Men’s Shelter and continues with volunteers helping with
simple maintenance, i.e. cleaning and dusting, of the men’s
dormitories. For Volunteers elementary school age and
up! http://goo.gl/CFFVsC.
There’s a lot of buzz stirring
about the upcoming AH-HA!
Social Justice Auction on May 2.
We hope you plan to come and
“Experience an AH-HA moment” with fellow church members and guests. We promise an evening of good food, fun
and fellowship. Most importantly, this will be a chance for
you to engage in the UU principle of “Justice, equity and
compassion in human relations” as we raise money for
homelessness and affordable housing issues.
A website that will be an information and activity hub for
the auction has been created at http://goo.gl/QAksW9.
For the first time, you will be able to bid on silent auction
items through the website before May 2. Bidding will continue, as always, during the actual auction event. More information on pre-bidding is forthcoming. You will be able
to purchase admission and gift basket raffle tickets on the
website. Tickets will also be sold in Freeman Hall and you
will be able to pay with cash, check or credit card. Admission tickets will be $10 per person in advance, $15 at the
door (no charge for volunteers). Gift basket raffle tickets
will be $3 each or 4 for $10. Admission ticket sales will
start March 15 and gift basket raffle sales will start April 5.
If you have any questions or comments about the auction,
please contact co-chairs Craig Miller at
[email protected] or Trish Bernard Hevey at
[email protected]
Add a CAN, Make a Difference
*5) Habitat for Humanity, building
new homes and completing critical
repairs of older owner-occupied
homes, with the help of community
volunteers, for low-income families.
Service Project: cleaning, touch-up painting, and caulking.
For Volunteers 16 years and up! http://goo.gl/zH9F7y.
(There are still sign-ups available for the 3/14 build.) to
(One volunteer is still needed for the 3/14 repair.)
6) Urban Ministry Center, providing basic support services; housing, food and resources, to those who are homeless, while bringing the community together to end homelessness. Service Project: will begin with a “Walk in My
shoes”, a guided simulation educational experience where
volunteers will adopt the identity of persons experiencing
homelessness and then volunteer for the “Drink Group”, to
serve drinks to the homeless neighbors during lunch. For
Volunteers in middle school and their accompanying
adult chaperones. http://goo.gl/zuuNmh.
Please sign-up to volunteer by Saturday, April 4 for the
Service Project that inspires you by going on-line to SignUp Genius or to the Social Justice table after the service in
Freeman Hall.
For questions, comments or concerns please contact Beth
Kinny, Social Justice team member, [email protected]
Let’s Go Volunteer!
When you do your weekly
shopping, CAN you add a
CAN for our Food Bank?
If every family would bring
just one CAN, we CAN fill
our food barrels (located in
Freeman Hall) to overflowing! Remember healthy
choices: low salt, low sugar, low fat, high protein choices are best. I know the 27
families we serve each month CAN count on you! Thank
you for your generous donations.
Eileen Hanson-Kelly, Food Bank Coordinator
Page 10
Room in the Inn
Where will you be sleeping tonight?
Our Room in the Inn season is coming
to a close. There are only 3 Sundays left to volunteer. If
you 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]
(“Straight Talk . . .” continued from page 3)
Yes, There is a Young Adult Group (YAG)
Our Young Adult Group (YAG)
welcomes anyone between the
ages of 18-35 (ish). The monthly
gatherings are held every third
Sunday at 12:30 p.m. in the
Schweitzer room (discussions)
and every first Sunday at 5:00
p.m. in the Bernstein Room (game night & potluck). Special events are held from time to time. Please email
[email protected] to get in touch with the
(survey results from January 2015)
What’s more, as we have reported before, we are the only
UU congregation our size in the country that tries to operate with a single minister. The burden this places on Senior
Minister Jay Leach is heavy and unsustainable. We simply
must find a way to fund the Second Minister position.
Assuming we succeed in doing that—adding the Second
Minister—we would move up to 8th in staffing among our
peers (see chart above). Only then would our level of staffing approximate the national average for UU congregations
our size.
With sincere appreciation to those whose deep commitments are helping us achieve our ends, but realizing we
have a distance yet to travel...
Your Stewardship Team
Newcomers and drop-ins are welcome! For more information about
these groups please visit www.uuccharlotte.org and select “Programs/
Get Involved.”
Green Sanctuary Interest Group Meeting
Sunday, March 15, 1:00 p.m.
Please join a spirited group of individuals interested to learn
what this program might bring to the UUCC at 1:00 p.m.
Sunday, March 15 in the Bernstein Room.
Contact [email protected]
Men’s Group II Openings
The Men's Group 2 has been having weekly meetings for
over two years. We are looking to add a few more men to
our group. We discuss what is going on in our lives in a
confidential setting and strive for personal improvement.
We meet on Monday nights 7:00 - 8:30 p.m. at UUCC. If
you are a church member and looking to develop close
friendships with other men, contact Steve Bivens at
[email protected]
All Things Considered
Exploring Humanism
Healing Threads: A Prayer
Shawl Ministry
Lotus Path
Mystics and Metaphysics
Sunday Morning Meditation
Home of Joy
7:00 p.m. 3rd Wednesday (March 18)
7:00 p.m. 1st Thursday (April 2)
7:00 p.m. 2nd Monday (April 13)
Ron Maccaroni [email protected]
Steve Bivens [email protected]
Kathleen Moloney-Tarr (704) 661-5409
10:00 a.m. 3rd Friday (March 20)
8:00 a.m. Sundays
7:00 p.m. (April 9)
8:30 a.m. Sundays
Doris Thomas Browder
Edie Gelber-Beechler [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)
Women’s Circle
7:00 p.m. 1st Tuesday (April 7)
12:00 p.m. 3rd Monday
(March 16)
7:00 p.m. 1st Tuesday (April 7)
7:00 p.m. 2nd Tuesday (April 14)
5:00 pm 1st Sunday (April 5)
12:45 p.m. 3rd Sunday (April 19)
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
[email protected]
Page 11
Young Adult Group (YAG)
Monthly Gathering
Monthly Meeting
Non-Profit Organization
Postage Paid
Charlotte, NC
Volume 40, Issue 05
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, March 22, 2015 for the next issue which will be
published on Wednesday, March 25, 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. 6034
Children and Youth Religious Education
Denominational Connections
Young Adult Group
Donna Fisher
Children’s Choir Director
[email protected]
John Herrick
Director of Music
[email protected] ext. 6037
Alesia Hutto
Office Administrator
[email protected] ext. 6030
Martha Kniseley
Adult Programming Coordinator
[email protected] ext. 6036
Kelly Greene
Membership Coordinator
[email protected] ext. 6039
Jay Leach
Senior Minister
[email protected] ext. 6032
Belinda Parry
Administrative Assistant
[email protected] ext. 6033
Page 12
Doug Swaim
Interim Director of Administration
[email protected] ext. 6032
Children’s Choir
Worship Team
Administrative Support
Adult Religious Education and Spiritual Development
Community Building
Congregational Care
New Members
Volunteer Coordination
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