29 minutes | Feb 16, 2020
Gandhi, Dr. King, and Buddhism on Suffering
My goal this morning is to provide you with a Christian and Buddhist (and Hindu) understanding of suffering, using Dr. King to represent the Christian perspective. The Hindu perspective will come from Gandhi. In this way perhaps you may see suffering differently—your own as well as others, especially since suffering is not going anywhere anytime soon, and for those of you with an activist spirit, this may assist you in weathering the storms which most assuredly will come your way in your work. Bear in mind that although Dr. King learned this perspective from Gandhi, that unearned suffering is redemptive, this is still an Eastern teaching, as is Buddhism’s perspective on suffering. See you there!
26 minutes | Jan 13, 2020
The Tao Keeps Speaking
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 its 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. In its September 2018 issue of THE ATLANTIC, its editors reported results of “The Big Question” they had asked a couple months earlier on Twitter: “What book or article would you make required reading for everyone on Earth?” Tao the Ching was the fourth most-popular text of the responses, after Fahrenheit 451, Silent Spring and The Brothers Karamazov. Marc Mullinax has spent the last two years translating Tao the 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!!
31 minutes | Jan 7, 2020
What If? The Story Of Outward Bound - Dr. John Huie
Outward Bound inspires and encourages folks to take on the seemingly impossible, awakens the service ethic, and connects young people and adults to the earth which sustains us in life. The founder of Outward Bound, Kurt Hahn wrote 80 years ago: “Five social diseases surround the young, even in early childhood. There is the decline in fitness, due to modern methods of locomotion; the decline in initiative, due to the widespread disease of spectatoritis; the decline in care and skill, due to the weakened tradition of craftsmanship; the decline in self-discipline, due to the ever-present availability of tranquilizers and stimulants; and the decline of compassion, which William Temple called ‘spiritual death.’ I regard it as the foremost task of education to insure the survival of these qualities: an enterprising curiosity, an indefatigable spirit, tenacity in pursuit, readiness for sensible self-denial, and, above all, compassion." For 18 years Dr. John Huie served as Director of the NC Outward Bound School, now headquartered in Swannanoa. He initiated the Environmental Leadership Center of Warren Wilson College in 1995 and laid the foundation for Muddy Sneakers in 2006, an environmental program for fifth grade public school students now spreading across the state. John has served as teacher, coach, headmaster and professor of education in Tennessee, Minnesota, Texas, and Ontario. He has served for the last decade as an Educational Consultant and Life Coach helping families nationwide in crisis with struggling teenagers and young adults. He holds degrees from Davidson and Emory. His Ph.D. is from the University of California, Santa Barbara. John and his wife, Jaan Ferree, live in Asheville and are parents of six children.
25 minutes | Dec 25, 2019
Faith - Michael Carter
We now know that Christmas existed before Jesus was born. That is to say that the elements of the Christmas Holiday originate from pagan sources. The Roman festival of Saturnalia took place from Dec. 18-24, followed by something called Brumalia on the 25th. Brumalia was a solstice celebration and Saturnalia was a time of celebration in honor of the god Saturn. Both festivals included feasting, drinking, and merriment. The Christmas tree traces to the tree worship of the Druids. Reindeer come from the ancient tribes of northern Europe. Thor was the yule god. Santa Claus comes from St. Nicholas and he originated with the Dutch. So the question is with all of these pagan customs, how has the holiday of Christmas survived? The Gospel stories in Matthew and Luke contradict each other. Did wise men come to visit Jesus, or was it shepherds? Do stars move across the sky and hover over a manger while shinning a light down on it? Were angels actually singing in the sky? Why are Zoroastrian priests in the story, for that is what the wise men were. Christmas is celebrated, observed, and respected by completely intelligent, literate, educated people. Is this a historical event? I submit to you that what holds Christmas in the hearts of so many is not whether it celebrates an historical event, but that it is a question of faith. Let's explore.
21 minutes | Dec 22, 2019
Loving the Darkness, Loving the Light - Annelinde Metzner and Rebecca Williams
Examine and celebrate the beauties of the two complimentary poles of time and existence, the darkness and the light. Can we accept this beautiful duality without seeing one as good and one evil? Join us as we center ourselves in the dark time of the year in our hemisphere. Recorded on 12/22/2019
24 minutes | Dec 16, 2019
Rumi, Advent, and UU's - Michael Carter
This time, for Christians in the world, is the season of Advent, from December 1 until December 24, 2019. Advent is a liturgical time of year when Christians prepare themselves for the original birth of Jesus and for his second coming as well. That latter part is significant for Christians whose theology is told in the Nicene Creed, which reads, “Jesus will come again to judge the living and the dead.” Christians who observe Advent will take this time to reflect on how their souls are ready to meet Jesus when he comes again. Unitarian Universalists generally have a different understanding of Jesus, and when we recognize the season of Advent, it is not to prepare ourselves for the second coming of Christ. Unitarian theology squarely understands the historical and religious figure of Jesus as a man, a great prophet, and like all humans who die, he will stay buried but live on in the hearts and memories of those who love him. So, on Christmas, some Unitarian Universalists will celebrate the birth of an ancient, wise prophet named Jesus of Nazareth and remember the real and symbolic births in our lives. This Sunday, I want to talk about a Rumi poem, and what this season of Advent can mean for UUs. Recorded on 12/15/2019
22 minutes | Dec 10, 2019
To Live in the Beloved Community - Michael Carter
What does community mean to you? Growing up I always thought "community" was the place where you lived, and the people that surrounded you were part of your community. And yes, that is one definition of community. Community is an important buzzword these days. People recognize that social structures are deteriorating and that people want more of a sense of connection with others. Suburbia is almost perfectly designed to keep interaction to a minimum. Consumerism and capitalism are other important factors. We’re bombarded by messages promoting individual ownership, which is supported by laws and financial institutions. But that is not what we mean when speaking about community. With that said,what does it really mean to live in and to be a part of the "Beloved Community?"