February 2020 Newsletter
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Piedmont Unitarian Universalist Church
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This month's theme: Resilience
A Letter from Your Minister
Rev. Mary Frances Comer
Dear Folks,

Welcome to February and to our monthly theme of RESILIENCE.

Definitions of this word vary a bit from source to source. Some focus on the physical aspect of resilience or “elasticity,” i.e., the tendency of a thing or person to “spring back into shape.” Others mention our human ability to recover “easily” or “quickly” from difficulties, misfortunes, or “compressive stress.” Recovering easily or quickly is not the gold standard of resilience. There are times when resilience feels more like an intentional process, especially after that “compressive stress.”

We’ve all been through difficulties, hurt, grief, trauma, pain. And, yet, here we are—on the other side of that—or making our way to the other side. Consider how amazing you are—having made it through every difficult circumstance you’ve experienced in life!

Dr. Ken Ginsburg focuses on what children need to develop internal resilience. He calls his model The 7 C’s of Resilience and believes children need to see adults model the following as they develop their own resilient nature: competence, confidence, connection, character, contribution, coping, and control. He also speaks of the importance of modeling creativity and generosity.

Having recently gone through a fire (literally), as I take inventory of Dr. Ginsburg’s list, one of the C’s stands out for me...


Caring for Your Voice During the Winter Months
Kaarin Record Leach
Kaarin Record Leach
As you probably know, urban legends and ‘old wives’ tales’ gain steam during the winter months when it comes to the catching of colds and the spreading of germs. I am most definitely NOT a medical professional but I do know a few things about vocal health. I thought I’d share some info on how to keep those vocal folds primed during the bitter winter months...


HKonJ Flyer
Plan to Attend HKonJ! The Moral March on Raleigh on February 8th
If you're going to HKonJ (Historic Thousands on Jones Street), be sure to take photos to share with those in our beloved community who are not able to march.
Click here for more information.
Musicians Tom Eure and Amelia Osborne
Tom Eure and Amelia Osborne Concert
Saturday, Feb 8th at the University Gathering
We are fortunate, indeed, to have Tom Eure and Amelia Osborne perform for us at Piedmont Unitarian Universalist Church, Saturday Feb 8th. This musical duo of singer/ songwriters offers up a heartfelt fusion of Folk, Celtic, and Appalachian influences. ( www.tomeure.com )

$20.00 dinner and concert (ALL money goes to PUUC). We have some tickets available. Pre-sale only. Go to link below and purchase by Friday 2/7. Tickets include dinner, and there will be a cash bar for those interested in beer or wine.

Progress with the Piedmont Meditation / Memorial Garden

Plans are moving forward for the Piedmont Memorial/Meditation Garden! Landscape Architect Laurel Holtzapple successfully completed the conceptual design for the garden, which was approved unanimously by the garden committee and shared with the entire congregation. Laurel is now preparing construction plans. When they are completed, we will have landscape contractors bid on carrying out the construction. After we have received and reviewed the bids, we will be able to decide on the scope of the project and a timeline for completion of the project. The committee hopes...

Meditation Memorial Garden Illustration
Landscape Master Plan Illustration
Photo of brick with custom inscription
Example of Custom Brick
Adult RE Class Starting February 29th
Growing the Circle Wider — Facing the Stigma of Mental Illness

Join Ministerial Intern, Holly Brown for a four-week course on how we can be more intentionally welcoming and inclusive to individuals with mental illnesses. Mental illness affects many individuals and families deeply both within and outside of our own congregation. The goal of the class is to create greater understanding of current terminology, stigma that individuals with mental illness face, and how our religious tradition calls us to engage, which will allow the congregation to grow the caring circle of beloved community. Our tradition has long utilized spirituality in the care of individuals facing the effects of mental illness and we can continue that legacy in our own communities through answering the call to be on the side of love. 

Over the course of four weeks the participants will learn some basic information about mental illness, who it affects, and how we can work together to overcome the stigma to better live out our values as Unitarian Universalists. Attendees will be encouraged to attend all the sessions, but this is not required. We will be discussing sensitive topics so everyone that participates will be asked agree to a group covenant and to maintain confidentiality. 

The sessions are scheduled for four consecutive Saturday afternoons, February 29, March 7, March 14, and March 21, from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. The class will take place in the Board Room of the Meeting House so registration is limited to 12 people on a first come basis. Registration deadline is February 23rd. Please contact Holly Brown at holly@puuc.org if you are interested in attending or would like additional information.
Special Thanks - Blessing of the Blankets 

Thank you for your generosity! The Blessing of the Blankets on December 15, 2019 was an overwhelming success. The blankets overflowed the boxes and table as you brought them forward for the blessing. Thanks to your generosity we were able to pass along 70 blankets to the Urban Ministries Outreach & Shelter in Charlotte and 17 blankets to the Rowan Helping Ministries. As a result of your gifts we were able to share the warmth and comfort of our community with 87 people. Both shelters were very appreciative for the donations.
We have scheduled a 2nd Annual Blessing of the Blankets for December 20th, 2020. This provides the opportunity to look for and collect blankets throughout the year. 
Piles of Blankets
Donated Blankets

We couldn't provide our warm welcome without the help of these members this month:

Greeters: Amy C., Calvin C., Diane D., Sue E., Beth F., Angela K., Michelle M., Lucy N., Richard R., and Chris S.

Greeter Subs: Jenny H. and Diane L.

Service Assistants: Amy C., Calvin C., Marilin C., and Sam. T.

Nursery Assistants: Connie B., Nancy S., and Randy S.
Religious Education Assistants: Jeri E., Karen H., and Pat W.

Fellowship Events in February
Monthly Game Night
February 28, 2020
Join us for fun and fellowship! Bring a game to play, or choose something from the game library. Teens are welcome if accompanied by an adult.
Questions about Tabletop Game Night? Email Ali at all.star@mac.com.
From the Board of Trustees
Piedmont UU Church Financial Health: December 2019

Monthly Income   $41,348
Monthly Expense   ( $23,894)
Monthly Mortgage Principal Payment ($1,672)
Monthly Cash Flow   $15,782

Year to Date Income   $266,066
Year to Date Expense  ($233,991)
Year to Date Mortgage Principal Payments ($19,514)
Year to Date Cash Flow   $12,561

THANK YOU for another successful year of giving!

Would you like to contribute to the financial health of our congregation?  Click here to make a donation now. Thank you for your generosity.
This Month's Shared Offering Plate
Partners in Education Project (Mallard Creek Elementary School Garden & School Supplies)
This month, a portion of our offering goes to our Partner’s in Education (PIE) Project. In years past, our PIE funds focused on much needed school supplies for students and teachers and sometimes hygiene items for students in schools where the need was great. This year, in addition to providing supplies to our neighbor across the street (Mallard Creek Elementary School), our Social Action Team has partnered with Mallard Creek to build a vegetable garden so that students (and teachers!) can learn how to grow their own food in a world where sustainability is of ever-growing importance. If you’d like to serve as a volunteer on this project, please contact Vivian Lord!
February Services
9:45 a.m. at the University Gathering
12:30 p.m. at the Salisbury Gathering
Sunday, February 2, 2020

University Gathering:
Combined Service with Salisbury and University Gatherings
Special Guest: Dr. Rodney S. Sadler
This week we welcome back to our pulpit Dr. Rodney S. Sadler, Jr.,a graduate of Howard University (B.S. Psychology/Philosophy), Howard University School of Divinity (M.Div.), and Duke University (Ph.D. Hebrew Bible and Biblical Archaeology). Rev. Dr. Sadler has also studied at Hebrew University. He is an ordained Baptist minister and currently serves as Associate Professor of Bible at Union Presbyterian Seminary. 

Dr. Sadler's teaching experience includes courses in biblical languages, Old and New Testament interpretation, wisdom literature in the Bible, the history and religion of ancient Israel, and African American biblical interpretation. His first authored book, Can A Cushite Change His Skin? An Examination of Race, Ethnicity, and Othering in the Hebrew Bible, was published in 2005. He frequently lectures within the church and community on Race in the Bible, African American Biblical Interpretation, the Image of Jesus, Biblical Archaeology, and the Dead Sea Scrolls. He was the managing editor of the African American Devotional Bible.

Dr. Sadler served as a visiting lecturer and interim co-director of the Office of Black Church Studies at Duke Divinity School in Durham, NC, and was an associate minister in Durham, NC.
Sunday, February 9, 2020

"Resilience, Faith, and Superstition"
Rev. Mary Frances Comer
Our theme for the month is Resilience. Today we consider not only our capacity to recover from difficulties but also the source of that capacity and some of the people and things that help us along the way.
Sunday, February 16, 2020

Social Action Guest Speaker: Sustainability
Michael Lizzotte from UNCC
This week, our Social Action Team welcomes special guest, Dr. Michael Lizotte, Director of Sustainability at UNC Charlotte. He previously filled that role at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, where he served as professor of ecology and helped start an environmental studies program. Dr. Lizotte has research administration experience with an oceanography institute and NASA. To study the ecology of algae, he made 12 trips to Antarctica and 1 to the Arctic. Lizotte Creek in Antarctica is named in his honor. Join us as we learn more about sustainable living and our role in the interconnected web of all existence.
Sunday, February 23, 2020

University Gathering:
"Secrets of Success"
Rev. Mary Frances Comer
Today ends last month's series on success. We look to Helen Keller and other notables as we consider the secrets of success—one aspect of which dovetails into this month’s theme of resilience!

Salisbury Gathering:
"We are Made Up of Stories"
Holly Brown, Ministerial Intern
Today’s special service is led by our intern, Holly Brown, who will share the importance of “story” with us. Stories connect us to our past, help shape our present, and inspire our future. As individuals, as families, as communities of faith, we use stories to describe who we are and what believe. Stories can be shared in many different ways through art, writing, music, and spoken word.
Piedmont UU Church Covenant of Right Relations
Love is the spirit of this church
and service its prayer. 
We covenant to honor all spiritual paths
with hospitality, 
To assume the best of one another
from our highest selves, 
To dwell together in peace through kindness, 
And to serve others with compassion,
Honoring one another as members of Beloved Community. 
Community
Valentine's Day Party
Friday, Feb. 14th - Valentine's Day Party featuring food, dance, and a talk on relationships by Lama Lena (Yeshe Kaytup), a teacher of Direct Mind Perception Meditation and a lineage holder of several Tibetan traditions. Contact Pema Tara for more information at 413-358-2626.
Clear Light of Dharma
A three-session teaching by donation will take place at 8216 Chandos Place on Saturday, Feb. 15th - 11 to 1 & 3 to 5 p.m. Contact Pem a Tara for more information at 413-358-2626
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Quick Links
Piedmont UU Church website:  www.puuc.org  
Piedmont UU Church blog:  https://puuc.org/blog
 
Contact Us: 
Ali Allen, Administrative Assistant —  ali@puuc.org  
Holly Brown, Ministerial Intern —  holly@puuc.org
Rev. Mary Frances Comer, Lead Minister —  maryfrances@puuc.org
Deb Davelka, Congregational Administrator —  deb@puuc.org
Emma Gardiner-Parks, Religious Education teacher —  emma@puuc.org
Sean Glover, Religious Education Lead Teacher —  sean@puuc.org
Kaarin Record Leach, Director of Music —  kaarin@puuc.org