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Piedmont Unitarian Universalist Church
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February 2021 Newsletter
BLACK LIVES MATTER
A Word from the Ministerial Intern
Holly Brown
Brown
Hello Beloveds,

This month our theme is Deepening Mercy. There is more than one definition but we will focus mostly on compassion or forgiveness and a blessing or favor bestowed upon another. This theme can be found in our Principles, not as the word mercy itself, but certainly among the definition. Our second principle calls us to affirm "justice, equity, and compassion in human relations." Furthermore, the first principle is informed by the extension of mercy to all people by recognizing the "inherent worth and dignity of every person." Mercy allows us to see and live out the recognition of the full humanity in one another and in all life on our planet.

Throughout February, we are blessed with the presence of not one, but three special guest speakers and a service provided by Side With Love to bring their 30 Days of Love series to a close. We are grateful to Chaplain Shakeisha Holton Gray, Rabbi Dr. Andrew Ettin, and Rev. Amy Brooks for the gift of the messages they will share with us.

May you all find where mercy has appeared in your lives or recognize when we respond from a position of mercy in our day-to-day interactions.

May you all be well,
Holly Brown, Ministerial Intern
February's Touchstones Journal: Mercy
Click on the image above to read the full journal.
HKONJ 2021 Flyer
HKonJ People's Assembly Virtual Event — "Hope in Action"
Sat., February 13, 2021, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
The Historic Thousands on Jones Street (HKonJ) People’s Assembly Coalition is made up of the more than 125 North Carolina NAACP branches, youth councils, and college chapters from across the state and members of over 200 other social justice organizations.

This year's Moral March on Raleigh & HKonJ People's Assembly will take place online. Visit the NAACP North Carolina website to take the 2021 Early Mobilization Pledge and/or sign up to volunteer.
Peanut Butter Jar
First Sunday Food Drive in Salisbury
Thanks to the Foremans for hosting our new drop-off location for our First Sunday Food Drive in Salisbury. Items may be left at their home (contactless in their garage) from Saturday through Sunday afternoons at 5:15 the first weekend of the month at 200 Sheridan Drive (28144). Thank you for your ongoing donations for this important ministry!

For the University Gathering area, please drop off food directly at your favorite pantry. Our donations help serve a significant homeless population these winter months.
Image advertising Newcomer Orientation
Newcomer Orientation
Monday, February 15th at 6:30 p.m.
If you're a newcomer to Unitarian Universalism or to Piedmont UU Church and would like to learn more about either, or if you're interested in becoming a member, we welcome your participation in this event led by Holly Brown, Ministerial Intern, and Membership Team members. RSVP to the membership team at membership@puuc.org for the meeting details and Zoom link.
Illustration of video conference
Monthly Salisbury Gathering Fellowship
Friday, February 26th at 6:30
All friends and members of PUUC are welcome to attend this Friday night fellowship. We will open with a chalice lighting and reading and then have a time of discussion and check-in.
From the Side with Love website:

Thirty Days of Love is our annual celebration that runs approximately from Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in January through Valentine’s Day in February. It is an opportunity to lift up the ways Unitarian Universalists and many of our partner organizations are building and organizing by taking bold, courageous action for intersectional racial justice.

In 2021, 30 Days of Love will focus on four themes from a recently published report called Widening the Circle of Concern, which was developed by the Commission on Institutional Change, a UUA Board commissioned group charged with researching, reporting, and making recommendations for transforming white supremacy and other oppressions in the institutional history and practices of the UUA and its 1,000-plus congregations and covenanted communities.
Flyer for 30 Days of Love
The 8th Principle
Last month, the Rev. Mary Frances Comer shared some information about the 8th Principle. To learn more about the 8th Principle visit the 8th Principle of UU website. The website includes information about the history, the importance of now, and the intent of signaling out racism. Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism (BLUU) has called for the inclusion of the 8th principle.
Fellowship Options
Sundays
Ethical Explorations
Meeting (online) Sunday mornings at 9:00 a.m., this is an open group that collectively choose books, magazine articles, etc. to focus attention on various ethical questions. If you have questions or would like to be added to the group email list, please contact George Bame (gbame@pobox.com).

Sunday Morning Interactive Service, 11:00 a.m. (Zoom Room opens at 10:45)

Mondays
Piedmont Meditation Sangha
Monday Night Meditation
Meditation and discussion Mondays at 7 pm.
All are welcome. Contact Pema Tara for more information at 413-358-2626.

Attend by using any of the following options:

Wednesdays
Music at Piedmont UU
Virtual Choir Rehearsal
Wednesdays at 7:00 pm
All are welcome! Visit puuc.org/music/musicschedule/ for the complete schedule and Zoom links, or contact kaarin@puuc.org.

Thursdays
Thankful Thursdays
Currently on hiatus; will resume on February 24th
Thankful Thursdays with Rev. Mary Frances at 12:15 p.m.
Bring your lunch to the computer screen as we dine together and chat. We will begin with a check-in and sharing of something we are grateful for as we seek to focus our gaze on what is right in the world and what we're thankful for in our own daily lives.

Financial Updates

Piedmont UU Church Financial Health: December 2020

Monthly Income   $23,933
Monthly Expense   ($20,432)
Monthly Mortgage Principal Payment ($1,755)
Monthly Cash Flow $1,746

Year to Date Income   $214,789
Year to Date Expense  ($234,632)
Year to Date Mortgage Principal Payments ($20,430)
Year to Date Cash Flow  ($40,273)

To contribute to the financial health of our congregation, click here to make a donation now. Thank you for your commitment of Beloved Community.

Collection Plate
This Month's Shared Offering Plate
February's 50/50 Plate Recipient — Poor People's Campaign
In the coming year, the group states that, "our ranks will increase as we broaden our efforts and stretch the banner of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival even wider. We rise together because:
  1.    We rise to demand that the 140 million poor and low-income people in our nation — from every race, creed, color, sexuality and place — are no longer ignored, dismissed or pushed to the margins of our political and social agenda.
  2.    We rise not as left or right, Democrat or Republican, but as a moral fusion movement to build power, build moral activism, build voter participation, and we won’t be silent any more!
  3.     We rise to change the moral narrative and demand that the interlocking injustices of systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, the war economy/militarism and the distorted moral narrative of religious nationalism all be ended.
  4.    We rise to challenge the lie of scarcity in the midst of abundance.
  5.    We rise to lift the voices and faces of poor and low-income Americans and their moral allies with a new vision of love, justice, and truth for America that says poverty can be abolished and change can come."

Learn more about the Poor People's Campaign on their website.

The Shared Plate partner for the month receives 50% of undesignated/non-pledge offerings. You can support our Shared Plate partners even when we aren't meeting in person via the website. Select Give Now under the generosity menu and select "plate collection" for the fund.Thank you for your generosity!
Interactive February Services
Guest Speakers in February
During the month of February, we are honored to welcome back Chaplain Shakeisha Holton Gray, Rabbi Dr. Andrew Ettin, and Rev. Amy Brooks of Greenfaith. We will also join our fellow UU's around the country in participating in the special February 14th service hosted by the UUA and 30 Days of Love.
Sunday Schedule:

Attend by using any of the following options:

View services from previous Sundays via our video channel.
Sunday, February 7, 2021

Chaplain Shakeisha Gray, guest speaker
We are honored to welcome back Shakeisha Gray as our guest speaker. Shakeisha is a candidate for ministry with the UUA and is endorsed by the American Humanist Society as a chaplain. She is in the midst of a year long CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education) Residency as a chaplain at Wake Forest Baptist Health in Winston-Salem and volunteers as a certified death doula. Shakeisha will speak to us on the following: "You okay? No, I Mean Really?" We ask this question all the time, "are you okay?" but do we really want the answer, or better yet, when we're asked, do we really want to give an answer? Especially the truth? Shakeisha will explore this question (and others), the answer (and others), from the lens of her work as a hospital chaplain, especially as a hospital chaplain during a global pandemic when so many things have been lost to us. Let's share a moment of pause and reflection to ask ourselves, are we okay? No, really?
Sunday, February 14, 2021

“Side With Love Sunday”
Special Service Hosted by the UUA and 30 Days of Love

What if to "side with love" meant making bold, faith-full choices? What if it were even a little bit scary? This worship service brings together worship leaders and musicians from across the country to offer hopeful, moving, challenging reminders about what we, as Unitarian Universalists, are called to do, and BE, in the world.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Rabbi Dr. Andrew Ettin
This week we welcome the Rabbi Andrew Vogel Ettin. He was ordained by Aleph—The Alliance for Jewish Renewal. Rabbi Andrew Vogel Ettin has been the Spiritual Leader of Temple Israel, Salisbury, NC since 1990. He is a former regional Board member of the Union for Reform Judaism and former board member of its national Committee on Interreligious Affairs. Rabbi Ettin participates actively in interfaith and interracial community social and religious programs throughout central North Carolina.
Sunday, February 28, 2021

“Sacred People; Sacred Earth Day of Action”
Rev. Amy Brooks

This week we welcome back the Rev. Amy Brooks of Greenfaith. Rev. Amy served for many years with Charlotte’s Regional AIDS Interfaith Network and more recently as the minister of the UU Fellowship of Lake Norman. She’s on the board of the Mecklenburg Metropolitan Interfaith Ministry and the UU Justice Ministry of North Carolina. She will share some about an upcoming Greenfaith initiative. "The world needs a compassionate, just response to COVID-19 and climate change, and people of faith need to lead the way."
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. 
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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
Sean Glover, Religious Education Lead Teacher — sean@puuc.org
Kaarin Record Leach, Director of Music — kaarin@puuc.org