March 2020 Newsletter
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Piedmont Unitarian Universalist Church
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This month's theme: Wisdom
A Letter from Your Minister
Rev. Mary Frances Comer
Dear Folks, 
Welcome to March and to our monthly theme of Wisdom. 

In the midst of many worldly concerns, wisdom asks us to take a step back, to seek refuge and groundedness in quiet moments, to cultivate our core of compassion, and to move through life with intention and kindness. 

In her book called For Praying Outloud, L. Annie Foerster offers us the following poem, noting that we sometimes “ask for wisdom, and still settle for the courage to do what we must.” Have you been reminded lately of how...

A Note from Your Director of Music
Kaarin Record Leach
Kaarin Record Leach
Dear Congregation,

Words can’t adequately express how much your outpouring of love and concern have meant to me and my family over the last two weeks since my brother’s passing. Your cards and messages are being shared with my parents and have provided comfort during this difficult time. Please know how much you are appreciated.

With love, Kaarin 
Board of Trustees Position Filled!

The Board of Trustees is thrilled to welcome Steve Whitfield to the Board to serve in the vacated Member-At-Large position for the remainder of 2019. Steve brings an abundance of experience, skills, and valuable perspectives to our church leadership, and we appreciate his willingness to serve our beloved community! 

2020 Board of Trustees
Becky Schisler, President
Lynne Godfrey, Vice President
Lou Gardiner-Parks, Treasurer
Elaine Slaton, Secretary
Merry-Overholser, Member at Large
Doug Wall, Member at Large
Steve Whitfield, Member at Large
Hands covered in soap bubbles
Our Response to COVID-19:
A Word About Best Practices for Prevention of Illness 

Dear Beloved Community, 
We are aware of increasing concern surrounding reports of a new virus this year. The “Novel Coronavirus” or COVID-19, first detected in China, has now spread internationally. Church Mutual is keeping us abreast of the situation, and the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) note that “most people in the US have little immediate risk of exposure” to the virus at this time. Both organizations offer action steps to take during the days ahead. 

At our Gatherings, this means we will avoid...

Thank You To Our Care Team
What Does Love Look Like?

Dear All,
What a wonderful and caring beloved community we are a part of!

On February 23rd at the University Gathering, we had a moving memorial service as we celebrated the life of our dear Reny Haas with Judy and Michael and their family. I offer my deepest gratitude to every person involved in that service--from Kaarin and Becky with the soul stirring music to Rich recording to the many, many people behind the scenes looking after countless aspects of hospitality that, if done well, often go unnoticed or are taken for granted.

Our Care Team and some of our Pastoral Associates and others organized set up, helped with the reception and even with cleanup and then with setting up for Sunday morning. One of our Care Team members expressed...

Rev. Mary Frances Comer and Sam Treadaway
Celebrating the Anniversary of Piedmont’s Call to Rev. Mary Frances Comer
On March 4th, two years ago, we called Rev. Mary Frances to be our Settled Minister. Her service of installation was in December of that year. Here is a word from her regarding this special occasion:

Dear Members of Piedmont Unitarian Universalist Church,

The words “thank you” fall so short in expressing the depth of gratitude I feel for our continued shared ministry. I am so honored to serve as your minister, and my love for this community grows daily. When I was faced recently with the disruption that ensues in the aftermath of a fire, I was so supported by this community that the losses paled in comparison to the love and generosity that surrounded me during that ordeal. I personally experienced you living into our mission to Radiate Love, and I am eternally grateful to you and for you. 
Looking forward with excitement to our continued shared journey,
~Rev. Mary Frances

Music Illustration
This Saturday! Music and Fellowship Event at 7 p.m. (March 8th)
Karen & Elaine Sing-a-Long (Auction Item)
University Gathering
Karen Haag, Elaine Deck and Friends
Karen and Elaine are joined by Pierre Fraser, Kaarin Record Leach, Alan Davis, Rich Haag and Nami Nesterowitz for a night of familiar songs we can all sing or enjoy. Space is available for a few more attendees. $10.00 for music, fun, coffee, tea and treats. All proceeds benefit the church.
Spring Blossoms
Spring Equinox
Come celebrate renewal and growth during the Spring Equinox evening service hosted by our CUUPs chapter. We will gather in the sanctuary of the University Gathering at 7pm on Friday, March 20th to honor the Turning Wheel and the change of seasons. The doors will open at 6:30. Please plan to bring drums, rattles, spring decorations for the altar and a snack to share after the ritual. All are welcome!
Save-the-Date: March 22nd (6:30 p.m.) at the University Gathering
A Special Presentation Hosted by our Social Action Team with guests, Kent Crawford and Dr. Steve English
Land Water Food
Restoring Natural Biological Systems:
A Deeper View of the Environmental Crisis
Dramatic reduction in fossil fuel use is essential if we are to avoid environmental disaster but it is not enough. Even if we were to stop burning fossil fuels tomorrow, global warming would continue for decades. If we are to prevent major catastrophes, we must find a way to remove greenhouse gasses from the atmosphere.
Co2 in our atmosphere is generally thought to be the biggest contributor of greenhouse gas that lead to global warming. Most of us think of the burning of fossil fuels as the only Co2 source. 
Would you be surprised to know...
  • That most of the carbon we’ve put into the atmosphere comes from sources other than fossil fuels use?
  • That these very sources can "take back” that carbon– remove it from the atmosphere - allowing us (if we also drastically reduce fossil fuel use) to perhaps avoid the worst of the possible climate disaster scenarios?
  • That these practices can go a long way toward solving the water scarcity crisis as well?
Experience this multimedia presentation showing how current projects happening around the world today can restore natural cycles of our planet.
More information about our speakers:

Kent Crawford will also be speaking during our Sunday service at both Gatherings. In the evening, he and Dr. Steve English will give a presentation (approximately an hour long) at the University Gathering sanctuary, entitled "Land / Water / Food" with time for Q&A afterwards.
Kent Crawford, a Charlotte native, has been involved in social justice issues since high school and has been in private practice in health care for many years, the last seventeen of which have been as a neurofeedback practitioner with Charlotte Neurofeedback Associates. Prior to that he practiced and taught nutrition. Kent first became interested in environmental issues when studying at the Population Center at UNC Chapel Hill. He is a researcher for the Environmental Commons Group.
Dr. Steve English of The Environmental Commons Group practiced chiropractic medicine for 35 years, focusing on the comprehensive, overall health of thousands of individual patients. Now that he has retired, he is focusing on the comprehensive, global health of the planet, the biosphere. He has given numerous presentations (including NPR) about climate change, social justice, the Sixth Major Mass Extinction, and what we must do to give life a chance on our only home, planet Earth. Dr. English is the creator of the Silence of the Songbirds presentation.
The Piedmont Meditation Sangha welcomes Glenn Mullin
Thursday, March 26
6:30 p.m., University Gathering

Glenn is an international teacher of Tantric Buddhist meditation for the past twenty-five years.

Contact Pema Tara, Clear Light Dharma, for more information, 413-358-2626.

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

Greeters: Amy C., Karen D., Sue E., Beth F., Eileen H., Angela K., Dede M., Michelle M., Lucy N., Christine O., Cecilia R., Richard R., Chris S., Sheila W.

Greeter Subs: Jenny H. and Diane L.

Service Assistants: Cosette B., Michelle M., Lucy N., Nami N., Cecilia R.

Nursery Assistants: Connie B., Rich H.

Religious Education Assistants: Jeri E., Karen H., George J., Vivian L., and Pat W
Fellowship Events in March
Casserole dish and food on plate
Salisbury Potluck
Join the Salisbury Gathering for a potluck meal, immediately following the March 22nd service. It will be held in the sanctuary, at Temple Israel, and all are welcome. We love visitors and this is always a great time for us to relax, chat and enjoy delicious food together. Bring your favorite dish to share but please no pork products. Drinks, plates & utensils will be provided.
Monthly Game Night
March 27, 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
From the Board of Trustees
Piedmont UU Church Financial Health: January 2020

Monthly Income   $15,099
Monthly Expense   ( $19,852)
Monthly Mortgage Principal Payment ($1,648)
Monthly Cash Flow  ($6,400)

Year to Date Income   $15,099
Year to Date Expense  ($19,852)
Year to Date Mortgage Principal Payments ($1,648)
Year to Date Cash Flow  ($6,400)

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
Family Crisis Council of Rowan County
This month, our shared offering will go to the Family Crisis Council of Rowan County. They offer a 24-hour crisis line, Victim Advocates (including Spanish speaking Advocates), emergency shelter for victims (and their children) of domestic or sexual assault for up to 30 days. They provide counseling services, support groups for children. Their court advocates help victims navigate the court system, and they have advocates available all day, every day of the year for hospital accompaniment. Finally, they help connect survivors to community resources and offer Community and Professional Education to raise awareness of sexual assault, domestic violence, and human trafficking. ALL of their services are FREE of charge. For more information, you may visit their website at Family Crisis Council of Rowan County – Offering Shelter, Support, and Advocacy
March Services
9:45 a.m. at the University Gathering
12:30 p.m. at the Salisbury Gathering
Sunday, March 1, 2020

"The Wisdom Within"
Rev. Mary Frances Comer
Welcome to March and to our monthly theme of Wisdom. Today we reflect on the words of Rev. Scott Tayler who wrote: "We gather not to acquire wisdom but to remember it, to peel away the voices that leave us lost, and return again to that wisdom within, which senses and signals when wholeness is near. May that wisdom be found and guide us on our way."

Sunday, March 8, 2020

"Living a Prophetic Life"
Rev. Amy Brooks
Well, this sounds either very egotistical or like a mighty tall order. But perhaps, the world is full of prophets? So let's focus a bit and ask, what does it mean to "do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly"? Join us Sunday and reflect on what it means to live a prophetic life in 2020.
Sunday, March 15, 2020

“Blessing for the Spring Equinox”
Holly Brown & CUUPs
Join us today for a celebration of springtime and a blessing of the garden supplies for the Partners in Education school garden, Mallard Creek Elementary School. Today’s service is led by members of CUUPs (the PUUC Chapter of Covenant of UU Pagans). For this multi-generational service, youth of all ages are welcome, but nursery will be available for children under 5 years old.
Sunday, March 22, 2020

A Deeper View of the Environmental Crisis
Today, our Social Action Team welcomes special guest Kent Crawford, researcher, neurofeedback practitioner, and social activist. Dr. Crawford will speak this morning about environmental issues and then offer a special program tonight along with Dr. Steve English, environmental advocate and bird expert who focuses on global health of the planet and the difference we can make as a member of the interconnected web of all existence. Today’s speakers focus on our mission of Cultivating (Earth) Justice.
See biographies of our guest speakers in the Land Water Food event announcement above.
Sunday, March 29, 2020

"The Wisdom of Celebrating Difference and Cherishing Diversity"
Rev. Mary Frances Comer & Holly Brown
Today we honor Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV), an annual event dedicated not only to celebrating trans individuals but also to raising awareness and providing education as we seek to honor one of the aspects of our mission here at PUUC: Cherishing Diversity. 
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. 
Holly Near in Concert "Sing out the Vote"
Holly Near with Tammi Brown, Jan Martinelli and Tory Trujillo

A singer-songwriter/activist, and one of the founders of the Women’s Music movement in the 1970’s, Holly Near has been singing for a more equitable world for well over 40 creative years. Her songs “We Are a Gentle, Angry People” and “I Am Willing” are staples in the canon of social justice music. Purchase tickets here. Invite your friends! The concert will take place Sunday, Mar 29 at 6 p.m. the UU Church of Charlotte.
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Quick Links
Piedmont UU Church website:  
Piedmont UU Church blog:
Contact Us: 
Ali Allen, Administrative Assistant —  
Holly Brown, Ministerial Intern —
Rev. Mary Frances Comer, Lead Minister —
Deb Davelka, Congregational Administrator —
Emma Gardiner-Parks, Religious Education teacher —
Sean Glover, Religious Education Lead Teacher —
Kaarin Record Leach, Director of Music —