May 2019 Newsletter
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Piedmont Unitarian Universalist Church
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We hold in our hearts the following victims of the shooting at UNC Charlotte yesterday. We grieve the loss of Riley Howell (21 years old) and Ellis Parker (19 years old) and lift up their families in a spirit of loving kindness. We offer our prayers, healing energies, and our activism to these young men and to the other students who were injured:
Drew Pescaro (19) and Sean DeHart (20) of Apex; Rami Alramadhan (20) of Saihat, Saudia Arabia; and Emily Houpt (23) of Charlotte.

We also hold in our hearts with much love our many congregants and friends who work or attend classes at the university. May we shine as a beacon of love and light during this time of tragedy and pain.

The University Gathering sanctuary will be open tonight from 5:30 to 6:30 for those who would like to sit together or process in a Listening Circle. There is also a student-organized vigil at 6 p.m. at the University's Halton Arena in the Barnhardt Student Activity Center.
This month's theme: Curiosity
A Letter from Your Lead Minister
Rev. Mary Frances Comer
Dear Folks,

Our theme for May is CURIOSITY. The poet e.e. Cummings stated that “once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit."

Part of nurturing our spirits involves risking curiosity and exposing ourselves to wonder. In recent conversations with some of you...

Ongoing Work of the Meditation & Memorial Garden Committee
Anne Laukaitis, committee member
The Meditation & Memorial Garden Committee has continued to work on plans for a potential garden. In April, members interviewed leaders of teams and committees and other church members to gather thoughts and ideas about how the garden could be used. The written report that was generated was shared with the Board of Trustees, the members of the committee, and with Laurel Holtzapple, a Unitarian Universalist landscape architect our committee has chosen to design the garden. Members expressed the hope that the outdoor garden can be used for...

Salisbury Gathering banner
Upcoming Membership Events

May 5th - New Member Recognition Service
If you are a newer member who has not participated in a new member service, please RSVP to to be a part of this special day, to sign our membership book, and to receive a token of our appreciation for your presence.

Dr. Carl DuPont
A Special Surprise from Dr. Carl

Save the date for Friday, June 7th, at 7 p.m. for a concert by our own Dr. Carl DuPont. Dr. Carl has generously offered to share the program he will be taking to Europe this summer as a fundraiser for our music ministry.
From Interweave ~ LGBTQI+ and Allies

Save the Date! June 22, 2019 SALISBURY PRIDE (11 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

This year Piedmont Unitarian Universalist Church is proud to be a Rainbow Sponsor of Salisbury PRIDE where we will have a 10x10 booth at the event.

Would you like to help out at our booth this year in Salisbury? Please RSVP to to indicate your interest and availability. 

Our Next Director of Music...

I am so grateful to the following members of our wonderful interview team for their gift of time and their work on interviewing candidates for the position of Director of Music. Their efforts were key in securing a replacement for our beloved Dr. Carl as he prepares for his new position at Peabody School of Music! Our new music director will begin on June 30th. Stay tuned for more information coming soon.
Music Director Interview Team
(Pictured from Left to Right: Perry Babcock, Lynne Godfrey, Jackie Watts, Nancy DeLux, Karen Dutton, Julia Hake, and Teresa Rowell (With us in spirit: Karen Haag). 
Members of the team volunteered or were chosen to represent the following teams or aspects of our gatherings:
Perry and Nancy - Music Team and choir
Lynne - Board of Trustees
Karen D. - Worship Team
Jackie and Karen H. - University Gathering
Julia and Teresa - Salisbury Gathering (Julia is a sophomore in high school, and Teresa is one of our volunteer musicians).
Educate Collaborate Act Graphic
Social Justice Survey Update

Two listening sessions have been held (one at each Gathering) to gather your thoughts on our role in “cultivating justice” in 2019. As mentioned on Sunday, the result of our survey indicated that most respondents named EarthJustice as their top concern followed very closely by Migrant Justice. A brief report on the Migrant Assistance Project is below. The Social Justice Team, with your input, is focusing on ways we can partner together (and with community partners) to “give life the shape of justice” in 2019. Options being discussed include becoming a Green Sanctuary and offering educational opportunities. The following link will take you to a webinar about the organization called GreenFaith and its support of the Green New Deal. They describe it as “a bold and compelling proposal to transform the US energy system in a fundamentally new direction, fueled by values that so many of our religious and spiritual traditions share: love, justice, and compassion.” Learn more and download resources at
Volunteers helping the Migrant Assistance Project
Young volunteers from Piedmont UU Church
The Migrant Assistance Project

Social Justice Team Leader, Vivian Lord, reports that our congregation is responsible for feeding, clothing and putting smiles on the faces 268 asylum seekers during the month of April--159 adults and 109 children. This number is an increase of 106 more than March (162). Special thanks to all who have donated clothes, funds, or other items to this effort. We offer much gratitude to the following volunteers: Allen, Doug, James, Meike, Nancy, Pat, Richard, Susan, and Vivian.

Seekers are given hot soup, sandwiches, fruit, and a variety of snacks to go along with warm coats, socks, underwear, dental and hygiene items. Panera bread has been donating bread and pastries also. 

Vivian notes: “The families' bus ride is 2 to 3 days. We are these families' first source of physical and emotional comfort since leaving Texas. Many get back on the bus to head to Richmond, New York and Boston to meet their sponsor family or friends.”

With the warmer weather, we need bottled water, protein bars/snacks, raisin boxes (6 to a pack), deodorant, hand sanitizers (small bottles), small toys, combs, lip balm, and new briefs and socks for men, women, and children. Please feel free to come and help.
Generosity Updates ~ Giving Statements and Website Improvements

Our quarterly Giving Statements have gone out. If you did not receive yours or if you have questions, please contact our Administrator, Deb Davelka, at

If you’ve been waiting to offer a gift, now is a great time to support Beloved Community! 

Take a look at the new Generosity tab,, on our website at! We have an updated, improved page dealing with matters of generosity, pledging, and more. Once there, scroll down for a new section on Resources, including a TEDx Talk on Creating Value Together by Rachel Maxwell.
Photo of Meditation Group
Peaceful Vibes from the Piedmont Meditation Sangha
If you feel peaceful, radiant energy emanating from this recent photo, there’s a reason why. These beautiful people make up our Thursday afternoon Piedmont Meditation Sangha, and they are pictured here right before their meditation. Thanks to Pema Tara for leading this group every week at BOTH of our locations. The Salisbury Meditation Sangha is Monday night from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. at the Salisbury Gathering, and the Piedmont Meditation Sangha is Thursday afternoon from 3:30 to 5 p.m. at the University Gathering.

Sock Hop dancers
The Sock Hop of 2019!

Big thanks to Lucy, Lynne, Mimi, and Nancy for organizing a wonderful Sock Hop.
Sock Hop Photo
Sock Hop Photo
Sock Hop Photo
Fellowship Events in May
May Taco Dinner
Wednesday, May 22nd, 5:30-6:30 p.m.
University Gathering Sanctuary

Join us for food and fellowship at a taco dinner (in place of the regular pancake dinner). For questions about dietary restrictions or to help with setup or cleanup, email Ali at .
May Game Night
Friday, May 24th, 5:00-9:00 p.m.
University Gathering Sanctuary

Join us for fun and fellowship. Bring a game to share, or choose something to play from the game library. Teens welcome if accompanied by an adult. Questions? Email Ali at
Piedmont UU Church Financial Health: March 2019

March Income   $14,027
March Expense  ($21,195)
March Cash Flow   ($7,169)

Year to Date Income   $67,760  28.3% of FY
Year to Date Expense  ($58,749) 21.8% of FY
Year to Date Cash Flow   $9,012
Highlights of Board of Trustees Meeting, April 18, 2019

  • Members of the Board of Trustees approved a contract with Lighting Direct and Energy Consulting to replace and improve lighting in the sanctuary, hall and classrooms.

  • Members approved a Town Hall meeting on Sunday, May 5, 2019, following the morning service at both gatherings. Notice and agenda items will be sent shortly.

  • Members thanked Elaine Slaton, chair of the Policy Committee and fellow members Michelle Boesch, Nancy Delux, Susan Ellerman, Beth Foreman, Angela Keller, Lucy Neel, Meredith Norman, Becky Schisler and Pauline Tulson for their continuing work with developing church policies.

  • Members thanked Alan Davis for traveling to the Salisbury Gathering on several Sundays to provide music. Thanks also to Elaine Deck for contributing to music at Salisbury.

BOT Members: Becky Schisler, Glen McLaughin, Sam Treadaway, Lou Gardiner-Parks, Anne Laukaitis, Lynne Godfrey and Merry Overhoser
May Services
9:45 a.m. at the University Gathering
12:30 p.m. at the Salisbury Gathering
Sunday, May 5th, 2019

“Risking Curiosity”
Rev. Mary Frances Comer
Join us today as we consider the words of poet e.e. cummings who wrote: "Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit."

Today we will also recognize our new members during the service at the University Gathering.
Sunday, May 12th, 2019

“From Another Mother”
Sam Treadaway, guest speaker
Join us on this Mother's Day as we ponder the complexities of mothering and being mothered from many different lenses.
Sunday, May 19th, 2019

“Holy Curiosity”
Rev. Mary Frances Comer
Life after death? The Nature of Good and Evil? Inspired by Albert Einstein's call to curiosity, today we follow his advice to try to "comprehend a little each day of the mysteries of eternity, of life, and of the marvelous structure of reality." Certain that all Unitarian Universalists do not agree on "the mysteries of eternity," we do agree on honoring the chosen path of our siblings on the journey.
Sunday, May 26th, 2019

Cosette Blackmer, guest speaker                                                                

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Contact Us: 
Ali Allen, Administrative Assistant --  
Rev. Mary Frances Comer, Lead Minister--
Deb Davelka, Congregational Administrator --
Dr. Carl DuPont, Music Director --
Sean Glover, Religious Education Lead Teacher --