May 2020 Newsletter
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Piedmont Unitarian Universalist Church
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May 2020 Newsletter
A Letter from Your Minister
Rev. Mary Frances Comer
Dear Folks,
During a time of worldwide pandemic, we continue to gather from many locations. Though currently separated, we are also together in new ways. This reminds us that church is not a building. “Church” never was a building. It is the Beloved Community that gathers in hope and strength from house to house, circle to circle, or prayer to prayer.

This global struggle has taught us...


A Letter from Your Ministerial Intern
Holly Brown
Holly Brown
The world has changed so much in the last month. This time has offered opportunities I could not have previously imagined. Above all, it is teaching me that I can adapt and overcome challenges that these unprecedented times have presented to church life. The first Sunday of moving to a virtual service offered a crash course in how to shift format from a live service with others participating to a shorter, digital version. Since then I have helped record audio readings each week and produced the video worship on one occasion. Producing one service revealed how much work Kaarin Record Leach puts in behind the scenes to make the beautiful and seamless videos we see each week. We are truly blessed to have her and her expertise.

Additionally, I have had the pleasure of making calls to several congregants and getting to know some of you better as we work to stay connected. Finding new ways to connect has become essential to our continual support of one another.
Some of these points of connection include Mindfulness Mondays each week at 6:30 pm, a Religious Education Zoom meeting each Sunday at noon for our youth, and a second, entirely online version of the Adult RE class on Mental Health Awareness.

Each of these new challenges and opportunities serve as preparation for the next phases of my ministry. In October, I will meet with the Ministerial Fellowship Committee of the UUA (Unitarian Universalist Association) to be approved for Preliminary Fellowship. This approval will allow me to be ordained and to apply for ministry positions within the denomination across the country. I am grateful for all of you in the congregation – for those I have had the opportunity to work with on teams or committees; for the choir; for those that have shared their stories, joys, and sorrows; for all the children and youth in RE as well as the RE volunteers; and to all of the staff – each of you play a vital role in shaping the minister I am growing to become.
Our Virtual Music Program
Kaarin Record Leach
Kaarin Record Leach
As you probably already know, I truly believe in the power of collaborative singing. It’s an easy, joyful way to express our humanity and it’s best when it’s shared with others; there’s just something intrinsically wonderful about making music with other people, on both a musical and human level.

During this time of quarantine, we’ve had to find other ways to keep our musical spirits alive and that’s where Zoom comes in! Every third Sunday, we gather together from 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm for a 'Musical Mix & Mingle' where we take a few moments to check in with each other and then collectively focus on a topic related to music. This past Sunday, we were delighted to host Dr. Kristine Hurst-Wajszczuk, voice professor at University of Alabama, as she guided us through several 'Quarantine Vocalizations’ to help us keep our voices healthy. Every third Wednesday, we get together for some fun and relaxation with music games (Name That Tune, Music Trivia, etc.). It’s been a blast getting to see the other side of our UU musicians - some of them are VERY competitive!

On Facebook, we’ve created a page for our music family called 'Piedmont UU Musicians’ where we post fun things and share news of upcoming events. On a more personal level, we have a chat room called ‘GroupMe’ on our phones and we’ve been very involved with keeping up with each other through this easy-to-use, cross-platform app.

For our virtual services, we’ve had many, many people volunteer their musical talents and I’ve been teary-eyed at the beauty and quality of music that each of those singers and instrumentalists have shared.

If you’re interested in participating in our virtual musical program, please email me at kaarin@puuc.org and we can discuss what you’re interested in. Just because we’re not meeting in person at the moment doesn’t mean we’re not still making music. Please know that our music program is still here, it’s still strong, and we’ll be back in the saddle (or choir chairs, rather) soon. Be well, friends!
- Kaarin Record Leach
Town Hall — Sunday, May 3rd
Your Board of Trustees wants you to know that we are still here, and we want to connect with you! Please join us for a virtual Town Hall meeting on Sunday, May 3rd at 11:30 am via Zoom video conference. This gathering is an opportunity for board members to share important information about church business as well as hear from members and answer questions. All are encouraged to attend!

The Town Hall will begin at 11:30 after an abbreviated Sunday Coffee Hour. Use the following information to attend:

Heathcare worker wearing mask
We need your photos this week!
Help us create a slide show for our May 10th Sunday service by sending in your photo if you fall into one of the following categories currently or previously — even retired! (also see service description):
  • any "essential" worker (pharmacy, gas station, grocery clerks, drive-through, food/restaurant personnel, veterinary care, and all the things we may not be aware of)
  • anyone in any aspect of the medical field (EMT's, paramedics, doctors, nurses, lab techs, Candy Stripers, volunteers, chaplains, social workers, counselors, receptionists, etc.)
  • Officers? Current or former police officers
  • Armed Services? Veterans or current military personnel
  • Teachers, professors, and child care workers, etc.
The list goes on. Send a photo to info@puuc.org (preferably in your role with your name and title), and we'd like to include your photo in a montage for the May 10th service. Don't be bashful! THANK YOU!

Piedmont UU Church Members—Stay Connected on the Facebook Group
Did you know there's a Facebook group for church members? Stay in touch by joining the group. Just search for "Piedmont UU Church Members" on Facebook and ask to join.

UUA GA Online Graphic on Computer Screen
Changes Related to UUA GA
The in-person 2020 General Assembly in Rhode Island has been cancelled and will be presented virtually this year. Registration Cost: $150; however, some aspects of GA are available to the public at no charge including the following:

  • Synergy Bridging Worship
  • The Service of the Living Tradition
  • Sunday Morning Worship

See UUA.org/ga for more details. We will share more as more becomes available in the June newsletter as well.

PUUC and UU the Vote
PUUC is joining with UU The Vote offering PUUC members ways to engage as many folks as possible in the upcoming election. We get to dig deep and reach far to renew the hope and reinforce possibilities for change. Please join us—the more, the merrier! Our power is in our people and our dedication to our values.

About UU The Vote: UU the Vote is a non-partisan faith initiative to engage our neighbors, educate our communities, mobilize voters, and rally around key ballot initiatives. All through 2020, the UUA is supporting congregations and UU organizations in activating thousands of Unitarian Universalists to mobilize for electoral justice at the local, state and national levels.

PUUC members Beth Foreman, Helen Gardiner-Parks, Eileen Hanson-Kelly, and Vivian Lord will be leading the effort locally. They will be asking for your participation from the comfort of your home—community safety measures will not stop us getting out the vote!

WHAT CAN YOU DO NOW? As discussed at the Town Hall meeting, the first major initiative will be postcard writing to individuals who have been removed from voter registration rolls, and more than likely, aren’t aware of it. Lisa Garcia-Sampson, Executive Director for UU Forward Together, states that the UUA will support the effort financially with buying the postcards, postage and other materials. Please go to the website, bit.ly/ROVPostcardHome or watch

The captains will be following up next week with the specific logistics surrounding the post card writing. Also each week we will be including important voter activities that you can do surrounding voter registration, absentee voting and so forth.

Fellowship Options
Would you like to receive an email reminder for any of these groups? Please email  deb@puuc.org  to sign up.
Weekly Groups
Mindful Mondays
Mindfulness Mondays with Holly from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. - Bring a quote or short excerpt or song to share as we discuss what's helping us get through the more difficult days.

Thankful Thursdays
Thankful Thursdays with Rev. Mary Frances from noon to 1:00 - 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.

Ethical Explorations
Meeting (online) Sunday mornings, 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 ). The group is currently discussing  Every Time I Learn the Meaning of Life, They Change It  by Daniel Klein.

Coffee Hour on Sundays
Join us at 11:00 for a virtual coffee hour for both gatherings.
Or By Phone: 1-312-626-6799, 330592758#, 263333#
Recurring Groups
Music Game Night
Wednesdays: April 29, May 20, June 10, July 1 (every third Wednesday, 7 pm-8:30 pm)
This Zoom gathering is a time to relax and have fun through leader-guided music games including Music Trivia, Name That Tune, and more. Contact  kaarin@puuc.org  for more information.

Sunday Music Mix & Mingle
SUNDAYS: May 10, May 31, June 21, July 12 (every third Sunday, 4 pm - 5:30 pm)
Every third Sunday, we gather to chat, check in, and learn something new. The first part of the Zoom meeting allows us a moment to share what’s going on in our lives and the second part gives us the opportunity to focus more deeply on a topic related to music. Contact  kaarin@puuc.org  for more information.

Financial Updates
Dear Beloveds,

Thank you so much for your continued generosity during the very unusual times we are facing. Most of us are on a fixed income, and for some whose jobs have been affected; their income has been affected as well. While it is normal to have a dip in our income in the first quarter as some folks pay their pledges in advance for the following year, we also recognize that some of you may be affected financially due to Covid-19 related restrictions. Therefore, there are two things I'd like to share:

1. If you are in need, please let us know. We have a limited amount of funds in our discretionary account which is set aside each year specifically to help members and friends in need. Please do not go without groceries, gas, prescriptions, etc. E-mail deb@puuc.org or maryfrances@puuc.org for more information.

2. If you have an abundance — especially given the unexpected checks some are receiving from the government, please consider helping shore up our pledges and offerings while some are unable to give as they normally do.
Stay home; stay safe; stay well. And for those of you who are working daily, we love you and hold you in our hearts each day in a most protective way!

Peace and Light,

~Rev. Mary Frances

Piedmont UU Church Financial Health: March 2020

Monthly Income   $23,376
Monthly Expense   ( $19,368)
Monthly Mortgage Principal Payment ($1,723)
Monthly Cash Flow  ($2,286)

Year to Date Income   $50,705
Year to Date Expense  ($58,170)
Year to Date Mortgage Principal Payments ($5,026)
Year to Date Cash Flow  ($12,491)

Would you like to contribute to the financial health of our congregation?  Click here to make a donation now. Thank you for your generosity.
Collection Plate
The Board of Trustees and The Generosity Team
THANK YOU
for your generous and ongoing support
of our ministries.
Pledges and offerings for our shared plate
 may be made online at our website, www.puuc.org
This Month's Shared Offering Plate
The Terrie Hess House Child Advocacy Center

The Terrie Hess House Is a nationally-accredited child advocacy center established in 2005. Their facility provides an environment where child victims of abuse (aged 0-17) and their non-offending caregivers receive

  • Family and Victim Advocacy in court
  • Forensic interviews
  • Mental Health Intervention with counselors trained in trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy
  • And Medical Evaluations and pediatric health care

All services are provided at absolutely no cost to the client or their families. They serve all children regardless of their race, religion, gender, gender identity, or socio-economic background.

These services are provided in a collaborative, multi-disciplinary environment that involves members of all local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies operating in Rowan County, the Rowan County Dept. of Social Services, the Rowan County District Attorney's Office, the Rowan-Salisbury School System, the Rowan County Guardian ad-Litem Office, and many other investigatory and support agencies.

The Terrie Hess House is accredited by National Children’s Alliance recognizing it as a best-practices facility. For more information, go to https://www.preventchildabuserowan.org/terrie-hess-house-child-advocacy-center
May Services
You can find our Sunday services online at www.puuc.org/worship .
Sunday, May 3, 2020

“What is Church During and After a Time of Pandemic?”
Rev. Mary Frances Comer
During this time of worldwide pandemic, we gather from many locations in North and South Carolina and beyond. Together, yet altogether separate, we are reminded that church is not a building. Church never was a building. Join us as we consider what church looked like before Covid-19, what it looks like now, and how things will shift as we direct our energies, our prayers, our offerings, and our gifts of love and service to one another in this postmodern age and in the future post-Covid age to come.
Sunday, May 10, 2020

“All the Days of May: A Time to Honor Many Heroes Among Us"
Rev. Mary Frances Comer
Today is Mother's Day, but did you know it's also national Clean Up Your Room Day? The month of May holds many interesting and special observances, including Date your Mate Month and Recommitment Month (Are those two related?!). It also includes Nurse's Week, National Police Week, and EMS (Emergency Medical Services Week). It also includes National Teacher's Day and National Child Care Provider's Day, and Armed Services Day. There are many more, including National Photograph Month. On that note, if you fall into any of the categories above, would you send us a photo of you with your name and title (e.g., ANYONE in the medical services — nurses, doctors, Candy Stripers, receptionists, lab techs, phlebotomists, chaplains, social workers, counselors, etc.) Teachers? Those serving or served in the Armed Services? GILs? Officers? In fact, anyone in any service field who is deemed an "essential worker" right now, we'd like to honor and thank you. Please send your photos to info@puuc.org by May 6!
Sunday, May 17, 2020

“May WE Love"
Holly Brown
Today, we highlight May as Mental Health Awareness Month. Mental Health and Mental Illness has an impact on everyone in some way. Now, in this unprecedented time of pandemic, many of us are feeling the impact of global trauma, isolation, and anxiety due to uncertainty. Awareness and acceptance of these things are essential so that we may support and hold one another as fully as possible.
Sunday, May 24, 2020
“A Service of Music and Poetry"
Today is a music-rich service with poetry and readings to uplift and nurture your spirit! Join us for this special service featuring our talented Director of Music, Kaarin Record Leach, and several other of our own gifted musicians.
Sunday, May 31, 2020
Rose Hamid, guest speaker
“Ramadan: A Pillar of Islam"
This week, we welcome back Rose Hamid, Muslim, Mother, and Activist. Last year she spoke to us about her pilgrimage to Mecca, one of the Pillars of Islam. Today, she will share what it has been like to experience Ramadan during this time of Covid-19.
Community News
Charlotte Pride & Charlotte Black Pride Updates
Charlotte Pride & Charlotte Black Pride have announced the cancellation of all in-person Pride events originally scheduled for July and August 2020. Read the full announcement: (see charlottepride.org)
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
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