October 2019 Newsletter
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Piedmont Unitarian Universalist Church
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This month's theme: Belonging
A Letter from Your Minister
Rev. Mary Frances Comer
Choose to belong, and then belong with all your heart. 
~Rev. Mary Frances Comer

Dear Folks,
Welcome to fall and to the monthly theme of Belonging. Numerous questions came to mind as I pondered “belonging.” Each question led to another. To what or to whom do we belong?

We belong to one another; we belong to ourselves; we belong to Mother Earth. We belong with those we love. We belong here at Piedmont UU Church as part of Beloved Community. Pondering on, I considered our relationships to this thing we call church.

How do we engage? How do we show up? How do we...

Musical Mindset and Performance Anxiety
Kaarin Record Leach
Kaarin Record Leach
As the lovely month of October moves in, we’ll be focusing on discussions about belonging and how it relates to our humanity. As you’ve all surely experienced, making music is one of the greatest human activities we can participate in to foster a feeling of belonging. Many people have no qualms about standing in front of a group and sharing the music inside them; others, however, can hardly bear the thought of having to face an audience. As I’ve moved through the years in the roles of music educator and choir director, I’ve seen countless...

Rabbit and Puppy
The Blessing of the Animals ~ This Sunday at both Gatherings
Join us this Sunday as we gather to celebrate our fellow creatures on this annual Blessing of the Animals Day. All well-behaved and social members of "the interconnected web of all existence" are welcome. If your animal friend would be more comfortable at home, feel free to bring a photo of your furry, feathery, or scaley friend to be blessed or remembered.
October 6th — 1st Sunday Food Drive at Both Gatherings

A note from Anne Laukaitis about the University Gathering Food Drive: Please remember students in need of food by contributing to the 1st Sunday Food Drive. Donations will go the Jamil Niner Student Food Pantry at UNC Charlotte. Donations can be left at any time in the church entry. Suggested items: Peanut Butter and Jelly, Tuna, Macaroni and Cheese, Spaghetti, Noodles, Chicken Broth, Tomato Sauce, Oatmeal, Cereal (any kind), Granola Bars, Apple Sauce, Cereal, Crackers, Ramen Noodles. Contact Anne Laukaitis at annelauklaitis@gmail.com if you would like to deliver food. Pantry receives donations Tuesday through Thursday 2 to 5 p.m. and is conveniently located adjacent to the campus.
Piedmont Unitarian Universalist Church
Social Action Team Survey

If you didn't fill out the survey at church on Sunday, please complete it online. Click here to take the survey.

Earlier in 2019, the congregation voted on Environmental Justice as our social action focus
for the upcoming year. We’ve been hard at work to provide you with the following opportunities
for involvement.
Please complete this survey by October 11th. 

Piedmont Unitarian Universalist Church
Notice of Congregational Meeting
Sunday, October 13, 2019, at 11:00 a.m.

Members, attend in person at the University Gathering or remotely via video conferencing from the Salisbury Gathering

The Board has approved the following topics to be presented for congregational vote:
  • Bylaw Amendment (Petition submitted with required signatures on September 13 and given to the Board Secretary).
  • Mission Statement
  • Covenant
All members are urged to attend this important annual meeting. 
Only members are permitted to vote and will sign in to establish the quorum prior to the meeting. 
Yard Sale
Salisbury Gathering Yard Sale at Temple Israel
Saturday, October 19th, 8 a.m. - 2 p.m.

If you are interested in helping to plan this annual fundraising event please contact Beth Foreman at: foremanbeth.9@gmail.com.

Your cast-offs are someone else's treasures!!
Brave Step, Going Forward ~ Survivors to Thrivers, and Piedmont Unitarian Universalist Church were pleased to host A Cup of Courage event on Saturday, September 21st at our University Gathering. Special thanks to Lucy (pictured above) for her help with this Saturday morning workshop. 
Tipped boat
Up Mallard Creek Without a Paddle
Goods and Services Auction
November 9th, 2019

Don't miss the excitement and fun at our annual auction and help the church raise some funds. Be the high bidder and you will get some awesome items in return! Doors open at 5:30 pm for the silent auction and refreshments. The live auction begins at 7:00 pm. If you haven't seen our auctioneer, Doug Wall, in action, you are missing out.

The success of our Goods and Services auction fundraiser depends on your generous donations. If you haven't made your contribution yet, it's not too late to submit your forms. To ensure inclusion in the auction catalog, get your donation form in by Sunday, October 27th. Contributions received too late to be included in the catalog will appear in our supplement which will be available on auction night. However, items in the catalog generate more interest and often higher bids so it's best to submit your donation form by the deadline.

Auction forms are available at the church or online. Click here for the online form.

Drop off donation forms on Sundays to Pat Wall or send by email to auction@puuc.org .

A Reading Recommendation from ADORE (A Dialogue on Race and Ethnicity)

Addressing "Educational Malpractice" ~ The 1619 Project
The New York Times has launched an initiative called The 1619 Project to reframe the history of slavery in the United States to coincide with the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first slave ship in 1619. This project addresses the systemic racism imbedded in our educational system — a system that teaches our children (and taught us) a very watered down and euphemistic version of "truth" regarding the history of the slavery in the United States. If you were told it was part of a system of commerce rather than a human rights atrocity, then you'll find valuable information in this project. Click on this link to go to The 1619 Project website where you'll find a series of essays (e.g., an essay from Bryan Stevenson on how slavery has defined our current prison system) and more. 
There are also free curriculum guides and activities for teachers developed by the Pulitzer Center at pulitzercenter.org/1619.
Hand holding seedling
Living the Change ~ from our Social Action Team
Thanks to our Social Action Team (and especially Dede Mitchell), we're offering weekly ideas for actions that will help us in our efforts toward environmental sustainability. Here are your ideas for the month of October. You'll see these in our weekly e-news as well. Thank you, Dede!

As a follow-up to the Climate Strike on September 20 and the UN Climate Actions Summit on September 23, contact your Senators and urge them to support the International Climate Accountability Act (S.1743).
On June 5th, 2019, the International Climate Accountability Act (S.1743) was introduced in the Senate, calling upon the President to develop and submit a plan for the United States to meet its commitments under the Paris Agreement, and to prohibiting the funding of efforts towards our nation’s withdrawal from it. This bipartisan bill is cosponsored by 46 Senators. (President Trump has announced that the United States would withdraw from the Paris Agreement, an international treaty signed by the United States and 193 other nations to address climate change. The goal of the agreement is to work cooperatively to prevent the global temperature from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius, and strive to keep the rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius. The agreement is a major step towards averting the climate crisis and ensuring a livable future for all peoples and our planet.)

Create authentic relationship with your homeplace. Pay deep attention to your landscape and learn from it. Design a plan to protect it.
Robin Wall Kimmerer (in her fabulous book, Braiding Sweetgrass) says that we can learn from the land we live on to be in right relation without cultural appropriation. “Indigenous ways of knowing" means acting from a relationship with your local landscape, ally-ship with the land herself. Protection can be as immediate as a commitment not to use pesticides or other poisons and as far-reaching as establishing a conservation easement for the land.

Plant a tree
A tree can absorb as much as 48 pounds of carbon dioxide per year and can sequester 1 ton of carbon dioxide by the time it reaches 40 years old

This Halloween, make a costume from what you have at home.
Purchased costumes create unnecessary waste. Consider what you have on hand and brainstorm & share ideas with friends. Here's a link to an aricle with suggestions: https://earth911.com/living-well-being/events-entertainement/eco-friendly-halloween-costumes/
Board of Trustees
Meeting Highlig hts
September 19, 2019

Meeting Highlights:
  • Members are planning two important congregational meetings on Sunday, October 15, and Sunday, December 22. Details will be shared with members soon.
  • The work of the Policy Committee is nearing completion. Bylaws and board policies will be completed and voted on by the end of 2019.
  • Members voted to establish an RE teacher position and to hire Emma Gardiner-Parks as permanent RE teacher. Cady Gardiner-Parks was hired as nursery teacher.

The board extended thanks to the following:
  • Jim Craig for his work to add a small deck area to the back entrance of the meeting house.
  • Michael Demby for his work in researching additional cameras to ensure campus safety.
  • Sam Treadaway, Resa Treadaway and all who helped with planning the recent Gala.
  • Resa Treadaway and the Generosity Team for their work on our canvass: Dede Mitchell, Robin Mara, Rich and Karen Haag, Teresa Rowell, and George Bame

Rev. Mary Frances thanked the following members in her monthly report to the board:
  • Lucy Neel for helping with hospitality for our Cup of Courage Event.
  • To EVERYONE involved in our UG yard sale -
  • Checkout - Sue Friday, Lynne Godfrey, Karen Haag, Lucy Neel, Cathy Tata
  • Organizing - Becky Schisler
  • Day before and day of volunteers- Sue Cunningham, Michael Demby, Jeff Jennings, Resa Treadaway, Christine O’Donnell, Pam Whistler, Frank Mabrey, Gail Haley, Anne Laukaitis, Mehl Renner, Merna and Karl Hesse, Molly McGoff, Lou Gardiner-Parks Diane Daum, Amanda Howard, Connie Byrne, Elaine Deck, Nancy DeLux, Sam Treadaway, Nancy Smith, Judy Poler, Pat Wall, Doug Wall, Glen McLaughlin and Meredith Norman (took care of all our advertising needs!)
  • Resa Treadaway and the Generosity Team for their work on our canvass: Dede Mitchell, Robin Mara, Rich and Karen Haag, Teresa Rowell, and George Bame
  • Special thanks to Deb Davelka for her support work around the Generosity Campaign.
  • Michael Demby and Jim Craig for campus improvements.
  • Thanks to an anonymous donor who will be funding some improvements to the face of our campus (road side entry area, etc.) which is the first impression of passersby.
  • Thanks to the ongoing work of our policy committee and especially Elaine Slaton for her leadership.
  • Big thanks to our Finance Committee and our treasurer, Lou Gardiner-Parks, for their work on the 2020 budget process.
  • Thanks to Glen McLaughlin for his research into board leadership models and to our board for their healthy, open-minded, and open-hearted approach to leadership.

Fellowship Events in October
Table setting
Monthly Fellowship Dinner: Soup, Salad, and Breadsticks
Wednesday, October 23rd, 5:30-6:30 p.m.
University Gathering Sanctuary

Join us for food and fellowship at our fellowship dinner in October. Our menu for this month will be soup, salad, and breadsticks. Please email Ali ( all.star@mac.com) for information on dietary restrictions, or to help with set-up or clean-up. Donations are accepted but not required.
October Game Night
Friday, October 25th, 6:00-9:00 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. Youth 12+ are welcome if accompanied by an adult. Questions? Email Ali at all.star@mac.com.
Piedmont UU Church Financial Health: August 2019

August Income   $15,724
August Expense $21,744
August Cash Flow ($6,020)

Year to Date Income   $151,745
Year to Date Expense  ($153,094)
Year to Date Cash Flow   ($1,349)

Would you like to contribute to the financial health of our congregation?  Click here to make a donation now. Thank you for your generosity.
Community Event:
Film Screening: Becoming Beloved Community
Sunday, October 20th from 4 to 6 p.m.
Hosted by St. Luke's Episcopal Church (131 W. Council St., Salisbury, NC 28144)

William Faulkner famously wrote that, "The past isn't dead. It isn't even past." The wounds of racism are still painful in our community and the path towards healing comes not through ignoring the past but rather by telling the truth with an expectation that God's reconciling love can heal all wounds. St. Luke's Episcopal Church, in thanks to a Mission Endowment Grant from the Diocese of North Carolina, has created a video series intended to give voice to the past. Full-length interviews with Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, the Bishop of North Carolina, Samuel Rodman, and five African-Americans who grew up in the Jim Crow era of Salisbury will be released. On October 20 at 4pm in the St. Luke's Parish Hall, we will premier a video which weaves the stories from all of these interviews to tell the story of race in Salisbury. Following the 18 minute video, we will have a panel discussion by several people who were interviewed for this project. All are welcome to attend. 

This event is part of a series of community offerings on the theme of racial reconciliation and healing. During the weekend of November 8-10th, 2019, St. Luke's will host Dr. Catherine Meeks and Bishop Will Willimon. For more information, please visit www.sls.church/beloved-community.html

October Services
9:45 a.m. at the University Gathering
12:30 p.m. at the Salisbury Gathering
Sunday, October 6, 2019

"A Service for the Blessing of the Animals"
Rev. Mary Frances Comer
Today, we gather to celebrate our fellow creatures! Join us for this Annual Animal Blessing Day. All well-behaved and social members of "the interconnected web of all existence" are welcome. If your animal friend would be more comfortable at home, feel free to bring a photo of your furry (or scaley) friend to be blessed or remembered.
Sunday, October 13, 2019

"Stepping Into the Center – The Gift of Belonging"
Rev. Mary Frances Comer
Today we honor National Coming Out Day (held on October 11th). We are a welcoming congregation, and we invite you to bring all of who you are to be a part of this community.
Sunday, October 20, 2019

"The Music In You – Listening to the Song of our Souls"
Rev. Mary Frances Comer
Our theme for October is Belonging. Today we consider the power of belonging on your own terms by being true to who you are in terms of your desires, your goals, your beliefs, and your dreams.
Sunday, October 27, 2019

University Gathering
"We Are Made Up of Stories"
Holly Brown, Ministerial Intern
Today as we finish up our monthly theme on belonging, we consider how stories create a point of connection, of belonging. 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.

Salisbury Gathering
Guest Speaker, Marsha Kelly
Join us today as Marsha Kelly speaks about her experiences with the Migrant Assistance Program over the last year. 

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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