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Piedmont Unitarian Universalist Church
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March 2022 Newsletter
A Letter from your Co-Ministers
Shakeisha Holton Gray and Michelle Johnson
shakeisha and michelle
As we look towards our theme for March, Balance, we are both reminded of the complex and beautiful opportunities that life presents us. When we entered into this contract ministry, we knew it wasn’t long term. As we journeyed into a deeper relationship with Piedmont UU Church, we have been present to the many ways grief and loss have had its effects on our community. We have also seen the many ways joy, celebration, and opportunity have touched us all. Our professional and ministerial assessments brought us to the realization that Piedmont UU needs a different set of skills than what we have to offer. We hope for Piedmont UU to become all that it imagines for itself. Part of that is moving into a new relationship with a settled minister, which given denominational protocols means Piedmont UU must first have an interim minister. We recommended to the BOT, with guidance from the Southern Region of the UUA, that Piedmont UU begin this process now, to ensure that our community is in the proper cycle for the application and search process.

It is our hope, along with the BOT, that by entering this process now, Piedmont UU’s opportunity for finding an interim minister will be greater than when Piedmont UU previously entered (out of cycle) the search for an interim.

We’ll be here through the end of July and we will continue to do all that we can to serve you in the ways in which we all need in this liminal space. We honor the balance we all must do during this time. We love you and will continue to support you in all the ways we can. We’re still here and we’re still your ministers!

Peace and blessings for us all as we move forward,
Michelle and Shakeisha
March's Touchstones Journal: Balance
Click/tap here or on the image above to read the full journal.
Our hearts are with Ukraine. Click here to read a very helpful article from the UU office at the United Nations:

Rev. Jenn Gracen also wrote this beautiful Prayer for Ukraine.
Shakeisha and Michelle
ReGathering Letter

Piedmont Unitarian Universalist Church is reopening March 6 at 11:00 at the University Gathering. All members are welcome to worship at our University Gathering for now. A date for worshiping at our Salisbury Gathering will be announced soon. We’re excited to introduce our new pianist, Anne Pengilly, that day.

The Regathering Committee created our new...

Around the World in 8 Dishes
Around The World In 8 Dishes continues into the month of March. Join us during a virtual Zoom every other week for fellowshipping as we discover new dishes and try new foods. Our first dish was Maafe and originated from countries in West Africa. We had a great time sharing cooking tips and exchanging even more recipes. Journey along with us as we travel around the world in 8 dishes!
Our next dish, on Wednesday, March 9th, from 5-7pm, will be Shakshuka (photo by Joy) and originates from Arabic countries in North Africa and West Asia along the Mediterranean Sea. Popular as a breakfast or brunch dish in Israel, Min. Shakeisha first had the dish while in Egypt. Upon returning home, she has tried several (several) times to make shakshuka, never quite recreating it to the delicious respect this dish so rightfully deserves. So, Min. Shakeisha is going to start simple with the recipe located here.

As always, you are encouraged to find a shakshuka recipe that suits your dietary needs. While the above recipe is vegetarian, you can always modify it, in fact, this journey encourages it!
CUUPs Monthly Bookclub
CUUPs (Covenant of UU Pagans) will be hosting a monthly book club on the second Wednesday of each month at 7pm on Zoom.

Our March book is The Path of Paganism by John Beckett.

Author John Beckett will also be a guest at our August 10th CUUPs meeting!

   Direct Link to the CUUPs meeting on Zoom
   Or by Meeting ID: 910 0983 4383, Password: 327476
   Or by Phone: 1-301-715-8592, 91009834383#
Transgender Day of Visibility
March 31st is Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV). TDOV celebrates trans people and their accomplishments, and also raises awareness of discrimination and struggles that trans people face.

In the days around March 31st, keep an eye out for the trans flag (pictured here) flying at Piedmont UU Church.

Resources and Education:

RAINBOW is Piedmont UU Church's LGBTQIA+ group. Everyone is welcome to join us on the third Wednesday of the month at 6:30pm on Zoom.

   Direct Link to the Rainbow meeting on Zoom
   Or by Meeting ID: 944 5423 8562, Password: 060686
   Or by Phone: 1-301-715-8592, 94454238562#
Newcomer’s Meeting Information / Leadership request to attend
Calling all team and committee chairs! Let our newcomers get to know you. Please come and share what your team or committee does to make Piedmont UU such a rich community. We will meet on Wednesday, March 30th from 7pm-8pm. For more information and to RSVP, please contact Gail Smith-Arrants or Min. Michelle Johnson (michelle@puuc.org).
Women's History Month

In honor of Women’s History this month, we’d like for you to take a listen at the stories highlighted here by StoryCorps, “an American non-profit organization whose mission is to record, preserve, and share the stories of Americans from all backgrounds and beliefs.”
Church leaders, do you have content for a future newsletter?
Please send your article to news@puuc.org. Articles should be submitted as a text document or pasted into the email. Thank you!
Fellowship Options
Around the World in 8 Dishes
A new dish to try and/or talk about every two weeks. Meets online.
Feb. 23, March 9, March 23, April 6, April 20, and May 4
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 Fellowship Before and After the Service

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:

Financial Updates

Piedmont UU Church Financial Health: January 2022

Monthly Income $9,818
Monthly Expense ($13,644)
Monthly Mortgage Principal Payment ($1,828)
Monthly Cash Flow ($5,655)

Year to Date Income $9,818
Year to Date Expense ($13,644)
Year to Date Mortgage Principal Payments ($1,828)
Year to Date Cash Flow with Mortgage Principal as Expense ($5,655)

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
March 2022 Shared Offering Plate:
Women's Inter-cultural Exchange

Our March recipient of our 50/50 plate collection is Women’s Intercultural Exchange of Charlotte. WIE’s mission states, “The corporation is organized and operated exclusively for charitable and educational purposes including, without limitation, building and bridging social capital among women of diverse cultures, fostering cross-cultural awareness and developing the infrastructure for community dialog, engagement and programming.” WIE focuses on women in and around the greater Charlotte area including but not limited to Kannapolis, Cherryville, Midland, and Fort Mill, SC. You can find out more about WIE at their website. And follow them on Facebook or Instagram.
This Year's Shared Offering Plates
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 March Services
Sunday Schedule:

  • Online Fellowship Before and After the Service (in Zoom)
  • Quick link to Zoom
  • Meeting ID: 923 3971 3775
  • Passcode: welcome

If you missed our interactive service at 11:00 a.m. or want to catch up on previous services, visit our YouTube channel.
Sunday, March 6, 2022

“Balancing Act”
Shakeisha Holton Gray, minister

As we re-open our sanctuary for worship, for a second time, due to the pandemic and the cloud of another variant hanging over us, how do we continue to balance all of the unknowns? It is clearly having its effects on us. At times, it feels as though we live in a circus performance with clowns spinning plates. How do we continue to manage? How do we continue to hope? Sometimes though, life is not a balancing act. It just is.
Sunday, March 13, 2022

“An Exploration into the Branches of Ecofeminism”
Michelle Johnson, minister

In honor of Women's History Month and the burgeoning of spring, Minister Michelle will lead an exploration of Ecofeminism and the connections between women and nature in culture, economy, religion, politics, and literature. With the 7th Unitarian Universalist principle at the wheel, this will be one fascinating ride.
Sunday, March 20, 2022

“Yoga is balance. Yoga is life.”
Michelle Johnson, minister

Joana Macy explores how we can achieve planetary balance through several shifts of consciousness. The ancient yogis knew that where our gaze is directed, our attention naturally follows.While not a yogi, Minister Michelle will share her personal experience of yoga, the drishti (focal point), balance, and possibilities.
Sunday, March 27, 2022

“The Body Is Not An Apology”
Shakeisha Holton Gray, minister

Society and culture place certain expectations on bodies. Enough is enough. No more balancing what we think others 'might' perceive about our bodies with what the reality of our bodies truly are (uh, amazing vessels). Let us reclaim our bodies for ourselves, the ones who inhabit them. Inspired by Sonya Renee Taylor and her book "The Body Is Not An Apology," Minister Shakeisha will nudge us towards being unapologetically ourselves.
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 (she/her), Administrative Assistant — ali@puuc.org 
Deb Davelka (she/her), Congregational Administrator — deb@puuc.org
Sean Glover (he/him), Religious Education Lead Teacher — sean@puuc.org
Shakeisha Holton Gray (she/her), Minister — shakeisha@puuc.org
Michelle Johnson (she/her), Minister — michelle@puuc.org