About Unitarian Universalism and the Piedmont UU Church
ABOUT THE PIEDMONT UU CHURCH
A religious community, Piedmont Unitarian Universalist Church nurtures the spirit, cherishes diversity, cultivates justice and radiates love.
Our Covenant of Purposes
•We encourage and support individual freedom of religious beliefs for all.
•We share in a loving ministry each for the other; and thereby provide for our emotional, physical and spiritual well-being.
•We are dedicated to providing religious education for our children which will enhance the positive worth of each child.
•We will strive toward social responsibility with the purpose of strengthening an individual commitment to self,
congregation and community.
•We will seek the truth to enlighten and acknowledge human accomplishments and possibilities.
Our Covenant of Right Relations
Love is the spirit of this church
and service its prayer.
We covenant to honor all spiritual paths
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.
•Piedmont Unitarian Universalist Church began as an extension of the Unitarian Church of Charlotte, and was specifically intended to serve the University area. The first public service was held on January 17, 1988. UUA President William Schulz presided at the charter service in April 1988. Forty six members signed the charter book, and Jeff Blum, the church organizer, served as the first board president.
•Piedmont UU Church met for four years at the Old Courthouse Theater in downtown Concord. The minister for three of these four years was Rev. Elizabeth McMaster, who was trained by the UUA to assist developing congregations.
•In 1992, after a year without a minister, the congregation called Rev. Wyman Rousseau to be Piedmont UU Church’s new minister. In 1992, the congregation also moved to Harrisburg, close to the University area.
•In June 1994 members voted to purchase property at 9704 Mallard Creek Road and to approve its first long range plan. The congregation then rented classroom space at University Child Development Center and conducted Sunday services and RE there until 1997, and then at Pal-A-Roos Child Care Center until the construction of the church building was complete.
•In 1995, the church was chosen for the second time to be the recipient of a Chalice Lighter grant, funds of which were used towards the purchase of the land. Also in 1995, church membership grew to 100 members.
•In 1996 Barbara Hollingsworth led a successful Capital Campaign to build the sanctuary.
•In 1997, construction began at the new site, led by church leaders Sam Treadway and Linda Chrsistopherson.
•On March 1, 1998, the first service was held in the new permanent church home on Mallard Creek Road.
•On September 20, 1998 the official dedication service was held for Piedmont Unitarian Universalist Church. UUA President John Buehrens presided.
•Rev. Wyman Rousseau retired in 2007. Rev. Karen Matteson served as interim minister for 2 years.
•In 2010, the congregation unanimously approved the election of Rev. Robin Tanner as the new minister. Robin served as Piedmont UU’s minister until December 2016. The membership grew rapidly during her tenure and a second site in Salisbury was developed in 2012. A second morning service was added at the University site.
•In April 2013, Piedmont UU celebrated its 25th anniversary. Former ministers Liz McMaster, Wyman Rousseau and Karen Matteson all attended.
•In 2015, the congregation welcomed Rev. Justin Martin as the new Minister of Education and Care and Rev. Mary Frances Comer as Minister of Care. Justin later became the Salisbury Gathering Minister.
•Following Robin Tanner’s departure, Rev. Leland Bond-Upson served as Interim Minister for a year.
•In 2018, Rev. Mary Frances Comer was selected by the Ministerial Search Committee to serve as Lead Minister.
•In April 2021, Holly Brown, who served for two years as a ministerial intern, was ordained. Holly was the second minister ordained at Piedmont UU, following Rev. Hugh Hammond in 2011.
•In June 2021, Rev. Comer resigned due to illness. In October, the Board of Trustees contracted with two ministers, Shakeisha Holton Gray and Michelle Johnson, to share the responsibility of serving the University Gathering and the Salisbury Gathering.
•On October 17, 2021, a quorum of members present for the Piedmont UU Church’s Congregational Meeting voted to accept the contingent offer from Delray at Mallard Creek to purchase a 2.85 acre parcel of land at a price of $900,000 There were 69 Yes votes, 3 No votes, and 4 abstentions.
Unitarian Universalism is a liberal religion born of the Jewish and Christian traditions. We keep our minds open to the religious questions people have struggled with in all times and places.
We believe that personal experience, conscience and reason should be the final authorities in religion. In the end, religious authority lies not in a book or person or institution, but in ourselves. We put religious insights to the test of our hearts and minds.
We uphold the free search for truth. We will not be bound by a statement of belief. We do not ask anyone to subscribe to a creed. We say ours is a non-creedal religion. Ours is a free faith.
We believe that religious wisdom is ever-changing. Human understanding of life and death, the world and its mysteries, is never final. Revelation is continuous. We celebrate unfolding truths known to teachers, prophets, and sages throughout the ages.
We affirm the worth of all women and men. We believe that people should be encouraged to think for themselves. We know that people differ in their opinions and lifestyles and we believe that these differences should generally be honored.
We see to that as a moral force in the world, believing that ethical living is the supreme witness of religion. We are deeply concerned with the here and now and the effects that our actions will have on future generations. We know that our relationships with one another, with other peoples, races, and nations, should be governed by justice, equity, and compassion.