Annual Report for 2021
The recently completed annual report of the church for 2021 has been posted to the members’ section of the church website. Members are encouraged to access the site and read it. The church has prepared an annual report for all thirty-three years of its existence. Some were long and very detailed; others have been much less so. But the reports are very important, because they tell the story of the church over the years, giving details of important events, ministerial changes, membership growth or decline, successes of religious education, significant social justice activities, etc.
The report for 2021 is abbreviated because of the many changes that occurred in 2021, most notably the resignation of Rev. Mary Frances Comer in June for medical reasons and the departure of the Music Director Kaarin Record Leach and several key members. But it nevertheless tells the story of the year’s ministry, the internship of Holly Brown, Holly’s ordination in April 2021, departure for Florida to begin their own ministry as an interim at the Tallahassee UU Church, and the contracting with co-ministers Michelle Johnson and Shakeisha Holton Gray beginning in October. It includes the history of the church’s response to the COVID pandemic and its closing for in-person services for almost all of 2021, except for a few weeks in the late fall. It includes an excellent overview of the year by BOT President Steve Whitfield, a report by Minister Johnson and Gray on their four months of ministry to the end of the year, a report written by Anne Laukaitis of the first eight months of ministry, financial summary by Treasurer Lou Gardiner-Parks, and several other reports by Cosette Blackmer, Michelle Murphy and Elaine Deck.
It includes the ongoing narrative of the proposed sale of several acres of the church campus to developers. Despite the anguish of losing acreage, the overwhelming majority of the members voted to support the sale, realizing the sale will be extremely important for ensuring the church’s financial future. Discussion began to consider how best to develop the perimeter of the church property to minimize to the extent possible the appearance of the proposed buildings. Discussion began on having the Meditation/Memorial Garden Committee resume its work.
In closing his overview to the 2021 Annual Report, President Steve Whitfield wrote the following:
It can be unequivocally stated that Piedmont UU Church accomplished much in 2021 under what have been very difficult and in some cases tragic circumstances, accomplishments that have helped lay the groundwork for the newly flourishing spiritual community we are becoming going forward. That said, the tireless day-to-day unsung contributions of our leadership and other engaged members of our congregation who continue to be so generous with their time, talent, and treasures must be collectively recognized as our greatest accomplishment over this past year and will no doubt continue to be going forward.
Submitted by Anne Laukaitis, Secretary, Board of Trustees