Get To Know Piedmont UU Church Members
Eileen has lived a long and very active life of social action work, spanning many years and parts of the country. A native of Minnesota, she graduated from Smith College in 1963 and was caught up in the turmoil of the mid-sixties. The Civil Rights Movement was gaining momentum throughout the South and into the urban north. She became involved in both. The pressure for abortion rights was gaining strength and silent vigils were held to support women seeking help in other states where abortion was legalized. She was active in support.
Eileen lived abroad as well, and in 1966 she was selected to be a Frontier Intern in Mission through the United Presbyterian Church and the World Student Christian Federation. She lived in Africa, Abidjan Ivory Coast, as a university student and campus ministry intern. She traveled to many other African countries, including countries in Southern Africa still under colonial rule (Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe) and white-minority apartheid rule (South Africa)
Her religious roots are in the Lutheran Church but by the mid-70’s, that was no longer working for her and she was for a time an atheist. In 1977 she and her then-husband moved to Charlotte for union organizing work. She worked at the Unitarian Univeralist Community of Charlotte on a temporary job, visited the services, and in 1979 joined. Eileen says about that choice: “I liked the fact that I didn’t have to believe a certain way or proclaim any divine assistance or creed.”
Eileen did much union organizing during this period and also organized a food pantry at UUCC that she stayed with until the church discontinued it on 2015. In 1999, after retirement, she and her husband Ed moved to Salisbury and discovered Piedmont UU Church in the Salisbury gathering.
Eileen wrote about her current status:
In addition to Piedmont UU Church, I am active in the American Association of University Women, AARP Rowan County, Salisbury Chapter, and volunteer for Meals on Wheels. Since the Covid pandemic, I have been active in the UU NC Justice Ministry through the Friday morning Action Hour each week.
I am passionate about social justice issues, very concerned about the reversal of progress that has been many years in the making around voting rights, equity for minorities and women. I would like to say that when I am done with this life I have done something to make it a better place for those coming after me. I hope that will be so.
— Anne L.