Letter From Rev Shakeisha

Letter from Rev Shakeisha

What can I say about 2022? It has been a year of losses and at the same time, many important gains. We, as a community, have faced so many transitions this past year, yet we have remained steadfast and hopeful on our long-term goals.

2022 saw us return to in person services, become comfortable with new technology, welcome back singing into our sacred space, and be active in our communities once again. Our Board of Trustees will share with you more on the business side of things, and our Social Action Team will share with you more about the ways we’ve been serving, but I wanted to take some time and share with you the ways in which I feel we have further developed as a beloved community during 2022.

At a time in our global world when so many small, yet mighty, congregations like ours are faced with many adversities, Piedmont UU has further rooted itself in our values. We have come together in unexpected and often challenging ways over the past year and yet are made all the stronger for it. In the ebb and flow of an ongoing pandemic, we made commitments to ourselves and each other not knowing what would lie ahead of us.

At times, it was scary. Should we continue to wear masks? For how long? Can we sing? What about our friends who can’t join us in person? What about the children who don’t have vaccines yet? At times, it was frustrating. How long will we have to hum hymns? Why are outdoor events always held during the hottest months? Why are my friends not attending in person services? At times, it was joyful. Two outdoor picnics after two years of not being able to! Three in person community events! 45 folks in service today! At times, it was exciting. 110 views on YouTube…for just one worship service…after only just a week! Breaking bread with John Calvin Presbyterian and Temple Israel at our 10th Annual InterFaith Thanksgiving again! Handing out all of our fans at Salisbury Pride and needing to order more for Charlotte Pride! Hot coffee, tea and snacks after worship…finally! Coming back to yourself takes time, and work. We continue to wait, to adapt, and learn to sit with both.

While it’s true we have gained a few new members, we lost others along the journey. And so, we are the same in size. Yet growth isn’t always linear nor above the surface. A lot of growth actually happens underneath, in hidden spaces not seen by others. And that my friends, is exactly what Piedmont truly accomplished in 2022. We grew in tremendous ways this past year. I have seen first hand new friendships form, folx volunteering to learn new things, and new groups and teams coming together to continue to seek ways for Piedmont’s longevity as a regional congregation of progressive, expansive, and love filled faith in action.

I am so excited for Piedmont UU in 2023 and cannot wait to see, from afar, the ways in which this beloved community will continue to grow under Rev. Amy’s guide and alongside all the wonderful folx who have been, and will be, leaping outside their comfort zones to ensure Piedmont UU’s continued successes.

One last time (for now), peace and blessings y’all,
Rev. Shakeisha