Letter from the Minister

Letter from the Minister

Dear Friends and Members,

We are a community in transition. At times, change can be uncomfortable or unwelcome. I want to offer us some words of comfort by saying that I plan on remaining (very much) an active part of our beloved community. I see Piedmont UU as a voice for social justice, a beacon of refuge for spiritual seekers, and a thriving congregational home for us to enjoy. Fundraising is looking at ways to reimagine our auction, our Religious Education Team will be re-offering child-care and nursery beginning June 5th for ages 5 and under, Social Action has a plan of focus for each month through September, Membership is holding an in-person newcomer orientation on June 18th, our CUUPS, Rainbow, and Women’s Groups are actively meeting and planning an assortment of activities, and I’m already at work creatively planning our worship services during the summer.

I also want to mention the weight of discovering, yet again, that there was another mass shooting. I’m getting frustrated at having to reassure you…my children…myself…that we will be safe, when safety shouldn’t be a burden to our lives rather a right, an expectation, a hope for us all. In undergrad, I learned that war is an extension of politics. That when political systems are broken, blood is shed. I by no means use this word lightly when I say we are a nation at war. For too long our children at school, our neighbors at worship, our places of employment or places of entertainment, we have all been the victims of a divided, broken political system. Earlier this year the high school where my second son graduated from just three years ago, the high school where Min. Michelle’s child currently attends, had a school shooting. The impact on our community was and is far reaching. We sadly had a front row seat to a news story that we never asked to be a part of, that no one should ever be a part of. In this newsletter, you’ll find ways in which you can reach out to our lawmakers to cry with righteous indignation for change and reform. This has to be enough.

Our state faces another challenge as well. North Carolina representatives are mimicking a Florida law recently passed that would deny educators the right to teach or discuss gender or sexuality in early elementary school grades, and could force school employees to out LGBTQ students to their parents. The “Parental Bill of Rights” also referred to as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill further stigmatizes and injures LGBTQIA+ students, educators, parents, and families. If you feel inclined, we’ve included more information below for you to write our representatives against this discriminatory and unjust proposed bill. (Read more here.)

When things are heavy around us that we cannot control, we need a place to arrive at without judgment and with a welcome, loving embrace. I hope you see Piedmont UU as that space for you. I do.

Peace and blessings y’all.

Your minister,
Shakeisha