The Salisbury Gathering Celebrates 10 Years
It’s been ten years since myself, my spouse Jason, and Kent and Cassandra Smith organized a backyard potluck in my backyard to see who might be interested in a UU community in Salisbury. I sent out an invite via Facebook to all my local friends who I knew shared like-minded values. To our amazement, almost 40 folx showed up and shared. We ate, we fellowshipped, and we planned.
After planning meetings in my living room where Sam Treadaway put sticky notes up on my fireplace, weeks of searching for a physical space to meet in (only to have my dear friend, Libby Post, stop me when dropping off her son one day afterschool to say that the local Jewish Temple would be interested in helping us), and much, much more organizing…the Salisbury Gathering of Piedmont UU held it’s very first worship service on the afternoon of November 11, 2012.
Below, member Merry O. Foley reflects on the importance Piedmont UU, and our larger faith, has had in her life.
Rev. Shakeisha Holton Gray
Although I wasn’t interested in “church” Eva kept asking about going because her first grade friends and teachers talked about it so much at school. We had tried a couple houses of worship and although they were tolerant of our non-traditional family, they were not openly welcoming.
It was January or February of 2013 when I read an article in the Salisbury Post that featured the first service that had taken place around Christmas time; but what caught my eye was a picture of my neighbor, Shakeisha, who I did not know well but, someone who I found interestiing; we seemed to just click, although we had not discussed religion or spirituality. I remember reading words in that article that struck a chord with me; words like worth and dignity, respect for all and searching for truth. I made one visit and right away knew I had found “my people”. That day, everything from the message delivered by Rev. Robin to the sincere welcome by people who have become some of my dearest friends, has kept me happily coming back for more.
The Salisbury Gathering has gone through many changes in these last, or first, ten years. From an idea tossed around in my neighbor’s backyard to her now serving as one of our beloved ministers, we continue to evolve into a change agent for good not just in Salisbury, but in the wider world
Merry O. Foley (she, her)