You may have heard some of Charles’ wisdom when he has served as Lay Service Leader. He says his first time volunteering with the Unitarian Universalist Community of Charlotte (UUCC) was protesting injustice with other UUCC members. He has helped homeless neighbors through Room in the Inn here and he recently attended an environmental justice rally with other UUCC members.

Charles participated in both the Environmental Justice Core Group and the Racial Justice Core Group. In both, he learned what people most impacted are experiencing today and about the historical context and intersectionality of these issues. He said that engaging in this work helps feed his “progressive desire to help the poor and the environment” and is a contrasting experience from the conservative area where he lives.

He currently serves on our Building and Grounds Team. Because of his connection to the outdoors and skill with working with his hands, this team seemed natural. He has enjoyed getting to know other team members while working outside.

You may have seen our new sign at the corner of Sharon Amity and Hardwick. Charles played an influential role, along with others on the Building and Grounds Team, in designing that sign. Charlotte had changed its codes, so the placement and size of the sign had new restrictions. As a sculptor, he is used to working within constraints of place and function. It was also important to Charles that our sign not look old and tired. Since he is a designer and plans to be part of the future of UUCC, he decided to share his ideas.

Charles said having a circle, symbolizing community, spoke to him. Because there were code restrictions, large trees, sloped ground, a bus stop sign, people traveling from three different directions, etc. to consider, this was a more complicated project than it might seem. Our new logo and colors were also incorporated.

Soon, you may be invited around our new fire pit. So that passersby won’t be tempted to start fires next to our building when we are not here, Charles is designing and creating a steel lid and locking system to keep it safe.

For Charles, being a member of a congregation means getting involved in the work of the congregation. He understands organizations require work and he has creativity and skill to share. He says one person, one church won’t change the world but we can all be part of a larger change. Thank you to Charles for generously sharing his gifts.