Photo courtesy of the Neshoba website
Neshoba’s location proves to coincide with many of its ideas. Located at 7350 Raleigh-LaGrange road in Cordova, Tennessee, Neshoba is tucked behind a road that winds through the green landscape of Shelby Farms. You can only catch a glimpse of it from the street, and most of what you can see is obscured by trees.
Chances are unless you are specifically looking for Neshoba, you won’t find it. It’s a sort of hidden place—a sanctuary, an oasis. It’s safe. While the people who attend Neshoba are practical and realize that there is much evil that exists in the world, the church serves as a refuge, a place where members can temporarily escape. Being in the company of friends and other like-minded individuals is comforting, liberating, and most of all, empowering.
Members of Neshoba are—in a sense—found off the grid too. Everyone is unique and embraces their differences. Most proudly create trails of their own as opposed to traveling the main road. People at Neshoba are opinionated, intelligent, and open-minded. Sometimes it takes going against the grain in order to achieve real results.
The surrounding areas of Shelby Farms speak volumes about Neshoba as well. Respect for nature and our planet is a very important part of life at Neshoba. Windows are in every classroom and all throughout the sanctuary inside of the church. A large circular window beams light into the pulpit. Every area of the building is light and airy. Few things compare to sitting in worship watching the sunlight dance and the tops of the trees swaying gently in the breeze.
Neshoba connects its members with nature. There is an outside playground, community garden, and several rolling slopes on the front lawn—perfect for children who want to roll down the hills and also for those who want to lounge on the grass while having a discussion. Knowing that Neshoba is a stone’s throw from Shelby Farms—thousands of acres of nature trails, paddle boats, horseback riding, picnic spaces, bike paths, kite flying areas, etc.—reinforces the need to appreciate and preserve our environment as taught by the Unitarian Universalist faith.