is a collection of stories
about UUFP’s formative years and
its ensuing perseverance in purpose, mission and ministry.
Grow in Wonder – Connect in Love – Engage in Service – Inspire Generosity
It was a cold Saturday morning, as it had been all of that week in February 2015. Our walkways and parking lot were covered with a layer of ice and snow, and members were coming to shovel and put down sand so that we could hold services in the morning. Rev. Andrew met up with the UUFP’s President at the time, Alan Sheeler, and suggested that he turn on the heat in the Sanctuary building so that it would be nice and warm when people arrived and needed bathroom and snack breaks from their work outside.
An hour later, when Alan returned to the building, he saw that water was gushing from a burst pipe behind the kitchen cabinets, covering the entire kitchen, half of the social area, and one side of the Sanctuary down to the closets. It was almost another hour until we figured out where the shut-off valve was buried and stopped the flood of water. Thankfully, in this age of social media, it wasn’t long at all until a couple of dozen members heard the news and rushed to the building with their wet-vacs, mops and fans, cleaning up the water, moving furniture and supporting one another.
We were able to hold services the following Sunday, but then an assessment of the building told us that there was too much water damage — to the flooring and the walls in particular — that needed remediation, and then we’d need to renovate. Thanks, again, to our insurance policy, and some frugal choices by the hard-working members of the Building Restoration Task Force, we replaced the flooring and made some fabulous upgrades to the kitchen — not to mention getting a brand-new electronic organ. After two months’ of Sunday mornings at Sandy Bottom, were we able to return to our Sanctuary for Mother’s Day.
So in its history, this congregation has come back from a devastating fire with even greater pride, commitment and hope, and more recently we not only survived a flood, but also thrived through the subsequent renovation, too.