Hi, I am Kathryn Ozyurt. I have been a UU for 55 years. When we moved to Virginia in 2014, I stuck a compass point into a map of the peninsula here, drew a circle around my husband’s workplace and found 3 UU congregations within close range. We came to the UUFP first and never felt the need to explore further.
The address and the building turned out to be irrelevant. This is where we met and fell in love with this welcoming congregation. We felt like this was our place and you were our people, always learning, building community; giving of time, thought and energy.
When I got to the church, that day the greeters were so friendly and interested in finding out who I was and how I found you all. Seeing people I saw featured on the UUFP website, when I got to church made me more comfortable, and being invited to participate in some of the activities highlighted online made me want to know and do more.
And there are so many opportunities to get involved at UUFP! All of you make up the activities we do on Sunday morning and throughout the week. Each of you has made this a better place for all comers, be it through the Beloved Community Wednesday evenings where the potluck, reflect back, or other groups allow us to further connect and discuss the ideas introduced on Sunday, or through other groups such as the Goddess Group, Earth Rising or the Forum where we can pursue other avenues of thought and communication. Social action has facilitated so much positive contact with the greater Peninsula community, be it a march in DC, Richmond or Newport News, or helping with PORT.
I’ve been involved with the fellowship circles, where we have the chance to come together in small groups to explore ideas. Such a great way to connect and know ourselves and others better! I’ve been part of the Adult RE committee for five years. I love exploring the interests you all have and bringing up subjects we can explore further. The Fiber FUUN group really is fun, a place where we can knit or weave or just talk. Only a UU would knit a Fibonacci sweater while talking with someone who is making bracelets for fund raising.
We are always learning, always interacting, weaving a rich tapestry of wonderful people. And we are supporting our congregation, our relationship with each other by making sure we have the funds needed to keep the wheels on the bus, the bills paid, the salaries adequate, the zoom account available. We are a dynamic group, engaged in spiritual exploration, fellowship and fun…Bringing our time, talent and treasure to build and strengthen our mission. Together we can do anything.
These people, this group, make up a family, regardless of where we are. We have met in the sanctuary, in Sandy Bottom Park, and online. We have church because we came together and we built it. We are physically apart right now, but seeing each of your faces on this zoom gathering, the smiles and waves, remind me that hearts and minds are out there, ready for the time when we will be together again and making our community stronger.