There are two gifts
we should give our children;
one is roots, the other is wings.
Wings to show you
what you can become,
Roots to remind you
where you're from.
-Roots & Wings, Anonymous
Our inspiration for this series of articles is the young "graduates" of our fellowship and the stories they share regarding how their UUFP experience has affected their adult lives.
Matthew Schilling, son of Bobbie and Roy Schilling, says that he was the first child "blessed" in our sanctuary, and he takes this fact rather seriously.
In the seventeen years since leaving Hampton Roads, Matthew says, he has tried to devote his life to helping others, and he traces this attitude right back to his UUFP experiences. "I believe it helped make me a person that has a more open-minded approach to the world and someone who wants to help care for and protect others," he explains.
Career-wise, Matt is a government contractor, specializing in emergency management, public health, and military health. He is a medical planner for the Department of Defense and the Veterans Administration. As a captain in the Virginia Army National Guard, as well, he is also a a Force Health Protection Officer and Medical Planner, with the responsibility of ensuring the health and safety of his fellow soldiers.
On a more personal level, however, he and his wife, Heather, play somewhat of a "rescuing" role. They do volunteer work with animal rescue group, and have taken three "rescue" dogs into their own Aldie, VA home. And, having chosen not to have children of their own, Matt and Heather foster two little girls, whom they are in the process of adopting. Adopting children, he says, is something he and Heather have been planning on since their dating days.
Recalling his recent military deployment in the Middle East, Capt. Matt also credits his UUFP experience with helping him to understand and respect the religious views of his Muslim allies when other soldiers were finding difficulties in the alliance. "This," he says, "allowed us to be more successful in what we were doing." A valuable commodity, under combat conditions.
We wish Matt and Heather all success, as they carry our UUFP values into 2018.
Carole Todd1/14/2018 09:56:52 pm
Matthew and Heather,
So glad that you are fostering to adopt. And, so nice to see that you are doing well. Carole and Jesse Todd
Lois Winter1/15/2018 09:22:51 am
Matthew and Heather,
Congratulations on all your busy activities, and best of luck with all that will be next.
Mason Moseley1/16/2018 07:12:57 pm
The Future is Bright. Exciting times for a, now, young man Patricia and me watched growing up at UUFP.
Thank you Julian.
All the best Matthew and Heather.