UUFP—Past/Present/Future: “Community”

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

Bulletin from the future: Scene - Two members from a neighboring church are heading home after a celebration at the UU church.

“Hey Audrey, wait up. Are you heading home?”

“Yes. Let’s walk together. My two are staying after for the ice cream social.”

“Wasn’t that a beautiful celebration? 100 new families have joined their church. Can you imagine what our church could do with a 100 new families?”

Well, when you think about it, now that our church is partnering with their church it’s kind of like we do have 100 new families. Think about that food drive we did together. We’ve never had that many donations before.

And the Habitat for Humanity project that our young adults did with their young adults. The Jones family loves their new home and it’s a beautiful new addition to our neighborhood.

I have to say, having the Unitarian Universalist church in our community is really making a difference. My kids love being part of their interfaith youth choir. I loved hearing all those voices singing tonight. I can’t wait for the Christmas concert.

I like how they have so many younger people involved. I overheard someone say that the oldest person on their Policy Board is 32.

And their campus ministry seems to be flourishing. All that work they did to improve public transportation has really paid off. Now students without cars can easily get to their church.

And their mentoring programs where college students can pair up with older congregants, that seems really positive.

Are you going to their panel discussion tomorrow night? They’re going to share a plan for new opportunities for helping out in our community.

I was planning on going to their yoga class and my kids will be at homework helpers after school so I’m not sure that there would be time for dinner before that meeting.

Well, you know they offer a community meal on Wednesdays, it’s open to everyone.

That’s right! I guess we’ll just make a day of it at the UU church!

I was talking with our Pastor Elwood last Sunday after service and I was telling him about all the events I had participated in at the UU church and I think he was getting a little jealous. He said, “you’re not thinking about becoming one of their 100 new members are you!” I assured him I wasn’t but we both agreed our community is stronger now that we’re working together. And he said he was pleased that the UUs didn’t come into the neighborhood and try to change everything to meet their needs but instead they really listened to what our community had to say and have been working with us to support our efforts.

I like that they offer a variety of fun courses and events that align with their values. The Vegan cooking classes were great. Now we’re eating at least two meat-free meals a week. And I grew up eating ham twice a day. You remember my daddy worked at Smithfield.

And that workshop they offered on the history of red-lining in Hampton Roads, that was fascinating. And all the letter writing campaigns they do to protect the planet, that’s really admirable. I’m glad they got our middle and high school students involved with that.

Did I tell you I got my parents to go to their free later life planning workshops? They helped them with financial advice, aging issues and end of life planning. Having all those resources available to them really has reduced my stress and my parents seem more relaxed an able to enjoy life more now that they have plans in place.

So Audrey, I do have a question. Where were the UUs before they came here? Are they a new church?

Oh, one of them told me they were over on the corner of Warwick and Young’s Mill Ln. You know, near Pep Boys. I guess they were there for years.

That was a church? I’ve driven past there a million times but I never knew they were a church.

To be honest, I had never heard of Unitarian Universalism before they moved into our neighborhood. I’m really glad I know about them now.

Should Pastor Elwood be worried?

No. I’m happy at our little church, but I like being part of a larger community too. It’s helping me grow in new ways. And you know I think it’s good for the UUs too. I think joining our community has helped them find their voice. If I were to make a prediction for ten years from now, I would say that everyone on the peninsula is going to know where the Unitarian Universalist church is and who the UUs are and what they stand for.

I bet you’re right!

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