Thanks to the Fellowship's Planning Committee for providing periodic updates on the UUFP Expansion/Relocation progress.
This Pulpit Minute was delivered by Steve Kadar at the April 2, 2023, Sunday Service.
Space: our constant challenge. This is part of the history of UUFP. Our sixty-five year mission: to grow in wonder, to connect in love, to engage in service and to inspire generosity.
Since out beginnings in 1958, UUFP has always be in search of a truly special space of our own. We started out in a synagogue in Downtown Hampton, then moved when the city tore the building down in the name of redevelopment. UUFP then moved to a small church in Newport News, and after an electrical fire we moved again. We built this building off Warwick Boulevard, added to it once, bought an adjacent building, and we still did not have adequate space.
And space is important for gatherings of all sorts of activities. Worship space to accommodate all comers, social space to meet and greet and share coffee. We need space for our Religious Education programs for children, which if you haven’t noticed lately have become chock full of little ones...and don’t forget about adult education offerings. Even space for community outreach projects, which we have never been able to do on-site. And our space needs are not just for inside, but outside as well, to have places to celebrate, to play and to worship.
The struggle for space is part of us, since we began—and still remains. After years of discussion and study, in 2019 the congregation overwhelmingly voted to find a new, larger home to meet our needs. Right now the Planning Committee continues on our quest to find adequate space. We search high and low, but as of yet the right spot eludes us. Last year we hired a realtor with experience in church real estate (whom we met with recently), as we explore possibilities from existing church buildings to office buildings to even the former Lidl on Warwick (which a member brought to our attention), however at $4 million, that is beyond our budget. We have also made a rolling five-year plan, a dynamic document to guide our growth, not just with bricks and blocks but with people, in relationship, as we bring enhanced life to our faith community.
Space, our constant challenge. With “faith” and “luck” and the right opportunity, we will find the space we need to grow and prosper.