“For all that is our life” by Rev. Andrew
From its chartering in 1958 until the turn of the century, the Unitarian (then Unitarian Universalist) Fellowship of the Peninsula was served by a series of part-time ministers. (Some of you may remember the song that Joanne wrote, setting to the tune of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” all the names of this ministers!)
Many of these ministers were “shared” with the Unitarian Church of Norfolk, such as the Rev. Peter Lee Scott who in the 1980s was called to Norfolk — where his wife, Faith, served as Director of Religious Education — and also provided quarter-time support here in Newport News. It was during Peter’s time serving the Fellowship that his father, Universalist minister Clinton Lee Scott, died: the Japanese maple outside the Sanctuary’s front door was planted in memory of the elder Scott.
After his time here in Virginia, Peter went on to serve other congregations. Faith was also ordained and the couple served as co-ministers before they both retired in 1999. At the age of eighty, Peter was elected Minister Emeritus by the congregations where he continued to preach occasionally. Recently, we learned that he died in December. As Faith noted, “Peter much disliked the closing in of increasing darkness and shortening days between the Autumn Equinox and the Winter Solstice. He died on December 20th, the day marking the return of the light.” You can read Peter’s obituary in full here.
As the Fellowship approaches the sixtieth anniversary of its charter on May 14th 1958, this news offers one opportunity of many over the coming weeks to look back at our history as a congregation. It also gives me a reason to share Peter’s list of times to contact the minister, which came to me recently via another colleague. “When to Call the Minister” has been re-printed and re-posted many times over the years, first in church mailings and nowadays electronically. Sometimes it appeared without attribution, or with mis-attribution, but it was written by Peter Lee Scott, as a young minister serving his first congregation, the First Universalist Society of New Haven, CT in 1957. “He reports being amazed and amused to see it appear in so many other newsletters.”
When to Call the Minister?
- When you haven’t met me yet, but would like to.
- When you have problems to discuss — about anything.
- When a sympathetic ear might help.
- When you’re going into the hospital — or you know someone else who is.
- When someone close to you dies or is critically ill.
- When you’re planning to be married — or might need to be.
- When you return from vacation.
- When your child graduates from college.
- When you have a child to be dedicated.
- When you’re pregnant — especially if you wish you weren’t.
- When you’ve been arrested — or ought to be.
- When you want to learn more about Unitarian Universalism.
- When you’re scared.
- When you’d like to make a bequest to the church.
- When your child gets a big promotion.
- When you’re considering joining the congregation.
- When you’d like to show us what a great cook you are!
- When a friend of yours wants to know more about our faith
- When you have suggestions about the programs for the church.
- When you have suggestions for a sermon or about the worship services.
- When you’d like to help with committee work or congregational activities.
- When you want to discuss community issues or would like my involvement.
- When you’re mad at me.
- When you’d like to talk religion with me.
Of course, there are other times to call the minister, and these days there are other ways to reach me, too. (Though if you don’t have my cell number, just ask!) So, let me know what you think!
Lehni Lebert3/28/2018 06:09:53 pm