Judy Remsberg presented this testimonial as part of Sunday services on February 23rd 2014 at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of the Peninsula.
When Rev. Andrew asked me to talk about what I do for the church and why, my first thought was “Oh no, people already think I do so much more than I do, and I don’t want to reinforce that.” However, I thought more about it, and decided that I want to tell you why I do the things that I do.
There are two main committees that I work with that are important to me.
First is the Membership Committee. I work with this one because it does so much behind the scenes that most people don’t know about. We work closely with the Hospitality Teams to greet on Sunday mornings, plan some Fellowship activities that are just for fun like Games Night, and the Soup Social after the service; we make additional contacts with visitors so that they can get connected; we offer Orientation sessions, Flame articles, keep databases up to date and many more “behind the scenes” tasks.
But the most important to me are all the activities that reinforce our connections to each other.
The second committee that I enjoy is the Finance Committee. This includes watching the monthly financial statements to track our progress — or to address issues as they come up — and to sponsor fundraising activities. It also includes being a Steward and working on the annual pledge drive that funds the mission of what we are here for. Stewardship continues and deepens those relationships begun in the Membership Committee.
Those activities may seem boring and mundane… but, for me, taking care of something I value — the Fellowship and our friendships — gives me a sense of pride and ownership. It makes me feel good. It is a spiritual practice to me. After all, isn’t this why we join a faith community? We are stewards of our Unitarian Universalist faith when we give our time, talents and our money to help sustain our congregation.
I have heard it said that if you look in someone’s checkbook, you can see where their real values lie. I work to make mine show that I am a steward of this Fellowship as well as a steward of other important charities to Ellis and me. Like I said, it makes me feel good. It is a sacred act… but this didn’t occur naturally; there was a spiritual path, a path that began when Ellis and I first started attending the Fellowship in the mid-seventies.
We wanted a spiritual home for our children – but we soon found out it was a home for us, as well. We found intellectual activities, social justice causes, and special, deep friendships. A strong steering force on that path was our growth of a sense of generosity — of time as well as treasure. As I said, “Giving is a Spiritual Practice…”
Think about this: giving to a church community is different from any other secular cause — it also feeds our own spirit and gives a sense of satisfaction to be a part of this growing community. I work on both of these committees and pledge to the Fellowship because I want to help take care of my church so that it will continue to be strong and healthy; so that visitors will see that we are welcoming and happy to see them; and so that more people can find us as a supportive community and where they can find social justice outreach activities that fit their values — just as we did.
I came here years ago to be a part of something, but now I have found that it is a part of me — I’m transformed.