When Rev. Andrew asked me speak, I thought back to 1992 when my family moved to Newport News. The Fellowship was — and still is — a beacon of liberal religion in Hampton Roads. And I thought about a picture of the Lorax on my refrigerator that says:
UNLESS someone like you
cares a whole awful lot,
nothing is going to get better.
In 1992 our membership was about 75 members. Dedicated, hard-working committee chairs and other volunteers worked every Sunday to insure that services were held and refreshments were provided, along with coffee and religious education for our children and adults.
Happily, with the addition of full-time ministry and the message that we offer here — of a free and responsible search for truth and meaning — our church membership has more than doubled in size.
Still, the job of providing those services on Sundays, to larger numbers of families and individuals, became more of a challenge.
So in 2012, our wonderful Policy Board President Alan Sheeler proposed that hospitality teams support our Sunday services today on a regular, rotating basis.
For years I have attended the first service here on Sundays.
Volunteering as a greeter and usher on a hospitality team has been a great way for me to meet new families and members that come to the second service who were unfamiliar to me.
Helping to collect the offering, preparing food for coffee hour, no matter what the particular job is, makes me feel more connected to what happens here on Sundays.
It takes all of us working together to support our little interdependent church web. Hospitality teams enable all of us to share in making our Sundays together a meaningful, shared responsibility.
So if you are not already on a team, please contact Rosalee, Bobby, Sarah or Dan to sign up.
And thank you, Alan, for suggesting this new way of helping our church home.
Supporting the Fellowship with my time, money and whatever talents I may have is my way of supporting liberal religion in this community.
So remember that we are well into our pledge drive and we need to support our wonderful paid staff.
But giving to this church is about more that keeping the lights on. It’s about generosity and supporting what you believe in.
Unitarian Universalism transforms and, in some cases, saves lives and changes communities.
How can you not love a place where all the women are strong, the children are above average, and the men… are wonderful!
The task of the religious community is to unveil the bonds that bind each to all. There is a connectedness, a relationship discovered amid the particulars of our own lives and the lives of others. It is the church that assures us that we are not struggling for justice on our own, but as members of a larger community.