Instead of making a general summary of our life together in this city, we refer you to a detailed history from our beginnings until 2017 attached to the materials portion of this topic.
Since then our church has experienced years of drama and commitment. Drama centers on the conflict and departure of our contract minister, Phillip Baber, who came to us as director of our religious education program and was asked to assume the duties of minister upon the health crisis of Rev. Ron Hersom.
Opposing opinions within our board could not be mediated, and that failure of leadership led to the loss of a successful ministry.
For the years 2019-2020 we had a co-interim ministry with Rev. Marti Keller and Rev. Roberta Finklestein. During the Covid year 2021 we had Rev. Paul Johnson as a half-time contract minister for on-line services and remotely for board meetings. The need for electronic delivery of our services and other activities inspired the addition of a Director of Technical Services, Krystalle Voecks, who has been the key to much of our membership and security success. As we slowly returned to on-site meetings we acquired Rev. Lee Anne Washington as a two year contract minister, 2021 -2023. We also had major security issues, which led to increased precautions such as cameras and locked gates at our entrance and before the lower parking lot. A successful capital campaign for funds to improve the Social Hall with new kitchen and bathroom facilities accessed by indoor elevator was completed and contract negotiated. At the departure of Rev. Lee Anne for a ministry in Pittsburgh, members provided the human resources needed to maintain services and small group activities. A ministerial search committee was formed to negotiate for a full time ministry.
Commitment flourishes in some significant activities. Our church’s work with ICARE consortium of religious congregations made improvements in community services such as day care facilities for people without housing and a new legal process to intervene in the arrest of young people, providing alternative restitution and guidance. We provided an annual book fair for our neighbor elementary school so each student could select three books free of cost.
Our community garden attracted participants from local universities and provided several tons of fresh produce for the Arlington food bank. Our gleaners continue to visit homes with fruit trees that would otherwise go to waste, adding to the offerings at the food bank. We continue to monitor the flood status of church property in view of climate change and raised water level expected in our pond.
It is a fine story that promises a significant sequel. We hope you will choose to be a part of it.
For a history of Unitarian Universalism’s route from Christianity to embracing the spirit of many beliefs see: https://www.uua.org/beliefs/who-we-are/history/faith