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.
Not being in a position financially to call a full time minister, the Board appointed co-ministers, Rev. Roberta Finkelstein and Rev. Marti Keller, who were very effective in healing some of the hard feelings that persisted after the collapse of the Baber ministry. More drama was forced into congregational relationships due to the Corona virus which effectively ended physical presence for worship services and all other meetings. The church began a lively electronic ministry which allowed most activities to be carried on by Zoom arrangement. In the fall of 2020, the Reverend Paul Johnson was selected to be on contract as a part time minister for one year.
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