This is such an emotional and uplifting moment, to be in person in our stunningly beautiful renovated Sanctuary!
None of this would have been achieved without the commitment, determination, generosity, sacrifice and courage of our congregation, the Renovator Task Force, Arts and Aesthetics Team and our fearless leadership. We recognized that some decisions and choices made in the original construction project after the fire in 1997 could be done differently. During that building project we were equally as determined, committed and generous with our time and financial support, but sadly it turned out not quite as planned which resulted in the need for this major renovation. We now looked at this situation as an opportunity to have a Do Over and improve on the design and materials used in the construction, and here we are! In spite of unfathomable challenges, we have succeeded beyond expectations. Let’s look at this as an opportunity to reconnect, recommit and rejoice in what we have achieved together. We need each and every one to help build our community back up after the long construction project and the pandemic keeping us apart and meeting virtually for over two very long years. I am so hopeful and optimistic that we can welcome folks to come and worship together in person, or still virtually if preferred, whether current members who haven’t been able to attend, or former members who might consider giving UUCCH another try or folks who are seeking the journey towards peace, justice and love.
I have taken the liberty of changing just a couple of lines in Rudy Nemser’s poem, “Long-Haul People” which I feel states perfectly our community.
You find them in churches
When you’re lucky;
Other place too, though I mostly only know the ecclesiastical varieties
Upon whose shoulders (and pocketbooks and casseroles, and daylight/nighttime hours)
A church is built (and rebuilt) and maintained (and repaired)
After the brass is tarnished and cushions need re-stitching.
They pay their pledges full and on time
Even when the music’s modern;
Support each canvass
Though the sermons aren’t always short;
Mow lawns (and weed)
And come to Suppers;
Teach Sunday School when there’s no one else and they’ll miss the service.
Asked what they think of the minister,
Or plans for the “SANCTUARY” RENOVATION, or the choral anthem , OR Christmas pageant
Or the color of the (Commons) paint
They’ll reply: individuals and fashions arrive and pass.
The church – their church – will be here, steady and hale.
For a long, long time.
For long-haul people bless a church with a very special blessing.
Are you a Long-haul person? Thank you for all you do!
Do you recognize our Long-haul people? Please let them know how much they are appreciated!
“When you show appreciation, the object of your attention blossoms and flourishes.” – Paul McCabe
-Diane Baker-Hallowell, April 17, 2022