In Tribute to Sanford UU Church
Through a series of serendipitous happenings, I arrived on the steps of Sanford UU Church on a week day late in the year 2000. Patty Kidder was hard at work in the office and Diane Whiteside-Peck, who happened to be making a delivery, offered to show me around. I’ll never forget her enthusiastic words, which resonate even to this day: “I love my church!” It was an endorsement I couldn’t refuse! I, too, have come to love and cherish Sanford UU Church, the building itself as well as its members, who are each other’s extended family. Where else can each of us feel so valued for who we are, and for our own unique contributions? Old-fashioned, quirky, new-fangled, out-of-the-box, inclusive thinking: all are
encouraged in our efforts to move forward beyond our walls to benefit the larger community.
–When I was waiting for meaningful volunteer work, Corner Cupboard was born.
–When I learned to quilt, there were receptive, enthusiastic RE children ready to sew.
–When I took an interest in the church’s history, a centennial book emerged.
–When our wonderful pianist, Ruth, is (rarely) away, I am privileged to substitute.
–When I’m sewing or knitting, there are fairs and auctions to contribute to.
–When there’s fun(d) raising to be done, my yard lends itself to our annual outdoor sale.
I’ve seen people’s lives rescued by this church. I’ve watched our children grow into successful, accomplished adults, encouraged by this church. I’ve observed our wonderful minister grow “in wisdom and stature” over the years. Like all of you, I’ve been helped more times than I can count by our inestimable Mona and Bill. Our church abounds in opportunities to give and to receive.
Now you know some of the reasons for my adopted mantra: I LOVE MY CHURCH! Helen Kane
A letter from a congregant…
Why should I give?
I’ll answer that with a question, “WHY NOT?”
I walked into this church just about 3 yrs. ago, the lights were on, the heat was decent, and there were people here. I’m not gonna go into the “faith or emotional aspect” of the “why” I entered. I want to address the more practical part of this. Somebody reached out to me and said “Welcome”, it’s my “mission” now to do the same for somebody else. I can’t do that unless I have a place to go to. WE ALL NEED that place.
There is a JOY in giving. We know that we are helping others to find peace. We say it each Sunday “SERVICE is its law … help one another” or do we fully believe, live, practice and follow that “law”? (Difficult question there).
I know, I know, “give” more of my limited resources, don’t they ever stop rattling their “tin cup”? I’ll answer with “Does the need ever go away”?
Try this analogy. Think of any “burger joint” .They have fixed costs i.e. lights on fryer oil and power to operate it, salary for workers. It doesn’t matter if he sells one burger or one thousand that “fixed cost” remains. He needs income to provide service to customers.
WE have fixed costs and need “income” to provide service to customers. Church heat, electric bill, etc. are the fixed cost, the “customers” we have are our Outreach programs.
The mission of the burger joint owner is to provide a quality product, we know our mission, and the similarities are evident.
One of my ways of thinking, “The earth is round for a reason” to teach us that “IT” always comes back. (Walk out your front door and travel long enough and far enough, you’ll enter your back door. Life is the same way). How many times do we hear “Give it away to keep it”, “It will return tenfold” all those platitudes that actually have a meaning. I didn’t believe any of those, in fact I’d scoff at the thought. Somehow, along the way I began to see the truth of them. I firmly live by those principles these days. Oh, I’m not gonna “give it all away”, I’ll make sure I’m taken care of, but I’ll not “hoard” with zero care for others.
There was a time when I took great pride in being able to shun anyone who was in need. I looked down on the less fortunate as something to be avoided. NO, I didn’t have a “Scrooge moment” or “visitation”. I guess it was more of a case of growing up and understanding the human connection. I’m probably “preaching to the choir” here. That’s not the purpose of this article.
I guess I took on this project with the pompous attitude of being able to write some sort of “lofty” phrase that would entrance all and “coffers” would be full. I don’t think that happened.
What I do know it that I’ve made my position clear. I help as much as I can and maybe a bit more, BUT, there are my own reasons. NO, I’m not trying to purchase some sort of indulgence to save myself from some fiery eternity, I don’t think “IT” works like that. I see the suffering and troubles; I try to do something to relieve a bit.
As with any project “Many hands make light work” if everybody would give a bit and maybe a bit more this time there just might be progress made. At the very least you won’t have to listen to the plea as long, because we’ve reached our goal sooner.