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Church's $600K gift to aid hungry

Brief congregational news items from the Spring 2010 issue.
By Jane Greer
Spring 2010 2.15.10

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The Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock in Manhasset, N.Y., is giving $600,000 in grants to four nonprofit organizations working to end hunger on Long Island. Recipients include the Interfaith Nutrition Network ($225,000), Island Harvest ($150,000), Long Island Cares–The Harry Chapin Food Bank ($125,000), and the Long Island Council of Churches ($100,000). According to the Long Island News (12/28/09), food pantries, soup kit­chens, and other food programs on Long Island have experienced a 35 percent increase in the number of people seeking services in 2009. The Shelter Rock congregation is home to the UU Veatch Program, a philanthropic program that supports organizations that put UU values into action. The program was founded through a bequest from Caroline Veatch, who died in 1953.

Selling treasures

First Parish Church in Beverly, Mass., announced that it would be auctioning off its collection of an­tique silver tankards, beakers, plates, and mugs on January 21 to pay for church repairs and renovations. The centerpiece of the collection is a silver ewer made by Paul Revere, estimated to be worth between $200,000 and $300,000, according to Christie’s in New York. The church has repainted its building, repaired its antique stained glass windows, fixed the roof, and insulated the walls. The Rev. Lyn Plumb, interim minister, told the Boston Globe, “Even the people who were the saddest to see the collection leave understand that it had to happen” (12/25/09).

Rice for flood victims

Members of the Doldol and Malingin UU congregations in the Philippines received aid, including donations of rice, from UUs around the world after two typhoons swept through the islands in September 2009, killing more than 300 people and leaving 300,000 homeless. According to the UUA’s Advocacy and Witness staff group blog, the do­nors included the UUA, the Inter­national Council of Unitarians and Universalists, the UU Partner Church Council, partner church congregations in the United States, and the Unitarian Church of Transylvania (12/18/09).

Martians at Christmas

The Unitarian Universalist Church of Minnetonka, Minn., added a new element to the traditional Christmas pageant: Martians. Church member Jeff Hatcher, who has written and produced four other plays for the church, wrote the 60-minute play “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians,” based on a 1964 movie with the same name. The cast featured 47 actors of all ages.

Anniversaries

The Sanford (Maine) Unitarian Universalist Church celebrated its centennial in 2009 with a series of events including a July 4th parade, a cemetery walk, a harvest dinner, a holiday craft fair, and a retro Christmas Eve service.

Members of the Palomar Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Vista, Calif., marked their 50-year anniversary with a yearlong celebration, holding an event each month. These included a concert, a Thanksgiving dinner in which some of the original members shared what Thanksgivings were like 50 years ago, and a program honoring people from each of the fellowship’s five decades.

The First Universalist Church of Eldorado, Ohio, recently celebrated its 100th anniversary in its current building with a special service featuring ministers who have served the church over the past 60 years.


Share news from your congregation by writing to news editor Jane Greer at world@uua.org. Visit our weekly news blog, Unitarian Universalists in the Media, for a guide to news coverage of UU congregations elsewhere.

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