Brief congregational news items from the Fall 2011 issue.
Five-and-a-half years after its building was destroyed by the flooding that followed Hurricane Katrina, Community Church, Unitarian Universalist, in New Orleans has a new building. On Sunday, April 10, congregants and guests gave it a rousing New Orleans dedication. The new building cost around $1 million. The congregation raised $760,000 from its members. The rest came from other congregations and individuals. “This has been a long journey,” said the Rev. Jim VanderWeele. “So many people worked so hard believing in Community Church, and now we’re back in our own sanctuary. We’re there.” (See UU World’s full report, “‘Bright and Shining Church’ Rises from Katrina’s Floodwaters,” 4.18.11.)
First Unitarian Church of Providence, R.I., has created an ad campaign to attract more people to the congregation. The ads, which focus on simple messages about “open minds, helping hands, and loving hearts,” and “a church where children learn values without guilt,” are run via cable TV, posted in bus shelters, printed in a magazine for LGBT people, and appear on Facebook and bumper stickers.
First Parish in Concord, Mass., will celebrate its 375th anniversary this October with a week of events honoring the historic, 785-member congregation. The celebrations, which will take place from Oct. 14 to 23, will incorporate reenactments, musical services, lectures, walking tours, and a period fashion show titled “No One Wore Prada.”
First Parish is partnering with local organizations such as the Old Manse, the Thoreau society, and the Concord Free Public Library, which will host an exhibit celebrating First Parish’s historical connection to the community. The week of revelry will come to a close with a parish dinner and worship services. A full schedule of events is at www.fp375.firstparish.org. [Edited 8.25.11 to replace url with the event-specific site.]
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Donald E. Skinner was the founding editor of the InterConnections newsletter for congregational leaders and a senior editor of UU World from 1998 until his retirement in 2014. He is a member of the Shawnee Mission Unitarian Universalist Church in Lenexa, Kansas.
Julia Angley is a senior Writing Seminars major at Johns Hopkins University and a summer intern at UU World. She is the former business manager for the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) General Assembly Youth Caucus and a member of First Parish Church Unitarian Universalist in Duxbury, Massachusetts.
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