Brief congregational news items from the Winter 2011 issue.
Members of the Foothills Unitarian Church in Fort Collins, Colo., have given a chalice to the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Knoxville, Tenn., to show their solidarity with their Tennessee peers who witnessed a gunman open fire in their church in July 2008. Two people were killed and seven injured in the shooting. (See UU World’s coverage of the shootings and aftermath.)
Bonnie Stegner, a member of the Foothills church, had long thought about the shooting in the Knoxville church, where her sister, Pat Bing, is a member. After an artist in Stegner’s church created a beautiful handmade chalice for the Foothills congregation, Bonnie asked the artist, Loren Jones, to make a sister chalice for the Knoxville church as a gesture of caring.
The Foothills church held a “Passing of the Flame and Dedication of the Chalice” ceremony in January 2011, before sending it to Tennessee. The Rev. Dr. Marc Salkin, minister of the Foothills congregation, said that while support is often widespread immediately after a tragedy, many forget the ongoing suffering as the healing process continues.
The First Church of Houlton, Maine, celebrated its 200th anniversary in October. The church was organized on October 13, 1811, as the Congregational Church of Houlton. In 1835, a portion of the congregation formed the Unitarian Society of Houlton, which built a meetinghouse in 1837.
The First Church of Houlton celebrated its shared heritage with the Congregational Church in a joint bicentennial service on October 16 at the Unitarian Society’s meetinghouse. Other bicentennial projects include a portrait restoration of the Unitarian Society’s first minister and an historical exhibit at the Houlton Museum.
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Michelle Bates Deakin, a member of First Parish Unitarian Universalist of Arlington, Massachusetts, was a UU World contributing editor from 2006 to 2011 and a UU World senior editor from 2011 to 2014. She is the author of Social Action Heroes: Unitarian Universalists Who Are Changing the World (Skinner House, 2011) and Gay Marriage, Real Life: 10 Stories of Love and Family (Skinner House, 2006).
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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