Saving a historic building by letting it go
The National Pilgrim Memorial Meetinghouse in Plymouth, Massachusetts--home of UU congregation First Parish Plymouth--has been on the state’s most endangered historic resources list since 2014. The congregation had hoped to raise $3 million to maintain the building but recently acknowledged the challenges of raising such a large sum and transferred ownership to the General Society of Mayflower Descendants, which will make the necessary repairs and use the building as an educational facility. The congregation will still hold services in the building during tourism’s off season. Jan Blanchard, president of Friends of the First Parish Meetinghouse, said, "It's going to be a win-win for all of us . . . I have a lot of sentimentality about the building, but it’s the best thing for the building and the congregation because we can move on without worrying about the building.’’ (Boston Globe, 2.8.19)
Remembering Wendi and 'Rosie'
This week the Unitarian Universalist Church of Annapolis, Maryland, will hold a blood drive with a Valentine’s Day theme. The event will honor the memory of church member Wendi Winters, a journalist for the Capital Gazettewho was one of five people killed by a gunman at the newspaper’s offices last year. Winters was also a devoted blood donor and organizer of blood drives. Her son, Phoenix Winters, said, “She gave her heart, her last breath, and her final eight pints of blood in defense of a free press and of her family at The Capital. . . . She regularly gave blood and organized blood drives. It’s what she would have wanted.” (Capital Gazette, 2.10.19)
Neva Rees, a member of the iconic generation of World War II “Rosie the Riveter” factory workers, died this week at the age of 97. Her minister, the Rev. Katherine Hawbaker of the Unitarian Universalist Society of Marietta, Ohio, said that Rees was, “the best example of our congregation at its best.” Speaking of her activism for LGBTQ rights, her feminism, her determination, and her fearlessness, Rees’s niece Colleen Downing said, “Working in that defense plant was a challenge, that was one of the things that made her a survivor.” (Marietta Times, 2.8.19)