Membership Matters by Barb Richards

We honor members, friends, visitors

Our thoughts and good wishes continue to be with:  (please keep bold) Eliot Rowe who is recovering well from his major chest surgery last month, and has returned part time to school. Talan Freeston age four, had his tonsils removed last month. Tessa Davis’ chemo is no longer working, and her pancreatic cancer is progressing rapidly. Debra Hammond’s favorite aunt died last month. Our wish for peace in the Middle East, and for the fires in Australia to subside! Sally  

Du Gar had successful heart valve repair last month, and her brother Will, from Cleveland, was with her during recovery. Traci Jones has a collapsed tracheal malasia which will require surgery, and have her in hospital for several days. To the family and friends of Carol Sue Stutzman, who attended her memorial service on January 18th. Her husband Len Aukland, led a very fitting tribute to her. Finally with Moi, as I came down with “shingles” last month. I would not wish this on my worst enemy!

Congratulations, Good Luck, Blessings, and Thanks to: LUUP (Longmont UU Presence) has received a $20,000 grant from the UUA Funding Panel which is the maximum amount they award. This is what they said, “The fund for Unitarian Universalism Panel is committed to strengthening Unitarian Universalist institutions and community life, to nurturing and celebrating our liberal religious heritage and to encouraging a generosity among UUs  )…) We believe that the work that you do exemplifies these values in action.” This significant boost to their budget for the next year will support their efforts to grow their multigenerational dinner church ministry which nourishes bodies and spirits through food and ritual. The immediate impact will be an increase in hours for their minister, Emily Conger to a half-time schedule.  LUUP was first started by the joint efforts of UUCB & UUBVF (UU Boulder Valley Fellowship). The steering committee was three members from each church. Our first three were Cole Hart, Caitlin Moore and myself. Lauren Hinkle replaced Cole, and currently she & Billie Abbitt are our two LUUP Leadership Team reps. As they said in their press release “we invite you to celebrate this moment with us with a whoop and a holler, a high-five or a little dance”. If you live in Longmont they have two gatherings each month, and I highly recommend you check it out! Thanks to Robert Evan’s generosity, UUCB now has a defibrillator for use in an emergency. It was so great to see Mary Friedrichs back among the Chancel Cats.  

Random Thoughts: This is the story of two young women sailors connected to our church. Tori Piwonka-Corle, a Radar Technician, daughter of Toni, was still in tech school in Illinois, when she was deployed on a ship bound for the Middle East.  Meanwhile our Grandgirl, Abbey Cole, a Navy Corpsman, was on leave during Christmas, before two months of training at Camp Lejeune, NC, and being attached to a Marine Corps unit, assigned to Japan. This was the plan, as she was leaving CO. She was still on her way back to base, when the Iranian news broke. Our thoughts are with both of these strong, proud, young women.

Fred and I attended the memorial service last month of Dr. Gwendolyn Thomas, age 94, at First Unitarian Church of Denver. Gwen was a powerhouse, and a force to be reckoned with. We met in 1963 when I joined the church. Later we both served on the Point of Pines board of the property that would later be sold to the Presbyterians, and became part of the camp where we have our bi-annual mountain retreat. We purchased the property as blacks & whites together during tumultuous times in the UUA, and in UU churches. During her life Gwen did more than what seemed humanly possible. A teacher, a professor, a Dean & Emerita at Metro State University, ACLU national board member for 25 years, active in all causes black, to name just a few of her accomplishments while being a single parent who raised two sons. Fred and I went down the road on the Ninth Grade Trip with her youngest son, who I always knew as Stanley, from when I taught him in RE at 1st Unitarian. He presented an outstanding eulogy to his mother, and is a delightful grown man. The music, You Lift Me Up (Mathis); Island In The Sun (Belefonte); Yesterday When I Was Young (Horne); and finally At Last (James) along with words from family and dignitaries, and Rev. Mike Morran were worth much more than the drive to Denver.  Plus seeing members/friends there I have known for fifty seven years.

With Love & Care,