I first discovered Unitarianism when I joined a high school liberal religious youth group, and that was before the Unitarians and Universalists merged. So I guess that means I have been a UU for more than 50 years, and have been involved with one congregation or another all during that time.
When Gordon retired and we first considered moving south eight years ago, we knew that we wanted to be part of a Unitarian Universalist community. We sampled neighborhoods and looked at homes, but we also visited UU churches before we chose where to live. Chris Buice and the Tennessee Valley UU Church extended a warm welcome!
Even before we relocated to Knoxville, while we were sorting our belongings for the move and trekking back and forth during renovations of our condo, we started sharing our “treasure” with TVUUC – in the form of donations to a special sale called “Treasures from the Attic.” This was an ideal chance to find a home for those old wedding presents and family “heirlooms” – like silver-plate trays, bowls and tableware – that we never used.
When we settled here, we started getting acquainted by signing up for the retreat to Pickett State Park, going on church hikes, attending holiday open houses, and going to potlucks – but there were so many names to learn!. I volunteered to be a greeter, made coffee, worked on several committees, and joined the choir, and gradually got to know more people.
All these are important ways to contribute to the community, but I know there would be no coffee, no retreat, no choir, no worship services without our financial support of the church as well. So Gordon and I have been fair share givers ever since we connected with TVUUC, and we increase our pledge at least a bit every year to help the church grow.