In Community- Gifts
My earliest memory of being attracted to UU congregational life comes from when I was ten years old. One of the annual fundraisers my home congregation used to do, was to host a multi-course gourmet dinner. One of our members was a superlative chef and donated his time to lead this effort. It was a multigenerational affair, and children and youth were expected to help wait and bus tables. I had a great time bussing tables. A week later, I got a “Lifesaver” award on Sunday morning during service. These were literal Lifesaver candies, accompanied by a note of gratitude, and recognition in front of the whole congregation of one’s good works. Getting them was a great feeling, and despite my current 22-year Lifesaver award drought, I have not given up earning a second one.
Small gifts from each stage of my life as a UU have been very meaningful to me. When I graduated from high school in 2003, I received a copy of Poems to Live by In Anxious Times, a tome that I still draw inspiration from in worship planning today. During my freshman year of college, a small package of candies from the local UU congregation were sent to my mailbox on Valentine’s Day. The robe I wear on special occasions at UUCA was a gift from my internship congregation, and is inscribed with a nickname that I have not used since that time.
These gifts are all part of the reason that volunteer recognition is important. Quality gifts that show we as a congregation care about the efforts of those who freely give their time are significant momentos of valuable time that has been contributed. The more that we are able to show each other that we care, and that we value what each other does for our community, the more we are able to build a multigenerational caring community that changes lives within and beyond our walls. If you have received an RE volunteer gift in recent years, I hope it means something special to you. If you have not, I hope you’ll consider one of the many volunteer roles available in the RE program this year.
You’d be a real Lifesaver.
Rev. Jonathan Rogers