We wanted to get married but not in the rigid faith traditions of our youth. We were married by a Unitarian minister who performed a wedding service that we had written. We wanted to raise our kids to be open to new ideas, various faith traditions and an identification with a religion that is inclusive rather than exclusive. We joined this congregation and enrolled our kids in the religious education program. Now that they are grown, it is wonderful seeing them live out their lives with the positive values and principles of UU influencing their actions.
We wanted worship services that would include meaningful traditions, challenges to live out UU values, acceptance of others, exposure to the various “truths” that all religions offer and hymns that have meaning in our lives.
We wanted to be challenged to be caring, accepting and informed members of our local community. Not only did we want this for ourselves but wanted to support a place where others could have the same opportunity. That supportive community is here.
Lastly, we wanted to support a religious institution that doesn’t tell others who to hate, that is standing on the side of love, that is not afraid to speak out for people who are oppressed and that is concerned about issues of social justice and equity in human relationships. That place is the Unitarian Congregation of West Chester. In the end, we invest time and money in this congregation not only for us but for others not yet attending and those who will in the future.
During our early years here, we were struggling to make ends meet and raise a family. Quite frankly, we didn’t contribute much financially to the congregation. We figured others were in a better position to do this and that we might contribute at the point we were no longer struggling with childcare, school expenses, etc. The years passed and we were never really that comfortable financially. One day the light bulb went off and we realized that there may never be a “good time” to give so we might as well put our money where are hearts were today. We started giving at much higher levels.
Three children through college, the normal financial responsibilities and unexpected expenses did not dissuade us from giving at a higher level. We realized that many who supported the congregation were no better off than we were and instead of relying on the generosity of others became generous ourselves. Through generous giving today we feel we are influencing tomorrow and insure that a liberal religious faith and voice are present for ourselves and, perhaps more importantly, for others.