Ironicschmoozer’s Weblog


Testimonial for Capital Campaign by John — “Building the Beloved Community” —

Good Morning.

  • I joined UUSS in 1996 not to pursue a spiritual journey. But I wanted my children to be exposed to religion without the dogma so that they would not be vulnerable to Religious Predators later in life.
  • This community draws you in – they discover your skills, talents – you discover their needs.
  • I grew up doing carpentry and am an engineer. Soon recruited into doing projects around the RE buildings with other RE parents. First major project was rebuilding a wood deck platform in the children’s play area.
  • Working with other parents makes strong connects. One parent, Ned Doehne, was a project cheerleader and strong consistent worker. Ned and I decided that in the summer 2001 we would take on repainting the RE Buildings. No one was sure if the building had been repainted since they were built in the early 60’s.
  • I came home one evening and my son met me at the door to tell me that Ned had died. Community tragedies such as this do deepen your life  but there are so many other happy events that also deepen your life.
  • The RE Painting team pressed on and in late summer of 2001 we started the project. Saturdays were prep days and Sundays were painting days.
  • By the September 9th weekend we only had one weekend of work left. Two days later was the tragedy now known as “9/11”. The following Sunday we did complete the project. But the UUSS parking lot on that Sunday overflowed with vehicles. Obviously, that day our community was a source of healing for many.
  • A couple of years later this community developed and adopted our mission. Events such as the ones I have mentioned here made that mission very real to me. Yes, my life has been deepened here: And this is a place for healing, too.
  • My long term hope is that UUSS becomes known as a spiritual center in Sacramento with people coming here to spend time deepening and healing – A Very Welcoming Place.
  • Changing gears, this place has serious needs. It may not seem like it today but winter is coming and soon a custodian has to descend into the basement to awaken the old dragon and light his breath so we can have warmth in the building. I worry about the day the dragon can’t be awakened.
  • In meetings I am constantly mentioning this and other critical needs of this place. Our consultant, Bud, regularly reminds me that people give to a capital campaign based on the mission, not the bricks and mortar (or the retirements of dragons).
  • But I know the quality of a place does influence how people’s think of a community’s mission and that community’s ability to move forward on that mission.
  • Also, I practice Tai Chi Chu’an which focuses on the development of one’s Qi (ch’i) energy and how it moves through one’s body. A similar Chinese practice, Feng Shui, focuses on how the human built environment affects people’s Qi (energy). Many of us have walked into a place and felt right at home. In other places you can’t wait until you can get away.
  • “Building the Beloved Community” provides us the opportunity to create “HERE” an environment – an energy source that truly aids and enhances the opportunity to:

Come together to

Deepen Our Lives, and

Be a force for healing in the world

Thank you

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