Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Somerset Hills

Open minds, loving hearts, helping hands


Sandy thoughts

Author Nadine Sapirman, Written Nov 16, 2012

The last few weeks have been busy at UUCSH.  I am grateful for this community and for the support that we have provided to each other and to the greater community during the storm.  I wanted to share with you some of the remarkable work that has gone on in this faith community over the last month.

Giving Network Tricky Tray: It seems like ages ago when we enjoyed the remarkable evening at the Manville VFW.   This event set a financial record that will go a long way towards keeping our vans delivering goods throughout Somerset County over the next year.

Mark and I walked out the door that Saturday night and immediately changed into our hurricane prep mode.  16 years of living in New Orleans taught us to fill the bathtubs, fill the gas tanks, wash all the laundry, load up on batteries and batten down the hatches.

Sandy Storm response:  UUCSH (and my house) actually survived Sandy very well.  Our lovely church had power and minimal damage.  Tuesday Jen, with the help of a number of other congregants, opened our doors to members and friends to come and warm-up, recharge batteries and souls.  Rev. Marcia conducted a vespers service on Wednesday night.  We invited the homeless guests of IHN to join us Thursday for a day of warmth as Bridgewater Methodist was without power.  Our building stayed open about 12 hours a day for a week.  For those that joined us. it was an experience that will be long remembered.

I saw congregants that I had not seen for a long time coming together to enjoy the warmth of friendship.  I saw children, who could not go to school, doing crafts with Jen while their parents got a break and worked from our “work at home quiet space”, took conference calls upstairs, or just enjoyed time with friends.  An amazing response to a difficult situation.  Truly the power of this community was never stronger than the last couple of weeks.

Ministerial Search update:  Oh by the way.  While others may have defined themselves during the storm recovery by what they could not do Scott and the search team got our ministerial search package on line on time and conducted the Beyond Categorical Thinking church service as scheduled.  Amazing!!

Peace Conference:  Finally I want to share with you the story of the Peace Conference in Princeton.  We were one of the many sponsors of the event for which I am very proud of UUCSH and the work our Social Action team does.  My family came from the Arlington, VA church to attend this.    Noam Chomsky, Juan Cole, and Amy Goodman were the speakers.  It was a powerful conference challenging us to think about the road to peace by reducing our need for middle east oil and the tragedies of climate change through green energy.  I am again proud of the work that our Green Team does to lead us in this change.

I am ready for a calmer next couple of weeks and plan to have a very grateful Thanksgiving.

Happy and Peaceful Thanksgiving to you all.

Ann Perry