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Rev. Peter Morales spoke at the September 2009 Centennial Celebration of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Eugene, OR. Media outreach for the Centennial Celebration was coordinated by congregant Jane Ganter.
Ganter emailed a short note to reporters at local media outlets, along with more detailed background information.
The Unitarian Universalist Church in Eugene will hold its Centennial Celebration on Sunday, September 20.
The guest speaker will be the recently elected president of the Unitarian Universalist Association, Rev. Peter Morales. Further information on Morales is available at http://uua.org/pressroom/mediakit/144355.shtml.
Attached is background information on the 100-year history of the church in Eugene. Should the editors wish to report on the event further, photos are available of the guest speaker, the current minister, and the church at 11th and Ferry during the first half of the 20th century.
Jane Ganter, [phone number]
for the UUCE Centennial Celebration
[This text could easily be made into a press release with the addition of a title, date, and the phrase “for immediate release.”]
A Centennial Celebration on Sunday, September 20th, will commemorate the first 100 years of the Unitarian Universalist Church in Eugene. The church’s Rev. Stephen A. Landale has announced family-friendly festivities following the second service on Sunday, September 20th. The afternoon will feature music, entertainment, and birthday cake and ice cream. Five history booths will feature treasures from the church archives. Some members may even feel moved to dress in period costumes.
The church’s Rev. Stephen A. Landale has announced that the Centennial Celebration will be a homecoming of sorts for the day’s guest speaker, Rev. Peter Morales. Recently elected president of the Unitarian Universalist Association [UUA], he served on the local UU church’s board of trustees. Before leaving the area to attend the Starr King School for the Ministry (Berkeley, CA), Morales was editor and publisher of the Cottage Grove Sentinel from 1985 until 1996.
The local church had its beginning in late May 1909, when 15 men and women met with two Unitarian ministers at Hoffman House, a hotel at the corner of 9th (now Broadway) and Willamette. The first Sunday service took place September 18, 1909.
On May 6, 1910, the members decided to buy a lot at the southwest corner of 11th and Ferry for $2,650. The congregation sold its Ferry Street property in 1960 and met at the Frances Willard Elementary School until its now-bursting-at-the-seams building was complete.
The history of Eugene’s Unitarian Universalists is bound to the history of our city. Its Women's Alliance, in 1917, was responsible for the first rummage sale ever held in Eugene, in a vacant business on Willamette Street.
The first religious radio program in Lane County also began with a UU minister, Ernest Melville Whitesmith, who served from 1927 to 1934. The program he began continued under the next minister.
Coincidentally, the Fairmount home where an organizer of the first meeting lived has for many years been the home of a current long-time member of the Eugene congregation. That organizer was Dugald Campbell, who spearheaded fundraising for the new church and served continuously on the board of trustees until 1927.
During the tumultuous 1960s, the minister was Carl Nelson, a social activist who took part in the civil rights march to Selma, helped get the death penalty repealed in Oregon, and opposed both the Vietnam War and the cross on Skinner's Butte.
The congregation has grown about threefold since holding the first Sunday service in its 40th Avenue building on February 17, 1963. It is now the 2nd largest Unitarian Universalist congregation in Oregon and one of the largest churches in Eugene. For some time now, a committee has been involved in an arduous search for a place to relocate in the greater Eugene downtown area.
Jane Ganter, [phone number]
UUCE Centennial Celebration Committee
To request an interview with Morales, please contact Rachel Walden, UUA Public Witness Specialist, at (617) 948-4652 or pw_specialist @ uua.org
Ganter's outreach resulted in significant positive coverage of Rev. Morales's visit in The Register-Guard and the Cottage Grove Sentinel.
For more information contact web @ uua.org.
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Last updated on Friday, September 9, 2011.
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