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2002 Recipients: Jan and Stu Sendell
Remarks by the Rev. William G. Sinkford
Jan and Stu Sendell have been active Unitarian Universalists for over 30 years in congregations in Paramus and Morristown, New Jersey. Nearly ten years ago they were invited to join the UUA's Presidents' Council. They agreed and the Association has been blessed by their commitment, dedication and generosity ever since.
Jan and Stuart co-chaired the Presidents' Council from 1997 - 2001. They led this group with warmth, good humor and effective meeting management skills. They oversaw the successful completion of one capital campaign Handing on the Future and the launch of our current campaign, The Campaign for Unitarian Universalism. During the first year of the Campaign for Unitarian Universalism, Stuart and Jan traveled to 6 cities around the country facilitating day-long meetings on the future of the UUA. At each meeting they shared their faith, their confidence and their boundless optimism. Hundreds of UU leaders from across the country have been inspired by their example. Jan and Stu describe their commitment this way: "UUism is our fourth child. The UUA, in our opinion, has the opportunity and responsibility to nurture existing congregations, ministers and lay leaders and also to grow the movement. We're doing what we can to help realize these goals through our estate plans. Our estate will now be divided into 4 parts, one each for our three children and one share for the UUA."
Thanks to their leadership, the Presidents' Council has grown in numbers and deepened in effectiveness. They have not only challenged the Council but also the President to set high goals, dream big dreams, and give generous gifts to ensure that they UUA lives up to its promise.
Stuart served as a founding member of the Congregational Properties Loan Commission. This group provides critical guidance in the shaping of UUA policy around loans, grants to new congregations and insurance guidelines for church property. Stu passionate commitment to the future of our congregations combined with years of experience as a commercial mortgage broker led him to playing a key role on this committee.
Meanwhile, Stuart was also actively involved in the formation of a new congregation in Somerset Hills, New Jersey. Once again, Stu was recruited by his district leaders because of his fundraising savvy and hands on approach to making things happen. During all of this time they have remained engaged in the leadership of the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship where Jan has served as president and canvass co-chair.
With three grandchildren now enrolled in the Morristown Religious Education Program, they are doing their personal best to help it grow.
Perhaps most importantly of all, Stu and Jan have consistently provided wise and candid counsel to our presidents. I know how grateful I am to them for their generous spirit and honest insight. I know John Buehrens counted them among his most trusted advisors. We have been truly and deeply blessed by their love of our faith.