Activities at the Unitarian Church of Montclair during the month of February 2008 reflected the theme of Peace and Justice in both worship and religious education. The church mobilized its resources to sponsor a special program for the Newton Street School in nearby Newark, NJ—with whom they began a partner relationship several years back. At that time, a church member and Newton Street School guidance counselor told members of her congregations that the families of a number of the children attending the school couldn’t afford to purchase Christmas gifts. Each holiday season since, the Unitarian Church has collected gifts and contributions for the school children.
This year the church demonstrated its commitment to peace and justice and to the school by organizing and hosting a special program for the Newton Street students. The Children and Youth Religious Education Council co-chairs, Terry Doemling and Judith Rew took the lead in planning the event: Judith Rew, provided lunch for 100 people and brought in drummer Ed Martoglio. Peter Arian created an art project for the participants.
The principal of the Newton Street School, Mr. Willie Thomas, wrote a letter of appreciation to the church: “This past Sunday, February 24th, 2008, you again extended the hand of friendship in the form of a Day of Peace at Newton Street. The families from your congregation who came to our school to participate in this event were generous in their time and effort to form a partnership with the families at our school. The entertainment, in the form of the actor who played Harriet Tubman and the African Drummer, were not only engaging but educational in their skill and breath of knowledge. The food was tremendous. We are very grateful.”
This partnership is but one expression of the Unitarian Church of Montclair’s year-round generosity. The church has an impressive Mantle of Giving display in their foyer, featuring photos of the many church and community activities they support. For example, each year the Senior Youth Group hosts a special school band concert for area bands to perform. A small admission donation is requested, which in past years has been donated to a local charity.
This year the church is in the midst of an ambitious capital campaign to enhance their historic church building. Adam Weinger, Senior Youth Representative to the Board, learned about the improvements being made to the building and heard the appeal for support of the capital campaign. Adam shared what he learned in Board meetings with his fellow youth group members. Together the youth decided to donate a portion of their concert proceeds to the church’s capital campaign—proving the importance of engaging our young Unitarian Universalists in active leadership, service and stewardship.
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Last updated on Thursday, September 8, 2011.
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