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Generosity is expressed in a variety of ways and comes in many forms, including peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
Imagine making 400 sandwiches and packing 200 bag lunches on a Sunday morning, twice a month. That’s one way that generosity is demonstrated by the volunteers of all ages at the First Unitarian Church of St. Louis, MO. Rob Harding and Vicki Carlson are the coordinators of the operation, which takes place in the church kitchen and fellowship hall. The bag lunches are delivered to a local shelter for families—primarily women and children—affected by domestic abuse.
The sandwich-making has provided a dual benefit, as many of the congregation’s newcomers join in and get involved as active members. Children, youth, adults and elders work side-by-side, have a lot of fun, and feel good about helping others in their community.
The members of First Unitarian are generous supporters of a number of social action projects as volunteers and through the church’s Community Action Endowment Fund and annual budget. In addition to their impressive generosity at the local level, the church has earned the distinction of being a Fair Share Honor Congregation with the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) for a solid 25 years. “Annual Program Fund giving is a tradition,” said Charlie Merrill, President, “There is pride in the Unitarian Universalist movement among the members. That influences our decision to give to the UUA.”
According to Rev. Suzanne Meyer, minister of the 400-member church, First Unitarian gives away one collection plate a month to particular causes and community agencies. “Giving away a plate offering a month has met with positive response.” reports Rev. Meyer, “Our offering collections are now two or three times greater than before the practice began.”
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Last updated on Thursday, September 8, 2011.
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