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Unitarian Universalist Congregation of South County, Wakefield, RI

“I came here because of this congregation’s spirit,” says Rev. Betty Kornitzer. “When we attend to generosity and to being a community of faith, it makes our spirit sing.”

Rev. Betty is in her third year of the Unitarian Universalist (UU) Congregation of South County’s first settled ministry. This congregation was established in 1993 in Peace Dale, RI, with 29 members. Calling their first minister was a big stretch financially for the congregation, but they raised the funds needed.

The congregation has grown to over 130 adult members and nearly 60 children and youth—an amazing rate of growth for a newly established congregation. And they are a busy group. Throughout their existence, the UU Congregation of South County have been loyal Fair Share contributors to both the Annual Program Fund and the Ballou Channing District.

Outreach, social action and service are very important to the members of the UU Congregation of South County. They have the Agape Fund to provide support to their members and friends. When the tsunami hit, the congregation contributed $3,000 in a single call. The congregation is involved in a social action network which provides support for New Orleans families ravaged by Hurricane Katrina. They are a part of the Partner Church Network which assists the First UU Church in New Orleans. These have been meaningful relationships, as have been their partnership relationships established in three areas of Africa. “We are an international congregation, though our organization is based in a tiny town in rural Rhode Island,” says Richard Evans, who serves as congregational president.

Richard reports that currently the UU Congregation of South County is meeting for services at the local Legion Hall. They are readying themselves to buy property for their first church home, and the fund-raising activities for the Land and Building Fund involve all ages within the congregation.

Take young Thomas Carson, for example. Seven-year old Thomas cares a lot about his congregation. “I thought we needed a bigger space for the kids because right now we are all together and the big kids are meeting in the kitchen on Sundays, Thomas reports. “I didn’t want the adults to do all the fund-raising, so I decided to take $5.00 of the money I got for Christmas and give it to our new building fund,” said Thomas. Thomas decorated a big water bottle with spirals and lines with markers and posed a challenge to the congregation to match his contribution. And they responded to “The Thomas Carson Challenge” enthusiastically, contributing over $200 in matching funds.

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Last updated on Thursday, September 8, 2011.

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