A dream that began in 2012 became true on Sunday, October 18, 2015 for the Unitarian Universalists of Southern Delaware, as they dedicated their new Church Home in Lewes, Delaware. The congregation moved this fall from their small rental space to this spacious converted home, which they had remodeled and added a beautiful new sanctuary and gathering spaces. This new home was made possible with the support of a group of members, known as the “Pioneers”, who purchased the property while the congregation decided whether or not to make the commitment of a new church home, and conducted a capital campaign to raise the necessary funds. The building of the sanctuary and remodel of the property was also supported by the JPD Chalice Lighter Program, as well as by offering collections and other support from the other Unitarian Universalist congregations of the Delmarva Peninsula, including the longstanding support for the congregation by the First Unitarian Church of Wilmington, Delaware.
The dedication service included Rev. David Pyle, District Executive for the Joseph Priestley District, as well as a video message from the Rev. Peter Morales, President of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations. Rev. Morales pointed out that the congregation is one of the engaging congregations in the country, with many programs and with exceptional growth during its sixteen years. The new location and size of the congregational home is sure to help the congregation to continue to grow Unitarian Universalism in Southern Delaware.
The congregation completed this building project while also beginning an Interim Ministry with the Rev. Paula Maiorano, as well as continuing many interfaith and justice ministries programs. The congregation is now planning for this new space to allow them to revitalize their lifespan religious education programs, as well as a hope that the beautiful new space can become a center for Unitarian Universalists from across the region to come on retreat or for other events. The church property is right next to a protected wetlands, and the congregation has a desire to share their new home with others of our faith tradition who wish to meet in their community at the Delaware Beaches.
While it is a wonderful story when a Unitarian Universalist congregation finds and builds a new church home, it is a special story when so many other congregations have played a role in making this dream become a reality. We offer congratulations to the Unitarian Universalists of Southern Delaware, and a hearty thank you for all of the congregations of the Delmarva Peninsula for your commitment to growing Unitarian Universalism!
Check out all the photos taken of the new building by Rev. David Pyle on his facebook page.