Why I Belong

Holly Terrill

Holly TerrillWhen deciding what direction my stewardship moment should take, I considered different angles. I first thought about being painfully direct—reminding the congregation that we can’t do all the great stuff we do and all the great stuff we want to do without having enough money to pay for it.

Then I thought about adding that without being able to pay the bills and keep the lights on we can’t do anything.

After that, I considered talking about how important some of the programs First UU offers that have meant something to me. This approach seems less pushy and more inspiring, therefore better. In the 12 years, I’ve been involved with First UU, I’ve participated on committee projects and events such as Children’s RE and the Board of Trustees. I’ve learned about and connected with the people who attend this church, members and visitors alike. My heart has hurt when they’ve endured tragedies and I’ve felt joy alongside them during the good times.

When my husband and I volunteered for the children’s RE program many years ago, we had the privilege of being a part of the lives of several middle school age kiddos who have grown up to be wonderful, intelligent young adults. We are now parents and watching our own child learn and experience the world has been important to us. We want Madeline to be able to make up her own mind about spirituality and religion. At First UU, she has that opportunity.

Without dedicated people to work with the children each week and without monetary donations from us, children at First UU would not have the experiences that I believe are important for setting them up to be successful, intellectual free thinkers. If you don’t have children and my speech hasn’t helped you make a connection to why it’s important to give to First UU, think of about the fact that today’s children will be the leaders of tomorrow.

While my focus has been on making monetary donations, I don’t want to downplay how important volunteering one’s time can be. In the words of writer Steve Goodier: “Money is not the only commodity that is fun to give. We can give time, we can give our expertise, we can give our love or simply give a smile. What does that cost? The point is, none of us can ever run out of something worthwhile to give.”

The First Unitarian Universalist Church of Wichita has so much potential—it is our Bat cave, and we have a chance to be superheroes if we take ownership of our destiny. Thank you.

— Holly Terrill