Cedars on the Rise

From Your Co-Minister, Rev. Barbara W. ten Hove 

It’s been an amazing year at Cedars!

We are the proud owners of the beautiful Cedars UU Center in downtown Winslow, where lovely rooms provide great space for us to work, meet, eat and learn together. Our adult membership is at its highest level ever and we have more kids and youth registered in our religious education program than we’ve had in years.

Our choir has about doubled in size during the past few years and the quality of our music program is being noticed by everyone who comes to services at Cedars. And speaking of services, our attendance continues to grow on Sundays as more and more folks discover the blessings of being a part of our growing liberal spiritual community. The energy and goodwill on Sunday mornings is, as Jaco likes to say, “a beautiful thing!”

We are so proud to be the ministers of this thriving band of religious seekers. We are blessed to have a great Religious Education Director in Candee Cole, who despite some serious health challenges this year has bounced back strong and continues to inspire families with her wonderful way of making church both meaningful and fun.

We are thrilled to have worked alongside Chris Smellow since we arrived at Cedars nearly six years ago. What a gift she is to our community! Her musical and spiritual gifts bless our congregation each week and she is beloved by choir member and listener alike.

And, of course, we can’t say enough about the amazing lay members who do the work of this church with grace and style. Among the Auction leaders, Sunday School teachers, Worship Associates, Board Members—and much more!—we witness extraordinary people giving their gifts to Cedars week after week.

We know that Cedars is a special place. We know that what we do here and are here matters not just to us but to the wider community in which we live. We make a difference and we change lives for the better. We do so because together we are the church. Our church. Cedars Church, Unitarian Universalist.

How much does this church mean to you? What do you value as much in your life as you do this beloved community? What might you do to keep it strong and healthy far into the future?

As we enter into our annual Stewardship season, we are proclaiming: “This is the Year!” After a good stretch of Gathering Our Dreams we know that there is powerful momentum among us to make a great leap into the future. We continue to grow our membership, our Religious Education program, our choir, our organization and our presence in our community. Now it’s up to us to grow our budget to a level that matches our intention, activity and potential.

Jaco and I invite you to pay attention to the many ways you can be inspired to grow your commitment to this beloved church we call our religious home. Check out the new front page of the Cedars Directory for more information about this year’s Stewardship campaign. And please make your commitment to be at church this Sunday, Feb. 23, for our Stewardship launch and on March 16 for Stewardship Sunday followed by Cottage Meetings (afternoon neighborhood team gatherings).

This is the Year! Let’s realize our dreams and grow together.