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February 2019 Outreach by Becky Cureau

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As always, our members can be depended on to show up in service to the community. This was true of our service at the Holy Grill from January 22 to January 25 when teams of volunteers provided service each day, with several repeat servers and a first-time non-member volunteer. Volunteers included Barbara Carlson, Jan Dardenne, Herb Dyer, Liz Hamlin, Cathy Hansen, Bill Haywood, Ron Juneau, Nancy Kunen, David Lindenfeld, Melonie Pryer, Marge Schroth, Marcia Shannon, Bobby ThompsonHenry Tillman, Jane Webb, and Joanna Wilson. Our volunteers serve with joy as they interact with the diners in this daily meal provided by the Interfaith Federation of Greater Baton Rouge to low income residents in Zion City in North Baton Rouge. Thanks, Volunteers, for your service and for serving on behalf of our church.

The recently installed Wall of History in the alcove in the narthex is the realization of a proposal approved by the church’s board of directors in 2005 and side-tracked shortly thereafter by our many involvements in recovery efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and put on hold in ensuing years as we addressed more pressing priorities. But it remained a goal of my role as church historian, and I am grateful to Reverend Steve Crump for sharing the goal and re-validating the proposal early in the summer of 2018. Our church has a rich heritage, and a major goal of the Wall of History is to visually highlight our history and the legacy of leadership that dates to our founding. From the election of the first president the year after the 1951 founding of the Unitarian Fellowship of Baton Rouge and for its first eighteen years, leadership was provided by a succession of presidents along with a core of dedicated "pillars."  These stalwart leaders would be followed by a long roster of presidents, and since 1969 with the spiritual and professional leadership of our called ministers.  

The past months' work of bringing the long-ago proposed Wall of History to reality has been a joyous labor of love, impelled by both by my role as a custodian of our history and by my deep appreciation for having been privileged to be witness to and part of its unfolding for fifty-two years. I owe a special debt of gratitude to Rev. Crump for his considerable help in the Wall’s fruition, and to Diana Dorroh, JoAnn Fryling, Allison Hall, Irene Kato, Ann Mengelson-Clark, and Bobby Thompson for their help in various ways. Andreas Hansen deserves a special and huge thanks for doing the labor of mounting the photos and plaques. The Wall recognizes our legacy of leadership and will be an on-going project far into the future as photos and representations of our past and future history are added, along with names of future presidents and pictures of future ministers. May it be a visible reminder of the visionaries who laid the foundation of liberal religion in our city, and a tribute to all who provided the leadership that has made us who we are today - the strong, vibrant, and thriving Unitarian Church of Baton Rouge.