It seems hard to believe that it's almost been a year since we started on our journey together. On July 1, I'll celebrate my one year anniversary with the Unitarian Universalist Church in Anaheim! And it's been an exciting year.
We have grown in many ways: first in membership. As I reported at our congregational meeting in May, we have upwards of 17% more members at this time than we did a year ago. And last Sunday we signed up one more! I love that I regularly hear what a wonderful welcoming group we are and how happy people feel to have found us. And we've grown in our outreach to the larger community. We had the most popular booth at LGBT Pride Day last summer, and we continue to be active in the CLUE/OCCCO sponsored Poverty Task Force that is working diligently to establish a facility to provide care for those in Anaheim and surrounding areas who are homeless. We hosted a fabulous concert with "Emma's Revolution" that brought in fans from all over Orange County. We deliver food on a weekly basis to persons living with HIV/AIDS who cannot deal with this part of life for themselves any more. And we regularly host groups who use our facilities for their own meetings and events. We've expanded our horizons in understanding and responding to the injustice in the world with monthly Programs for Progressives, other special programs, the UUA curriculum of "Immigration as a Moral Issue", and with our Sunday Forums. And we've deepened our connection to Unitarian Universalism by attending district workshops, helping to host District Assembly at First UU Church in Los Angeles, and looking forward to General Assembly in Arizona at the end of June.
Many people who are part of our congregation have spent considerable time and energy and given generously of their talents to help our congregation to thrive. I want to say thank you to all the board members, the committee chairs, the committee members, and those of you who help set up, take down, wash up, and do all the other work that helps us thrive. I know we don't say thank you often enough, but I'm saying it now! Without you we can't do anything worth doing!
We have lots of additional work and enjoyment to look forward to in the coming year. There is more injustice in our world to be dealt with, lots and lots that we can learn together, and - fortunately - many, many more wonderful people to welcome in our community.
I'm delighted to be continuing the journey with all of you!