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Stewardship Reflection – The Weiss Family

My name is Mitchell Weiss; and my wife Sandy and I, along with our four children, Sam, Hannah, Max, and Julia have been members of this church for a little over four years. I’m not going to tell you that the church has a heating bill and an electric bill to pay. You all know this and have your own heating bill and electric bill to pay. I am here to tell you why the Weiss Family supports First Unitarian Church of Wilmington.
For those who do not know the story of how we came to First U, here is a brief summary. Sandy and I were raised in different faith traditions. This became an issue when our relationship was becoming serious. We attended a workshop for interfaith couples at the 92nd Street Y in New York given by Esthar Perel.
It was during this time that we decided that we would raise the children in my faith tradition, which we did for as long as we were living in New Jersey. Then in July 2013 we “escaped” New Jersey and moved to Fairfax. We looked into the four congregations that serve Wilmington, negotiated membership, and joined one of the congregations. It soon became clear to us that that the Congregation was not following through on some of the conditions agreed upon, and that they had dealt with us in bad faith. Our membership in that Congregation only lasted seven months.
We called the other Congregations in town and each of them had a reason why we could not become members in their community. I needed one out of the four Congregations to accept my family out of the box, as we were, warts and all, and no one did. It became quite clear that these Congregations were not looking for members, but they were looking for the right members.
Four months later, I became able to speak about this without getting too upset, and Sandy mentioned that she had been doing some research about this Church and wanted to visit. At the time, I did the advanced scouting for the family on religious issues and attended a Sunday service. I reported back that you really like name tags and coffee. I told Sandy it really is a caffeinated congregation and that I think we would fit in. We were accepted straight out of the box, warts and all, and we still are.
While I have heard all sorts of Welcoming Statements from other congregations they always seem to be followed by an “Oh, you need to speak to the Treasurer, Membership Chair, or my favorite the E-Board for Special Dispensation”. Our Welcoming Statement is probably the only thing read from this pulpit that is universally agreed upon, and there are truly no conditions.
This is why I support this church, not because it has accepted my family. But for the fact they accept all of you, and anyone else who happens to pass through our doors, be them wood or glass. This congregation truly sees the “Inherent worth and dignity of every human being”, and understands that the whole is stronger because of its parts. This is why the Weiss Family supports First Unitarian Church of Wilmington.