Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Fellowship Time Line from 1949 to Present

If you have been in the fellowship hall/religious education wing of our church recently, you will have noticed the l-o-n-g rolls of kraft paper taped up over the windows and continuing around on the east wall. It is a historical time line of the Denton Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, from its founding in 1949 through the present.

This time line is a visual representation of the history of our congregation, and it was begun last weekend at a two-hour workshop held on Saturday morning. Creating a time line like this is an opportunity for a collective effort at history telling.

And, why would we want to make such an effort? Because, as Shakespeare told us, “What’s past is prologue.” We cannot begin to understand our present nor chart our future without knowing something about where – and who -- we have been. This time line will hardly be an exhaustive, detailed or even necessarily a totally accurate view of our history. The goal of such an exercise is not to produce a scholarly history but to uncover the collective memory of the congregation.

Many, many thanks to all the DUUF members and friends who attended and participated in last Saturday morning’s event, contributing their personal memories and some historical research to the tie line. We had a great cross-section of folks from the Fellowship, both old-timers and newcomers, alike, and made a good beginning on this project.

The time line will not be complete, however, until you have contributed to it, too! It will remain up in the Fellowship Hall for a few weeks, and everyone is invited to add events of interest in the life of the Fellowship above the line – including the date you joined or began attending, weddings, memorial services or other life passages commemorated, when certain programs or events happened – anything at all you remember. If you have children who attend the Fellowship, I encourage their grown-ups to involve them in adding their names and their memories to the wall.

Below the line, you are invited to write in events, movements or trends that were happening in Denton, in Texas, the U.S. or the world, so that we can see something of the cultural and political context in which the Fellowship has existed.

When our DUUF Time Line is “complete”, we will use it to reflect upon and celebrate our past, in the hope that we might be able to learn something from our history that could help us be a better congregation today or in the future.

Many thanks to all of you for participating in this exercise and, more importantly, for the part, great or small, you have already played in the history of the Denton Unitarian Universalist Fellowship!

Your Ministerial Intern,
Scottie McIntyre Johnson