Members Speak: The Meyer Sherwood Family

The Meyer Sherwood Family: March 9, 2012

Meyer Sherwood
Larry Sherwood:

I am honored to be in community with you. As your Treasurer for almost three years, I see every day how this congregation brings love and reason to life and builds a just and compassionate world. Money is not the only way we bring these values to life, but when I sign the checks, I see how our money helps us live our values.

Boulder Valley UU Fellowship has an impact on the big issues of our time. We believe in the worth and dignity of every human being.

Our society today does not value paying living wages to our people. This Congregation does. Although not perfect, through your prioritization of paying fair wages to our staff, you have shown that a small non-profit faith community can prioritize people and commit to paying fair wages. When confronted with changes in health benefit regulations, your Board chose to prioritize preserving benefits for our staff rather than cancelling the benefit altogether. We did not have to do this. I am proud of you.

Our society does not value a quality education for disadvantaged kids. This Congregation does. We made a 10-year commitment to sponsor them through the I Have A Dream Foundation Eagle Class at Pioneer Elementary School. We know that we change the world one child at a time. I am proud of you.

Our society has failed at providing mental heath care for our people. This Congregation works to fix this wrong. As a loving community, we support those among us struggling with mental health issues and help them get well. More, we advocate for just policies to fix this failed system. I am proud of you.

Our society does not welcome people who come to this country dreaming for a better life. This Congregation does. In coalition with UUA congregations across the country and other faith-based groups, we love every person. We want loving families to remain intact, and we want our society to do better. I am proud of you.

I could go on. But I won’t. I am not involved in most of the activities of this congregation. But I am incredibly grateful that champions within this Congregation make these programs happen – and many more! I am privileged to sign the checks that enable these good works. I am proud to be part of this community with you.

Morgan Meyer Sherwood’s (age 12) statement

I found the Fellowship when I was in second grade. My parents thought I needed religious education. We first attended the church in Boulder. But when we came to BVUUF, I knew that it was right. I don’t remember what it was exactly, but I know that I had a strong feeling that this one was right.

Soon after joining the Fellowship, I took the training to be a Chalice Champ. I loved being able to get up on the dias and stand in front of everybody. I have enjoyed doing religious education, and 5th grade O.W.L. One thing I liked about religious education is learning more about other religions. I liked singing in the children’s choir very much. Another activity I have liked is summer camp, where I just started to be a C.I.T. I learned that I really like working with little kids. Recently I began helping in the Nursery. And I can’t forget all the Girl Scout cookies I’ve sold here!

I look forward to 7th grade O.W.L. next year as well as coming of age in 8th grade. I am also hoping to do the mission trip in 9th grade. Eventually I hope to become a counselor at summer camp. But until I get to experience all these wonderful things, I still have lots of fun things happening right now at the fellowship!

I am sure I will continue to like coming to BVUUF for many years to come!

Janet Meyer’s statement

In December of 2008, I was walking to school with 6 year old Morgan. Along the way, we passed one of those mid-century Christmas displays on a lawn, with Santa on one side and the nativity scene on the other, all plastic and lit up from the inside. Morgan laughed when she saw it and said, “Look at all that desert stuff! What does desert have to do with Christmas?!?” In that instant, it became clear that we were in need of some Religious Education.

Already UUs, we looked around at our options, and, as she said, this place just felt right.

Although the catalyst for our family joining the Fellowship was Morgan, it has been good for all of us. — It has strengthened our sense of who we are as a family, and the values that define us. We have grown closer and had meaningful conversations and experiences we would not have had otherwise. When Morgan lights the chalice on our dinner table, we connect to something bigger than the three of us.

We all know more people of different ages, backgrounds and interests than we did before, and our lives are richer for it. As Larry said, we get a lot of satisfaction from being a part of a vibrant community that does more together than we could ever do on our own.

For me, personally, I’ve wept through many a service, sniffled through many a song, and been deeply moved (and sometimes challenged) by the people here. I get a sense of satisfaction from the contributions I have been able to make of my time, talents, and treasure. I feel nurtured here, particularly by the precious women in my covenant group – a caring circle unlike any other in my life.

I’ve seen Morgan grow up in front of this congregation, and I feel your affection and support for her. She clearly feels so at home here.

But when I look at our family, and how it’s been for us to be involved here, it seems to me that no one has benefited more than Larry. This was a surprise to me. He finds such solace in the meditative reflective services, which he says are an oasis of calm in his too-busy life. He works alone, so this is a place where his considerable talents and skills are enthusiastically welcomed and his incredible kindness and sense of service is made visible for all to see.

I love that he and Morgan are cherished here, and I am so proud to be a part of this congregation as a family, with them.

Like so many families, we came for the kid, but we stayed for us.

Being here is an investment in my family, my congregation, our community, and the world we love.