Good morning. When my perpetual internal questioner asked “Why Me?”, I decided it was time to share what saying yes to this community means to me.

Coming to First, I said yes to my mother who asked me to join her singing in the choir, because she wanted company and I wanted to be with her, deepening our relationship.

I said yes to Shawn when he invited me to become a member, because my history, values, beliefs and actions were consistent with this congregation’s mission.

And to Nancy and Terry Lee, who asked me to help fund David Foot, a speaker at the CUC conference in Toronto, I said yes because I am a fellow academic committed to better understanding our social-ecological world and its impact on our health and well-being.

I also said yes to Ellen Campbell, who suggested I strengthen connections with East African UU congregations, because I travelled often and could share their struggles and joys with our congregation.

To Peter Brydon, who asks regularly for choir members to bring snack, I said yes so we can share fellowship. And to Tanya Cothran, who organized a virtual Journey Group, I said yes to a wonderful opportunity to deepen our understanding of monthly themes, from wherever we were in the world To Karen Dunk-Green, who asked me to consider pledging more each year, I said yes because this congregation supports struggling members of our city. I have also said yes to resident musicians, who invite us to hear their music on line and support them is their work, as I appreciate their creativity To Paul Bognar, who asked me to be a worship leader, I said yes so I could be with myself and you all in a deeper way, and with Catherine Lake, I agreed to share this testimony, to reveal how First has become a bedrock for my being in this wonderful, crazy world.

Saying yes to First has meant so much to me that I am going to renew my annual pledge to First this pledge season. May saying yes do so for you as well as you consider how Yes Lives Here at First Unitarian. Be generous as your means allow to support all we do here together and all that First nurtures within.

The offering that we take each Sunday isn't just habit — like the annual pledge campaign, it's an opportunity to recommit to this place, and to this people. 

Each offering is an affirmation — a “yes.” 

When we give, we say yes to something we value. 

With our gifts, freely given, may we say yes to the values of our faith. 

May our offering help us practice Unitarian Universalism within and beyond our congregation.  

Will the ushers please come forward to receive our contributions.