The Unitarian Universalists of the Cumberland Valley started out as the dream of a small group of people meeting on a members farm and has grown into a vibrant strong multigenerational community. Check out a more detailed history of our beloved community below.
Some highlights from the history of the Unitarian Universalists of the Cumberland Valley.
Summer 1994: Sunday afternoon gatherings outdoors at the Baird-Ruby farm of members of the Unitarian Church of Harrisburg and friends. These gatherings were initially just an alternative to travelling thirty miles or more to Harrisburg, but the warm fellowship, the numbers (eighty-one at the first gathering) and surprising inspiration of worshipping together soon led to exploring the possibility of being a “UU Fellowship” linked to the Harrisburg church.
June 11, 1995: Our first monthly meeting in rented space (the Carlisle Friends Meeting House) featuring lay-led services and potluck dinners. Parents took turns being leaders of religious education for children.
May, 1996: Diane Reed and Matt Ruby attend new congregation startup training in Boston; we decide to name ourselves “Unitarian Universalists of the Cumberland Valley’ and to be centered in Carlisle.
May 4, 1997: Needing a larger space for worship and wanting to meet weekly, we begin services at Denny Hall on the Dickinson College campus.
May 14-21, 1997: Our new ministers, Duane Fickeisen and Judy Welles, visit Carlisle and conduct their first service, with fifty-nine adults in attendance. In July, we first formed a choir; in August, Duane and Judy move to Carlisle and begin their ministry with a service attended by ninety-five people. January, 1998: Our first Religious Education director begins.
March 15, 1998: Charter Sunday with guest speaker UUA President John Buehrens. Eightytwo charter members signed the new Membership Book.
Christmas Eve, 1998: We meet in the former Otterbein Methodist Church in Boiling Springs as we consider whether to mount a capital campaign to purchase the building. The subsequent campaign exceeded its goal of $60,000 by $35,000 and negotiations for purchase were successful at very favorable terms ($250,000).
June 6, 1999: Our first service in our very own meetinghouse!
March, 2004: Gift of the Yamaha grand piano for the sanctuary by Sally and Don Beaver.
December, 2005: The start of UUCV’s support of bursaries for girls in Mozambique, with 24 girls who graduated from HIV/AIDS prevention clubs called PEDRA in their villages and went to attend boarding high school programs in the cities of Molumbo and Narnarroi. By the end of 2006, 48 girls supported through Mozambique bursaries; by the end of 2007, 96 girls; by the end of 2008, 90-100 girls, a level that has been sustained ever since
January, 2008: David Glasgow becomes our first Music Director. Under his leadership, the choir grows and improves greatly.
May, 2010: Our new youth group, YUUTH in Action, takes its first field trip, to New York City. Subsequent trips have included Yogaville in Virginia.
August, 2010: Start of the Alan B. Franklin GLBT Justice Fund, which provides small grants to non-profit organizations to provide support for LGBT individuals and groups.
July 31, 2011: Judy and Duane retire. Roy Reynolds is our first Interim Minister.
July 1, 2012: Heather Flaherty is hired as Religious Education Director.
July 31, 2012: Roy is replaced by Rev. Barbara Coeyman as our Interim Minister.
October 1, 2012: We have a five-day-per-week Church Administrator, Pam Martin.
April 14, 2013: We vote to call our new settled Minister, Aija Simpson.
August 1, 2013: Rev. Aija Simpson begins at UUCV.