Minister’s Moment, September 2019
In 1869, when a small group of people met in Brown’s Hotel in downtown Cedar Rapids to form what eventually became Peoples Church, what were they expecting? What did they think they were creating and how long did they expect it to last?
Did they know they were founding a church that would last 150 years? Did they picture their little start up still going strong in 2019 and beyond? Would they even recognize it today?
Over the last century and a half, Peoples Church has gone through a lot of unexpected changes, including 5 different name changes (from The First Universalist Church to The Liberal Christian Church, to The Little Brick Church, to The Peoples Christian Church, and finally, to Peoples Church UU), three denominational or associational affiliation changes (from originally Universalist, to Unitarian in 1928, and to Unitarian Universalist in 1961), and one location change (from 3rd Ave in downtown Cedar Rapids to Gordon Avenue in Northwest Cedar Rapids).
Phew! That’s a lot of change!
Life is full of unexpected twists and turns. Despite all of our best made plans and intentions you never really know how things will work out.
In fact, if anyone had asked me 10 years ago if I ever thought I would live in Cedar Rapids, IA I would have laughed out loud- it never would have occurred to me. But today I can’t imagine being anywhere else. Living in Cedar Rapids and serving Peoples Church is exactly where I want to be.
So today I look back to our Peoples Church founders with so much gratitude: they couldn’t have known it then, but they started something that has radically and wonderfully changed my life for the better.
How about you? How has PCUU unexpectedly changed your life? And are ready to pay it forward? Because it is our turn now to continue to create something worthy of our decedent’s gratitude.
So, as we celebrate our 150th anniversary this month with an Open House, Celebration Dinner, Worship Service, and High Tea the weekend of September 14-15, let’s not only honor the past but let’s really focus on the future. We owe it to the ones who will be celebrating our tricentennial in 2169!