by Director of Religious Exploration Linnea Nelson.

Last summer as I looked through our RE cupboards of toys for young children, I wondered if we might be able to create a model of our beautiful Sanctuary for our 4- and 5-year-olds. Their curriculum introduces them to our community members, ministers, grounds and buildings that make up our UU home. Having a child-sized Sanctuary seemed like a stretch, but maybe I could find someone to make a simple model.

I mentioned the idea to Ron Giusti,* who I knew crafted beautiful birdhouses, and he said he’d think about it.

Two months later, he presented the class with an amazing 3-foot by 3-foot replica of our Sanctuary! His model included miniature hardwood floors, carefully crafted rafters and our ramp, and he even created the round windows in our Sanctuary by taping photographs of what we actually see out each window to create a realistic view. When he first showed me a photograph of his project, I thought he was showing me our actual Sanctuary, but he encouraged me to look closer and see that this was indeed a photograph of the model. Take a look at these photos and see if you can tell the difference!

This is love – for our community, our children and our beautiful spaces. Ron’s gift to our children reminded me of how wonderful our space is. I feel such gratitude for the well-stocked classrooms and RE supply room, the comfy sofas and outdoor furniture that allow for informal small-group gatherings, our beautiful Sanctuary furniture and our art spaces, naturally lighted Commons and space for our Nursery. As we look around, hopefully we realize how this campus is a collective sacred space for all of us to use.

If, like me, you also appreciate our space, may I call on each of us to take a moment at the end of each of our meetings or evening classes to return pens, chalices and other supplies to the RE cabinets, return any items such as lamps, remotes or chairs to their homes, turn off lights and remove or discard paper, food or other items? So many people use our spaces and with the addition of electronics, the remotes go missing and cords get tangled. Let’s show our love for our magnificent meeting spaces and commit to creating a welcoming space for each other and our guests.

Ron shared his love for our community in a magnificent way and he’s reminded me to commit to taking good care of all our UUCF spaces. Thank you, Ron!

*Ron Giusti and his wife, Marsha, have been UUCF members for 13 years. They raised their son, David, in our community, and Ron taught kindergarten in our RE program for many years.