UUCOC Events Calendar

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Our land was originally the site of Five Mile Baptist Church (their cemetery is still on our east side). In the western section, still fenced off for horses to graze, was a barn which was their original building. We stopped leasing the land for the horses and decided to pull down the barn as it was a hazard. On a sunny October Sunday in 1970, the barn downing was scheduled. Harry Jones’ tractor was the pulling force, but it took the truck motor and crowbar assistance from several hearty men to make the 114-year-old building collapse in a cloud of dust. Members took home souvenir square nails. A newel post was saved and turned into a tall candlestick which we used for years.

After the deaths of former president, George Loper, and five-year-old, Paul Wildman, memorial gifts were added to a tree fund and later incorporated into the Endowment Fund. A stipend for the Religious Director and fees for occasional ministers on Sunday mornings were added to the 1971 budget. Earth Day was celebrated annually as we emphasized care for our planet. Members worked to support Sarah Weddington of First Church as she sued for a woman’s right to an abortion (Roe v. Wade). Legalization of marijuana, opposition to the Viet Nam War, and support for the United Farm Workers were some of the other social action causes undertaken in the early 70’s. Special recognition was given to the Fellowship for Meals on Wheels volunteering as Liz Loper was given special recognition for volunteer service there and at the Lighthouse for the Blind.

Over a 6-month period in 1972, we reviewed the innovative and frank Human Sexuality Course for teens developed by the UUA and, after a training session for all parents and other members, offered the 19-week course to our young people in the spring of 1973.

The $21,000 in bonds sold to buy our land were paid off early in 1972, and a mortgage burning ceremony was held. The 1972 General Assembly was held in Dallas (with Daniel Ellsberg of Pentagon Papers fame as a speaker), and we made our grounds available for attending teens who wished to camp out.

Esther Jones gathered pictures drawn by the children of beautiful and happy things and incorporated them into a mural painted on the side of the high school building. (After about 10 years, it was faded and scarred so it was painted over in a solid to match the other walls. We can locate no pictures of this early mural).

Among Sunday morning speakers were Ric Masten, the Unitarian Troubadour; Willard Johnson, Director of UU Service Committee, professors from Bishop College, SMU, and Dallas Community Colleges. In January of 1973, young Bob Cooper presented a defiant program challenging society’s restrictions and chastising everyone for accepting them.

More potlucks, picnics, and parties provided fun for hard-working members. Weekend, or longer, campouts including almost everyone were held at state parks for several years. And a food-buying Co-Op was formed in 1973.

Since we had no full-time minister and Texas state law allows the leader of a religious congregation to perform marriages, presidents Bob Tufte, Sam Faris, and Roz Pittman performed ceremonies for members.

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