Notes from the Board: Mike Goodwin

This section of the newsletter is going to take a slightly different approach for the next four months. I suggested to the Board perhaps we could use this space as a way for the congregation to get better acquainted with us. So I have asked several members to write a segment about how they “found” our congregation and why they have chosen to serve the congregation.
Elayne Leonelli, editor.

From Mike Goodwin, Treasurer:

It took more than 50 years of my life to find a “church” which satisfied my need for spiritual fulfillment. Raised Catholic, I traveled the roads of total belief and faith, through skepticism, outright rejection, agnosticism and, finally, total atheism. I went from intolerance of non-Catholic religions through acceptance of other Christian religions to acceptance of all religions to rejection of all religions to the rejection of the concept of religion to the rejection of people who believed in these religions.

Ultimately, through the study of world philosophies, I came to understand why religions exist and realized, like everyone else, I was searching for some kind of spiritual connection. I decided I would only find it in human beings in relation to the world around us. Of course, it was quite difficult to find a place to achieve this until Jackie talked me into accompanying her to a UU congregation on Long Island. I was struck by the acceptance and welcoming I received and tried to attend as often as I could while teaching and working as a union officer. 

When I retired we moved to Moreau and found two separate UU congregations and have been participating in both for the past three years. One thing I noticed about my relationship with UU is the need for me to contribute to the community I have joined. Teachers are not known for the great wealth they accumulate so I always gave what I could. I knew I couldn’t pledge as much as others, but I also knew I had a certain skill with numbers and more free time than some as a result of retirement. I decided to pledge what I could afford without creating hardship and add to it time I could also afford. I became treasurer with this in mind. 

It is now time for the Annual Pledge Drive. As part of my job as treasurer, I am involved in the drive and preparation of the budget. It is important everyone only pledge what they think they can spare so the budget can be closely estimated. 

I believe I get far more from this congregation than I could ever put in. The people I’ve met and friends I’ve made are priceless. The spiritual growth is invaluable. I am so happy to be here.