Grow in Wonder, Connect in Love, Engage in Service, Inspire Generosity.
By Kadri Ozyurt
This reflection was read aloud by its author from UUFP’s pulpit on Sunday, February 3, 2019.
“Grow in Wonder, Connect in Love, Engage in Service, Inspire Generosity.”
This four-line mission is a very good reflection of what the UUFP is, and what it stands for. This mission also resonates with me. The way I see it, the UUFP, as a spiritual home, provides these four pillars as values and fills every cubic inch of this sanctuary. This, in turn, enables the people, who come through these doors, to grow in wonder, connect in love, engage in service, and inspire generosity. From this, an ever-growing, two-way relationship stems, from which both sides benefit.
Grow in Wonder:
Who would have thought that a Muslim guy like me would grow to be on the UUFP Policy Board, and further, the Treasurer of this institution, which grew out of its Judeo-Christian roots? And yet, to my wonder, I have succeeded at this highest level personal achievement of my life, thanks to the accepting and nurturing congregation. This is a good example of the UUFP growing its people in wonder.
Connect in Love:
When Andrew asked me to give a testimonial, I was relunctant because of the fact that I had stage fright. I am here this morning because a member and a friend in this congragetion told me: “Kadri, you square yourself; own this testimonial. You know Kadri; speak Kadri.” This was a powerful encouragement, which catapulted me to this pulpit, and a great example of connecting in love.
Engage in Service:
The UUFP creates opportunities to engage in service in many ways. I participated in PORT (People Offering Resources Together) and helped those who needed food and shelter. Recently, I participated in the Women’s March event. On a personal level, I distribute “Meals on Wheels” for the Peninsula Center for Aging. Also, my wife and I participated in building homes for Habitat for Humanity.
I support the UUFP with my resources to help further the community outreach, social justice, environment, and other initiatives that aim to better human lives. I am amazed with the level of willingness to help a fellow UU, when in need. I was putting a pergola in the backyard, a honey-do list item. I didn’t have the experience and knowledge for how to lay a concrete base, so I asked for help. Four of my UU friends came to help; one did despite he was under the weather, and one still has stuck with me so far.
In conclusion, the mission of the UUFP, Grow in Wonder, Connect in Love, Engage in Service, and Inspire Generosity, will continue to shape the culture of this congregation, in particular, and the world, in general, and I will continue to grow with it.