Introduction to Portland First Unitarian – 1994



Here’s a look back 20+ years to a snapshot of First Unitarian in 1994-95. It’s rewarding because it combines some current interests in a retrospective context. For one, Mark Slegers makes an enthusiastic appearance in the middle of his career with First Unitarian. There’s actually a variety of other faces to review too, some history and some continuity.

An interesting angle on the video is that it was the product of bringing the annual auction fundraiser together with the inner workings of the Church. At the time, a search was on for an Associate Minister to be part of the permanent staff, and Arnie Pickar, who was on the search committee, put in the winning bid on one of the auction offerings, a video production for the topic of choice. Arnie’s idea was to try to capture a slice of First Unitarian to share with interested applicants for the ministerial opening. That was quite an opportunity for the videographer, Keith Iding, who then had permission to enter First Unitarian with a camera to find the special examples highlighting our UU culture. The result of the video was that Tom Disrud saw it and felt that we had a lot to offer, where he could bring his abilities into meaningful action. Reverend Tom just recently passed his 20 year mark in the role of Associate Minister with First Unitarian, an indispensable part of the staff.

The other interesting aspect is that the timeframe was before the whole NW corner of the block, the Buchan wing, was built. Eliot Chapel was then our place of worship as the main Church sanctuary, and the building expansion was then a dream underway, led by the vision of Rev. Sewell, with the choices still not decided or certain, and the whole congregation involved in the planning.

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