First Unitarian Founders’ Day

 

This coming weekend, First Unitarian Church of Orlando will celebrate 100 years of Liberal Religion in Central Florida with a Homecoming Weekend full of wonderful events. The congregation was founded on February 21, 1912. In honor of this occasion, the Mayor of  Orlando recently made the following proclamation:

Mayor Buddy Dyer Proclaims 1U Founders’ Day Feb 21, 2012
WHEREAS, Rev. Eleanor Gordon and Rev. Mary Safford, both Unitarian ministers from Iowa, came to Orlando in the early 1900s and, with the encouragement of their friend, Caroline Gore, continued their missionary work cultivating liberal religion; and

WHEREAS, on February 21, 1912, twenty one people met at the McNeil House, 309 East Robinson Street, Orlando, and signed the membership book incorporating the First Unitarian Church of Orlando, making it the oldest Unitarian church in Central Florida; and

WHEREAS, the First Unitarian Church of Orlando has made contributions towards civil rights over the last century, which include bringing together Black and White religious leaders to found the Orlando Ministerial Association in the late 1950s, integrating Ronnie’s Restaurant in the 1960s, and becoming a “Welcoming Congregation” for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender people in the 1990s;” and

WHEREAS, the First Unitarian Church of Orlando played a role in working to improve social services through the establishment of the Greater Orlando Chapter of Planned Parenthood, the creation of Spouse Abuse, one of the first domestic violence programs in Central Florida, and the support of Hope and Help, a beacon in the early years of the AIDS epidemic; and

WHEREAS, the First Unitarian Church of Orlando has made an ongoing commitment to promoting the inherent worth and dignity of all people and the free and responsible search for truth and meaning; and

WHEREAS, the members of the First Unitarian Church of Orlando pledge to nourish the roots first planted here in 1912 by its founders and to continue to exemplify liberal religion and to serve the Orlando community;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BUDDY DYER, Mayor, of the City of Orlando, hereby do Proclaim February 21, 2012 as Founders’ Day of the First Unitarian Church of Orlando

I was at City Council to deliver the invocation before their meeting and was delighted to accept the proclamation on behalf of the congregation.

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