One great strength of the UUCUV has been its persistent sense of becoming the congregation we hope to be. A resilient energy has driven our history. We have not given up in the face of hard times, adversity and conflict, but rather learned from them. Our current congregation was incorporated in 1984 as the UUCUV. We have held Sunday services in members’ home, Rollins Chapel, the Howe Library, the Hanover Community Center, the Marion Cross School, and the United Methodist Church of Lebanon. We have kept growing and finding our way, rather like a hermit crab. But, in all the years of our Unitarian Universalist presence in the Upper Valley, we have never had a spiritual home of our own that held all of us while signaling our presence to the world.
For many years, the congregation’s leadership operated out of bedrooms and basements until the 1990s when the Rev. Dr. Nancy J. Crumbine urged us to rent office space in the Advance Transit building in Norwich. Then in 1996, we as a congregation seized the opportunity to acquire our present Norwich property, raising $165,000 in a 6-week Capital Campaign that allowed us to buy the property without any debt – and with the clear hope that one day we would build our future Meetinghouse here.
While our current beloved meetinghouse has served as our spiritual home, its size has always been inadequate for fully attended worship services and most of our other activities. We have drawn closer and become better friends as we poured all the activities of our congregational life into this property and its Greek Revival farmhouse. Over time, many enthusiastic supporters of a new building large enough to hold us all have joined their energy to ours, but then passed on without seeing it come to fruition. Yet, we are still here, and our resilience and history confirm that we have the energy and vision to finally create the new Meetinghouse we so deeply wish for.
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