Sandy Hochel

I have been a member of this church since 2013. Before this I was a member of the Augusta UU church for about 30 years so I have been a UU for quite a while. Being a Unitarian Universalist is something that I consider central to who I am. I am so proud of this faith and what it stands for.
The faith is important to me, but it is this particular church that is an integral part of my life. I am here most Sundays unless I am sick or out of town. I keep coming on Sunday mornings, and, no, I do not think that I have something left over from my Baptist roots that makes me a serial church goer. No, I keep coming because of what I get.
This faith community has brought me comfort, joy, friendship, love. It nurtures my soul. It challenges me to continue to grow as a human being. Seeing examples of people here striving hard for their ideals inspires me. I need this.
This church serves as my sanctuary at times. In a world that, in my opinion, is one frenzied with insanity, this community gives me hope and helps me from giving into despair. I also know that my daily world can become frenzied by the mundane, and this faith community brings me back to what has ultimate value in life.
Finally I keep coming because I do not think that one can receive the wonderful benefits of having a church community if church is a spectator sport for you. What I mean is that participating and contributing in whatever way is possible given your life circumstance allows you to have a depth of connection and build meaningful relationships that are not possible otherwise. This allows you to have a sense of belonging and ownership, and these are powerful feelings.