Give Me 5! Activities: A Sunday of Unity with the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock

Posted on Posted in by Eliza Sheff

“Human behavior flows from three main sources: desire, emotion and knowledge” – Plato

When I was first asked by Juan to deliver a speech to the of Unity with the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock titled “Coming Together to Achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals”, I was both honored and a bit confused. While I am well versed in our mission and purpose here at Give me 5, I had very little to no knowledge about the audience and their background.

I of course decided to then read up a little on the UUC and their beliefs and values, one of which was “free and responsible search for truth and meaning“. I thought to myself ‘Something we share in common -their desire is already there. Check!’.

My first interaction was with Reverend Ned Wight by email and then shortly thereafter by phone. The tone and warmth of his words were very welcoming as we planned for my presentation later that week. When we finally met in person, exchanged pleasantries and introductions to staff and congregation members alike made, I was truly impressed by the genuiness and good nature of everyone I interacted with. The facilities were equally impressive. He then prepped me for the logistics of it all and we did a technology check. It was only when he handed me the order of service pamphlet however that I realized I would not only be giving a presentation on Give Me 5, but that this presentation was actually going to be that week’s SERMON! Challenge accepted!

As I delivered the presentation…uhhh…I mean sermon, I could see the genuine interest in everyone’s eyes as they leaned forward and focused intensely on the knowledge that they were both hearing from me and seeing (via the PowerPoint presentation). After the service, I was greeted by so many of them who were so grateful for being able to hear about and understand the facts and statistics and the Give Me 5 campaign. They were all impressed and moved by Give Me 5 and its purpose and were interested in knowing more. They invited me to lunch and I was able to interact and converse a bit more at length. I was then given a tour of their magnificent grounds as well as an oral history of their organization before taking pictures and bidding farewell.

As I exited through the doors and walked towards my car I thought to myself “emotion and knowledge there – for them as much as for me. Double check!!

By: Shaun Merrique