FUSN Life / Annual Events
FUSN's Special Events Span the Year
Community life at the First Unitarian Society is enriched by special events throughout the year-and each has a different goal and flavor. They range from the purely social such as community breakfasts and the annual dinner, to fundraising such as the Holiday Fair, to those centered around social justice, such as the Youth Coffee House.
At the Ingathering Service, members bring small amounts of water from their summer travels and pour them into a single vessel. Later the water is sterilized and used in baby dedications or other rituals.
On Columbus Day weekend, about 100 members of the congregation head for the Ferry Beach UUCamp and Conference Center in Saco, Maine.
The community shares meals, games, an amateur show, bouts of singing and poetry, plus walks on the beach and an informal Sunday service.
On the Sunday before Thanksgiving, the fifth and sixth grade religious education classes serve a free Thanksgiving brunch to the congregation.
The Holiday Fair, held the first weekend in December, is festive for volunteers and raises funds for the society's operating budget. Have lunch and shop for holiday gifts, decorations, crafts, high-quality items at the silent auction, and baked and frozen foods. Buy a Christmas Tree at the fair or during the next weeks.
On the first Sunday in December, congregants can pick up Healthy Baby Healthy Child ornaments after the service. Each ornament identifies a holiday gift requested by a local family in need. Gifts are collected at FUSN two weeks later.
Holiday services are offered on Christmas Eve at 5:00 p.m. for a multigeneration gathering; 7:00 p.m. for traditional stories and carols; and at 11:30 p.m. for less traditional readings and music and chimes for each baby born that year. The evening's offerings are the primary source for the Minister's Discretionary Fund. Refreshments are served after the last service.
The Services Auction, usually but not always in January, is a chance to beat back the winter doldrums with festive event that raises funds for FUSN as community members offer expertise, a vacation houses, or service for a reasonable fee.
On Music Sunday, usually in February, the service is devoted to the talents of FUSN's singers and instrumentalists. The choir performs special music and often extra instrumentalists enhance the performance.
The FUSN Annual Budget Drive raises funds for the society.
A Saturday night Youth Coffee House offers music and talent by members and their friends. Sales of tickets and homemade refreshments benefit Communities Without Borders, which raises funds for Zambian AIDS orphans.
The Annual Fellowship Dinner is a lively, well attended gathering that is part potluck and partly prepared by volunteers and served by youth members. Dancing follows a brief update on the Annual Budget Drive.
The celebration of Easter, which usually falls in April, includes the Annual Easter Egg Hunt for the younger children in the RE program.
The Youth Service, a lively and original annual event, is planned and presented by the youth group.
Members participating in the annual Walk for Hunger walk (all or part) of the 10 miles to Boston-then they get a ride home. Children in RE often participate in a mini-walk in the neighborhood. All pledges go to Project Bread.
In May, the congregation celebrates the graduation of the Coming Of Age candidates in a special service where candidates share their personal credos.
On Memorial Day Weekend, some 200 FUSN community members gather for a retreat at Sandy Island, a YMCA Family Camp on Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire. Guests are housed mainly in rustic cabins and gather for meals and recreation. The weekend features organized activities from crafting to informal talks, outdoor activities from canoeing to baseball, plus an amateur show and a dance.
Important society decisions and elections are the business of the Annual Meeting in June.
FUSN Summer Services run from the third Sunday in June through the Sunday before Labor day. These informal and lively lay-led services begin earlier—at 9:30 a.m.—in the Parish Hall.