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Sandy and Tony Spisto

Sandy & Tony Spisto

Members' Reflections

We kicked off our new service element, "Members' Reflections," this past Sunday, with founding members Sandy and Tony Spisto. Here is what they shared.

Sandy started, with an exclamation of "Happy Birthday!"

This year, the Fellowship is celebrating its 50th birthday.   I want to tell you a little bit about how and why we became a fellowship. In May of 1965, nineteen people signed a membership book with great, great enthusiasm. This made us an official UU Fellowship. Most of us had belonged to another UU church. We were dissatisfied. Although we worked hard on committees, we felt that our voice was not heard. For those of us on the Sunday Service Committee, our responsibility was to decide which way the chairs would face. The RE co-chair felt that her decisions were constantly being vetoed by an older person. The liturgy in the service was way too traditional and frozen; unchangeable. We decided that this was not our idea of liberal religion. We felt our involvement unappreciated and our voice just not being heard. We strongly wanted to belong to a congregation where all members would be part of the process of decision making. We received support and encouragement from the Joseph Priestly District which, at that time, was encouraging the beginnings of Fellowship Movement.

On a personal level, Tony and I came from different religious backgrounds. Neither of our families supported our decision to become UUs. So this Fellowship truly became our family where we received friendship and support; our children were raised here. UUFLB has continued to mean a great deal to us over the years.

Tony followed Sandy.
Being among those to start a new Fellowship was the most exciting and rewarding thing I’ve ever done.  Having the freedom, with UU Principles as our guide, to set the direction to our way of raising children, teaching Sunday School, developing spiritual values. But we wanted to do more than that. We wanted to create a UU presence in Bucks County so others could find what we found.   We wanted to bring in new members who immediately felt not just welcome, but felt ownership in the congregation; that it was their congregation as much as anyone who has been here two years or five years or fifty years. And I'm very, very proud to say that over the years I believe that spirit has continued. I feel that today, as strongly as ever before, new members are encouraged to know this is their Fellowship; that decision making and the direction of the Fellowship, is in their hands, as well as anyone's.   It's been a wonderful place for us to raise children. We found support, love, friendship, an outlet for doing what may be helpful to our larger community. It's been a great, great fifty years.