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First Things June 2013

May 28, 2013

Our church building was constructed in 1927, when the congregation was 50 years old.  In previous years we had met in two buildings in downtown Los Angeles.  The first was destroyed by fire, in 1891.  The second building we bought from a Baptist church, which we later moved to a new location and remodeled.

The architects for our current building were two brothers:  David and James Allison.  They also were the architects for the Baptist church across the corner from us, for the Congregational church on 6th and Commonwealth, and for the original buildings on the UCLA campus, including Royce Hall.

Owning a building requires us to spend a lot of time and money thinking about plumbing and electrical and rotting wood and replacing carpet.  Instead of concentrating on the spiritual and social justice issues that are the core of our faith, we need to work on being building managers and tenant landlords.

But the building also gives us space for our church programs and plenty of space for other groups in the neighborhood to hold meetings and programs.  We can invite other Unitarian Universalists to gather at our church.  And the building gives us a visible presence in the neighborhood so people know we are here.  And we still have space left over to rent.  More than half of our annual budget comes from rental income.

Our building is crucial for the kind of ministry we want to do for our neighbors and ourselves.  And our building is also crucial to provide the income we need to fund those programs.  It’s important that we do all that is necessary to keep the building strong and safe and beautiful.

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