Each year, First Unitarian Church of Baltimore (Universalist & Unitarian) recognizes a member for their leadership in the stewardship of our congregation’s mission. The Clare Milton Stewardship Award is presented to a person who has been a member for 20 or more years, and has provided leadership in the congregation and community.
This year’s recipient has been a member of our congregation for more than 50 years.
The recipient headed the Hospitality Committee for at least 3 decades.
The recipient served on the Ministerial Search Committee which presented Rev. Robert Zoerheide as their candidate. The recipient is particularly proud that their recommendation Jean Zoerheide’s leadership to our congregation.
The recipient, with other First Unitarian members, started cooking casseroles for Baltimore’s “Our Daily Bread” soup litchen in 1973, and continues coordinating the church’s participation and the cooking on the fifth Saturday of the month.
For years, the recipient was a beloved Religious Education teacher.
The recipient bakes cookies and coordinated the donation of baked goods for our annual Winter Solstice service.
The recipient, with another member of the church, began the annual “Poetry Sunday” church service, which continues to this day.
The recipient volunteered as a docent at the Walters Art Museum for years.
The recipient continues to volunteer in the gift shop at Union Memorial Hospital.
The recipient assisted teaching biology and science in the Baltimore Public Schools (and can pith and dissect a frog).
The recipient and the recipient’s partner raised two sons, described as “the most ethical young men ever met” by church members. The recipient argues that the reason for their success was the Unitarian Sunday School.
The recipient is a witty member of the Hampden/Northeast Neighborhood Circle of the church, where she encourages, advises and supports a number of today’s church leaders.
The recipient encourages others to participate in the life of the church. For example, when recruiting Laurel Mendes in 2003 to cook for “Our Daily Bread,” the recipient said “Don’t wash your hair. Don’t wear things you like. You’re going to leave smelling like peppers and onions.”
The recipient was a regular participant in the former Fellowship League at church where congregants gathered for evenings of fun. The recipient is hilarious, and was known for a still famous slide show presentation of their garden squash Chester in various classical art poses, incluidng “Cheter Lisa.”
The recipient knows and freely imparts the history of church, and knows where the bodies are buried (or, at least, knows the stories and names of the cremated remains in the catacombs of the church).
The recipient will receive a beautiful piece of kilned glass created by Baltimore artistan and member of First Unitarian, Ursula Marcum.
In case you havenâ€™t guessed, the recipient of the 2012 Clare Milton Stewardship Award is . . . Helen Szymkowiak. Congratulations, Helen! Your congregation is so proud, and deeply grateful.