John McLain

The Fellowship, or more accurately the caring people that make it up, have helped me travel from a place of loss, anger and loneliness to a place of happiness and belonging. I am eternally grateful that the Fellowship was there for me when I most needed it.

My late wife and I moved to the Raleigh area on May 1st 2015 to be closer to my daughter, son-in-law and newborn grandson. One month after moving into our new house my wife became ill. I took her to urgent care and she was taken by ambulance to the hospital where she stayed for three weeks before passing away. I was devastated and extremely angry that my grandson would never get to know his Nana.

When my daughters and I were deciding where to hold a memorial service in an environment where I knew no one, my oldest daughter (who had attended a UU congregation in New Jersey) suggested we find a UU congregation in Raleigh. Google led us to UUFR. We called and were put in touch with Tom Rhodes who was the former lead minister at UUFR.  Tom met with us and agreed to conduct the service.

Because of Tom’s kindness to us, how wonderfully he conducted the service and the beauty of the sanctuary I decided to attend Sunday service the following week. In retrospect it was one of the best decisions I ever made. 

After attending for four weeks I realized that I always felt better and more at peace after the service than I did when I came in. The music and the message always spoke to me and provided me a sense of well-being that I did not otherwise experience.  I decided to become a member of the Fellowship.

Since then, I’ve tried to imagine what my life would be like if I had not attended that first Sunday service.  I discovered that I could not imagine it, nor did I want to.

The Fellowship, or more accurately the caring people that make it up, have helped me travel from a place of loss, anger and loneliness to a place of happiness and belonging. I am eternally grateful that the Fellowship was there for me when I most needed it. The Fellowship has changed my life as I suspect it has for countless other people.