Laurie Mears started off as a child in Unitarianism, and that’s important. Unitarians were rare birds in Kansas in the 1940s and early 50s, and the congregation held their children as precious. She always felt that folks were interested in her and who she was becoming. Fast forward to college, where she meets Preston Mears on his way to the Episcopal priesthood in New England and Laurie’s Episcopal phase begins.
It was not until moving to Southern Maryland that being Episcopal became harder as the content of sermons was very different than New England. Together Preston and Laurie tried Davies Unitarian-Universalist Congregation and liked it for both message and inclusiveness. Over time, however, the church’s RE program for children and youth lost emphasis, and the recruitment of teachers became increasingly difficult. They started with UUCSS, looked no further, and were soon followed by their daughter Rachel’s family.
Laurie had spent her career teaching children and had always found it rewarding. After a few years settling in at UUCSS, she started teaching pre-K with a great team of Dan Greenstein, Sandra Sackett, and Tina Terrill. She enjoyed being able to attend services and the experience of working with children. The pandemic has made things more difficult but that work still brings joy. When asked what she would like to say to the congregation it was, “Have children be as much of the congregation as anyone else. Incorporate them into everything from events to services. Their joys and concerns are important too.” Well, our children are blessed by the love and concern that Laurie shows them.