Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Stanislaus County
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A liberal religious voice in the Central Valley since 1953.
When we purchased the 0.87 acres at 2172 Kiernan, there were four buildings on the property; the sanctuary, the cement block building, a old two-room schoolhouse beside the sanctuary facing the road and the "Mustard" Building. (It was named for its color at the time; we painted it but the name stayed.) We moved the "Mustard" building to build the Solar room. The Adventists used it as a classroom and Boy Scout meeting place.
The old two-room schoolhouse may have been the original Stanislaus school. It was quite decrepit, although the Adventists had reinforced it and added restrooms. It had a certain charm and some would have liked to have seen it restored, but it was too far gone and was torn down. That was easier to do after the teen group painted one room jet black for a Halloween party. Once we decided to destroy it, a bulldozer did the deed and cleaned it up in a day.
After that, we expanded the parking lot and landscaped the remaining area. So much for history! The women's Group, under Mayliyn Galbreath contributed $40 toward landscaping the grounds and Mary Johnson, gardener at that time, planted the golden locust and the two pine trees along the east side of the sanctuary building. These trees remind us how long we've occupied our site.
The Adventists installed the rods in the sanctuary to hold the building together and so far they have done so. (During the Peterson and Shipley years, we hung colorful banners from the rods).
One of our first improvements was to remove the pews in the sanctuary, which opened up a space for special programs and parties. The entrance hall was badly in need of repair when we moved in. Howard TenBrink and others took care of that. We changed the "crying room" into the minister's office and the "cloak room" into the library and then again into the Secretary's office.
Barbara Eniti and Sharon Arpoika converted the back entrance hall to the library and bookstore.
Bob Norman called a meeting in October 1975 to consider the purchase of 1.4 acres to the east and south of the Fellowship. It would increase the boundaries of the property to just beyond the first row of trees to the east and include the land extending back to an irrigation ditch on the south for a total of 2.27 acres. A number of ecologist members opposed taking any further land out of agricultural use. When we purchased it they left the Fellowship. Looking back, it was still a good move; the land is still in production and we are protected against being hemmed in with no place to expand.
Along about the same time we decided to build a new addition, off the kitchen of the cement block building. It would cover a lot of the old patio and some of the area where the old classroom building sat. Fred Johnson's engineering office drew up plans for an addition that incorporated all the passive solar ideas at that time.
Many members contributed their weekends, notably Howard TenBrink, Lee Binna, Mari Martelli, Dave Dahlin, Marvin and Dolores Niemi and Fred Johnson. It would turn out to be almost a 2-year project, but in the end it cost about a third of what it otherwise would have. After a few social occasions we found the room was very noisy, so we installed ceiling tiles, which helped.
In 1991, Pat Norman led a crew which remodeled the room. We dedicated it to the memory of Fred Johnson.
2172 Kiernan Avenue
Modesto, California See a map
We have no mail service on Kiernan;
PO Box 1000
Salida, CA 95368
We are a liberal church and the only UU congregation in Stanislaus county. We serve Ceres, Denair, Escalon, Hickman, Hughson, Keyes, Manteca, Modesto, Oakdale, Patterson, Ripon, Riverbank, Salida, Turlock and Waterford. We welcome Agnostics, Atheists, Buddhists, Christians, Deists, Free-thinkers, Humanists, Jews, Pagans, Theists, Wiccans, and those who seek their own spiritual path. We welcome people without regard to race, physical ability, ethnicity or sexual orientation.