A LETTER FROM OUR PRESIDENT
The Isles of Shoals Association (Unitarian Universalist), Inc. is the current form of the Isles of Shoals Unitarian Summer Meetings Association, founded in 1897 for the purpose of organizing the first conferences on Star Island. In 1915, members of the ISA-UU set up Star Island Corporation to purchase Appledore and Star Islands. This year we are excited to join the SIC in continuing our Centennial Celebration, and planning our next century together. We are entirely sensible of the hard work and love that our members and the members of the SIC have given to enable Star Island to survive and thrive for 100 years.
The ISA-UU proud of its support to the Star Island community. Our Association makes substantial financial contributions directly to SIC annually to help defray operating expenses. We also directly support individual conferences through grants, give grants to clergy attending Star Island for the first time, and often fund sudden, unbudgeted needs. We fund annual enhancements and Island amenities such as new rocking chairs, rowboats, sports equipment, musical instrument refurbishments and the like. In 2016, we will be providing materials and labor to reroof the Well House on Star, and adopting other Island work needs such as signs and chapel lantern replacements. Please visit our Facebook page for more information on volunteer opportunities.
The most visible part of our work is the running of the Shops on Star – the Gift Shop, the Bookstore, and the Lobby Store. These shops are a vital part of the fabric of Island experience, as well as the generators of funds for Star Island. Last year, proceeds from the Shops yielded over $88,000 in grants, gifts, and other monetary benefit to the SIC. The ISA-UU also has a website for online shopping, at www.shopsonstar.org.
The ISA-UU is a repository of talent and experience at the service of Star Island. We encourage you to participate through your membership and volunteer activity. Please consider joining us for a volunteer weekend or a volunteer week working in the Shops on Star.
The ISA-UU is a membership organization. Our members pay nominal dues, and elect a board and officers at an annual meeting held during the first weekend in November.
This year, 2016, has a deep and rich meaning to all of us. The ISA is the parent organization of the Star Island Corporation, so we are now straddling our third century. What began as an organization that arranged a conference for a few hundred people has morphed into a corporation that hosts thousands of people over a four month season. We’re happy to see our child celebrate a 100th birthday.
Friends, we stand today on the shoulders of giants. We are here because our ancestors, for 120 years, have had a vison and cared to nurture it. We live among the gentle spirits of the thousands of members before us, gone from our eyes, but here in spirit. Their voices, their thoughts, their dreams are with us, and ever evident through us.
These were people of vision and tenacity. They were able to keep a candle lit in in storm of uncertainty, of fiscal distress, during four war years that kept us off our islands, of hurricanes, failed water systems, economic declines and changing demographics. They fought hard to keep their candle lit.
And so we continue today. Now we enjoy perhaps the brightest aspect of our history. We have a professional, highly motivated and capable staff. We have a robust Star Island Corporation membership, with engaged and productive committees. We have a mindful and committed Board of Directors. We have a modest financial footing. We have a beautiful Island in ever improving condition. And, most importantly, we have each other.
But still, still friends, we have our brightest and most important days ahead. We live in an increasingly divided and contentious world, one of polarization and socially acceptable hostility. To be ourselves, to have each other in this modern civil war is a blessing and a privilege we should rightly celebrate.
Today, we have each other, we have our Islands, because people cared before us, and as we care now. In 1896, in 1916, there were scores of places like Star, formed in an optimistic idealism that dared imagine a better world, a higher way of thinking, a different way of living. Today, in 2016, only a very few remain, and of those, Star island is prominent.
Friends, therefore let us tend well this garden which we love. Let us wisely and carefully protect and nature this haven of peace and understanding in this uncivil world. Let us keep our candle lit, let us shine a beacon, a chapel lantern of hope, of beauty, of truth, from our small Island in the Atlantic, and may this light shine to every soul that sees it, for now, and for the next 100 years.
Happy Birthday, Star Island Corporation! SHINE ON!!!!
In the Spirit of the Shoals,
Tom Coleman, President, 2nd Vice President- Meg LeShack, Treasurer – Steve Whitney, Asst. Treasurer – Patricia Coleman, Membership Secretary – Dick LeSchack, Secretary – Jack Lightfoot, Nominations Chair – Hally McGehean
Directors – Meg LeSchack, Edie Whitney, David Brown, Teri Brown, Cathy Case, Jean Lightfoot, Hally McGehean, Linda Porcelli, Emily Cann, Nathan Soule, Tom Smursynski, Joan Cumminskey (Director Emeritus)