June 20, 2000

Mr. Harry Whitin, Editor
Worcester Telegram & Gazette
20 Franklin Street
Worcester, MA 01615-0012

Dear Mr. Whitin:

On behalf of the entire First Unitarian Church of Worcester (second parish), I wish to express our deep-felt gratitude to the people of this city. The skill and dedication of the men and women of the Worcester Fire Department saved our building. And the Fire Department's assistance continues day and night. Our profound gratitude is also extended to an anonymous good Samaritan, who, seeing the smoke coming from the roof, called for help, even before the smoke detectors went off.

The generous spirit of interfaith cooperation in Worcester has sustained and blessed our congregation for over 200 years. But this week, we were unprepared and astonished by just how many "good neighbors" have offered their buildings, their support, and their prayers. In crisis, it becomes clear that none of us can survive without the kindness of strangers, the outreach of friends and neighbors, and the grace of God. We feel very fortunate to be a part of this caring community.

The Rev. Dr. Barbara Merritt
Senior Minister