Mike Palmer Award

The Mike Palmer Award was recently awarded to Jefferson Chickering at UU Manchester’s June 2023 Annual Meeting. Jefferson has shown great enthusiasm during the time he has been part of the congregation. He has been an asset to the Church since joining us in January 2018.

Jefferson is the immediate Past President of the Board of Directors, where he also served previously as Vice President and Board Member At-Large. Since joining the Church, Jefferson became an active Member of the Finance Committee where he has helped spearhead some of the Annual Pledge Drive Dinners, as well as assisted with developing Policies and Financial Statements. Jefferson also served as a Greeter from 2018 through March 2023 and was a participant in the Membership Committee.

He has been an asset to the Communications Committee for several years, including assisting with UUM’s Website and our Facebook Page; he has also been active in sending out special announcements about dinners and other events that help keep everyone informed, through our Breeze Database.
Before the Covid Pandemic, Jefferson was also an Instructor in UUM’s OWL RE Program for 7th through 9th Grade.

During the Covid shutdown, Jefferson was the one who took the initiative and applied on UUM’s behalf for the government Paycheck Protection Program, enabling us to continue to pay our staff, as church attendance and contributions fell off during this time. Jefferson then took it upon himself to have UUM apply for the Federal Employee Tax Credit Program. Both the PPP and ERTC Programs netted the Church approximately $64,000 to help see us through the Pandemic.

After we resumed meeting in person at the church, following the Covid shutdown, Jefferson began making sure we had coffee and snacks after the service, often by himself. Initially it was held outdoors in the meditation garden. He felt that it was important to bring us all back together, sharing food and conversation, which we couldn’t do inside the church, due to masking requirements.

Later, after mask requirements were dropped, he started asking others to participate in providing hospitality on Sunday mornings and set-up an electronic sign-up process to encourage people to commit to this important aspect of our community spirit. In years past, UUM didn’t do Summer Hospitality; Jefferson encouraged the Church to continue Summer Hospitality throughout the Summer of 2023, post-Covid Pandemic and post-Covid masking requirements.

In addition, Jefferson started arranging potluck suppers twice a month to bring more people together for socializing. He has also organized several special dinners and breakfasts for numerous other events, including a special UUM Church Dinner welcoming our new Full-Time Minister, Kali Fyre, in September 2022, a few Pancake breakfasts and helping our Minister of Music and Choir Director, Luc Roberge, conduct a special Christmas morning Hospitality and a few UUM Sunday Fellowship brunches.

Jefferson has recently become involved with our Worship and Music Committee and was recently a Service Leader, where he gave an aptly named Sermon titled “Work In Progress.”
Jefferson’s willingness to do much of the work involved illustrates the Leadership and Dedication to help our UUM community grow. Please join us in celebrating all that Jefferson has done over the years.

Mike Palmer brought many people into our congregation as President, as a teacher in Adult Religious Education, and as a leading light in our membership efforts. Mike was a dynamic and exemplary member of our congregation for many years. In recognition of everything Mike meant to so many of us, the Executive Board established the Mike Palmer Award. The award will be given out at the discretion of the Executive Board to a member of the congregation who embodies “enthusiasm for the growth and promotions of Unitarian Universalism,” as exemplified by Mike Palmer.

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