In January 2009 the MDUUC congregation dedicated the David and Beverly Bortin Fellowship Hall, honoring two distinguished members. David Bortin, an attorney, was a founding member of the Diablo Fellowship in 1951, the second president of the congregation and a longtime leader of the church until his death in 2003. Beverly has been an active member and contributor to the life of MDUUC since 1959, including serving as a president of the congregation and editing our newsletter for over 40 years. Both were equally involved in the wider community, serving on the board of the local chapter of the ACLU, supporting local arts organizations and Unitarian organizations, including the UU United Nations Office and the International Association for Religious Freedom.
Plans for the Fellowship Hall were part of the original Sanctuary project but, for financial reasons, in 1997 the Fellowship Hall construction was postponed. The beautiful MDUUC Sanctuary was dedicated in 1999 by the Rev. John Buehrens, former president of the Unitarian Universalist Association, and services began in the sanctuary in early 2000. The former sanctuary, the Gilmartin Building, was remodeled for our expanding Religious Education program.
But the dream of a Fellowship Hall stayed alive. With the theme of Imagine Building for Fellowship…Imagine a Fellowship Hall, Capital Campaigns in the Fall of 2005, which reached the stretch goal of 1 Million, and in the Spring of 2007, which added another $300,000 in extended pledges, set the stage for the congregation to go ahead with a deferred dream.
After ground-breaking and preliminary site clearing early in 2008, Reeve-Knight Construction of Roseville, CA began construction of the Fellowship Hall in June of 2008. The cost of the building of the building was exactly as estimated, $1.8 Million. The architect for the project, Newell Arnerich of AD Architects from Oakland, CA, worked closely with church members to complete the design and to maximize the opportunity of creating a “green” facility, within the constraints of the original design approval by the City of Walnut Creek.
Within months after opening, the Bortin Fellowship Hall became the site of Sunday Services while major roof repairs were carried out in the Sanctuary. But for the long run, the hall will welcome church dinners, community meetings, parties and wedding receptions. For information about using Bortin Hall for your event contact the church administrator at 925-934-3135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fellowship Hall Building Committee:
Peter Kappelhof & Peter Lezak, Co-Chairs; Leslie Hovey, Craig Sawyers, Fisk Phelps, Darren Kelly, Sue Polgar, and Jop Van Overveen (deceased 2008)