The Joseph Fisher Award for Community Service honors the ideal of service to the community and service to the congregation, especially in ways that link the congregation to the wider world. It was named for Joe Fisher, a founder of UUCA who exemplified those ideals. Joe Fisher served as chair of the Board of Trustees and chair of the County Board; he bridged the congregation to the community during the time when the congregation was working to support desegregation of the Arlington public schools.
This year's Joseph Fisher honoree joined the church in 1996 after retiring from a career serving overseas with CARE, USAID Peace Corps and the UN. He has been a member of UUCA's Sunday morning ushering team for 10 years, served on the Social Action Council, and he organized and ran the UUCA chapter of the DC area, UU-sponsored "Adopt a Minefield" assistance project for Afghanistan.
At about the same time, he was one of the principal organizers of a project that continues to this day, linking UUCA members to the community in service -- English for Speakers of Other Languages. Some 250 community members have improved their English skills in this program, and about 100 UUCA members have found meaningful service in teaching these classes.
For almost as long, he has chaired UUCA's "Great Decisions" monthly study groups. About 200 UUCA members have been linked to the wider world through study in these conversations.
For his work linking our congregation to the community in service and in study, the Joseph Fisher Community Service Award is presented to Derek Singer. Derek, we thank you for your many years of service to this community, and to the world.