Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

IMG_7453

When do you meet?

Sundays following Labor Day – the third week of June @ 10:30am

Two Sundays in July and August @ 10:30am Check our Facebook page for exact dates

Is childcare available during worship?    Yes.

Where do you meet?    46 Spring Hill Road, Storrs, CT 06268

Click here for directions/map to the fellowship.

What do adults wear?    Casual dress including jeans is the norm for our members and visitors.  Generally, the only person wearing a tie is our minister.

What do children wear?    Again casual and comfortable is the norm.

What do children do during the service?    We provide childcare for children during the service. Currently,  we don’t have a formal church school, but do offer activities to engage children during the service. As of January 2016, we are in the process of planning a religious education program for children.

May our child stay with us during the service?    Of course.

Will I be pressured to join or to be saved?    No. We don’t approach our visitors as customers to win over or souls to be saved. We’ll welcome you and answer any questions you might have. We’d be happy to have you join us, but we won’t try to push ourselves onto you.  We believe a “hard sell” is counter to deep, lasting religious and spiritual exploration and expression.

Does your congregation have diverse beliefs?    Most of us started out as Jewish, Catholic or Protestant Christians. Some of us still draw significantly from Christian or Jewish sources while others among us find greater resonance with Buddhist, agnostic or atheistic perspectives as well as earth-based spirituality. While the sources of our inspiration may vary, we are Unitarian Universalists and thus focus our efforts on the search for truth and a deeper meaning in life aware there are many paths one may take. Therefore we gather not to insist on one path over another, but rather to support and encourage one another in whichever path we might take and provide an inclusive place where we can share and learn with and from one another along the way.

Our is a covenantal versus creedal faith.  Our congregations covenant (make a solemn promise) with one another to abide by our The Principles and Purposes of the Unitarian Universalist Association which reads,

We, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, covenant to affirm and promote:

  • The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
  • Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
  • Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
  • A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
  • The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
  • The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
  • Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

Sources

The living tradition which we share draws from many sources:

  • Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and uphold life;
  • Words and deeds of prophetic women and men which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love;
  • Wisdom from the world’s religions which inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life;
  • Jewish and Christian teachings which call us to respond to God’s love by loving our neighbors as ourselves;
  • Humanist teachings which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science, and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit;
  • Spiritual teachings of earth-centered traditions which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature.

 

Why would an agnostic (atheist, humanist…) go to church?    One of our religious forbears, Ralph Waldo Emerson, wrote, “A person will worship something, have no doubt about that…Therefore, it behooves us to be careful what we worship, for what we are worshipping, we are becoming.”  Emerson understood that religion and spirituality are not about proving or disproving the existence of a deity or deities.  Rather, they concern questions of who, why, how, and even that we are at all.  We give people a place to ask such questions and explore what it means to be human.  We seek to grow spiritually. We teach our children to respect others including those of differing faiths. We provide people with opportunities to work for social justice alongside others with whom we can share moments of joy and frustration.

Will I be welcome even if I’m gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender?    Yes. Our denomination has a long history of welcoming people of different sexual orientations and gender identities.  We have been among the most vocal religious supporters of same-sex marriage  and equal rights for glbtq people of any denomination.  We exclude no one from membership, church office, rites of passage or ordination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Are you related to the Unity or Universal Life churches?    No. Neither the Unity or Universal Life churches are part of the Unitarian Universalist Association nor related to Unitarian Universalism.

What goes on during the worship services?    We usually have hymns, readings and a sermon, much like a liberal protestant church. Here is a typical order of service if you are curious.

What can I expect the first time I visit?    Expect to be welcomed and invited to participate and engage in worship and the coffee hour that follows as much or as little as you’re comfortable without judgement.

How do I become a member?    Most people do not ask this on a first visit, but for those who are curious about the process we’ve outlined the usual path people take toward membership.  Most people attend for about 3 – 6 months before they join. We ask you to meet with our minister or designated church leader who can answer any questions you may have and go over the rights and responsibilities of membership which include a vote in matters requiring congregational approval, regular attendance, financial support, volunteering your time and a commitment to ongoing spiritual growth. Then, if you decide to join us, you sign the membership book.

Why would I want to become a member?    We can tell you what we offer our members (see our home page), but only you can answer for you why you would want to become a member.  There are as many reasons to become a member of a church as there are members. You may enjoy this article by Jane Roper, Why I finally joined a church on Salon.com (Opens new window.) which begins, “I was a religious skeptic who bristled at joining a community. But two things changed that: My kids . . .”.

  • Please note that Ms. Roper leaves near Boston. This was a piece published in a national magazine and not a testimonial from one of our members.
Advertisements