New to UUCF
Helpful information if you’re planning a visit. We look forward to meeting you.
Meet our ministers, find out about upcoming services or listen to sermons.
Learn & grow
Our home page for children, teen and adult religious education.
Groups, classes and volunteer opportunities to help you make lasting connections at UUCF.
Act for justice
Helping to transform the world through hands-on service, advocacy, education and funding.
Please show your commitment to UUCF with your financial support.
Upcoming worship services
"What are years?"
Minister: Rev. Jennifer Brooks. Date/time: Sat., Sep. 20, 4:30 p.m.; Sun., Sep. 21, 9:15 & 11:15 a.m. Description: Our lives are time-limited. The limits shape us. The poem, "What Are years," by Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet Marianne Moore (1887-1972) explores the meaning of time's limits. Moore's poem expresses the same understanding of life that theologian Paul Tillich explains in his book, "The Courage to Be." Both writers encourage us to think about the ways time's limits can impel us to live our lives deeply and courageously. Worship theme: Time. Religious Exploration: Gr. K-6 begin in the Chapel; all other grades start in classrooms. Music: Sunday - Chorale.
"Frozen in Time?"
Minister: Rev. Laura Horton-Ludwig. Date/time: Sat., Sep. 27, 4:30 p.m.; Sun., Sep. 28, 9:15 & 11:15 a.m. Worship theme: Time. Religious Exploration: Gr. K-6 start in Chapel; all others start in classrooms. Music: Houseband.
"Faith Matters" Blog
Share the Plate: nominating charities for 2015
by Acting Minister for Social Justice John Monroe. Some important changes are coming to UUCF’s Share the Plate program. As you might know, Share the Plate receives half of the cash and 100% of designated checks collected in worship service offerings. Each month, Share the Plate funds go to an outside organization doing social justice work at the local, national or international level that reflects our Unitarian Universalist values. Those organizations are nominated by UUCF members and pledging friends. This gives congregants a great way to support projects that stir their particular passions in social justice. And it all adds up: Each year through Share the Plate, UUCF donates $25,000-30,000 to worthy recipients. Without a doubt, it is a vital part of our social justice work at UUCF. That is why we want to make sure the process for screening and selecting Share the Plate recipients is as effective as possible. Based on the recommendations of the March 2014 Program Evaluation Committee report on social justice at UUCF, the Social Justice Council created a task force to review the Share-the-Plate process. The task force, led by Rita Roth, proposed a revised process, which was adopted by the Social Justice Council and approved by the Coordinating Team.Here are some key points: • Rather than selecting recipients month by month, the Social Justice Council will now review all nominated organizations for January 2015 through December 2015 at one time at one of its meetings this fall. This process will be more manageable and equitable than the previous practice. • Revised recipient selection criteria give more weight to nominations that align with UUCF priorities, as reflected in existing programs and congregational resolutions. • Priority will be given to organizations that earn a good rating from one of the major charity evaluators. • Recipients will be asked to submit a report to the Social Justice Council about project/program outcomes. To learn more about the process and related guidelines, please visit the Share the Plate page on uucf.org. If you know of an organization that fits the bill, please nominate it. To get started, send an email or letter by the end of September to Martha Ades, our Lay Minister for Social Justice. Provide the organization’s name, address, website URL and a brief description of its mission (including confirmation that it is not-for-profit). Martha will direct you to a full application form where you can provide more information. We look forward to working with you in the month ahead.
A UU “faith” community
by Rev. Jennifer Brooks. Sometimes people ask me why I refer to a UU congregation as a “faith community.” Though many UUs are theist (or, while non-theist, say that their religious outlook involves faith), others are both explicitly atheist and expressly uncomfortable with the word “faith.” Thus the reasonable question: Can a UU congregation be a “faith community?” To live our UU principles in all our relationships takes faith. The leading UU humanist theologian and one of my mentors is the Rev. Dr. William R. Murry. In his chapter titled “Faith,” in Becoming More Fully Human (2011), Murry identifies faith as an important humanist virtue. Murry quotes the iconic humanist, Eustace Haydon, professor of comparative religion at the University of Chicago and a signer of the 1933 Humanist Manifesto. Haydon said that there is an urgent need for “faith that a human being can give love, justice, peace, and all beloved moral values embodiment in human relations.” So here are two non-theist humanists who urge “faith” as a central attribute in the mature human being. Their perspective dovetails with mine; I think it takes an enormous amount of faith to keep working away at our UU project to “embody” beloved moral values in human relationships. And I say “non-theist humanists” to distinguish them from “theist humanists.” Yes, there are theist humanists. My mother, a theist humanist, is a devout Trinitarian Christian. Sometimes she despairs of the human effort to create a just and compassionate world. We both smile when I remind her to “have faith.” A humanist has faith that human efforts can make a positive difference in the world. In my mother’s humanist-Christian theology, it’s a human responsibility to do “God’s work,” the myriad tasks that help build the “beloved community.” In my mentor Bill Murry’s non-theist humanism, it’s a human responsibility to do the work that builds the “beloved community.” Both Mom and Bill “fit” in a UU congregation. That’s what I cherish about our UU “faith community.” People with diverse theological perspectives unite to encourage one another to “spiritual growth” (in each person’s unique understanding of the term) as we work together to change the world. In a nutshell, UU “faith” is Gandhi’s: We are people who aspire to “be the change we wish to see in the world.” Together we are a unique faith community, striving to listen, learn, grow and change – faithfully working to transform ourselves as we change the world. Grow, connect, serve.
Parish Minister search updates
Parish Minister Search Team off to good start
Aug. 20, 2014 The Parish Minister Search Team (PMST) elected by you and appointed by the UUCF Board of Directors is already hard at work. Debbie Boehm-Davis will serve as chair with Bob Hatfield as co-chair. Other members are David Addis, Kathy Birnbaum, Meghan Crowley, Michael Liggett and Kathy Smerke-Hochberg. The team members represent a cross-section of UUCF with experience across the spectrum of congregational life. Collectively we have more than 122 years of combined UUCF experience, yet three of us might still be considered new members – the most recent joining the congregation in 2011. We’d love to meet you and hear your thoughts. We are following the proven approach, recommended by the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), for how to find and settle a parish minister. We welcome your engagement and promise to keep you informed The PMST will be sharing news of progress (both successes and challenges) and will provide regular updates. To respect job seekers and congregations alike, the search process requires some degree of privacy. Within those limits, we want the entire congregation actively engaged. During this process, we want you to feel absolutely certain you have been heard. You are an important part of this process. We have planned several opportunities for direct communication, each beginning in mid-September. All congregation online survey. In-person forums (at UUCF, at the All-Congregation Retreat and at the Fall Adult Retreat). Interviews with the Board, CT, staff, lay ministers and affiliated organizations. Direct email to email@example.com. We will use these opportunities to ensure we understand and can represent UUCF desires during the search. Having your involvement and support is critical. If you are unsure of something, please reach out to us. We can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you reach out to us, we will do everything possible to respond within a week. Expect differences, but rely on excellence Those who have only known UUCF during the last nine years with Mary Katherine Morn may feel apprehensive about losing such an impressive minister. For those who have experienced more of our 60-year history, you know that our community is more than its minister and that each new minister brings unique talents and new gifts. The character of UUCF – each of us and the intentional community we continue to build together – is much bigger than one role within our ranks. But, we understand how important it is to find the right person to lead UUCF at this new moment in our evolving history. We have a lot going for us; our reputation is strong, our programs are vibrant and our community is impressive. UUA has conveyed that ours will be one of the most sought-after ministerial placements. Process and progress Our search process involves the following steps: Allow time for the congregation to gain distance from our last ministry and perspective for the future. Clarify who we are and where we want to go. Determine characteristics we want in a minister to help us get there. Prepare a congregational record and packet of data about our congregation. Work within the UUA system to invite interested ministers to apply. We expect several dozen applicants. Identify and personally engage the most promising candidates. Conduct interviews and reference checks. For a select few, the PMST will conduct a weekend-long interview including attending worship services they conduct. When the team believes we have identified the right candidate for UUCF, we will invite that candidate to UUCF for a “Candidating Week,” where he or she will lead two weekend’s worth of worship services and spend a week engaging with our congregation. Finally, the entire congregation will be asked to democratically vote to call the candidate as our settled minister. A transition team will work with the new minister to ensure a smooth start. If you’d like to read more about the process, click here. So far, the PMST has completed the following tasks: Formed a team. Held four face-to-face meetings; established meeting cadence. Conducted an off-site planning/team-building retreat, facilitated by someone who has been involved in two ministerial search teams and has guided 12 others. Established our schedule and milestones. Collected documentation from former search teams (Mary Katherine Morn in 2005 and Laura Horton-Ludwig in 2011). Met twice with Interim Parish Minister Rev. Jennifer Brooks. Met with UUA and Joseph Priestley District personnel. Drafted plans for the online survey, discussion forums, interviews and the process we will use to select the ministerial candidates. Defined 17 team roles/responsibilities and assigned task coordinators for each (based on interest and ability). We move forward with care, respect and love. We will make every effort to share the enthusiasm and excitement we feel as we move between “trapezes.” We have faith that these next steps will build upon the great history of UUCF and cause us to grow as a congregation. Best Regards, Debbie, Bob, David, Kathy, Kathy, Meghan and Michael email@example.com
Introducing the new PMST
Jun. 20, 2014 Dear UUCF Members, The Board of Directors is pleased to present your new Parish Minister Search Team (PMST). Over the next year, this group will be conducting the search for our next settled Parish Minister. At the Annual Meeting on Jun. 8, you elected David Addis, Kathy Birnbaum, Deborah Boehm-Davis and Kathy Smerke-Hochberg to the team. At the Jun. 17 Board meeting, we deliberated long and hard over the 20 remaining applicants to ensure we could assemble a cohesive team that would be able to look out for the diverse interests of the congregation. At that meeting we appointed Meghan Crowley, Bob Hatfield and Michael Liggett. The Board is grateful to all of the applicants for being willing to serve and for bringing a wide range of talents and backgrounds to this process. We believe our new PMST members have the skills and experience to find a great new Parish Minister for UUCF. The search process is based on guidelines established by the Unitarian Universalist Association. Our PMST will conduct its work according to these guidelines. One of the primary tenets for ministerial search teams is confidentiality. Until the PMST announces our new ministerial candidate next summer, the team’s work will be highly confidential. They will share their process with you as they go forward, but will not be able to share information about ministerial applicants. Please join the Board in congratulating and thanking our new PMST members for their service. Don Reagan, President On behalf of the UUCF Board of Directors