my morning at the first unitarian universalist church of ann arbor

Yesterday morning, I went out churching again with my friend, Jan. This time we hit the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Ann Arbor. And, the experience couldn’t have been more different from the last time we went out on one of our anthropological expeditions into the vast wilderness of American religious life.

Last time, we’d infiltrated our local Christian mega-church, a place called Northridge, and heard all about an angry God from the comfort of plush, reclining seats with super-sized drink holders. This time it was a much less affluent setting, we weren’t engulfed in as homogenous (white, suburban, middle class) a slice of the American citizenry, and, it would seem, we were talking about a different god altogether. Gone was the talk of being “left behind” in a lake of fire. It had been replaced with a more complex concept, built on the reality of change and the acknowledgment that no one person or sect owns the truth. (We all, however, in the view of the Unitarians, hold a part of it.)

It was different from the moment we pulled into the parking lot off of Ann Arbor — Saline Road. Gone were the shuttle busses from satellite parking lots, and the endless sea of SUVs that we’d come to expect from Northridge… The lot didn’t have many new cars, or, for that matter, any incredibly large cars. There were not Expeditions or Hummers. And, the cars didn’t have “W” stickers in their windows. There was the occasional anti-war bumper sticker, but I was more struck by the rust on the cars. (I don’t remember rust at Northridge.) It also struck me, as we sat there watching people make their ways in, that the congregation seemed a lot older on average… Gone, I would assume, are the contingent of thirty-something yuppies using the church as a holy dating service.

Before heading out, both Jan and I had done a bit of research, and, at least from the website, we’d both liked what we saw… Here, as a point of reference, is the text from the church’s “About Us” page:

Unitarian Universalism is a non-creedal, multi-faith, liberal religion that is over 400 years old. Its religious roots are Christian, but today’s Unitarian Universalists (UUs) encompass a large spectrum of religious backgrounds and spiritual beliefs. Freedom, tolerance and reason are our guiding principles. Some well-known UUs include Ralph Waldo Emerson, Clara Barton, John and Abigail Adams, John Quincy Adams, Susan B. Anthony, Pete Seeger, P.T. Barnum, Kurt Vonnegut, Louisa May Alcott, Isaac Newton, Eliot Richardson, Whitney Young, William Howard Taft, and many more.

Our basic principles are a reverence for life, a respect for the inherent dignity of each person, and a belief in human potential. We believe in the use of reason in the quest for truth and in understanding and accepting one another.

We believe that truth is better sought in community, which helps to develop tolerance and understanding in us.

It is our hope that we may work for good in our local community, state, nation and world, awakening social conscience to the end of dispelling intolerance and injustice.

Our congregation is a member of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations (UUA) which represents the interests of more than one thousand Unitarian Universalist congregations, with 200,000 members and children in North America. The UUA grew out of the 1961 consolidation of two religious denominations: the Universalists, organized in 1793, and the Unitarians, organized in 1825. For more information on the UUA, visit its website.

As I don’t have a lot of time right now (having just spent almost two hours transcribing the various Unitarian literature that I’d picked up), the following will just be presented as a number of unrelated statements. Hopefully, taken together, they provide enough background.

– Several people coming in for morning services dropped off canned goods for the poor. Whereas the first thing I saw when entering Northridge was the youth entertainment/worship room, complete with electric guitars, video games and black lights, the first thing I saw here was a large container of food being collected for the poor.

– After welcoming everyone, people from the audience were encouraged to come up and share their “joys” and “sorrows.” It struck me that it wasn’t something that could have been done in a larger congregation, but it seemed perfect for the 250 or so people there this morning. About ten people got up and spoke. Most talked briefly about family members that had passed, or other members of the church who had taken ill. One woman got up to mention that she’d just returned from a bird-watching expedition and that she’d posted a list of the birds that she’d seen in the corridor outside. People laughed along with her in a good-natured way as she hurried through the names and characteristics of the birds she’d seen. It was encouraging to see the way the community interacted. It reminded me of the church my grandparents went to in their small Kentucky town, only perhaps with a little less of the politics… (The only thing that rubbed me the wrong way was the last fellow who got up and mentioned that he’d now been in business for one year, serving the church community as a massage therapist. It had the feeling of an ad, but I suppose it could have been much worse. Otherwise, things were off to a good start.) “This,” it seemed to me, “was what religion should be all about — building a strong, inter-connected community of individuals with shared morals and mutual respect.”

– At several points in the morning, I was struck by the number of references that were made to other texts, both popular and scholarly. (During the sermon, several other ministers were quoted, as were Saul Bellow, Reinhold Niebuhr, Nietzsche, Theodore Parker, poet Mary Oliver, Art Buchwald, the New York Times, Henri Nouwen, and a cartoon in the New Yorker.) It caused me to consider for the first time, that no such references were made at the previous church, except for those relating to popular culture. (As you’ll recall, they showed an extended clip from the film “Napoleon Dynamite.”) In general, I’d say that attending this church would be a more intellectually demanding endeavor than going to the Northridge mega-church, where, between pieces of entertainment, things are given to you to accept at face value as true… At some point, it was mentioned that Senior Minister Ken Phifer, who was delivering his last sermon, after 25 years at the helm of the Unitarian Universalist congregation, was a Harvard graduate who had written his dissertation on Christian anti-Semitism. It didn’t surprise me.

– The theme of this morning’s sermon was, “If I Had Only One Sermon to Preach,” and, as I sat there listening to it, it occurred to me that I couldn’t have asked for a better counterpoint from which to view the last experience that Jan and I had, sitting in the reclining seats of the mega-church theater, watching clips of Hollywood movies on big screens between songs by a rock band and brief comments by the preacher on the evils of the new-age, and how we can never, no matter how hard we try, be “friends” with Jesus (who was portrayed like a monster in a mid-60’s Japanese movie, that was sure to come back to wreak his vengeance). There was fear and loathing, but absolutely gone was the image of Jesus as I’d come to know him growing up, a man who, in spite of the popular mood against such things, taught of loving one’s enemies, exercising compassion and resisting the urge to judge others.

– The Unitarians, at least from what I could tell, went as far as possible in the other direction. Not only did they believe in a god of love (as opposed to a “god of laws”), but they didn’t limit their worldview to those ideas outlined in the Bible. During the course of the sermon, not only was the Bible quoted, but so too was the Qur’an.

– I stuffed my pockets with brochures before leaving; “Science and Religion” was the title of one, and it dealt with the Unitarian Universalist’s “embrace of science.” Here’s a clip:

Our movement was founded in the context of a growing curiosity and optimism about the world. We believed with Unitarian minister Samuel Longfellow that ‘revelation is not sealed’…

Though the popular media often presents these questions as ‘science vs. religion,’ Unitarian Universalists have historically viewed science and religion as compatible. Growing up in the First Unitarian Congregational Church of Cincinnati, Ohio, I was proud that members of my religious faith embraced knowledge of all kinds, were ready to learn and change, and wanted to hold an understanding of the nature of the universe (their theology, I would call it) in harmony with the latest scientific understandings.

– There were similar pamphlets with information about the environment, gay rights, and social justice. In each case, I found myself in complete agreement. Here are a few quotes from another publication which tried to answer the question, “Who might make a good fit in the UU community?”

I believe in many things: human dignity, ethical effort, the constant search for truth, and the need for more human community and harmony with the natural order, but I cannot bind my beliefs to a creedal test. What religion would want me?

Some religions seem to insist that truth is revealed and complete. Does any religious tradition welcome the idea that truth is a growing, not finished, thing?

A child should be allowed to discover religion in his or her own unfolding life, not through a process of indoctrination. What faith practices this?

There are beauty and truth in many of the world’s religious faiths. Is there a faith that does not claim to have all the answers?

Is there a religion that honestly encourages the fullest possible use of reason?

Again, I agreed with everything.

– And, here, in case it wasn’t clear from everything else, are (in their own words) what Unitarian Universalists believe:

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 society at large / The goal of a world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all / Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part

– And, somewhere in one of the brochures, I found the following quote, which I jotted down into my notebook:

“The most fundamental of all our values, then, is our affirmation of the right to individual freedom of religious belief – the principle of the free mind. For us the most vital fact is this: In order to advance, humans must be free. There is no area of life in which it is more important to be free than in religion.

Many religions are based upon the teachings of a person and/or text that they regard as infallible. Unitarian Universalists, while honoring the prophetic voices of many world religions, do not believe in infallibility. ”

– There was, at some point, a moment for silent meditation, and, unlike in other such public moments I’ve experienced, I got the feeling that people were really meditating.

– There was no rock band, just a single soprano with a booming voice, singing “What a Wonderful World.”

– There was no discussion of bringing in converts.

– There were no infomercials for self-help conferences to be put on by the church.

– There were no cards handed out with boxes to be checked if you had been “saved” during the service.

– Believers in other faiths were not called “evil.”

– The sermon, the final one to be delivered by Ken Phifer, was well grounded in history, heavy on humility and very enthusiastic about the “middle way” as proscribed by Buddha. Here are a few random quotes taken from the sermon, which should be available for download soon:

“History shows us clearly the wickedness of slavery and the oppression of women, the folly of war and of designing societies that are unjust so a few get rich and the many live in misery. Our moral values emerge out of seeing what actions and systems do good and which ones hurt people.”

“In the UU movement, humility is part of the reason why we have no binding dogmas, no required creeds to believe, no rituals one must perform on pain of eternal losss. Humility teaches us that no one of us has the truth, no individual, no religion. At best, we may each have a little bit of the truth. Sharing humbly we can enlarge our understanding.”

“To see the sacredness in every part of life, to really live the truth of being part of the ‘interdependent web of all existence,’ is to be in tune with the universe, with that which goes on, with that which endures… We should seek out and hold on to the permanent values of life and take lightly the transient things. Holed fast to love, morality, life.”

So, given the extent to which everything resonated with me, why am I still uneasy about all of this? I don’t know. Maybe it’s just a little too “hippy-dippy” to for me… Everything I saw I liked, but I’m still not set on the idea of jumping in. I’m not a joiner. And I am, by nature, a bit suspicious of organized groups, regardless of what they profess. And then there’s the fact that some of it, as much as I like it, strikes me as naive (or at least it has that potential). At the same time, however, I feel compelled to do more reading about Unitarianism as I go forward and check out other local religious communities. Of all the religions I’ve encountered thus far, this seems to be the one most clearly in line with my beliefs and those of my family, but yet something in me, and I’m ashamed to say this, is still yearning for some kind of more definitive creed, something to stand behind and fight for. The Unitarians might have that (I see hints of it in the earlier quote I transcribed on women’s rights, and the stuff about the embrace of science), but I’d want to know definitively where they stand on issues, and that they don’t, as it seems they might, just say, “We’re cool with everything.” I need to see the lines they’ve drawn before I think any more about casting my lot with them.

Does that make sense at all?

I’m incredibly tired, and need to go to bed… If you’re still interested in learning more, though, I’d recommend this site on Unitarian Christianity. It’s got lots of good information.

Good night, my invisible friends.

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32 Comments

  1. Posted August 2, 2005 at 12:58 am | Permalink

    I’m building a temple to Jupiter.

  2. Posted August 2, 2005 at 1:00 am | Permalink

    Mark, how come I never see you at any rainbow gatherings any more?

  3. chris
    Posted August 2, 2005 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    Yeah, I need some smells and bells. But otherwise…well you know what…I just might check out a service.

  4. Teddy Glass
    Posted August 2, 2005 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    Any organization that counts Vonnegut as a member can’t be bad.

  5. Ian
    Posted August 2, 2005 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    I became a UU about 15 years ago now (originally Lutheran), and I’m glad you’ve found comfort in its intellectual and open approach to religion. I, however, did not feel as comfortable with the Ann Arbor church, for the reasons you mentioned – complete lack of dogma. Growing up a UU, I had the chance to visit and meet people from many different chuches in southeast Michigan, the Midwest and the East Coast. I’d strongly encourage you, if you find that UU’ism is what you’re looking for, to try visiting other churches in the area. In my experience, individual congregations can vary in their approach and practice (you’ll never find cards asking if you were saved or a convert collection). I was a member of the Birmingham UU Church, and would recommend you try it.

  6. TB
    Posted August 2, 2005 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    I also suspect that the Ann Arbor church might change direction a bit under the leadership of a new minister. Perhaps it would be worth waiting a bit and then trying them again.

  7. Doug Skinner
    Posted August 2, 2005 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    You’ll just have to keep searching, pilgrim.

    Maybe you should start your own church, one with socially responsible sermons broken up with blasts of nostalgic punk rock. This could be the start of the Maynarditarian tradition!

  8. john galt
    Posted August 2, 2005 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    Is this the outfit know as the moonies? The ones that do the mass weddings? Not trying to incite, just a question.

  9. mark
    Posted August 2, 2005 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    I know you

  10. john galt
    Posted August 2, 2005 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

    so its not the same church? I googled unitarian and all I got was a bunch of moonie links.

  11. john galt
    Posted August 2, 2005 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

    yeah, I saw that link earlier..

    hmmm leader thinks that he’s god (messiah)..

    Requires blind obedience from followers or else they can’t be saved..

    what could possibly go wrong :)

  12. john galt
    Posted August 2, 2005 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

    Oh Mark, could you possibly start an Andy Kauffman thread.. For some reason I decided to start googling him today.. Its a very narrow line between genuis and insanity.. For some reason I never really was aware of all the hijinks when he was alive, but I did really like him in Taxi.. Anyways sorry to hijack the thread.

  13. dorothy
    Posted August 3, 2005 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    delighted with your post on the unitarian church. sounds like the right kind of religion to me—it’s ok to be naive at times as long as you’re not being hurt.

  14. Kristi Coulter
    Posted August 3, 2005 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    Mark, now you have to go get your Unitarian Jihad Name at http://homepage.mac.com/whump/ujname.html and read the San Francisco Chronicle column that inspired it–it perfectly encompasses what’s both wonderful and a little, well, square about UUs.

    Kristi, aka Sister Cutlass of Warm Humanitarianism (raised UU)

  15. Posted August 3, 2005 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    If the massage therapist is who I think it is, he’s all-around creepy anyway. Don’t let his presence turn you off to UU, just as I haven’t let it turn me off to massage therapy. (but I never ever refer clients to him)

  16. Dick Cheney's Extending Taint
    Posted August 3, 2005 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    Mark,

    You and others might find interesting these sermons from the minister who founded the church I grew up in.

    http://www.fountainstreet.org/literature/archives.htm

    If you note the dates there, you’ll see that Duncan Littlefair was a liberal thinker pretty far ahead of his time. From his bio here:

    http://www.harvardsquarelibrary.org/unitarians/littlefair.html

    I still advance the notion that religiously we are all on our own. No one has the answers. No one speaks for another. No one controls another. No one speaks for God. I think that the Unitarians, like the Baptists, have fallen into the trap of the efficiency of a “United Voice,” central organization and rules of conduct and procedure, not to mention financial success.

    He retired in 1981 and died a few years ago. But the church is still going. If you went for a visit, it would be a unique data point in your church survey, and only a 3 hr drive from Ypsi. I suspect you’d find it rather pedestrian, though, if you didn’t speak with anyone about the church but rther just attended a random service.

  17. Posted August 4, 2005 at 1:04 am | Permalink

    Christ hater!

    I like that lack of formal, restrictive dogma. There is something in most of us, I think, that seeks out dogma. We want concrete paths to follow: instructions, rules, parameters–whatever you want to call them. In that bestseller book, Influence, the author, Cialdini, highlighted some research about our need to simplify things in order to function in such a busy world. Maybe this relates to dogma. It makes our lives so much easier by providing mental shortcuts that we can take. Love, humility, reverence and peace: that’s specific enough for me. I’m not sure what you mean, though, Mark. Would a lack of concrete, detailed dogma make a church susceptable to taking a bad turn in the future? Like canibalism, for example.

    A desire for detailed dogma might relate to a desire to be with like-minded people. I remember at one point daydreaming about the UU church membership turning into vampires and turning on us (I think the plan was to trip Mark so they would devour him while I made a quick getaway). How do you know this church isn’t a magnet for Jeffrey Dahmers and creepy massage therapists? I don’t know. A more specific and wrought creed might in some way weed out this or that person. But one thing I despise in religious institutions is exclusivity.

    Still, a church that doesn’t tell its members what to think is perfect to me. It won’t tell the members for whom they should vote (ideally), against whom they should fight. I liked it when the minister said that he was still on a path of inquiry and discovery when it comes to religion–and that he welcomed us to partake in such a perpetual search for meaning and whatever. Conversely, a preacher who is certain and rigid in his beliefs scares the crap out of me for some reason.

    Does a church encourage its members to think? Foster free thought and inquiry? That may be a trait that tells a lot about a church–it also may be the defining characteristic that determines when a church is a cult or just a church (eye of the beholder, I know).

    I would like to attend one of the UU church’s smaller meetings in which religion and philosophy are discussed (I think they alluded to this, right?). I would also like to see what goes on at Northridge in one of their Bible study meetings. I’m betting that we would see free thinking and inquiry in one and brainwashing dogma in the other.

    I once brainstormed an ideal church that I could create.
    The UU church meshes with what I wanted in many ways. But what the hell is up with that flaming chalice symbolism? I have a flyer telling about its meanings. I hate it when religions get immersed in rituals, symbols and iconography. The flaming chalice seems a bit contrived to me.

    Nice piece, Mark.

  18. Teddy Glass
    Posted August 4, 2005 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    The flaming chalice is to keep the vampires away. You wouldn’t want to be around if it went out.

  19. Posted August 4, 2005 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    As a Catholic, I naturally have problems with the UU view of things, but I just want to say that NorthRidge “church” looks like one of the scariest places ever. The whole site is filled with what sounds like marketing-speak developed through some agency conducting focus groups, and nowhere can I find what denomination this joint actually is. A “Spiritual Shopping Mall”? Creepy.

  20. Posted August 4, 2005 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    One of the profs at the U was a Unitarian and another of the profs who was known for his highly irreverent sense of humor asked her once about church. She told him that she had become a fallen away Unitarian. He questioned how that’s possible when they don’t believe in anything.

    I didn’t know a thing about the Unitarians as I was raised Catholic, so it was nice to learn about other religions, and not just in the smart ass it was presented.

  21. john galt
    Posted August 4, 2005 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    Remeber the Simpsons Episode where Burns buys the local church after it burns down?

  22. Ken
    Posted August 4, 2005 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    Remember the Simpson’s episode when Flanders’s wife gets killed? Bart goes over to their house to cheer the kids up and they play a game called “Billy Graham’s Bible Blaster”. When they just nick someone they only get turned into a Unitarian.

  23. Ken
    Posted August 4, 2005 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

    Holy crap! You can play it! The address is:

    http://thesimpsons.com/characters/home.htm

    You have to click on F-H and then click on Flanders, Rod. I tried nicking a heathen but it didn’t seem to work.

  24. mark
    Posted August 4, 2005 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

    Very cool, Ken. I just “Converted Five Heathens.”

    And thanks to all the rest of you who have contriuted to this thread. Your thoughts were, and are, much appreciated.

    I’m sorry I haven’t had a chance to respond to each of your comments individualy, but I am paying attention — and following your links.

  25. Shanster
    Posted August 5, 2005 at 5:50 am | Permalink

    Mark-
    I kind of wondered why you chose the U church. I thought you were going to continue to check out the mega-churches. Have you given up entirely on them? Are the body thetans contolling your decisions, actually leading you to scientology?

  26. PeteM
    Posted August 11, 2005 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    Jim Blanchard — Michigan’s governor during the 80s — is a Unitarian. In an interview, he said (I’m paraphrasing) “The only time you hear ‘Jesus Christ’ in a Unitarian church is when the custodian slips and falls on his butt”. There are a lot of Unitarians in American politics — Taft (a Republican, no less) was the head of hte national association after his presidency ended.

    By the way, the Ann Arbor UU church is somewhat of a mega-church in that it has about 800 members.

  27. Nancy
    Posted August 11, 2005 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    I think one thing that has a strong effect on whether someone is comfortable joining a UU congregation is whether one finds like-minded people there. I’ve attended UU churches off and on all my life – and “off” was usually when I wasn’t comfortable with the local congregation. I like a larger UU church (and the Ann Arbor congregation is _very_ large for the denomination, as Pete says) because there is more chance of finding a group of people who share values similar to your own. Trying out some of the separate interest groups can be a great way to get a better sense of the place.

    There are some regional variations: Midwestern UU churches tend to be a little bit more relaxed, and since many were part of the more charismatic Universalist tradition (a ways back, though) many do show that in small ways. Eastern UU groups tend to be more like their close cousins, the Congregationalists. A little more conservative, old-school New Englander. The UU church I visited in San Francisco was almost Episcopalian (embroidered robes, separate “secular” and “spiritual” pulpits, etc.) And I’m given to understand (though not through personal experience) that Southern UU congregations are often a lot more openly Christian.

    But the fact remains that every congregation is different, and every individual UU is different, too. Your concerns about the church lacking a shared belief system or creed is common both inside and outside the denomination. I once heard a song that went “I wish I was a Catholic, ’cause then I could confess; I wish I was a Protestant, ’cause then I could protest. But I’m a [UU]…” The “encouragement to spiritual growth” in our “free and responsible search for truth and meaning” can be liberating, but it can be frustrating. You’re not going to get much direct spiritual _guidance_ in a UU community – no one is going to give you the “answer” to anything. What you will get is plenty of spiritual support and encouragement. And lots of thought provoking. Lots and _lots_ of it!

  28. William Baker
    Posted August 20, 2005 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    As a Unitarian Universalist convert of 15+ years, I’m impressed that, based on one visit, you’ve understood and communicated UU principles more clearly than many UU members with years of experience can.

    You’ve also hit on one of the agonizing paradoxes of a religion or movement based on radical freedom of thought, which is how can a group stand for anything without demanding conformity from its members. My reply is that with freedom comes responsibility, and a big part of that is respect. As Lincoln, said, those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves. And from there it’s not a big jump to affirming the worth and dignity of every individual. I think that’s where we draw the line in the sand. Racial prejudice, religious bigotry, homophobia, etc., deny the worth and dignity of individuals, and I hope that’s a bedrock concept all UU’s can rally around.

    As for wanting a creed, any UU is free to espouse a creed that doesn’t violate or disrespect others’ rights as free searchers. Christians, Bhuddists, Muslims, etc. are free to congregate for classes, discussion groups, and worship services. What you won’t get is a whole-church endorsement of your creed.

    Finally, some background on the flaming chalice for dirtgrain:

    http://www.uua.org/aboutuu/chalice.html

    Sincerely,
    William Baker

  29. Posted August 21, 2005 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the link, William. I blogged it, and quoted you: in this post which is a follow-up to this post.

  30. mark
    Posted August 21, 2005 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    I’d like to thank all of you UU’s who have either sent in e-mails or left notes here on the site. I was, as I’d said in my original post, impressed by what I’d seen and heard during my visit to the Annn Arbor church, but your thoughtful comments have done even more to convince me that perhaps the Unitarian chuch could be the place for me… Thank you for taking the time… And thanks especially to those of you who have invited Jan and me to your churches, and the various social groups tied to them. I’m sure that we’ll take at least a few of you up on your offers in the near future.

  31. Rick
    Posted March 31, 2008 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    Hi Mark,

    I was really impressed with this posting. I too was at that service, after having been a member for about 6 years and married by Ken in 1999.

    The years since Ken left have been very interesting, challenging and rewarding — unlike anything I’ve ever been a part of (I was “un-churched” until joining 1st UUAA in my late 30s).

    I just found your site a few days ago. I’m impressed with your understanding and description of UU-ism and our congregation. Given your positive impressions, I hope that you’ve been back since 2005.

    If you haven’t been attending, I strongly encourage you to check us out again. The energy of the congregation this year is fantastic. We emerged from a 3 year long process with a strength and vitality that we didn’t even know was missing back in 2005.

    Just yesterday we learned the identity of our new ministerial candidate. Please take a look at her pages on our website and give a listen to the sermon she delivered in 2006, the video of which is on the site, http://www.uuaa.org.

    Kind Regards,

    Rick Witten

  32. rhonda
    Posted May 12, 2015 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    its a cult.
    they are deeply involved in the sandy hook false flag psyop.

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