What Brought You Here? - finding activities
You may have several questions about us. . .
Whether you're brand new to our church or have been around a while but feel like there's still a lot more to discover, this is the place to start. Visitors are always welcome at our services, and we'd love to meet you in person any time you'd like to attend.
Where are you located and when are the services?
We are located at 421 South Farwell Avenue, in downtown Eau Claire. Services run from 10:00-11:00 am.
Are you genuinely welcoming to all people?
We begin our services with the following statement:
"Welcome to the Unitarian Universalist Congregation. We are a religious community, who commit ourselves to diversity. We strive to celebrate the rich profusion and variety of life. We hope to nourish human differences—those, for example, of gender, race, age, ability, sexual orientation, culture, class, mental or physical health status, and religious belief. Welcome to all who treasure for themselves and for all others the freedom to be who one truly is and the freedom to believe according to the dictates of one’s own conscience. We promise to do our best to provide you a spiritual home.”
Each week these words remind us that we come together because we value human diversity. We hope to include the voices and dreams of all people, in our readings and music, our leadership, and our day-to-day operations. We are an open and loving community. We encourage and support people from different ethnic and religious backgrounds to join us for worship on Sunday mornings.
Is there childcare/Sunday school during the church service?
Children's Religious Education (RE) occurs at 9-10 am; at the same time as Adult RE is offered. After we attend our classes, we go to begin church service together at 10. About 20 minutes into the service, the children go downstairs for Children's Chapel. Children's Chapel is a worship service geared for children, that parallels the message the adults are exploring upstairs. Children's Chapel and the service both end at about 11 am. Child care for children 3 and under is offered during classes as well as during the service.
On Sundays that we have Multigeneratial services, children and adults are encouraged to participate together for the entire service.
If my child doesn't separate well, can she or he stay with me in the service?
YES! We offer “busy bags” for children in the Gathering Room in back of the Sanctuary, to keep smaller children entertained during the service.
Is there someone I can talk to when I get there?
Yes. You will find greeters at each door to give you a program for the day, to answer your questions, and to direct you to the Visitors’ Table in the Gathering Room at the back of the Sanctuary. There a greeter will answer your questions, give you a Visitor’s Information Packet, a nametag, and a visitor card to fill out.
What should I wear to church?
Wear what is comfortable for you. Some people dress casually and others dress more formally. Both are fine. Children may have art projects or outdoor activities. They should dress so they can actively engage in the program.
Is parking available?
Yes. There is plenty of free parking on the street, and in the city lot across Gray Street from the church.
Is the church accessible for those with disabilities?
Yes. Just inside the Gray Street entrance to the church, you will find an elevator. Take it up one floor to the sanctuary level. The greeter will be happy to help you. We have accessible bathrooms on 2 floors. We offer hearing assistive devices as well as large print hymnals.
Can I be involved in activities, if I’m not a member?
Yes, there are many activities in which you may participate, according to your interests: book group, choir, church social action projects, and adult religious education classes.
What goes on during the worship service?
Sunday Services include lighting the chalice, singing from our hymnal Singing the Living Tradition, congregational readings, listening to music, sharing of joys and concerns, meditations, readings and a sermon by our minister, a visiting minister, or a member of the congregation. The service also includes congregation dialogue after the sermon, if time permits.
What do Unitarian Universalists believe?
Unitarian Universalism is a liberal religion -- that is, a religion that keeps an open mind to the religious questions people have struggled with in all times and places. We believe that personal experience, conscience and reason should be the final authorities in religion, and that in the end religious authority lies not in a book or person or institution, but in ourselves. Our congregation affirms and promotes the individual's search for truth and meaning, and we do not ask anyone to subscribe to a creed. As a result, we are a theologically diverse group. What we share, in common, are the seven principles of the Unitarian Universalist Association.
•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;
What if I'm not ready to join yet, but just want to visit for a while?
That's fine - take your time!
How can I find out more about the church, to figure out if it's the right place for me?
Attending services and other events is the best way to get to know us, but other resources are available, too. Guests who fill out a visitor’s card may receive the monthly newsletter if they so indicate. The Sunday order-of-service has a full listing of the events of the week. You will find a brochure rack in the gathering room at the back of the sanctuary, and you’re welcome to take any brochures that will help you know more about Unitarian Universalism in general or the UU Congregation specifically. Of course, you may always ask a greeter or our LIfespan Minister, Rev. Julianne Lepp, or call the church office (834-0690) to talk to office manager, Kris Simpson. She also welcomes you to come during the work week for a tour of the building. The website will give you lots of information, too.
If I do decide to join, what do I have to do?
If you decide you're interested in considering joining the church, speak to a greeter. Twice a year, in the fall and in the spring, we offer a newcomer orientation series of three classes, during which you have the opportunity to share your own spiritual journey, learn about the history of the church, and understand the responsibilities of membership. We have two joining ceremonies per year, one in the fall and one in the spring, but once you’ve taken the newcomer orientation series, you are welcome to sign the membership book and officially join at any time.
Were most of your members raised in a Unitarian Universalist church? Would I still be welcome if I come from a different religious background or tradition?
Some of our members were raised in Unitarian Universalist churches, but most have come to UU from other faith traditions. We have many members who were raised Catholic, Protestant or Jewish, many who grew up (and may still remain) atheist or agnostic, and many whose spiritual journeys have led them to sample a wide range of religions throughout their lives. Unitarian Universalism draws messages from all of these, and more, and we welcome people from any and all theological backgrounds who are looking for a new, non-creedal spiritual home.