NEXT SERVICE

A Shared Nation

Drawing from 35 years of experience in the union and now as a candidate for office, Steve Schoettmer will reflect on the covenant we share as citizens. He will reflect on the gap that sometimes exists between the covenant we feel we deserve as citizens … read more.

Testimonials

Donna Kuhlman

My mother was a founding member of this congregation, and I was just always here. I “signed the book” (became an official member) at age 17. Back then we were a laid-back group. We came into the meeting room, grabbed our coffee and sat down and started talking. It was all lay-led. I remain a part of...
2016-02-10T15:33:05+00:00
My mother was a founding member of this congregation, and I was just always here. I “signed the book” (became an official member) at age 17. Back then we were a laid-back group. We came into the meeting room, grabbed our coffee and sat down and started talking. It was all lay-led. I remain a part of this congregation because it sustains me. It’s not easy to articulate how. It feeds the soul to be here with this group of people.

Edrie Martin

I feel as if I’ve evolved in my religious life - growing up in Texas as a Southern Baptist learning all the Bible stories, then attending the Episcopal church with my family from the age of 11 on until I moved to Columbus in the 1980’s and discovered Unitarian Universalism. None of those earlier experiences had a...
2016-02-10T15:32:17+00:00
I feel as if I’ve evolved in my religious life - growing up in Texas as a Southern Baptist learning all the Bible stories, then attending the Episcopal church with my family from the age of 11 on until I moved to Columbus in the 1980’s and discovered Unitarian Universalism. None of those earlier experiences had a negative effect on me. As a young child attending Baptist Vacation Bible School in Dallas, it was fun to color Joseph’s “coat of many colors” and to sing songs like “Jesus Loves Me”. And over the years, the Episcopal churches I attended would be considered liberal even by today’s standards. It was never demanded that I take those Bible stories literally – I thought of them as allegories teaching moral values. And my priest in Virginia even talked about not believing in Hell. I always did take issue with the Trinity and the “magical stuff” in the Bible, so I really just recited the creeds by rote. But I’ve always felt it important to live my life as Jesus did, and as found in the Jeffersonian Bible. UUCCI has become a refuge in a desert for me. Other than my friends here, there are only a few others in Columbus I can talk freely with about my values and beliefs. I enjoy being around folks with like minds; we might not always agree on every issue, but we do respect each other’s opinions. And I appreciate the opportunity here at UUCCI to continue on my spiritual path – to explore the world’s great religions and other philosophies and points of view - to take from them what is meaningful to me. There are always new things to learn.

Bob and Nancy Pulley

One year at family Thanksgiving, an uncle said, “Let’s bow for a prayer,” and our four-year-old son said “What’s a prayer?” That was our wake-up call that we were neglecting part of his upbringing. We had heard of the Unitarian Universalists through teaching colleagues who were members. The Fellowship had received a grant to sponsor an art...
2016-02-10T15:31:09+00:00
One year at family Thanksgiving, an uncle said, “Let’s bow for a prayer,” and our four-year-old son said “What’s a prayer?” That was our wake-up call that we were neglecting part of his upbringing. We had heard of the Unitarian Universalists through teaching colleagues who were members. The Fellowship had received a grant to sponsor an art show, and they asked Bob to participate in the show. [Bob is a professional sculptor.] We got to know other members through Nancy’s work at Developmental Services, and interdenominational Peace Fellowship meetings, so we gave the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship a try and liked it. We keep coming to UUCCI now that our children are grown because we enjoy the social responsibility activities and the opportunities to do things for others. It’s good to have an alternative to traditional churches, a place for respectful dialogue between people with differing ideas. It’s good to support an organization that encourages reasonable, thoughtful, open-minded conversation.

Jesse Clark

I grew up in this church, in the old building on 8th Street. My mom was Catholic and my dad was Lutheran. When they married, they wanted a place where they could attend church together, without either of them being told their beliefs were wrong. When my wife Lorna and I had children, I wanted them to...
2016-02-10T15:30:13+00:00
I grew up in this church, in the old building on 8th Street. My mom was Catholic and my dad was Lutheran. When they married, they wanted a place where they could attend church together, without either of them being told their beliefs were wrong. When my wife Lorna and I had children, I wanted them to grow up with a sense of community in a place that would not try to instill a set of beliefs in them, but let them learn and become themselves. My wife was reluctant about trying any organized religion, because of negative experiences she had had. We visited three different denominations, as well as other Unitarian Universalist churches. Then we found UUCCI, and it seemed like the right place for us. So we have kept coming. There is a loving atmosphere, where it’s OK to express yourself in your own way. I especially enjoy learning about other beliefs. The spiritual feeling of the services is meaningful to me when I need to recharge. With our busy kids and our jobs, we can’t attend all the time, but we always feel welcomed when we attend. We appreciate that there is no pressure to become formal members or to pledge a certain amount. It’s hard to answer questions that people ask me about what Unitarian Universalists believe, because they don’t understand that the church doesn’t tell us what to believe. I have my root beliefs, but I’m always changing my mind about certain things and developing my ideas. Other people might like to be told that what they believe is right, but at UUCCI, I feel continually challenged and that’s what I like.

Linda Iwamuro

I came to UUCCI twice before realizing that I should further explore this church, the second time around, as a faith home for our family. I was looking for a church that would allow me to keep what was important to me from my Buddhist upbringing but yet support an environment for me to develop a very...
2016-02-10T15:29:24+00:00
I came to UUCCI twice before realizing that I should further explore this church, the second time around, as a faith home for our family. I was looking for a church that would allow me to keep what was important to me from my Buddhist upbringing but yet support an environment for me to develop a very personal understanding of what faith can be. I continue to travel my faith journey here at UUCCI. I’ve learned there is a community here who has helped me expand my perception of faith, called me to respond more deeply than I thought possible and given me the conviction that the best is yet to be.

Eddie Franklin

I’m just a simple guy who has lived a wild life. I am a recovering alcoholic, sober for nine years. In my sobriety process, I started to crave something outside myself and attended about fifteen different churches. I stayed for the longest time at one particularly friendly church, and was even baptized there and became a member....
2016-02-10T15:28:08+00:00
I’m just a simple guy who has lived a wild life. I am a recovering alcoholic, sober for nine years. In my sobriety process, I started to crave something outside myself and attended about fifteen different churches. I stayed for the longest time at one particularly friendly church, and was even baptized there and became a member. Then a friend asked if I would come with him to watch the Tibetan monks making their sand mandala at the Unitarian building. When I mentioned at my church that I might visit the Unitarian Universalist church, I got a strong negative reaction. I thought that reaction was curious, and not very open-minded. I went two or three times that week to watch the Buddhist monks, and learned that the monks were not part of the Unitarian church. I wondered what kind of church welcomes other religions. I attended a newcomers’ group and kept coming back. I used to be rigid and conservative, critical of others. The UU church has helped me change. It reminds me that the world is not all about me. I have found more joy and openness to different kinds of people. It’s freeing to let the world be as it is. A.A. (Alcoholics Anonymous) set me on the path, but U. U. (Unitarian Universalism) is the next step for me. I grew up in a violent home where there was prejudice against many different kinds of people. Now I can look at people as diverse from my upbringing as Hindus or gays, and know they are kind, loving, forgiving, and understanding. In other churches I clung to the nice, kind people, but in my mind I felt like I was in a closet. UUCCI has allowed me to be OK with who I am and with being a...

Steve Jasper

I had been raised in a church but had stopped attending when I went to college. It did not resonate; it had no meaning for me, so I never thought of looking for a church as an adult. When my wife Judy and I moved to Columbus, she was looking for a church community and saw something...
2016-02-10T15:27:15+00:00
I had been raised in a church but had stopped attending when I went to college. It did not resonate; it had no meaning for me, so I never thought of looking for a church as an adult. When my wife Judy and I moved to Columbus, she was looking for a church community and saw something in the paper about a service at UUCCI. She went to one service and came home excited. She said, “You’ve got to come with me next week.” So I did and we’ve been here ever since. I am enriched by the experience. I never considered myself a spiritual person, but I guess we all have a spiritual dimension, and this is the place that nourishes mine. As individuals, we need to engage with our community, and although this church may be small, I think we do that well. I wish more people knew about us. A measure of what this church does for us is that when we drive home on Sunday morning, there’s always food for discussion. When I went to mass with my first wife, that sort of stimulation was missing from the service. Now there’s something every week that makes me think about my beliefs, my place in the world, and what is meaningful.