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 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.