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First Unitarian Church of Baltimore

Administrator

Administrator

Patrick McCarty specializes in designing websites and online applications aided by an in-depth knowledge of XHTML, CSS and content management systems.

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Happenings Calendar: 11/9/11

Wednesday, 09 November 2011 12:27 Published in Happenings

For detail see the full calendar.  An asterix indicates events at another location.  To submit an item for this Calendar section of Happenings, use the Calendar Request Form.  Please allow at least 48 hours for events to be added to the calendar.
 
Wed Nov 9, 2011
8:30 a.m. 2:00 p.m. GWAREC
Location: Parish Hall and Kitchen
Contact: Becky Brooks
The Greater Washington Religious Educators’ Cluster meets monthly at congregations throughout the Baltimore-Washington area for continuing education and support.

6:15 - 8:15 p.m. Executive Committee Meeting
Location: Volunteer Office
Contact: Michael Nutt

7:00 - 9:00 p.m. New UU Class
Location: First Floor classrooms
Contact: Becky Brooks

Contact: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Contact: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Fri Nov 11, 2011
OFFICE CLOSED

Our entire facility will be cleaned each Friday.  If you need to schedule something on any Friday, please contact the office administrator at 410-685-2330 or by email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

7:00 - 9:00 p.m. *Downtown Circle
Location: Lumbini, 322 N. Charles
Contact: Paul Sturm

Sun Nov 13, 2011
9:00 - 10:00 a.m. Choir Rehearsal
Contact: Jim Houston

11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Service
Baha’i and Other Liberal Faith Stories
Contact: Rev. Olson

12:45 - 1:45 Second Sunday Theology Talk
Location: RE Classrooms
Contact: Rev. Olson

4:00 - 6:00 p.m. The Handel Choir's Chandos Singers Concert
Location: Sanctuary
Contact: Sally Wall

Mon Nov 14, 2011
6:00 - 7:00 p.m. Chimes Rehearsal
Location: Pratt Parish Hall
Contact: Jim Houston

7:00 - 9:00 p.m. Music Committee Meeting
Location: Volunteer Office
Contact: Sally Wall

7:30 - 8:30 p.m. Men's Group Meeting
Location: member's home
Contact: Glenn Ricci

8:00 - 9:30 p.m. Interfaith Fairness Coalition
Location: Rms 15 & 16
Contact: Church Office

Tue Nov 15, 2011
7:00 - 9:00 p.m. Board Meeting
Location: Volunteer Office
Contact: Michael Nutt

Wed Nov 16, 2011
7:00 - 9:00 p.m. Baltimore ISO Meeting
Location: Classrooms
Contact: Church Office

7:00 - 9:00 p.m. New UU Class
Location: First Floor classrooms
Contact: Becky Brooks

Thur Nov 17, 2011
7:00 - 9:00 p.m. Building and Grounds Committee Meeting
Location: Volunteer Office
Contact: Judy Mayer

7:30 - 9:00 p.m. Book Group
Location: Member's Home
Contact: Mike Franch
The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates

Our entire facility will be cleaned each Friday.  If you need to schedule something on any Friday, please contact the office administrator at 410-685-2330 or by email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Sat Nov 19, 2011
11:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. Transgender Day of Celebration
Location: Pratt Parish Hall
Contact: Vernon Rey

Sun Nov 20, 2011
9:00 - 10:00 a.m. Choir Rehearsal
Contact: Jim Houston

11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Service
Nourishing the Soul Every Day
Contact: Rev. Olson

Contact: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

12:45 - 1:45 p.m. Dream Group
Location: Dream Room
Contact: Alice Lium

12:45 - 1:45 p.m. Leadership Council
Location: Volunteer Office
Contact: Valerie Carpenter

12:45 - 1:45 p.m. Social Action Committee Meeting
Location: Classrooms
Contact: Paul Sturm

6:00 - 8:00 p.m. Transgender Day of Remembrance
Location: Sanctuary
Contact: Rev Olson

First Unitarian Church of Baltimore Happenings 11/9/11

Wednesday, 09 November 2011 12:11 Published in Happenings

THIS SUNDAY 11 AM SERVICE in the SANCTUARY

“Baha’i And Other Liberal Faith Stories”

November 13, 2011, 11 AM

We tell the story of Baha’u’llah on his birthday, and are proud that our own temple carries small signs of the world’s religious traditions. How is it that focusing on our community as a center for faith, spirituality and theological reflection was one of the key cries from our visioning conference? Is there something happening in the soul of old First U? Contact: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Introducing the New First U Website!

Finally, the new website is here!  If you haven't seen it already, click over to www.firstunitarian.net and take a look.  Same address, completely different design -- featuring blogs from our RE community and Rev. Olson, a new calendar feature that allows members to upload events, and much more! 

Any new website design will have a few bugs, so don't hesitate to let us know if you notice a problem.  Email Laura Laing, our content manager, with the url of the page and as much detail as possible.  Also email Laura if you have ideas for making the site even better.  She won't be able to accommodate everyone, but she'll do her best!

And stay tuned to Happenings and The Beacon for more details about the site.  It's only going to get better and better!

Please send your caring notes, new employment, moves, babies, weddings, serious illness or death of members or close relatives This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

To Submit items to Happenings, the Calendar, and Sunday Announcements 

1. CALENDAR ONLY: NEW PROCESS!  Now you can submit events to the church calendar very easily!  Clickhere to complete the online form (Allow 48 hours for your event to be approvedand added to the calendar.
2. HAPPENINGS AND SUNDAY ANNOUNCEMENTS: Submit your Happenings announcements by This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , before noon each Tuesday.
3. SUNDAY ANNOUNCEMENTS ONLY:For announcements that you want only in the Sunday announcements, please This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it by 2pm Tuesday.

Promote Your Church Event

With out new website, it's even more critical than ever that church events are included in the online calendar -- for several reasons:

  1. The church calendar is managed through the website.  If youre event is not there, you haven't reserved the church space and you could get bumped by another group.
  2. Starting soon, Happenings will be automatically generated from the church website.  If your event is not there, it won't appear in Happenings.
  3. Because the website is easier to navigate and more stable, more an dmore people will depend on it as the best sources for up-to-the-minute news about the church.  If your event isn't there, people won't know about it.
  4. Soon we'll start using more social media sites to promote events.  Again, if your event isn't there, it won't get promoted.

We've made it much, much easier for you to add your event to the website.  Just go to the home page, and click "add new event" in the green box.  Then complete the form, making sure that you put the location of your event in the description field and include a contact name and email address.  The event will be reviewed before it's aproved, so you should allow two business days.

Questions?  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteering at First Unitarian is a great way to make friends, have fun, and do something constructive for the congregation. If you see an opportunity below that may be of interest, get more info from the contact person.

Volunteers Needed for the November 13 Gala Concert featuring The Handel Choir Chandos Singers and James Houston on our organ. This is a great opportunity to participate in a one time only volunteer effort and support a Music Committee event to raise funds for our organ restoration. Volunteers are needed to help set up and clean up on the day of the event. Contact Roberta Van Meter for details.

Come to the Concert!

Sunday, November 13, 4:00 p.m. in the sanctuary: the Handel Choir’s Chandos Singers, Directed by Melinda O’Neal are joined by James Houston, organist and music director of First Unitarian Church for a concert of choral and organ selections to benefit the restoration of the Niemann organ. The concert features the music of Katherine Lucke, founder of the Handel Choir, director of the Peabody Conservatory and former organist and choir director of First Unitarian Church along with a nod to the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812. Additional selections by American composers Moses Hogan, Dudley Buck, Adolphus Hairstork, J.W. Whitcare, and Samuel Barber, and the Nigerian composer Fela-Sowande.. Tickets $15  Don't miss this spectacular event!

Pilgrimage for Jobs and Justice

Don't miss this important Social Justice event!  We start at St. William of York Church on Cooks Lane.(Plenty of parking!) We'll march along Edmonson Ave. making stops along the way to raise our voices around the injustices which have divided our city, and the hope we have of building a new way forward together. We'll conclude with a festive celebration at the West Baltimore MARC Station. We hope to have a large First Unitarian contingent at this event!

For more information, cotact Dick or Lauralee Humphrey or Rev. Olson

Mark Your Calendar

  • Saturday, November 12: March for Jobs and Justice
    Sunday, November 13: The Handel Choir's Chandos Singers and our own Jim Houston.
    Saturday, November 19: Transgendar Day of Celebration
    Sunday, November 20: Transgendar Day of Remembrance
    Saturday, December 3: Auction
    Thursday, December 22: Winter Solstice Service
    Saturday, December 24: Early and lat Christmas Eve Services and Potluck Dinner

The Beacon - Our Monthly Newsletter

Wednesday, 02 November 2011 07:08 Published in Our Community

Our monthly newsletter includes a calendar of events, articles by our ministers and members, and events occurring within our faith community.

Recent Issues

How to Do Church

Saturday, 15 October 2011 13:23 Published in Our Community

Union_Sunday

Visiting a church for the first time can be very intimidating, especially if you're new to Unitarian Universalism. What do you wear? Do kids attend services? Where can you park? These questions--and more--are answered in our simple guide to attending services at First Unitarian Church of Baltimore.

Our Faith

Thursday, 06 October 2011 13:21 Published in Our Community

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Unitarian Universalism is a liberal, creedless religion with roots in Christianity. Like other UU churches, First Unitarian Church of Baltimore welcomes everyone--those with faith and those without.  Here, you are invited take your own personal spiritual path, asking questions and exploring a variety of ways to be religious.  Personal experience, conscience and reason are the final authorities in religion, because religious authority cannot be found in one book, person or institution. It is found in ourselves.

Ours is a free religion, where we affirm the worth and dignity of all people, regardless of age, race, gender, sexual orientation, abilities and faith.  And we uphold the free search for truth, unbound by a statement of belief. Religious wisdom is ever changing. Therefore, we celebrate unfolding truths known to teachers, prophets and sages throughout the ages.

We are compelled to act as a moral force in the world, believing that ethical living is the supreme witness of religion. We know that justice, equity and compassion should govern our relationships with one another, with diverse peoples, races and nations.

We affirm and promote Seven Principles:

  • 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.

The Living Tradition that we share draws from many sources:

  • Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and uphold life;

  • Words and deeds of prophetic women and men, which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love;

  • Wisdom from the world's religions, which inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life;

  • Jewish and Christian teachings, which call us to respond to God's love by loving our neighbors as ourselves;

  • Humanist teachings that counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science, and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit.

  • Spiritual teachings of earth-centered traditions that celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature.

For more information about Unitarian Universalism, visit the Unitarian Universalist Association website.

Sun., Oct. 23 Service

Sunday, 23 October 2011 13:57 Published in Worship

“Five Little Words, One Big Idea”

Rev. Fred Wooden
Religious liberals are famously wordy, which is one reason we are so few. Maybe a Baptist from the 19th century has some help for us in the 21st. Fred Wooden is the Senior Minister for Fountain Street Church in Grand Rapids Michigan. Historically Baptist, it became an ‘independent liberal’ church in 1960. He is among the nine UU clergy who have served it since, along with Congregational, Dutch Reformed and Methodist Clergy. Raised UU in Bethesda and Baltimore, Fred was ordained in 1980, and served UU churches in MA, TX and NYC before going to Michigan in 2005. He served on the Hymnbook Commission that created Singing the Living Tradition, the UUA Commission on Appraisal, and the Board of Review. He has also contributed several articles to the UUWorld.

Contact: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Our Church Family

Wednesday, 28 September 2011 13:32 Published in Our Community

As a diverse congregation united by core values, we come from various religious, ethnic, and racial backgrounds. All people are valued here. As individuals and as a congregation, we benefit from our differences.

Diversity plays an important role in our religious and congregational lives. We welcome people of all races, genders, classes, sexual orientations, abilities and nationalities. We respect and reference many religious traditions. 

The Seven Principles of Unitarian Universalism challenge members to work for a just world. We seek opportunities for activism and service in our church and in the larger community. Our programs, sermons, and religious education nurture these commitments.

Unitarian Universalism is a free faith; we do not ask our members to subscribe to a particular religious creed. Instead, we draw inspiration from many faith traditions and value the contributions of members walking diverse spiritual paths. We support each other's search for religious meaning, recognizing that the search may lead each of us in different directions. We stand against religious intolerance in all its forms, and oppose the imposition of religion on the unwilling.

As members of a mutually supportive community we care for and comfort each other. We are respectful of our differences and celebrate each individual's gifts. We sustain each other in grief and loss and find joy in each other's successes.

We recognize our responsibility to support the church with our abilities, our labor, and our money. We work to develop clear policies and organizational structures to facilitate the church's work and development. We encourage all members to play an active role in the ministry and governance of the church. We foster leadership skills among our members through training and mentorship and conduct regular comprehensive evaluations of our progress as a congregation. We re-envision our mission as needed to reflect our needs and priorities.

Our congregation values and explores its unique position in Unitarian and Baltimore history. Our home in an historic building is a constant reminder of our past and of the many theologians and members who have carried our heritage forward. We work to preserve our architecturally significant edifice. We are good stewards of the congregation's financial inheritance and resources and work to develop them so that we can grow our programs and share our faith.

We have a strong commitment to Baltimore City and its downtown. We aim to provide a consistent and audible liberal voice within this community. Both as an institution and as individuals, we support community structures, including housing, education and libraries.

As a congregation, we support Unitarian Universalist initiatives on philosophical, political, and legislative agendas. We provide information and education to the congregation on international issues of caring and diversity and advocate on the state level on diversity issues and city concerns. We encourage individual members of the congregation to participate in the organizations and programs of the Unitarian Universalist Association and the Joseph Priestley District.

Our History

Wednesday, 28 September 2011 12:58 Published in Our History

In 1817, Charm City was called Baltimore Town and had only 60,000 residents.  Mount Vernon -- which now boasts marvelous architecture, magnificent monuments and small, grassy squares -- was still a forest.  And a group of leading citizens met at the home of Henry Payson "to form a religious society and build a church for Christians who are Unitarian and cherish the liberal sentiments on the subject of religion."  These leaders opted to call the church The First Independent Church of Baltimore.

Unitarianism had found a home in Baltimore.

A year later, the large, domed building with an expansive sanctuary was built.  The Rev. Dr. William Ellery Channing delivered a landmark sermon on May 5, 1819, at the ordination of the church's first minister, Jared Sparks.  The sermon -- now called the Baltimore Sermon -- defined American Unitarianism and led to the formation of the denomination in 1824.   In it, Channing identified freedom, reason and tolerance as tenets of Unitarianism.  He preached that our lives are better illustrations of our faith than words and symbols.  This truth has inspired a commitment to social justice, along with theological diversity.

Throughout history, the church has been committed to community service and social justice.  During the Civil War, the Reverend John F.W. Ware worked with abolitionists and tended Union soldiers.  He later organized and directed The Baltimore Association for the Moral and Intellectual Improvement of Colored People, which established more than 200 schools for freed slaves.  In 1874, the congregation organized Baltimore's first vocational school for teenagers. 

In the late 1800s, the congregation oversaw a major reconstruction of the sanctuary.  A barrel-valuted ceiling was added, along with a Niemann organ,  a Tiffany mosaic and six Tiffany, stained-glass windows.  Baltimore philathropist and congregation member, Enoch Pratt donated the Parish Hall in 1879,  It was built from the bricks of the house demolished on Mulberry Street to make way for the Enoch Pratt Free Library.

In 1935, the church merged with the Second Universalist Church, and the name was changed to First Unitarian Church of Baltimore (Universalist & Unitarian).  In 1954, at a time of general exodus from the central city of Baltimore, the First Unitarian Church congregation decided to remain in its historic location, to preserve its phyusical heritage and testify to its faith in the futre of the inner city.  A building addition for religious education was constructe din the following year.  This commitment was reaffirmed in the 1960s, and members were activists in the black civil rights movement.

This activisim continued throughout the 20th and into the 21st centuries, as the congregation and members have advocated for a variety of movements, including reducing poverty , opposition to war, and rights for LGBT people, including same-sex marriage.  In 2007, the church hung a banner proclaiming "Civil Marriage is a Civil Right" from teh columns of its portico as a testiment to its commitment to equal rights for all.  The message was adopted for GLBT rights group, Equality Maryland and now appears on signs and bumper stickers across the state.  

Many members of First Unitarian were also city and state leaders.  Learn more about these individuals here.

   

Social Action

Wednesday, 28 September 2011 10:37 Published in Our Community

You may have heard: Unitarian Universalists are a socially active bunch.  From anti-war and anti-torture protests to the fight for marriage equality in Maryland and local, interfaith initiatives, First Unitarian Church of Baltimore is a leading force in liberal, social justice causes in Baltimore and beyond.

At First Unitarian Church of Baltimore, the This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or SAC coordinates many of these actions.  This team of volunteers scouts out and recommends initiatives and partnerships that align with denominational and church principles.

But social justice action doesn’t stop with SAC.  The church’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) group, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , provides opportunities for church members to get involved in the fight for equal rights—from helping out at Baltimore Gay Pride to offering support for state legislative initiatives.

Finally, many members have developed long-term relationships with Baltimore initiatives, including Our Daily Bread and the Banner Neighborhood Reading Program.

Our Church Family

Wednesday, 28 September 2011 09:57 Published in Our Community

As a diverse congregation united by core values, we come from various religious, ethnic, and racial backgrounds. All people are valued here. As individuals and as a congregation, we benefit from our differences.

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On the Map: 12 W. Franklin St:
Corner of Charles and Franklin Streets in Downtown Baltimore

Mailing address: 
1 W Hamilton St,
Baltimore, Maryland 21201 

Hours: Tues-Fri,  10 - 3:30
Phone: 410-685-2330 
Fax: 410-685-4133 
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