East Shore  
Frequently Asked Questions

When is Sunday service?
Does your congregation have diverse beliefs?
What goes on during the worship services?
Do Unitarian Universalists believe in God?
How do you view other religions?
What do children do during the church service?
"Liberal Religion" -- are Republicans unwelcome in the Fellowship?
May our children stay with us during the service?
Do you perform interfaith weddings?
What are your Children's programs like?
How should I dress for church?
Is your church accessible to people in wheelchairs?
How do I become a member?

When is Sunday service?

Services are held every Sunday at 10:30am throughout the year. Please come 10-15 minutes earlier so that we may show you around, tell you what's special about that Sunday and have you fill out a guest info card.

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Does your congregation have diverse beliefs?

We have some differences of opinion, yes. Most of us were raised as Jewish, Catholic or Protestant but also include former Mennonites, Southern Baptists, Jehovah's Witnesses and others. We all believe in the search for truth and a deeper meaning in life. The uniqueness of the UU philosophy is that, despite the diverse theologies, we feel comfortable in worshipping together with respect for each other's beliefs.
Our freedom to seek our own spiritual path and develop our own beliefs leaves us with the fact that some among us call themselves Christians and still others do not. Our Denomination simply will not dictate to the membership what they must believe to be members.

Unitarian-Universalists value the work that we perform to improve the world. We like to say: "We believe in deeds, not in creeds."

Sometimes we are called "the church that laughs a lot", because, we do! Humor can illuminate a contentious point without rancor; it will be a rare Sunday you'll not find us breaking out in laughter during our services.

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What goes on during the worship services?

We usually have:
* Sounding of the Tibetan Singing Bowl
* Announcements.
* Music
* Chalice Lighting
* Joys and Cares
* Music
* Sermon
* The morning offering.
* Music
* Bond of Union
* We extinguish the chalice to close the spiritual circle.
This is our basic outline. We may omit some things on some weeks and add others on other weeks. Our minister serves us part-time, while the rest of the time our services are lay-led. Our services can vary from this form depending on the topic and the leader. An honored UU tradition holds both "the freedom of the pulpit and the freedom of the pew," meaning the speaker is free to give their opinion and you are free to agree or disagree as you will. It's like Ohio weather, if today's topic didn't suit you, come back next week to see what's different.

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Do Unitarian Universalists believe in God?

There are Unitarian Universalists who are non-theists, monotheists, and polytheists. For most people in the United States, the word God invokes images of an old grandfather style corporeal being living in the sky (similar to Zeus and other father gods of the past). We prefer to call the spirit.

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How do you view other religions?

It is important that all of us seek some understanding about how things are and attempt to answer questions that can't be answered. Some have chosen another path which may provide a more suitable means of receiving these answers. Some others have decided to strike out on their own and seek answers themselves. We see nothing wrong with any path one chooses, only that it is fair, just and you have the ability to make your own choices about your continued involvement in that specific religion. While we will not criticize a religion for its beliefs, we may have objections to a religion that becomes so powerful that they can force their will on other people who don't wish to follow that path. We also are in disagreement with religions that have in their teachings a goal of the elimination of other religions. From the 16th century, Unitarians have believed in the separation of church and state and solidly believe that all religions, as well as people, have their inherent worth and dignity and should be respected. We believe in the value of diversity and the need for more than one opinion and choice about any given subject.

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What do children do during the church service?

Children participate in Religious Education classes during the church service. About once a month we hold an Intergenerational service geared toward the young-at-heart, from a Halloween parade to our Blessing of the Animals and everything in-between.

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"Liberal Religion" -- are Republicans unwelcome in the Church?

"Liberal Religion" refers to those traditions that are more open to learning and change rather than to a fixed dogma. It's a way of describing our faith, not our politics.

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May our children stay with us during the service?

Yes, by all means. Your children have a choice every Sunday to attend class with the kids their age (who soon become their friends) or to attend the church service with their parent. We find that young children get very bored very quickly in the church service and are more than happy to go to class and play with the others.

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Do you perform interfaith weddings?

Our Minister can perform ceremonies for couples of all faiths as well as sacred unions for bisexual/gay/lesbian/transgender couples. You do not have to be a member of our church in order to get married by our minister or use our facility.

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What are your Children's programs like?

We believe in the importance of educating a child with more than one viewpoint of any given subject or religion so they will have the tools to make a proper decision as they approach adulthood.

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How should I dress for church?

You are welcome to come in whatever makes you comfortable. Anywhere from jeans and a nice shirt to a skirt and blouse to slacks and a sport coat. Children/teens wear anything, really. Most come in t-shirts and jeans/shorts. Our most independent minded wear their favorite ballet tutu, light-up tennis shoes, blue-dyed hair, kilts, skirts...

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Is your church accessible to people in wheelchairs?

Yes. Our building is entirely on ground level. There is a handrail on the sidewalk at our back parking lot. The bathrooms are large and easily navigated, and we have wide open spaces.

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How do I become a member?

Please attend our church services until you are comfortable with us and attend a new member orientation class too. Once you have decided you want to join, you sign the book of membership and make a monetary pledge to support the church. You don't have to sign any statement of creed or belief.

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