Learn about East Shore Unitarian Universalist Church and Unitarian Universalism


Many of us are here because we have been turned off by traditional religious doctrines and beliefs, but still feel a need for a religious dimension or beloved community. There is no "required" belief creed in Unitarian Universalism; we believe in a liberal approach to religion. Freedom, reason, tolerance, and love are important to us; we are a welcoming congregation. Our purpose is "To provide a supportive church community wherein all can unite to strengthen and promote liberal religion and freedom of conscience through worship, religious education, service and fellowship." (Church Bylaws)

If you are a visitor with us we invite you to join us for coffee and conversation after the service. There are pamphlets and sermons free for the taking in the narthex. Welcome. Because our services vary in approach, we urge you to visit more than once.

"Be ours a religion which, like sunshine, goes everywhere; its temple, all space; its shrine, a good heart; its creed, all truth; its ritual, works of love; its profession of faith, divine living." Theodore Parker

Principles and Purposes
We, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, covenant to affirm and promote:
- 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 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 inspire 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 which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science, and warn us against the idolatries of the mind and spirit.
-Spiritual teachings of earth-centered traditions which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature.

Grateful for the religious pluralism which enriches and ennobles our faith, we are inspired to deepen our understanding and expand our vision. As free congregations we enter into this covenant, promising to one another our mutual trust and support.


Our Religious Education programs are offered for children and youth, and a full schedule of adult education programs. Copies of our Lifespan Religious Education pamphlet are available on the literature rack in the narthex. Junior Worship is held in the Community Room at 10:30 AM. Sunday School classes begin immediately after and run until 11:45 am. Several times a year there are intergenerational services called "Festival Sundays" when the entire congregation worships together—infants, children, and youth. Nursery care is provided for infants and children under three. It is in the first room to your left in the religious education wing. The service may also be heard in the narthex.

Adult Small Groups are individual groups of 6 to 10 people who commit to meet regularly (at least once a month) to talk, listen, learn, and grow. They follow a simple regular format to encourage sharing, reflection, and discussion. Small Groups are an opportunity to build community, and to support and encourage each other in spiritual growth through dialogue and mutual concern for others. Small Groups are more than another religious education class. They build relationships. As groups reach their capacity, they are periodically opened or closed to new participants. Each Small Group is led by a trained facilitator who is part of their own small group of leaders and the minister for support and growth. Current groups are listed below, and more information about each is published each year in a brochure, which is displayed on the pamphlet rack in the narthex.
-Dialogue on the Deeper Questions, - Ruth Troup, facilitator
-Exploring the UU Seventh Principle - Kaaren Biggin, facilitator
-Feminine Inkism - Cathie Severance, facilitator
-Power of Myth - Keli Keyes, facilitator
-The Red Tent - Pam Leininger, facilitator
-WOW: Wise and Wonderful Older Women - Marilyn Barber, facilitator

Coffee Hour is a time of fellowship following every Sunday service. At Coffee Hour, we serve only FAIR TRADE COFFEE, which means that the farmers who produce our coffee receive a living wage. Our coffee is also completely ORGANIC, which means no chemical fertilizers or pesticides were used in its cultivation or production. Join us for this time of socializing.

Membership - If you are interested in joining this church, please see Rev. Bagley-Bonner or Sharon Waite, Membership Chair, immediately following the service. Membership in our church requires no creedal affirmation. To become a member, you will be invited to have a conversation with the minister about Unitarian Universalism, sign up for an orientation course, and sign the Membership Book.

Pamphlets, sermons, information, and the sign-up table are all located in the narthex. For a donation, you may purchase the Sunday service on CD.

The Beacon is the church newsletter and is published bi-weekly throughout the year with the exception of July. If you would like to receive a 3-month complimentary mailing, please sign up at the Greeters table in the narthex (the round table).

Parking is available on both sides of the building, in the front and a larger lot in the back. If you need assistance, please let a member know.

The Financial Support of this church is through annual pledges from members and friends and by the contributions of visitors. A pledge drive occurs every year in early spring. We welcome your participation and financial support which will enable East Shore to continue to offer our liberal religion which values freedom, reason, and love to all.

East Shore Unitarian Universalist Church was founded in Lake County in 1956. The first building was in Mentor for 37 years and in 1998 the congregation moved to its present location and new facility. In July 2006, we celebrated our 50th year.

The Unitarian Universalist Association, of which this church is a member, was formed in 1961 as a merger of the American Unitarian Association and the Universalist Church of America. Our Unitarian form of worship has been in existence for over 400 years. East Shore is a member of the Ohio-Meadville District, the Lake County Church Network, and INTERACT Cleveland (an interfaith organization in Greater Cleveland for service, dialogue, and advocacy). For over twenty-five years, we have gathered a monthly food collection for the Salvation Army in Painesville, Ohio.

Annual Events:

-Art Show (Fall): an annual juried art exhibition and sale of fine art paintings, sculpture, jewelry, textiles, etc
-Annual Auction (Spring): Auction of services (dinners, yard work, Orchestra tickets, chauffeur services, painting, wall papering, vacation homes), and items (furniture, paintings, crystal, handmade crafts, etc)
-Blue Sky Folk Festival (Spring): A DAY-LONG FOLK MUSIC JAM with WORKSHOPS, GREAT FOOD, and an OPEN SOUND STAGE, FUN for ALL AGES. Bring your instrument! Bring your blankets & lawn chairs. Playground and storytelling for the kids. A cornucopia of folke and acoustic music...Guitars, Banjoes, Fiddles, Hammered Dulcimers, Harmonicas,... and delightful songs and voices.