About Horizon Unitarian Universalist Church

Interested in Becoming a Member?

We welcome people of all beliefs, ethnic backgrounds, sexual orientations, and physical abilities. We believe diversity brings strength.

If you’re considering becoming a Horizon member, we invite you to attend the Inquirers Series, an eight-part series of classes offered on most Sunday, noon to 1:15 PM. Each class and its location will be announced on Sunday from the pulpit.

These classes do not need to be taken in any specific order. Instead, strive to attend as many as possible over time. The Inquirers Series is not required to become a member, but are strongly encouraged. You may complete the series after becoming a member.

You do not need to sign up in advance, just come and attend. Childcare is provided at no cost. Light snacks will be served in the fellowship hall, and you are welcome to get a snack and drink to take to the class. On Potluck Sunday, bring in your plate!

Designed for people considering membership or who new to Horizon or Unitarian Universalism, the Inquirers Classes are welcoming and experiential. In this series, you will:

  • Share your religious or spiritual journeys—where you have been as well as where you think you might want to go.
  • Learn about the seven principles, six sources, history and traditions of Unitarian Universalism.
  • Develop an understanding of how you can nurture your own spirituality as part of Horizon’s community.
  • Hear about how you can become involved in the life of the church.
  • Expand your circle of friends and learn how Horizon “works.”

Inquirers Class schedule for Fall 2017

Oct. 1        Q&A with the Minister

Oct. 8        UU History, Principles and Sources

Oct. 15      Campus tour and orientation

Oct. 22                  (no class)

Oct. 29      Faith Development

Nov. 5       Worship and Liturgical Year

Nov. 12    Social Action and Community Service

Nov. 19    Pastoral Care and Small Groups

Nov. 26                (no class)

Dec. 3                   (no class)

Dec. 10    Membership 101 and Congregational Life

Dec. 17                (no class)

Dec. 24                (no class)

Dec. 31                (no class)

How to Become a Member

At any time during the series, you may choose to become a member of Horizon!  

To become an active, voting member of Horizon Unitarian Universalist Church:

  • Email our minister, the Reverend Lora Brandis, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to sign the membership book and be inducted into membership by the congregation at a special Sunday service. (Your participation in this service, usually scheduled quarterly, is optional though encouraged.) 
  • Attend services and church social activities as often as you are able. Continue to attend church classes or join a small group to deepen your own spiritual practices.
  • Make a financial pledge to Horizon to become a full voting member. Strive towards “the modern tithe” of 5% of your income. You may use the convenience of auto-draft to pay your pledge. Gifts of all levels are valued and appreciated!
  • Volunteer by using your time, talents and experience for the good of the church.  A great starting place is to serve as a greeter before the service or on the hospitality team.
  • Serve the church and our larger community by participating in social justice programs. Help us bring to life our covenant to treat every person with respect and compassion.

More Questions?

If you’d like to find out more information about Horizon before joining:

  • Attend as many Inquirers Classes as possible.
  • Make an appointment to visit with the Reverend Lora Brandis.
  • Visit the Welcome Center to chat with the volunteers before or after the Sunday service.
  • Participate in one of our Soul Matters small groups, an Adult Religious Education class, or a spiritual practices class such as the Practical Buddhism Group.
  • Volunteer for a Horizon social event, social justice gathering or religious education event to get to know others at Horizon.
  • Join a small group to get to know members and new friends.

About Horizon Unitarian Universalist Church

We bid you welcome, who come with weary spirit seeking rest.
We bid you welcome, who come with hope in your heart.
We bid you welcome, who are seekers of a new faith.
Who come to probe and explore.
Who come to learn.

We bid you welcome, who enter this hall as a homecoming.
Who have found here room for your spirit.
Who find in this people a family.

Whoever you are, whatever you are,
wherever you are on your journey,
we bid you welcome.

- Richard S. Gilbert

Newcomer FAQs
Who We Are
We Are...
Where Are We From?
A Brief History
Our Covenant
Beliefs
Mission and Vision
Sources of Wisdom
This I Believe
UU FAQs
Becoming A Member
Maps and Directions
Our Memorial Garden

May this Garden feel our silent steps
As we walk her Labyrinth and paths
And echo our laughter as we celebrate life.
May it hold the voices of our young as they frolic in its beauty,
And may wedding parties bring joy to dwell here.
May it be sanctified by our lives and by our foot-falls.
May it hold up our bodies young and old
and receive us back into its fertile fold
when our days are done.

Horizon UU Memorial Garden

It is one of humanity’s more noble traits that we have shown respect for our dead. From time before memory, our departed have been interred with honor, accompanied by food, amulets and tools for the journey into the next world. Here in our memorial garden future generations will be able to remember our generation, our names written on our memorial wall.

It is a sacred place for meditation and prayer, and for remembering those whose lives have been lived. It is a place in nature where we may feel connected to our Source and Sustenance. It is a place where the circle of life is enacted everywhere we look. It is a place where we may be reminded that life is short, and an encouragement to live it meaningfully.

The labyrinth is a symbol of our spiritual journey into our soul’s interior, complete with its twists and turns. At the center there is a resting place where we may reflect on our inner life. The labyrinth also leads back out into the world where we may engage life in community with a more deliberate response from the heart.

Horizon Unitarian Universalist Church is a community of life, of love and companionship. For those who bring their loved one’s ashes here, we provide a final resting place to bring them home where they will forever be accepted and cherished.

Please contact the Church Office for more information about Horizon’s Memorial Garden

In 1985, the Metroplex area was expanding dramatically toward Lewisville and other cities north of Dallas, Texas. That year the Rev. John Buehrens of First Unitarian Church of Dallas (First Church) urged the creation of a Unitarian Universalist (UU) congregation in Northwest Dallas County because of the area's growth. Martha Robinson had just finished a term as president of First Church and she agreed to take a new congregation training and spearhead the effort.

Notices were sent out of the new congregation and in September of 1986 fifteen people from First Church and Dallas North (Plano area) gathered for their first regular meeting. Soon after they began meeting in a small shopping center in Farmers Branch, Texas, since no rental quarters could be found further north. Services were held regularly during the next year with lay leadership and a strong religious education program for the children.

groundbreaking for expansion
Rev. Dennis Hamilton
Called as Minister

By 1987 the group had grown to 34 adults and in March of that year was officially chartered by the UUA. An application was made with the UUA for the services of an extension minister to begin in the fall of l987. Thanks to the generous assistance of Hardy and Betty Sanders of First Church, the Rev. Dennis Hamilton, a graduate of Starr King School for the Ministry began work as Horizon's extension minister in September that year. As soon as Rev. Hamilton arrived and his sermon topics were announced in the suburban newspapers, the congregation began to grow. Rev. Hamilton was called as the regular minister in 1989.


Expansion Leads to New Location
Although the shopping center space was increased three times during Horizon's 9-year stay, it was soon evident that the congregation should consider looking for land further north. A site was found in an area just opening up for development in northern Carrollton, to be on Hebron Parkway when that route would be completed. Cattle were grazing the land and stakes indicated the future roadway when the site committee made its first visit. An architect was selected and plans were drawn up. Hebron Parkway opened in February 1995, and Horizon moved into its permanent home on Thanksgiving weekend of the same year. Six acres of land had been purchased, yet only two acres were being utilized, anticipating future growth.

As soon as the doors opened, the congregation began to expand. In the first year at the new location, the membership grew by 80 people, and it was evident that the church school rooms would soon be crowded. The congregation moved to two services in the fall of l996, and additional parking was added early in 1998 to accommodate the increased membership. That same year a portable building was installed to help with the increased church school attendance.

Horizon Becomes a “Teaching Church”
In 1997, Horizon became a "teaching church" with the Unitarian Universalist Association with the arrival of the first intern minister in the fall. An intern minister is a student in a graduate theological school who is supervised by an established minister and learns about the workings of the church while adding depth to the ministry of the church. Tom Schade was the first intern in 1997, and since then Horizon has mentored Rev. Fran Dew, Rev. Francesca Hughes, Rev. Thom Belote, Rev. Naomi King, Rev. Philip Douglas, Andrew Weber, Rev. Lora Brandis, and Megan Dalby.
. chalice sculpture
In August of 2000 Horizon called a second minister, Rev. Barbara Morgan, to help in the religious education program and in the development of small groups within the adult congregation. After making a wonderful contribution to these programs, Rev. Morgan retired.

Horizon has always been committed to social service and social action in the community. In our twenty year history Horizon brought the CROP Hunger Walk to the community, has had regular blood drives for fifteen years, has sponsored and participated in annual marches for human rights, peace, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights, and others, helped to bring Martin Luther King, Jr. celebrations to the community, helped start a school age parent program at Mary Grimes Education Center in the Carrollton-Farmers Branch School District, has had heavy involvement in and support for Metrocrest Social Services, brought a Family Place outreach center to Carrollton, sponsored a church in Romania, had food drives, repaired seniors houses, and raised emergency support for disaster relief to name a few of the examples of how we live our faith. We recently reaffirmed our commitment to social action in an all church survey.

The following year, Horizon went through an evaluation process to ascertain in what direction the congregation wished to grow. The result has been a dramatic increase in the social outreach programming at Horizon into the surrounding communities. Also in 2003 the church board established an 18-month trial program for a Committee on Ministry. This group was charged with the task of viewing all of the various committees and groups within Horizon to ascertain the effectiveness of the complete ministry of everyone within the congregation. In 2007, the congregation voted to make this committee a permanent fixture of the church.
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UUA Continues Growth in the Area
A special North Texas Association of Unitarian Universalist Societies (NTAUUS) task force including Rev. Hamilton and Rev. Laurel Hallman of First Unitarian, Dallas established a new congregation within the Metroplex as the UUA began to explore a new approach to establishing UU societies based upon the mega-church concept, which had been used by other denominations. Pathways Church, a UU congregation, began in Southlake, Texas, in the fall of 2004 after a year of preparation. It is now an established congregation slowly growing its membership.


Look for our New Horizon
By 2004 Horizon had begun the next step in its expansion by planning for new construction as soon as economically feasible. The congregation identified the addition of more space in the foyer area, expanded classrooms and a meditation/memorial garden as priorities. Numerous trees and plants were also added to our campus in 2004.

In 2005 the congregation voted to approve a resolution supporting same-sex marriages, "Standing on the Side of Love," and in 2007 Horizon became an official UU Welcoming Church - a church that is institutionally welcoming to the LGBT community.

In 2007 Horizon Unitarian Universalist Church celebrated its 20th anniversary! The congregation recognized our founding members and benefactors, and expressed gratitude for their pioneer spirit in establishing a UU church in the northwestern suburbs of Dallas.

In May 2010, Horizon broke ground on our much anticipated expansion.  The expansion was completed in October 2010. The project included upgrades to the sanctuary, the addition of a fellowship hall, remodeling of the kitchen and administrative suite, and construction of a new library, religious education classroom and religious education office. The first phase of the memorial garden on the west side of the building, including a labyrinth, has been completed.

September 25, 2011 marked the kick-off of Horizon's 25th anniversary year celebration.  It featured memories from our 25 years of existence.  A time-line was created with pictures and details of our journey.

We are excited to share the story of Horizon’s Leap of Faith journey in an inspiring new video! You can click here to view the video.

Horizon participated in Leap of Faith, a Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) sponsored program, in 2011 and 2012.  Leap of Faith matches "aspiring congregations" that desire support in taking a leap forward in growing Unitarian Universalism with "mentoring congregations" that have experience with the issues and challenges that the aspiring congregations face.

We were one of nine aspiring congregations chosen for Leap of Faith from across the country and were paired with mentoring congregation, Fox Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, of Appleton, Wisconsin www.fvuuf.org. Teams from Horizon and Fox Valley met at an orientation in Minneapolis, MN, visited one another’s churches, and exchanged information electronically.

Our Leap of Faith experience has led to a mutually supportive and lasting bond with Fox Valley UU Fellowship. We have been inspired to reenergize our Social Justice program. Additional changes resulting from this program will include focusing our worship, religious education, and small groups around monthly themes, incorporating what we have learned into our strategic plan, and adapting our governance system as we grow. In all of this, we honor the wisdom of the Fox Valley’s commitment to “Dream Big and Plan Well.”

Thank you to the UUA for providing and documenting this enriching experience.

Welcome to Horizon Unitarian Universalist Church

We bid you welcome, who come with weary spirit seeking rest.
We bid you welcome, who come with hope in your heart.
We bid you welcome, who are seekers of a new faith.
Who come to probe and explore.
Who come to learn.

We bid you welcome, who enter this hall as a homecoming.
Who have found here room for your spirit.
Who find in this people a family.

Whoever you are, whatever you are,
wherever you are on your journey,
we bid you welcome.

- Richard S. Gilbert

 

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As a participant in the UUA’s Welcoming Congregation program, Horizon extends a warm welcome to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) people and their families. We are a caring, open-minded spiritual community that encourages you to seek your own spiritual path.

Welcoming Flag

Our congregation is a place where people gather to nurture their spirits and put their faith into action by helping to make our communities—and the world—a better place. We believe that our first Principle, respecting “the inherent worth and dignity of every person,” applies equally to people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. Unitarian Universalism has intentionally reached out to LGBT people and their families.

To learn more about the UUA’s Welcoming Congregation program,
visit this link:
Welcoming Congregation Program

Petrosani: Our Partner Church

Horizon UU has a partner relationship with the Unitarian Church of Petrosani, Romania. Through this partnership, Horizon has received a depth of religious history that we had no understanding of before our contact. Our church has been able to share its resources with Petrosani, easing the burden of an economically depressed culture.

To view the Petrosani Church web site click Here

While the Unitarian Universalist Association of congregations is our organizing body, the UU Service Committee is a social outreach effort that can be found all over the world quietly empowering indigenous groups with health care, education, agriculture and enterprise.

Much more can be found on the UUA web site.

In 1983 the general assembly of the UUA adopted the following statement that summarizes what we stand for.

The Principles of the Unitarian Universalist Association
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.

chalice lighting~
As an expression of where we draw our wisdom, we also adopted this statement of our sacred Sources.

The living tradition which 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 which 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 which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature.

Contact Info

Horizon Unitarian Universalist Church
1641 W. Hebron Parkway
Carrollton, Texas 75010
(972) 492-4940

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