What to Expect When You Visit
Welcome from Cindy Scott and Sandy Steele, Membership Committee Co-Chairs


We are thrilled you are interested in learning more about Horizon Unitarian Universalist Church and Unitarian Universalism. Our mission statement is “To grow spiritually healthy people who promote love and justice in the world.”If you are looking for a faith community that helps you grow spiritually, without telling you how to do it, this is the community for you. We warmly welcome all ages, abilities, families or singles, ethnic and racial backgrounds and gender preferences.

 

We hope the information below is helpful to you. We look forward to meeting you and helping you learn more about Horizon and Unitarian Universalism. We encourage you to attend the “ Welcome to UUCircle we hold once a month after the Sunday service for interested visitors, or, please feel free to contact us whenever you like at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to discuss or ask questions about Horizon, visiting or membership. We’d love to talk with you!

When you do visit, here are some Frequently Asked “What to Expect” Questions and Answers.

Where do I go?

What time do I need to be here?

How should I dress?

Is your facility handicapped accessible?

What should I expect before the service?

How are your services organized?

What happens after the service?

I have children...

I've heard of a "Leap of Faith" Program. What is it?

Is there more information available about joining Horizon?
(Opens on a new page.)

 


Come As You Are
Please feel free to come as you are most comfortable. Some people come each week dressed up while others are very casual. This “come as you are” atmosphere extends beyond mere clothing, as we welcome all seekers.

 



Parking
Parking is in the lot in front of our building. There are spaces reserved for visitors and those who are less mobile near the front of the building.  A map of our facilities, as well as driving directions, are available on our "locate us" page.

 



Accessibility
There are handicap accessible doors in the main doors in the front of the building. There are no steps in the building, and all areas are accessible within the building. There are also assistive listening devices.

return to questions

 


welcome desk Prior to Service
Our Sunday services start at 10:30am. Our Greeters will be available at our Welcome Center to say hello to you and your family and help you make nametags. They will explain how Religious Education for children and youth will work on that Sunday. Fair trade coffee is served in the fellowship hall. Our Greeters and Ushers will be in the sanctuary prior to the service and in the fellowship hall after the service to answer questions and introduce you to others if you wish. There are brochures and information available at the Welcome Center and on the bulletin boards outside the sanctuary. To the left of the sanctuary are the restrooms and also a kitchen where periodically an all-church potluck is served.

return to questions

 


Children’s Religious Education and Care
Children are quite welcome to stay with their parents if that is the family’s preference – in fact, all ages except 8th-12th grade and nursery and toddler ages, begin their Sunday by attending the opening of the service seated with their parents. But we hope they don’t miss out on the fun and inspiration available in our Religious Education classes. Your Greeter will introduce you to one of our Religious Education staff, who will talk with your child and ask them if they would like to come forward for the “Conversation with the Children” during the service and then leave the sanctuary to go to their age-appropriate classroom. You are welcome to come forward with your child that first Sunday and then escort him or her to the classroom!

Horizon highly values our vibrant religious education program where all children are welcome to join in the appropriate class or group. Nursery care is offered for children from birth to three years of age in the nursery located on the left side of the Religious Education wing. Care is available beginning 15 minutes before the start of each regular service. Parents will be notified if their presence is needed by the nursery staff. The Toddler Room is next door to nursery. All children receive a snack during their Religious Education class.

Special classes are held for youth 8th grade and older. Please pick up a brochure at the Welcome Center about our Religious Education program for these and all ages. All of our Religious Education classes are open to visitors as well as members.

Please contact Director of Lifespan Religious Education, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

return to questions

 

hands across the sanctuary
Worship Service
The start of each service is signaled with the song of a gong outside the sanctuary. You will be handed an Order of Service as you enter. If you are hearing impaired, assistive hearing devices are available as you walk in at the back of the room.

Services generally follow the same order, including hymns, congregational sharing of joys and concerns, receiving of an offering for the congregation or a community group beyond our walls, silent meditation or prayer, special music, and a sermon. The services are typically led by our minister but we urge you to attend several different services as no two are exactly alike. The service may also be led by another minister, a member from our congregation or a guest speaker.

return to questions

 

 


After the Service
We encourage visitors to join the members and friends after the service in the Fellowship Hall for possible questions and conversation. Members and friends are happy to share impressions and experiences and to welcome you to a congregation that encourages each person’s unique spiritual journey.

return to questions

 

 


What is the Leap of Faith Program?

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 9 aspiring congregations chosen for Leap of Faith from across the country in 2011-2012, and were paired with mentoring congregation, Fox Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, of Appleton, Wisconsin  http://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.

A video of Horizon's Leap of Faith Experience has been created:

2012 Leap Horizon 1

return to questions

What to Expect When You Visit
Welcome from Cindy Scott and Sandy Steele, Membership Committee Co-Chairs


We are thrilled you are interested in learning more about Horizon Unitarian Universalist Church and Unitarian Universalism. Our mission statement is“To grow spiritually healthy people who promote love and justice in the world.” If you are looking for a faith community that helps you grow spiritually, without telling you how to do it, this is the community for you. We warmly welcome all ages, abilities, families or singles, ethnic and racial backgrounds and gender preferences.

We hope the information below is helpful to you.  We look forward to meeting you and helping you learn more about Horizon and Unitarian Universalism. We encourage you to attend the “Welcome to UUCircle we hold once a month after the Sunday service for interested visitors, or, please feel free to contact us whenever you like at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to discuss or ask questions about Horizon, visiting or membership.  We’d love to talk with you!

When you do visit, here are some helpful “What to Expect” items.
 
Come As You Are
Please feel free to come as you are most comfortable. Some people come each week dressed up while others are very casual. This “come as you are” atmosphere extends beyond mere clothing, as we welcome all seekers.

Parking
Parking is in the lot in front of our building. There are spaces reserved for visitors and those who are less mobile near the front of the building.  There is additional parking in the bank lot just east of our building, with a sidewalk to our parking lot. A map of our facilities is available <a href="http://www.horizonuu.dreamhosters.com/joomla/index.php/about-horizon-uu/location#parking" style="text-decoration:none;"><strong>here</a>.

Accessibility
There are handicap accessible doors in the main doors in the front of the building. There are no steps in the building, and all areas are accessible within the building. There are also assistive listening devices and large print Order of Service handouts available.
 
Prior to Service
Our Greeters will be available at our Welcome Center to say hello to you and your family and help you make nametags.  They will explain how Religious Education for children and youth will work on that Sunday. Fair trade coffee is served in the fellowship hall.  Our Greeters and Ushers will be in the sanctuary prior to the service and in the fellowship hall after the service to answer questions and introduce you to others if you wish. There are brochures and information available at the Welcome Center and on the bulletin boards outside the sanctuary. To the left of the sanctuary are the restrooms and also a kitchen where once a month an all-church potluck is served.


Children’s Religious Education and Care
Children are quite welcome to stay with their parents if that is the family’s preference – in fact, all ages except 8th -12th grade and nursery and toddler ages, begin their Sunday by attending the opening of the service seated with their parents.  But we hope they don’t miss out on the fun and inspiration available in our Religious Education classes.  Your Greeter will introduce you to one of our Religious Education staff, who will talk with your child and ask them if they would like to come forward for the “Conversation with the Children” during the service and then leave the sanctuary to go to their age-appropriate classroom.  You are welcome to come forward with your child that first Sunday and then escort him or her to the classroom!

Horizon highly values our vibrant religious education program where all children are welcome to join in the appropriate class or group. Nursery care is offered for children from birth to three years of age in the nursery located on the left side of the Religious Education wing. Care is available beginning 15 minutes before the start of each regular service. Parents will be notified if their presence is needed by the nursery staff.  The Toddler Room is next door to nursery.  All children receive a snack during their Religious Education class. 

Special classes are held for youth 8th grade and older.  Please pick up a yellow brochure at the Welcome Center about our Religious Education program for these and all ages.  All of our Religious Education classes are open to visitors as well as members.

Please contact Natalie Briscoe, Director of Religious Education, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.
 
Worship Service
The start of each service is signaled with the song of a gong outside the sanctuary. You will be handed an Order of Service as you enter. If you are hearing impaired, assistive hearing devices are available as you walk in at the back of the room. Large print Orders of Service are also available.

Services generally follow the same order, including hymns, congregational sharing of joys and concerns, receiving of an offering for the congregation or a community group beyond our walls, silent meditation or prayer, special music, and a sermon. The services are typically led by our minister, but we urge you to attend several different services as no two are exactly alike. The service may also be led by another minister, a member from our congregation or a guest speaker.

After the Service
We encourage visitors to join the members and friends after the service in the fellowship hall for possible questions and conversation. Members and friends are happy to share impressions and experiences and to welcome you to a congregation that encourages each person’s unique spiritual journey.


How To Get Involved

 

At Horizon, everyone has an opportunity to get involved, to serve, to help, to volunteer. But you may ask, “How? Who? What? Where? When?”

Ask yourself a few more questions as well: [each question is a link that opens a small answer box}

Do you like to teach and/or work with children, teens, adults?

Come teach a class at Horizon.

Contacts:

Director of Religious Education email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Youth Director Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Do you like to work with your hands?

Get involved with Hearts and Hammers, help fix things around the church. Contact our Social Issues and Actions Committee

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Do you want to make a bigger commitment to community service?

Get involved with Metrocrest Social Services.Contact our Social Issues and Action Committee.Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Do you like or are you familiar with today’s technology, such as the Internet, computers, sound systems?

Help run the sound system for services or special entertainment, such as Horizon Players.Contact Technical Production.Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Are you good at fundraising?

Join the Commitment Campaign. Contact Commitment Campaign Chairperson.Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Is reading your hobby, or do you just like books in general?

Help in the Horizon library or read to children in the classrooms.Contact our Librarian. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Are you organized, a manager, a leader, a follower?

Help in the office or with religious education. Contact Congretional Administrator.Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Or Natalie Wolc, Director of Religious Education.Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

 

Can you cook or do you just like to eat and enjoy great conversation?

Participate in Horizon Dinners. Contact our coordinator.

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Do you enjoy writing?

Write articles for the newsletter or the web site. Contact Horizon Communcations Team. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Do you enjoy the outdoors?

Come along on our camping trips or Womens Retreat.Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Do you play an instrument, sing or act?

The Spiritual Arts are a huge part of Horizon. Sing with the choir, play with the orchestra, work with the Horizon Players. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

For many other ways to get involved, peruse and complete the Horizon Activities and Interest form. Then, just drop it off in the church foyer or email it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Someone WILL be in contact with you. Then, all you have to do is say, “Yes!”

 

1. What are your church services like?

 

The services vary from Sunday to Sunday. Most last about 1-1½ hours. The centerpiece is usually a sermon delivered by our ministers who often preach about universal themes of life, truth and meaning. They use stories, myths and poems, as well as scripture from a variety of world religions. The dress on Sunday is anything from casual to “Sunday Best.” Please come in whatever makes you comfortable. Services begin with the lighting of the chalice-the symbol of Unitarian Universalism. Brief words of welcome and announcement mark the start of the service. We sing from our hymnal Singing the Living Tradition and Singing the Living Journey, which contains a wide range of traditional and contemporary songs, using gender-inclusive language. Our choir performs on many Sundays throughout the year. There is a special time of sharing that we call “Joys and Sorrows." Any and all are invited to share the important events in our lives or ask for the thoughts and prayers of this community. At the end of the service we stand together hand in hand for a few last words or blessing. After the service we have coffee and conversation so people can socialize informally and discuss the worship service.

 

 

 

2. What do you teach children?

 

Our children are taught to think for themselves, while receiving guidance on moral and ethical behavior. At times they learn Bible stories and talk about them, allowing their individual beliefs to unfold without a dogmatic interpretation. We present them with thought-provoking themes and allow them the space to develop points of view and convictions. Our church school often has a chapel service, where children lead and participate in their own service and find their spirituality. We include the children in the first part of our main worship service so that they can take part in a children’s sermon and a few hymns. Children learn about the beliefs and practices of the world's major religions. They are encouraged to respect differences in theology-many even spend a year visiting other churches, mosques and synagogues in their area. We have an award-winning, age-appropriate sexuality education program called Our Whole Lives for our youth, and a Coming of Age program in which we foster the transition from youth into young adulthood. Please see our section on Religious Education for more details on classes.

 

 


3. What is the significance of the flaming chalice, the symbol of Unitarian Universalism?

 

The chalice and the flame were brought together as a Unitarian symbol by an Austrian artist named Hans Deutsch during WWII. He, like many others, had to flee his home as the Nazis marched through Europe. He eventually landed in Portugal where he met and joined the newly formed, and therefore much unknown, Unitarian Service Committee (USC). The Service Committee was founded in Boston to assist Eastern Europeans, among them Unitarians as well as Jews, gypsies and homosexuals who needed to escape Nazi persecution. Deutsch was asked to create a symbol for refugees needing identity papers that would help establish trust quickly across barriers of language, nationality, and faith which could mean life instead of death. Thus, Hans Deutsch made his lasting contribution to the USC and, as it turned out, to Unitarian Universalism. With pencil and ink he drew a chalice with a flame. The director of the USC wrote, "a chalice with a flame, the kind of chalice which the Greeks and Romans put on their altars. The holy oil burning in it is a symbol of helpfulness and sacrifice.... This was in the mind of the artist. We don’t know why Hans Deutsch chose the symbol of the chalice, but the symbol first came to promenance in association with the Hussites, a movement named after Czech religious reformer Jan Hus (1369-1415) who read the Bible to his congregations in their native language, whereas the Catholic Church demanded that the Bible only be read in Latin. Also, the practice of the church at the time was that during communion, the chalice was reserved for the clergy, the laity only receiving bread. When a church council condemned the practice of some priests who were giving the chalice to their congregants, Hus refused to support the condemnation. After his execution by burning in 1415, Hus' followers adopted the "lay chalice" as an important symbol of their movement. Today, the flaming chalice is the official symbol of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee and the Unitarian Universalist Association. Officially or unofficially, it functions as a logo for hundreds of congregations. A version of the symbol was adopted by the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches in Britain. It has since been used by Unitarian churches in other parts of the world. Perhaps most importantly, it has become a focal point for worship. No one meaning or interpretation is official. The flaming chalice, like our faith, stands open to receive new truths that pass the tests of reason, justice, and compassion. Today, the flaming chalice is the official symbol of the UUA. It also functions as the logo for hundreds of congregations. It is a part of worship in many congregations -- services often begin by lighting a chalice while saying some brief reflective words. There is no one official meaning of the flaming chalice. Like our faith, it stands open to new and ongoing interpretation and significance.

 

 


4. I've heard that Unitarian Universalists can believe anything they want to. Is that true?

 

No. One could not be considered a Unitarian Universalist and believe that subscription to specific doctrines or creeds are necessary for access to God or spirituality or membership in our congregations. Unitarian Universalists could not believe that God favors any group of people based on any inherent qualities, such as skin color, gender, sexual orientation, physical ability, etc.-or that any group of people is more worthy of access to opportunities than any other as a result of these qualities. We don't believe that autocratic, undemocratic or overly hierarchical systems are appropriate methods of organizing our congregations or the larger society. We don't believe that humanity has the right or moral authority to exploit the environment or other life forms with which we share this planet.

 

 


5. What do UUs believe about God?

 

Among Unitarian Universalists we find the entire panoply of theologies from atheist through pantheist to theist. So no one can speak for all of us. In our services at Horizon we hear many names for the Ultimate: God, Holy Spirit, Spirit of Life and Love, Creative Love, Mother Father of us all, Goddess, Source of All, and the list goes on. What is important is that among us a spirit of tolerance allows the free expression of devotion to the divine. Some Unitarian Universalists are nontheists and do not find language about God useful. The faith of other Unitarian Universalists in God may be profound, and no other word quite satisfies like “God.” In our church, all expressions are encouraged and we find that people are always redefining what they mean by God. What is more important than what people believe about God is how they behave as a result.

 

 


6. Does their belief separate them from others or bring them into a loving, tolerant relationship?

 

So often people’s religious beliefs only serve to alienate them from others. We do not find any theology that alienates us from each other to be useful in making us better people or our world a better place.

 

 


7. What about Jesus?

 

Unitarian Universalists do not teach that Jesus is God, although we are free to believe what our inquiry tells us. Most Unitarian Universalists are far more concerned with the teachings of Jesus than about his nature. Historically Unitarian and Universalist Christians taught that Jesus was the Messiah, chosen by the divine will to bring a saving message to the world. Classically, Unitarian Universalist Christians have understood Jesus as a savior because he was a God-filled human being, not because he was a supernatural being. He is for many UUs an exemplar, one who has shown the way of redemptive love, in whose spirit anyone may live generously and abundantly. Among us, Jesus' very human life and teachings have been understood as products of, and in line with, the great Jewish tradition of prophets and teachers. Many of us honor Jesus, and many of us honor other master teachers of past or present generations, like Moses or the Buddha. As a result, mixed-tradition families may find common ground in the UU faith without compromising other loyalties.

 

 


8. And about the Bible?

 

Our children learn Bible stories as a part of their church school curricula. It is not unusual to find adult study groups in the churches, or in workshops at summer camps and conferences, focusing on the Bible. Allusions to biblical symbols and events are frequent in our sermons. The Bible is read as any other sacred text might be-from time to time, but not routinely. We have especially cherished the prophetic books of the Bible. Amos, Hosea, Isaiah, and other prophets dared to speak critical words of love to the powerful, calling for justice for the oppressed. Many Unitarian and Universalist social reformers have been inspired by the biblical prophets. We hallow the names of Unitarian and Universalist prophets: Joseph Tuckerman, Dorothea Dix, Clara Barton, Theodore Parker, Susan B. Anthony, and many others. We do not, however, hold the Bible-or any other account of human experience-to be either an infallible guide or the exclusive source of truth. Much biblical material is mythical or legendary. Not that it should be discarded for that reason! Rather, it should be treasured for what it is. We believe that we should read the Bible as we read other books (or the newspaper)-with imagination and a critical eye. We also respect the sacred literature of other religions. Contemporary works of science, art, and social commentary are valued as well. We hold, in the words of an old liberal formulation, that "revelation is not sealed." Unitarian Universalists aspire to truth as wide as the world-we look to find truth anywhere, universally.

 

 


9. Do Unitarian Universalists say grace? If so, what are some UU table graces?

 

That depends on which Unitarian Universalist you ask. Some do, some don't. Our congregation doesn’t require members to say grace before eating. As with all religious practices, the decision about whether to adopt this ritual is left to the individual. A small collection of UU table graces can be found in the Handbook of Religious Services, available from the UUA Bookstore: http://www.uua.org/bookstore/ Here are some sample graces from that collection: “Bless the farmer who grew this food. Bless the cook who made it good. Bless the sun that made it grow. And bless the fertile earth below. Bless the rain and bless the seed. And bless the hungry ones in need. Bless our kith and bless our kin. And bless this house that holds us in.” "May the love we share around this table with family and friends renew us in spirit. May the spirit of hope, joy, peace, and love dwell within our hearts this day and forever more. Amen." "A circle of friends is a blessed thing; Sweet is the breaking of bread with friends; For the honor of their presence at our board We are deeply grateful."

 

 


10. Do Unitarian Universalists practice what they preach?

 

Unitarian Universalists put less emphasis on formal beliefs and more on practical living. Our interest is in deeds, not creeds. We appreciate the biblical text, "Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only." Our members have been active leaders in the struggles for racial equality, civil liberty, international peace, and equal rights for all people. We work as individuals, in congregational social action, and in other groupings, including such denominational efforts as the UUA's Faith in Action Department and the UU-UN Office. We also work with the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, which brings critically needed social change to many parts of the world. For even more information please visit the section of our website entitled “Community” and the Unitarian Universalist Association at www.uua.org.

 

 


11. Are Unitarian Universalists Christian?

 

Yes and no.

Yes, some Unitarian Universalists are Christian. Personal encounter with the spirit of Jesus as the Christ richly informs their religious lives. UU Christians are an affiliate of the UUA and Horizon has an active group that would be happy to answer further questions. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

No. Unitarian Universalists are not Christian; if by Christian you mean those who think that acceptance of any creedal belief whatsoever is necessary for salvation. Unitarian Universalist Christians are considered heretics by those orthodox Christians who claim none but Christians are "saved." (Fortunately, not all the orthodox make that claim.)

Yes, Unitarian Universalists are Christian in the sense that both Unitarian and Universalist history are part of Christian history. Our core principles and practices were first articulated and established by liberal Christians. Some Unitarian Universalists are not Christian. For though they may acknowledge the Christian history of our faith, Christian stories and symbols are no longer primary for them. They draw their personal faith from many sources: nature, intuition, other cultures, science, civil liberation movements, and so on.

 

 


12. Do Unitarian Universalists pray?

 

The following is from a workshop on prayer our minister has given. It gives a sense of the ways of devotion that such a diverse faith can take.

ELEMENTS OF PRAYER

1. Emptying: Breathing. Paying attention to breathing, posture. Listening. Hear the sound of the singing bowl as it fades into the silence. The sounds of nature, wind chimes, meditative music, silent prayer. Here we are preparing the way, letting our prejudices and preconceptions be set down for a time. Here we make room for prayer.

2. Praise: Appreciation. We reflect on the beauty of the world, the awe inspiring complexity of life, its ever-changing face. For theist prayer, God is the object of our devotion, our praise. For archetypal prayer where an identity such as the Buddha, Tara, Quan Yin, may represent, not a being, but a quality of being—to which we refer, acknowledge and are inspired. The saints are such objects of devotion in archetypal prayer. For panentheistic prayer, there is a humility and sense of awe to be witness to such enormity and mystery. Again, Nature may be personified. In the same way, theistic prayer can be deconstructed and re-mythologized as mystery personified, creative power personified, etc.

3. Thanksgiving: The object of prayers of gratitude is to experience gratitude, to reflect on the reality that life is a gift, each day a gift to be opened. We reflect on the abundance in which we live. For panentheistic prayer there is a sense of gratefulness, interdependence, the sense of walking on sacred ground where each step becomes a prayer. For theistic prayer, God is the object of our gratitude. For post-literal theistic prayer, there is the reality of this life and a need to address our thanksgiving to an otherness. Bounty personified. Sustenance and mercy personified.

4. Confession: The object of confession is to admit our shortcomings, to own our imperfection, and to open ourselves up to forgiveness, acceptance, reconciliation through acts of contrition and atonement. We admit we are short of patience, wisdom, self discipline. We admit we are quick to anger, etc. We open ourselves to the possibility of change in us. For atonement, we need to be willing to address the ones we have offended and to make amends if we can.

5. Supplication: Is the object of prayers of supplication to have our wishes granted? Are we saying prayers so that God will do our bidding, grant our wishes, change the course of nature, bail us out of a jam, do magic on our finances or make a cute person fall in love with us? Or is it to ask for the courage to carry out our atonement, to confront the perpetrators of harmful behavior, to become more patient and forgiving, etc.? To have a “friend” like Saint Francis or Tara or Gaia to give encouragement and witness to our struggle is comforting and can give us the strength to continue.

6. Avowal: We promise what we are willing to do. We set goals—to be more aware, more faithful to our pathway, to the Way. It may be for only a day or an hour, depending on the issue, goal or task. If we are breaking a bad habit of thought or deed, we may want to enter into prayer each time we are tempted, or fall into the negative emotional state.

7. Repetition: The objects of repetition, chanting, mantras, rosaries, etc. are to reinforce our sense of the sacred, our vows, the creation of sacred space and time, and the creation of a transformed state of mind in which peace replaces stress and negative emotions. “Om mani padme om.” “Dear Mother of us all, blessed be, and blessed be we, the fruit of thy womb.”

8. Walking, working meditation: Like repetition, weaving prayer into our daily life by making each act a prayer is reinforcing of the sense of the sacred. Dietary laws such as orthodox Jews keep fulfill this function and remind us of our identity or vows as servants of God—or however we may conceive of our calling.

This I Believe

If you’re in need of inspiration, you need look no further than your fellow UU’s. In their words you will find all the wonder and joy of being alive.

Jennifer Thimesh

I believe that I thrive in seeking a personal and meaningful truth. This journey begins by searching within myself for peace and by showing kindness, love, and a giving (and forgiving) spirit to those around me.

John Myers

I believe I am driven, and limited by, the human condition and human evolution. I’m driven to reproduce, protect, and live to the fullest, my genetic message. These needs are represented for me and mine by Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

As an individual in the enormous knowable and unknowable universe, I covenant to keep an open and active mind and strive for deep awareness of what resonates with my maturing inner being to:

• seek life affirming situations and relationships;

• accept my efforts as enough;

• identify and make habits of my best;

• listen and speak from my heart and

• celebrate life.

Ruth Kelly Trudeau

I have long had this saying hung in my bathroom and I look at each day as I brush my teeth. My mother wrote it on a piece of parchment-like paper as an exercise in calligraphy. I have seen it attributed to Anonymous and to William Penn, but she wrote it from memory. We heard it every Sunday from Rev. Frank Schulman at Emerson Unitarian Church in Houston.

“I shall pass through this world but once.

Any good thing, therefore, that I can do,

Any kindness that I can show

To any human being

Let me do it now

For I shall not pass this way again.”

I believe in this.

Ron Suiter

Of this I am convinced:

That all knowledge is provisional, we cannot know anything for certain.

That although we cannot know anything for certain, we must act on what we can know, and that reproducible and recurring results provide sufficient basis for action.

That true courage, character and leadership lies not in acting out of certainty and conviction, but in being willing to act after rational analysis in spite of uncertainty.

That the scientific method is the only rational way to obtain knowledge that can be relied upon in making serious decisions affecting ourselves and other beings.

That human development, improvement and evolution has been moving away from superstition, ignorance, fear and irrational spirituality toward the use of reason and science to answer questions about the unknown; away from the selfishness and exclusion of tribalism toward an understanding that we are all one tribe; away from the “me centered” universe toward an understanding that the Earth itself is simply a pale blue dot hardly noticeable from any significant distance.

That the only meaning that exists in life is the meaning we give it by what we do and how we treat other living beings.

That sincerity is not a justification for doing evil.

That there is no one more dangerous than someone who is convinced he is right.

 

Gary Paramore

It is said that “every man is my master, in that I may learn from him.” So hearken unto the words of thy brethren and sisetern, and be enlightened.

I believe that God, like the rest of us, is a work in progress.

We participate in the creation of God as we make choices to actualize the possibilities of good in the world.

Every time we:

• appreciate beauty,

• deepen our understanding,

• share our bounty,

• develop a loving relationship,

• take care of the earth, or

• work for justice

we are co-creators of meaning and shapers of God.

I want to live my life paying attention to and prioritizing those activities - to do my little bit towards establishing the kingdom of God on earth.

David Phillips

One of the main UU issues is that its members must respect "many beliefs." However, there is one thing that is not as apparent to most of us, and even less to those of other churches. In order to respect other beliefs that are different from yours, it is absolutely necessary that you accept that they are just as likely to be as correct or more than yours. In order to accept this, your attitude of your beliefs must be humble. In order to gain humility, human beings must accept that almost all of their faiths and beliefs are opinions, not facts.

Pam Schuman

Deity: Life Force/Nature, intelligent, benevolent, in all things. Origin/functioning of Universe part of design, known dimly to us through innate curiosity and scientific exploration, ever-unfolding.

Life: Joy from “god”-given senses and intellect, relationships; pain from suffering, not from supernatural punishment or incarnate evil, but from neutral sources (accidents, diseases, natural disasters) or human instigation (personal desires not restrained before harm to self or others occurs). Learn from pain to find life-affirming lessons for self/others.

Death: Consciousness as we know it ceases, “re-joins” Deity in ways not readily understandable (spirit/soul). No hell, but gentle acceptance in rejoining.

“Do unto others…” “Choose life.”

Doug Arvanites

I am blessed to have been born into this place and time. I have the ability to accomplish things that many in the world cannot, due to their circumstances. I honor these advantages by seeking to make the world a better place, every day, in each relationship. In doing this, I help to add positive energy to the life-force that guides our planet and our universe. This, in turn, helps to make the world a better place for my children (and all children) to live, grow and propagate.

Beth Bargar

I believe in God, humankind, and a sense of mystery. I feel a spiritual presence that I interpret as God when I hear uplifting music, observe the wonders of nature, and experience the circle of life with family and friends. I believe in the potential for all people to be “good” if they are brought up with love and treated with respect. I enjoy the mysteries of life and accept that some things cannot be explained. I am thankful for a religion that encourages me to explore and refine my beliefs, and accepts diversity as an asset.

Nathan Smernoff

I think all pets should be treated the same as humans because if we were nice to pets they would be nice to us. Lions eat you because you are not nice to them, you hunt them. Ducks are nice sometimes. If you kick them you get bit in the butt. That's how life works. Everything has a reason. You scrape your knee for a reason. Everything happens for a reason. On God... When someone dies, God gives them a new body.

Lynn Hess

I believe (in fact, I know) that I don’t have it all figured out, and never will – but that I will try to figure it all out anyway, because it is in the trying that I become who I really am.

I believe the main obligation I have during the limited time I have on this Earth is to do my best to “be the light I wish to see in the world.”

I believe that we each have our own unique way of being, and that we are all perfect, and perfectly acceptable, just the way we are.

I believe everything is exactly as it should be, and that all things will work out – that there is no other alternative.

I believe love is the answer to each and every question – no exceptions!

Marty Robinson

As I view the beauty of the world around me, as I marvel at the multitude of living things, I cannot help but believe in a Creative Force. This Spirit is exemplified in the interdependence of all matter. There is a spark of the divine in all of us. What we do to the earth, what we do to animals, what we do to other humans - all of our actions affect creation as a whole. The way in which we exercise that spirit of Love will be the true measure of our legacy.

Bob Ludwig

 

I believe that we walk alone together

That I am never closer to the ALL than when I am small

That I have been assisted all along

by personalities I perceive only dimly, usually

That I have been blessed with flashes of seeing

and the calm assurance of their presence

That I continue to be born in pain

and unfold with a dancing joy

That each of our losses diminishes me

That healing is joyful

and life is intimately musical

 

Love, light, & laughter

 

Contact Info

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

Map & Driving Directions

Contact Us

Support the UUSC

We Support the UUSC
Unitarian Universalist Service Committee


"Advancing human rights is the work of many joining hands."

Support Horizon UU

Your purchases from Amazon.com will benefit Horizon UU...

...when you visit their website from here.