About Us

WHO WE ARE

WHO WE ARE

The formation of the American character, culture and political life was influenced by such Unitarians and Universalists as: Thomas Jefferson, John Quincy Adams, Thomas Paine, Ethan Allen, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Louisa May Alcott, Henry David Thoreau and Joseph Priestley.

Unitarian Universalism has been in the forefront of the struggle for human rights throughout our history. Theodore Parker’s harboring of fugitive slaves and support of the abolitionist movement, leaders in the women’s rights movement, including Margaret Fuller and Susan B. Anthony, and civil rights leaders such as Whitney Young and James Reeb exemplify our struggle.

The first woman ordained by any denomination was Olympia Brown, a Universalist. Today, UU has a significant number of women serving as senior pastors of major churches. For over 25 years, Unitarian Universalism has also been in the forefront of the battle for gay rights, ordaining openly gay ministers and celebrating gay unions.

If you are new to UUism, you will find many answers to your questions at the Unitarian Universalist Association website. The links below provide access to some useful information there.

Principles & Purposes
Newcomers to UUism
UUism: The Uncommon Denomination

A NOTE FROM OUR PRESIDENT

A NOTE FROM OUR PRESIDENT

Join us in a church built in the spirit of caring, acceptance, compassion, and service.

Seven principles are our guide:

  • We believe that each and every person is important.
  • We believe that all people should be treated fairly and kindly.
  • We believe that we should accept one another and keep on learning together.
  • We believe that each person must be free to search for what is true and right in life.
  • We believe that all persons should have a vote about the things that concern them.
  • We believe in working for a peaceful, fair, and free world.
  • We believe in caring for our planet Earth, the home we share with all living things.

We are non-creedal: there are no required beliefs about God, the after-life, or other religious questions, but we do learn from other religious. We all have a common approach to life in our on-going search for meaning.

The most common comment we hear from prospective members is: “I’ve always been a UU. I just didn’t know it!”

Our Members

Our founders’ vision was to establish a liberal religious presence in west Phoenix. For more than 20 years we have provided that home to our members and visitors. We are a growing multi-generational congregation of more than 250 members.

Our members come from nearly all west valley cities. Our location is a convenient and easy drive from both Sun City and Sun City Grand, and many of our members come to us from those cities. Over the last 10 years, as new families moved into the cities of Peoria, Surprise, El Mirage and Youngtown, the number of families with children in our congregation has significantly increased.

Just as Phoenix is a city full of non-native people, most of our members have roots in some of the cooler parts of the country. Many are also part-time residents and have a home congregation here and another home congregation where they spend their summers. So if you’re a part-time resident, you are welcome here.

Service and volunteerism is important in Unitarian Universalism, our members are involved in almost every aspect of the operation of our church. From decisions about the order of service and the coffee we serve, to the organization of the ushers and the maintenance of our facilities; member volunteers make it happen. Our members also take the lead in organizing community outreach programs for adult education and the adoption of local schools to ensure they have volunteers for tutoring and other tasks.

Our founders’ vision was to establish a liberal religious presence in west Phoenix. For more than 20 years we have provided that home to our members and visitors. We are a growing multi-generational congregation of more than 250 members.

Our members come from nearly all west valley cities. Our location is a convenient and easy drive from both Sun City and Sun City Grand, and many of our members come to us from those cities. Over the last 10 years, as new families moved into the cities of Peoria, Surprise, El Mirage and Youngtown, the number of families with children in our congregation has significantly increased.

Just as Phoenix is a city full of non-native people, most of our members have roots in some of the cooler parts of the country. Many are also part-time residents and have a home congregation here and another home congregation where they spend their summers. So if you’re a part-time resident, you are welcome here.

Service and volunteerism is important in Unitarian Universalism, our members are involved in almost every aspect of the operation of our church. From decisions about the order of service and the coffee we serve, to the organization of the ushers and the maintenance of our facilities; member volunteers make it happen. Our members also take the lead in organizing community outreach programs for adult education and the adoption of local schools to ensure they have volunteers for tutoring and other tasks.

Our Covenant

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 rights of conscience and the use of 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.

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.

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 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 teaching which call us to respond to God’s love by loving our neighbors as ourselves
  • Humanistic 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

Our Chalice

May this flaming chalice remind us of our highest aspirations, our deepest commitments and our most earnest  intentions.

May this flaming chalice remind us of our highest aspirations, our deepest commitments and our most earnest  intentions.

A flame within a chalice (a cup with a stem and foot) is a primary symbol of the Unitarian Universalist faith tradition. Many of our congregations kindle a flaming chalice in gatherings and worships and feature the chalice symbol prominently.

Hans Deutsch, an Austrian artist, first brought together the chalice and the flame as a Unitarian symbol during his work with the Unitarian Service Committee during World War II. To Deutsch, the image had connotations of sacrifice and love. Unitarian Universalists today have many different interpretations of the flaming chalice, including the light of reason, the warmth of community, and the flame of hope.

CHALICE MAKER LIGHTS 2012 GENERAL ASSEMBLY

Mordecai Roth lit the chalice at the beginning of Friday morning’s plenary session. It was a chalice he made-but not the only one he’s made.

Roth, 92, a retired dentist and a member of the UU Church of Surprise, Arizona, has made 132 chalices, most in use by UU congregations. His chalices range from 9 to 23 inches in height and feature two interlocking hoops above the chalice bowl.

The first one he made was used at General Assembly 2005 in Fort Worth. Roth made the chalice for his own church as well and now one of the pleasures of his life is going to church and beholding it each Sunday.

“I like to sit on the front row and just look at it. When I look at the details, the spaces between the elements, I think of various family members. The chalice just keeps giving back to me every Sunday.” He added, “It’s been a real labor of love to make these.”

He said the design for the interlocking rings just kind of evolved. “Once I got started the process just took on a life of its own.” He uses the “lost wax” process, where wax in a mold is replaced by hot metal. “It’s not all that different a process from making a dental crown,” he noted.

Mordecai Roth, who made the chalice the UUA has used for General Assemblies since 2005, lights the chalice at Friday’s plenary. (©Nancy Pierce)

FURTHER INFO

Our Organization

MINISTER

Terry Sims

ADMINISTRATOR

Kathryn Pabich

MUSIC DIRECTOR

Debby Bullins

RE DIRECTOR

Lisa Lawrence

2018 BOARD OF TRUSTEES

PRESIDENT

Pat Lindgren

VICE PRESIDENT

Julian Rush

TREASURER

Sally Thomas

SECRETARY

Cathy Mannino

TRUSTEE

Liz Swan

TRUSTEE

Bonnie Saunders

TRUSTEE

Daro Lawrence

Our church is governed by its bylaws.
The bylaws specify that we have a Board of Trustees who are elected to 2 year terms at our annual meeting.
Board members meet the first Sunday of each month at noon following our service.
Visitors are welcome, but comments should be withheld until the end of the meeting.

COMMITTEES

The Board of Trustees establishes committees to carry out most of the operations of the church. Committee chairs are either appointed by the Board or the Nomination Committee. Committee chairs meet on the second Sunday of each month at noon following our service under the direction of the Committee Council Chairperson, Bonnie Saunders. The committees and their chairpersons are listed below.

Aesthetics
Diane Valdez

Auction
Jeff London
Pricilla London

Committee Council
B.J. Martindale

Denominational Affairs
Sharon Beard

Finance
Brooks Marshall

Generous Giving
Berta Czeczyk
Ken Saunders

Housing & Property
Lois Bartels

Landscaping
Open

Lay Pastoral Care
Lenore Gaudin

Liaison to the Board
Bonnie Saunders

Library
Marylu Rideout
MaryAnne Balzar

Membership
Christine Baker

Memorial Garden
Josefine Drazkowski

Memorial Services
Berta Czeczyk

Newsletter Editor
Charlie Mannino

Nominating
Sharon Beard

Public Relations
Open

Religious Education – Adult
Bonnie Saunders

Religious Education – Children
Lisa Lawrence

Social Activities
Open

Sound and Scheduling
Open

Standing Funds
Open

Technology
Charlie Mannino

Ushers
Mary Ellen Baker
Sharon Steigmann

UU JAZ
Tom Reemtsma

UU-UNO Representative
None

UU-UNO Envoy
None

Worship Team
Terry Sims
Pat Lindgren
Sharon Beard
Debbie Bullins
Patricia Balfour

Webmaster
Cathy Mannino