-We are a small, accepting, community church who encourage individuals to honor the presence of the divine in his or her own life.
-Because of our own Judeo-Christian heritage, it has seemed appropriate to make teachings of Jesus our primary guide, while recognizing that their are other guides as valid and to love and learn from people of other religions and backgrounds.
-We encourage people to reflect on their own beliefs and actions and to accept responsibility for their own spiritual growth.
-We believe that God works through
individuals as well as congregations. We must become a servant of the good of the greater community.
-We believe that there is a strength in coming together to worship, to work, and to strive, that cannot be found alone. through worship and work together we find guidance and support in our individual lives. We unite by giving of ourselves to tasks we choose together.
What is a Unitarian Universalist?
"With its historical roots in the Jewish and Christian traditions, Unitarian Universalism is a liberal religion -- that is, a religion that keeps an open mind to the religious questions people have struggled with in all times and places. We believe that personal experience, conscience and reason should be the final authorities in religion, and that in the end religious authority lies not in a book or person or institution, but in ourselves. We are a "non-creedal" religion: we do not ask anyone to subscribe to a creed.
Our congregations are self-governing. Authority and responsibility are vested in the membership of the congregation. Each Unitarian Universalist congregation is involved in many kinds of programs. Worship is held regularly, the insights of the past and the present are shared with those who will create the future, service to the community is undertaken, and friendships are made. A visitor to a UU congregation will very likely find events and activities such as church school, day-care centers, lectures and forums, support groups, poetry festivals, family events, adult education classes and study groups".
History Of The First Universalist Church of West Chesterfield
The first Universalist Church of West Chesterfield has been a part of West Chesterfield history for over 200 years. It was first organized around 1798, possibly earlier. Throughout its history the church has had between 30and 60 members from the community and surrounding area. In the beginning, church members met in private homes or school houses, but by 1830 membership of the church had grown and the members were able to build the church building that stands today with funds raised from the sale of family pews. Oran Randall wrote in his History of Chesterfield that people from other faiths also bought pews in the agreement that they may hold services in the church building as well.
The building remains essentially unchanged from it’s original state.
The building is simple. The Greek revival style and the open, spacious
interior lends itself as well today as it did in 1830. When built, it had
pew boxes with doors and a wood stove near the center of the
sanctuary. Throughout its history the church has been largely led by
lay members of the congregation. In March of 1800 the members
voted to began hiring ministers part-time, yet the church remains
“uniquely led by its faithful members” (History of Chesterfield, 1888).
Today the church has approximately 25 registered members with a
small number of devoted people that attend and hold services every
Sunday from Easter through Christmas at 10am.
-Information provided by Mary Maxwell
and the Chesterfield Historical Society