Frequently Asked Questions about Quincy's Unitarian
- What do Unitarian-Universalists believe?
- That's hard to generalize about.
Unitarian-Universalism is a "non-creedal"
denomination; it doesn't insist on a profession of
faith or a standard set of beliefs from its members.
- Then what do you believe?
- UUs believe in a free and responsible search for
meaning. We believe that the search for spiritual truth
can take many paths, and we honor all those paths.
- So you're not Christians?
- Some UUs identify themselves as Christians. Others
would describe themselves as followers of other religious
traditions, such as Buddhist, Taoist, or earth-centered.
Still others would prefer to describe themselves as
agnostic or atheist. It's a point of pride for UUs to
respect and honor each other's religious values.
- What kinds of things do you have in common?
UUs affirm seven principles as the core of their
religious organization. These are:
- The inherent worth and dignity of every
- Justice, equity and compassion in human
- Acceptance of one another and encouragement to
spiritual growth in our congregations;
- A free and responsible search for truth and
- 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.
- I guess this means you don't believe in the
Quite the contrary! The Bible is a sacred scripture.
But there are lots of sacred scriptures in the world,
and we draw from them as well. In fact, UUs have
identified a number of different sources from which we
draw our beliefs:
- 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
- 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
- Spiritual teachings of earth-centered traditions
which celebrate the sacred circle of life and
instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of
- Where can I learn more about this Uncommon
Denomination's history and principles?
- The Unitarian Universalist Association has an
excellent website at www.uua.org. For information
about the UUA's history, principles, services, and
activities, try their "Welcome to Unitarian
About This Church:
- Where are you located?
- We're at 1479 Hampshire Street (A Google Map shows
the Church's location). It's a gray stone
building at the corner of Hampshire and 16th Street in
- When I call the church at (217)-222-5468, I get an
answering machine. What's that all about?
- The Unitarian Church office is staffed irregularly. We
appreciate your patience when you leave messages on the Church
Answering Machine or when you send us e-mail.
- What kinds of services do you have?
- During our regular season (second Sunday of September
through second Sunday of June) we have services at 10:45
a.m. During the summer, our round-table discussion begins
at 9:30 a.m. We also have a Christmas Eve service.
- What can I expect at one of your services?
- Our services usually begin with a lovely organ
prelude, followed by a welcome and a time for
announcements. (If you would like to introduce yourself,
this is the time to do so.) Then we recite our
affirmation and have some opening words, a hymn, an
offering, and a time for meditation. Many Sundays, we
will present "a story for all ages" before our
children leave us for more appropriate activities. A
sermon follows; our minister, Rev.
Krista Taves, usually comes to Quincy for about a
week in the middle of each Month. Talks on the other
Sundays are given by lay speakers from the congregation
and community. After the sermon, there is a closing hymn,
some closing words, an organ postlude, and then a
- What's a talkback time?
- Our congregation doesn't like to just listen and
file away the ideas that are given in the sermon. During
talkback, members of the congregation give their own
views, discuss the ideas, and offer additional
- Then what?
- After the formal services are over, there's a
coffee time. People stay around for casual conversation
and further discussion of the sermon topic, while
enjoying coffee, juice, and a snack. The formal services
are generally over by 11:30, and the coffee time lasts as
long as there are people still talking - typically till
noon or so.
- Are children welcome?
- Children are very welcome. There is a supervised
nursery for the youngest kids, and children up through
the high school years have organized classes.
- Could my child stay with me?
- We encourage children to stay with us during our
- Should I dress up?
- With a congregation as diverse as ours, you can bet
that you'll see all levels of dress, from suits to
blue jeans. Dress in whatever makes you comfortable and
puts you in the right mood.
- What about your summer services?
- Our summer services are less formal discussion
sessions. We meet around the big table in our Heritage
Room and talk over a topic, beginning at 9:30. Usually
there's a discussion leader who helps us to keep on
topic. There's a different topic every week; just
walk in and join the conversation. It usually ends by
- Is your building wheelchair accessible?
- Yes, we are. On September 22, 2007, we dedicated a
new addition to our historic building. Our primary
objective with our construction project was to add
handicap accessibility and handicap accessible restrooms.
We take the position that it is our moral
- How about air conditioning?
- Our new addition has air conditioning, but the
original building doesn't. That's why our summer
discussion is held at 9:30 a.m.!
- How accepting are you of different races and sexual
- Just as we respect and honor different religious
beliefs and backgrounds, we also affirm and accept
differences of race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation as
part of the rich fabric of human life. Our congregation
includes Republicans and Democrats, Libertarians and
Greens, gay and straight, lifelong Unitarians and those
who have joined us more recently. Everyone is welcome