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About Us

Welcome to the Unitarian Universalist Church of Valdosta!

This summer we are a lay-led congregation – invited speakers or members will bring us a message each Sunday morning at 10:45 a.m.  Beginning in August, our minister, Rev. Fred Howard, will return – he speaks on the first and third Sundays of each month (usually, but please check the Sunday Services or current newsletter).  Other Sunday speakers include individuals from the congregation and community.  The Unitarian Universalist Church of Valdosta is governed by a board of directors, in accordance with our UUA Principles (see below).

Click here to read about the history of this community, the UU Church of Valdosta.

Welcome to Unitarian Universalism!  Rooted in the Judaeo-Christian tradition, ours is an inclusive, open minded faith that affirms reason, intuition, and personal experience as valid sources of spiritual guidance.  We draw wisdom from all the world’s great religious traditions as well as other great works of art, literature, and philosophy.  Our church is committed to building a community of acceptance and love, where people from diverse backgrounds can find a safe and nurturing place to seek intellectual, moral and spiritual enlightenment.  We acknowledge that our collective strength is more than the sum of our individual efforts, and we strive to act together as a force for justice, equity, and compassion in the world.

Historically, Unitarian Universalism was formed from the consolidation of two different branches of the Christian church: Unitarianism and Universalism. Both began in Europe hundreds of years ago. In America, the Universalist Church of America was founded in 1793, and the American Unitarian Association in 1825. After consolidating in 1961, these faiths became the new religion of Unitarian Universalism through the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA).  You can find out more about the historical development of our faith and about our national organization by following these links.

We have no single unifying belief but rather conceive of religious faith as a much more profound matter; faith being that which animates us to live out our values and ultimate concerns in the world.  So you will not hear us recite creeds during our worship services.  In form, our worship services resemble those you might see in any protestant church on a given Sunday, with readings, hymns, and a sermon.  But the substance of worship differs somewhat with emphasis on a free and responsible search for truth and meaning and encouragement to spiritual growth – two of the seven principles that we covenant to affirm and promote as a religious community.  People of widely diverse religious backgrounds have found a spiritual home here among us, as well as those with little or no religious background at all.  In our congregation you will find people who self identify as humanists, Christians, and Buddhists just to name a few.  Our community delights to have members with both theist and non theistic orientations thereby enriching us with diverse perspectives.  We also have several members who draw inspiration from the earth-centered traditions.  Whatever your religious or spiritual orientation may be, you are likely to find a kindred spirit here at UU Valdosta.

Our Principles and Sources

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;

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.

Unitarian Universalism (UU) 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.

These principles and sources of faith are the backbone of our religious community.