UUSD started as a small group, meeting at the beach under rainbow-colored umbrellas. In January 1999, 44 people signed the membership book and in April 1999, we incorporated as a non-profit in Delaware. Our first meeting place was at the Boys’ and Girls’ Club in Milford and then in 2000, we began meeting at the Lewes Middle School. In 2005, we rented a building in Toddy’s Business Complex in Lewes. Because of congregational growth, we purchased property for a larger church home in 2014. We held our first service in September of 2015 in our newly built sanctuary on Route 9 in Lewes.
What We Accomplished
- Selected a full-time minister
- Established our governance structure
- Became a “Welcoming Congregation”— a program for UU congregations seeking to be inclusive toward gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (GLBTQ) people
- Worked to be certified as a Green Sanctuary by the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) — a program for congregations that proclaim and live out their commitment to the Earth and sustainable lifestyles
- Received recognition as a “Fair Share” congregation by paying our full “fair share” to the UUA Annual Program Fund
- Became a Threshold Congregation Church — a three-year program administered by the Unitarian Central Eastern Regional Group to grow and develop congregations in all dimensions and aspects
- Became the first church in Delaware to join Delaware Interfaith Power and Light — a chapter of a national, non-profit organization of faith based groups promoting energy conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy to combat climate change
- Received the designation Cool Congregation from the national Interfaith Power and Light organization for our exemplary efforts at greenhouse gas reduction
Our Story: A Short Slideshow about UUSD (Circa 2014)
(© Music & lyrics by Dianne Conine, UUSD member)
Construction of Our New Home
- November 2012, the congregation authorized the Land and Building Committee to gather information to pursue a new home.
- August 2013, the congregation voted to launch a Capital Campaign.
- June 15, 2014, the congregation approved purchase of property which Pioneers 2015, LLC (an extremely generous business partnership formed by a group of UUSD’s members and friends) secured for consideration by the congregation.
- Construction began in spring 2015.
- Work was done by various contractors as well as a large group of volunteers from the congregation.
- Our new home is located at 30486 Lewes-Georgetown Highway, Lewes, Delaware.
- Our building consists of a new sanctuary plus renovation of a ranch-style house into a Minister’s office, meeting and class rooms, and a Gathering Area with a kitchen.
- We dedicated the building on October 18, 2015.
Highlights From UUSD’s Dedication Year: 2015-2016
In our first year and a half in our new home, we attracted many visitors and gained new members so that by April 2017, we had 148 members and 35 friends. Now in August 2020, we have grown to a congregation with 186 members and 50 friends and have begun exploring options for expanding our facility to accommodate our growing membership.