Sharing Our Stories
Each of us at UUSD has a different story to tell about how we found a spiritual home here. A few of us are life-long UUs but most are not, having come from a variety of other religious backgrounds or from no particular place of faith. Whatever our journey, sharing the stories of the paths we took helps connect us to each other and to the shared journey we are now making.
Here are some of our stories. We hope you will see yourself in them.
When I arrived at UU I wasn’t searching for a church nor was I familiar with Unitarian Universalism. I was there to attend a tai chi class advertised in the local newspaper. I soon learned that many students in my class were UUSD members and each of them seemed to possess a spark of something special. As each class came and went, I experienced UU radical hospitality, loving kindness and heartfelt outreach. As I began to attend services, I learned of the mission and values of UUSD and witnessed love in action that convinced me I wanted to be one of you. UU became my spiritual home and continues to give me opportunities to love and be loved and to serve with a deepened sense of purpose. I have found kindred spirits who walk with me on a rewarding, fulfilling, life affirming journey.
Teresa, Cass, and children
We have long sought a tribe of like-minded people to share our journey and help to inspire our sons to be insightful, responsible and empathetic citizens of the world. We were shocked into action by the results of the 2016 election! We had not been involved with a church for a long time since we have had disappointing experiences with the exclusivity and dogmatism displayed in a number of traditional Christian churches we have tried. However, the UUSD Mission Statement on the website encouraged us to think that we had found right place for our family. That has been reaffirmed time and again as our interaction with members, and involvement in the church and its activities has grown.
Love is always the answer.
Renee and Steven decided they wanted to move to a beach community, Lewes immediately came to mind. Renee had attended a UU fellowship a few times in New Jersey, but this is her first time becoming a member. She wanted a spiritual community and a new way of being. She likes the people she has met and the way she feels after a Sunday service.
Tony and Alice
Tony Codella and Alice Casey shopped around for a church here and chose UUSD because it matched their values and aligned well with their previous church, “a teaching, not preaching, spiritual community.” Raised as a Roman Catholic, Tony considers himself an amalgam of atheism, Buddhism, naturism, and animism. Alice is a licensed spiritual counselor and has worked to help others develop their individual independent spiritual paths.
Gwen and Jane
We began searching for a progressive, spiritual church home in 2008. From the moment we walked through the doors, we felt welcomed and loved. We especially appreciate that UUSD is a church of free faith – that we have the freedom to think for ourselves. UUSD is a wonderful group of people that has become our adopted family. No one is a stranger at UUSD.
What attracted me initially to Unitarian Universalism is its non-dogma focus. I love the sermons and appreciate the intellectual approach of UU. Since first being involved in a UU congregation in Denver, I have gradually moved more into other dimensions of being a UU, appreciating the emotional aspects and the mystery in Unitarian Universalism.
Alex, Melissa, and children
Since getting married, we have lived in a quite a few different locations before settling here in southern Delaware. We immediately felt at ease coming to UUSD, with the “come as you are” atmosphere and welcome vibe that we received from the congregation. We did not feel pressured to become members or asked a bunch of questions about our intentions.
Isaac and Rick
We had heard that Unitarian Universalism was an all-inclusive religion. We thought it sounded like a place where we could go and feel welcomed and accepted. And after our first visit in 2011, we realized that not only were we correct, but that our visit well exceeded our expectations. We are very proud to call UUSD our spiritual home.
Laura was raised as an American Baptist, which is somewhat less conservative than Southern Baptists. Progressing through her 20s, 30, and 40s, Laura attended several different churches. However, she never did visit the UU church in Collegeville even though it was on her bucket list. After visiting UUSD, she definitely regrets that lost opportunity. She is a student of labyrinths and has studied them throughout Europe and the United States. She finds UUSD peaceful and a place to gather new insights into living a more fruitful life. She particularly likes the social and environmental justice aspect of UUSD.
For 30 years Ed was a member of Goshen United Methodist Church, but felt the need to be part of a congregation that was more social-justice oriented. Ironically, the first Sunday he came to visit UUSD was Social Justice Sunday! Ed says he is blown away by the enthusiasm and remarkable talent of our congregation. He also loves the music! He has joined the Men’s covenant group and is looking forward to becoming involved with the Social Justice group. Ed and his wife Kathy have two children.
In her early years, Carol was a protestant. In 1991 after having moved to Danbury, she joined a Unitarian Universalist congregation, where she stayed until moving here to Lewes. UUSD was one of the reasons that Carol chose this area, and she is delighted with what she has found. “So friendly, and very active. So many things going on!” Carol is particularly interested in social justice and has already been involved with some of our projects, including a very cold march down Savannah Road for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. parade.
Randy and Sue
We both come from traditional religious backgrounds. Randy was raised as a Methodist, and Sue as an Episcopalian. We raised our children in a United Church of Christ congregation where Randy served as a deacon and as president of the church council. What we particularly love about UUSD is the commitment, friendliness, and the work ethic of the congregation. We both agree, “Our spirits are lifted and inspired by UUSD.”
While my spiritual practice is Buddhist, I forego religious labels, finding value in most traditions. Singing in our amazing choir, I can express my worship through music that also comes from different religious traditions. Rather than being liturgical based, we often have lay led services, sharing our beliefs and values in ways that are personally relative. More than anything else, it is the congregation’s environmental and social justice work outside the church that exemplifies walking the talk of universal loving kindness. — May the World be Safe.
Spiritually, I feel like I fit at UUSD. I shopped a bit spiritually in the past but nothing quite fit. My oldest and dearest friends in DC are Unitarians, a clue to the direction my evolving spirituality would take. I define myself as a humanist. For me, UUSD feels welcoming and honest. The congregation is the right size for me, not too small, not too big.
Jim is a passionate, humble man. He’s passionate about his marriage to Mary, about an illustrious 34-year career in art and education, and about a life lived fully and in service to others. Spiritually, Jim is a humanist. He appreciates activities that focus on the humanity of people. The attitudes of people towards one another and about one another are touchstones for him. He found the thinking and writing of Unitarianism exciting and heartwarming. He grew up as a Presbyterian and was introduced to Unitarianism before moving to Delaware. Jim was active at First Unitarian Church in Wilmington in 1967. He finds UUSD to be a nurturing community.
Boden was raised as a Congregationalist. In the early days of feminism, she participated in female-centered and earth-based spiritual practices. She believes that there is a creative Great Spirit manifested in the cosmos and in nature, and that there is a relationship among all the components. Boden found UU to be a unique environment in which to continue her social activism and explore her spirituality.