About Us

The faith we live by in this church searches for truth in our own individual hearts, in our own life experiences, in the many faith traditions and philosophies that nurture us, in the explorations of science. Ours is not a blind faith: It is based neither on creeds, the scriptures of any particular religion, the pronouncements of a church hierarchy, nor the words of any single person. Rather, we submit our beliefs to the test of knowledge, reason, and compassion. Our faith aims to treat all humans irrespective of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or religious belief with caring and respect. Ours is a faith of deeds and commitment to building humane character and love for the natural world. It is a faith of the free mind and the loving heart.

Announcements

Donate to help Candice Rose Milligan, Posted - Sunday, November 16, 2014

Six men shouting homophobic and transphobic slurs brutally attacked Candice on November 3, 2014 at approximately 1:00pm on Madison Ave in downtown Toledo resulting in multiple critical injuries. Candice is undergoing medical treatment and is being supported by her family, friends and advocates during this time. (From the TransOhio website.)

First Unitarian stands beside Candice and hopes to show her that she is loved for who she is.  The medical help she needs is considerable.  Donations are being taken to assist her in paying all her medical expenses.  

Click here to donate to support Candice!

 
Another Pub Night! -- Posted:
- Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Maumee Bay Total Eclipse Breakfast Stout BeerJoin the Membership Committee for "Pub Night" at 6:30 P.M. on Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014 at Mutz bar, downstairs in the Oliver House. Our first pub night  on Nov. 6, 2014 was such a success that we will meet again for some Christmas cheer and the opportunity to sample Maumee Bay Brewing Company's Christmas beer.

 

We Remember, We Honor

Born of the sun they traveled a short while towards the sun and left the vivid air signed with their honor.

-- Stephen Spender


Click the Services link for the audio of the service (11-02-2014)

Getting to Know You

Part of our commitment to this spiritual community is getting to know one another through sharing our own stories. As many of our brief interactions do not lend themselves to deep or meaningful conversations, this morning's service offers the opportunity to get to know several familiar faces a little better. Participating are members and friends who contribute in ways that make the congregation both more interesting and run far more smoothly. Consistent with the month's theme for worship, being a Person of Yes includes getting to better know some of the people in our lives.

Click the Services link for the audio of the service (10-26-2014)

Saying Yes to Something Beyond Ourselves


Every week in the context of our congregational covenant we recite the words, "and service is our prayer". While our intentions are good, few truly take those words to heart, devoting their lives and risking all that is sacred in order to serve something greater than themselves. When service becomes a calling, as it does for all connected with military service, how does that impact not only their lives, but the lives of their families and communities? What might we do as a religious community to be of support? 

Click the Services link for the audio of the service (10-19-2014)

Safe Harbor


On this holiday weekend when the ethics of immigration are on many of our minds, we will explore what it means for us as a religious community to be a true sanctuary, a safe harbor. We do so many things well, might there be ways we can draw on our strengths as a Welcoming Congregation to broaden our commitment to opening our doors more widely to all people. 


Click the Services link for the audio of the service (10-12-2014)

Who Sweeps the Stable?


"Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor."

-- Mark 10:21

Click the Services link for the audio of the service (10-05-2014)

On Being an Ecumenical Atheist

Being described as an ecumenical atheist by an Anglican cleric gave this Unitarian Universalist pause for reflection. What is an ecumenical atheist? Is this stance congruent with the Principles and Purposes of our faith tradition? How can an adherent to secular humanism and/or atheism think about other religious beliefs? It will be an interesting journey.  
Click the Services link for the text of the sermon (9-28-2014).

A Challenge to Forgive

"If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we would find in each person's life, sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility." - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, in a new book authored with his daughter Mpho Tutu, writes: I would like to share with you two simple truths: there is nothing that cannot be forgiven, and there is no one undeserving of forgiveness....In our own ways, we are all broken. Out of that brokenness, we hurt others. Forgiveness is the journey we take toward healing the broken parts. It is how we become whole again." (from The Book of Forgiving: The Fourfold Path for Healing Ourselves and Our World).

Click the Services link for the audio of the service (9-21-2014)

Sacredness of Water

In light of the recent water crisis in the Toledo area, we will focus our attention on the sacredness of all water,and its importance in our lives.


Click the Services link for the audio of the service (9-14-2014)

Blessings of the Animals



 The animals in our lives share more than our homes. They share our hearts as well. This morning we invite you to bring a token representing the animals that share your life -- a photograph, a leash, a favorite toy.


Click the Services link for the audio of the service (9-7-2014)

Behind the Kitchen Door

In his now famous "Letter from the Birmingham Jail, l962", Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, wrote: "We are bound by an inescapable garment of mutuality, whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly." In food establishments across the country, men and women are working diligently in positions that do not offer the most basic level of sustenance. Many of us have worked in such positions, some among us currently work in such positions to support themselves and their families. Come hear stories, thoughts and reactions from those who have read "Behind the Kitchen Door." Perhaps we can take one step toward making the invisible seen, appreciated and properly compensated.


Click the Services link for the audio of the service (8-31-2014)

Intergenerational Labyrinth Service

We step into the labyrinth -- metaphorically, exploring its history, symbolism and uses. It is but one way to physically express a growing spirituality. In the words of Parker Palmer, "Action, like a sacrament, is the visible form of an invisible spirit, an outward manifestation of an inward power."


Click the Services link for the audio of the service (8-24-2014)

An Incurable Wound

Any number of thoughtful men and women have explored the idea that the events in our lives impact the shape of our work, our art, the ways we love and the choices we make. This morning's service will examine the possibility that some wounds, while they may never heal, help us grow.

Click the Services link for the audio of the service (8-17-2014)

Make Haste to Be Kind

What does it mean to put our faith in action? How can we let our spirituality infuse our daily lives? What are some challenges to making spiritually-informed choices about and within everyday situations? How do we know when we have operated from a place of spirituality?  I want to explore some of the ideas that asking such questions raises for me and perhaps for you as well. -- Elliot Adams


Click the Services  link for the audio of the service (8-3-2014)

Play Ball!


I want to tell you about my love of this game, why and how it matters to me and tens of millions of others and might even matter to you, and why my daughter once told me that baseball is a metaphor for life and I told her she had it backwards, life is a metaphor for baseball!

Click the Services link for the audio of the service (7-27-2014)

The Dharma Teachings of John Lennon

A look at several of John Lennon's song lyrics to delve into some of the deeper spiritual meanings they contain. 

Click the Services link for the audio of the service (7-20-2014)

Engaged Buddhism; Be Free Where You Are

Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist Monk, teaches that "Freedom is not given to us by anyone; we have to cultivate it ourselves." We will explore the life of Thich Nhat Hanh and his continuing journey of service to others in order to help all living beings find peace and happiness. His example has led a group of us to the Toledo Correctional Institution where we meditate and share the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh in order to help these men find freedom within its walls. Whether or not we are confined in prison, we can experience less suffering and more freedom here and now by practicing mindfulness. Participants in this service are: Pat Buchanan, Karen Christie and Lynn Lyle, who are students of Thich Nhat Hanh and have been meditation practitioners for a number of years. 


Click the Services link for the audio of the service (7-13-2014)

The Self-emptying Heart

This Sunday's sermon explores the spiritual dimensions of living with a mental illness-either as a sufferer or as a family member of a person with a brain disorder-and of providing supportive companionship.

Click the Services link for the audio of the service (7-6-2014)

Coping and Caring


Life is sometimes very hard. Disappointments abound. Sadness sweeps over us. Tragedies happen. Losses mount up. How do we deal with these dark moments of life? Are there ways of handling such situations that can help us to survive and even prosper?

Click the Services link for the audio of the service (6-29-2014)

Still Under Construction

William James identified "the belief that there is an unseen order" as characteristic of the life of religion in its "broadest and most general terms possible." What could that mean to us in the 21st century, when religion is a part of some of the most heroic and heinous of human acts and activities? 

Click the Services link for the audio of the service (6-22-2014)

Flower Communion Sunday

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out -- because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out -- because I was not  a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out -- because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me -- and there was no one left to speak for me.
 

      Martin Niemoller,  20th century minister, theologian and  philosopher

What do we fight against? Our fight is against lies, mendacity, deceit, bullying, and everything that belittles, enslaves, or would destroy a human being.

-- Norbert Capek

Click the Services link for the audio of the service (6-15-2014)

Upon This Rock

A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single person contemplates it, bearing within the image of a cathedral."

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Click the Services link for the audio of the service (6-8-2014)

Hitting the Bumps in the Road

"Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes.  Art is knowing which ones to keep."

-- Scott Adams

Click the Services link for the audio of the service (6-1-2014)

The Seen and the Unseen


"We belong because we choose to belong. We belong because others have chosen to welcome us, and include us, and make space for us.  We belong, because inherent to this faith is a belief that there is room for all who come in friendship, in freedom, and in peace."

-- Julie Stoneberg, UU minister.

Click the Services link for the audio of the service (5-25-2014)

Why RE Sunday?


"Being Part of a Unitarian Universalist Community means being on an adventure of discovery."

Rev. Jim Robinson, Unitarian Universalist minister

Click the Services link for the audio of the service (5-18-2014)



The Sacred and the Profane

"The manifestation of the sacred ontologically founds the world."

-- Mircea Eliade

Click the Services link for the audio of the service (5-4-2014)

Are We a Church for All People?

"There is power in knowing

My struggle is your struggle

And yours, mine."

Dan Wilkins

Click the Services link for the audio of the service (4-27-2014)

Intergenerational Easter Service

"Awry in an otherwise orderly hedge

Forsythia flaunts a golden edge

Of sunshine, and thus by flouting reason

Embodies the spirit of the season."

-- Dorothy Parsons East

Click the Services link for the audio of the service (4-20-2014)

Traveling Roads Not Taken

"The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone."

Harriet Beecher Stowe in Little Foxes, 1871


Click the Services link for the audio of the service (4-13-2014)

A Journey Not a Destination

 "We arrive together here, travelers on life's journey,

Seekers of meaning, of love, of healing, of justice, of truth.

Numerous are our origins, our paths, and our destination.

And yet, happily, our ways have joined together here today."

-- Andrew Pakula

Click the Services link for the audio of the service (4-6-2014)

Water over the Bridge

"There is a brokenness

out of which comes the unbroken, a shatteredness out of which blooms the unshatterable."

-- Rashani

Click the Services link for the audio of the service (3-30-2014).

Words Through a Prism

"Words and idioms are as indispensable to our thoughts and experiences as are colors and tints to a painting."

-- William Chomsky, professor and grammarian



Click the Services link for the audio of the service (3-23-2014).

Love Prepare Me

Love prepare me to be a sanctuary,

Pure and holy, tried and true.

With thanksgiving I'll be a living

Sanctuary for you.

-- Billy Jonas

 Click the Services link for the audio of the service (3-16-2014).

Noah's A.R.K. 2014

"People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth.  Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don't even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child -- our own two eyes.  All is a miracle." -- Thich Nhat Hanh

"Blessed are the weird people -- poets, misfits, writers, mystics, heretics, painters, troubadours -- for they teach us to see the world through different eyes."  -- Jacob Nordby

Click the Services link for the audio of the service (3-9-2014).

Kindness, Gratitude, Compassion

Ours is a simple faith.

Life is a short embrace.

Heaven is in this place, every day.

Hope is the ground we till.

Make each day what you will.

Thankful for dreams fulfilled, every day.

Click the Services link for the audio of the service (3-2-2014).

Healing with Compassion

"The planet does not need more successful people.  The planet needs more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers of all kinds." 

 -- H.H. The Dalai Lama


"Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder.  Help someone's soul heal." -- Rumi


Click the Services link for the audio of the service (2-23-2014).

Judge Not

This day, this moment, is holy ground.

Click the Services link for the audio of the service (2-16-2014).




Remember! Celebrate! Act!

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Sunday

Everybody can be great.

Because anybody can serve.

You only need a heart full of grace,

A soul generated by love.

-- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.

Click the Services link for the audio of the service (1-19-2014).

Hope After

"Don't give up. Don't sell out. Don't lose hope."

- Christopher Reeves

Click the Services link for the audio of the service (1-12-2014).

Love and Marbles

Love and Marbles

in Just-

spring     when the world is mud-

luscious the little

lame balloonman

whistles far and wee

and eddieandbill come

running from marbles and

piracies and it’s

spring

when the world is puddle-wonderful

the queer

old balloonman whistles

far     and     wee

and bettyandisbel come dancing

from hop-scotch and jump-rope and

it’s

spring

and

    the

      goat-footed

balloonMan     whistles

far

and

wee

   e.e. cummmgs

Click the Services link for the audio of the service (1-4-2014).

Ordination of Timothy Knox Barger

First Unitarian Church

Sunday, December 8, 2013

 

 

  Click the Services link for the audio of the service (12-1-2013).


Service Info

Our worship services are held each Sunday at 11:00 a.m., followed by a vibrant coffee hour in our Fellowship Hall. We have Lifespan Faith Development programs for children and adults September through May.  We will be glad to see you here!

Location

First Unitarian Church of Toledo
3205 Glendale Avenue
Toledo, OH 43614-2423
419-381-6999


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