This week I will be heading to the Unitarian Universalist Church of Ogden, a church that many of you may not be very familiar with, but has a long and interesting history and a unique modern expression.
The Unitarian Universalist Church of Ogden is part of the Unitarian Universalist Association. The Unitarian Universalist Association is an organization founded in 1961 which is a merger of two previous groups, the American Unitarian Association, and the Universalist Church of America. The two churches are groups that have different historical origins, but found that they had grown more alike over the years and merged as one group.
Historically, Unitarians were Christians that rejected the Trinity (one God in three persons), instead affirming instead that God was a unity (one person), hence Unitarianism.
Historically, Universalists were Christians who rejected the concept of Hell saying that any God who was all loving could not condemn any part of his creation to Hell fire for all eternity and that all people would eventually be saved.
Many of America's founding fathers were either Unitarians or Universalists, as have been many important writers, politicians, artists, and philosophers of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
Over time, both groups slowly moved away from a Christian only umbrella and began welcoming those of differing faiths and beliefs into their congregations.
Today the Unitarian Universalist Association is a diverse religion welcoming members of all faiths and backgrounds to join with them in worship and community. Membership of the Unitarian Universalists include: Christians, Jews, atheists, agnostics, Secular Humanists, Buddhists, Hindus, Pagans, those who refuse to label themselves, and more. The group prides itself on not being a dogma based faith, but instead one focused on spirituality, community service, and fellowship.
The Unitarian Universalist Church of Ogden is quite heavily involved in the local community. They support a program called OUTreach which is a safe haven for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered teens and their allies to meet and have a safe community free of judgment. They are also heavily involved with many local social issues, such as human rights protests and environmental protection.
I have attended this congregation on and off several times throughout the years. They are an interesting and diverse group. I can't wait to report back the findings of this Sunday.
Until next time, peace be with you.