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The Universalist Church of West Hartford is a Unitarian Universalist congregation in West Hartford, Connecticut.
The church organized in 1821, but it had its origins in Hartford in the late 18th century, during the period when the Congregational church was dominant in the area. At that time, a sizable group of people, influenced by Elhanan Winchester, began to reject Calvinist doctrine and espouse a belief in the universal goodness of God. In 1821, after a visit to Hartford by Hosea Ballou of Boston, the "First Independent Universalist Society of the City of Hartford" was formed and called its first minister.The name was changed in 1870 to "Church of the Redeemer" -- to give the church "a specific title or name", and in the early 1960s was changed to "The Universalist Church of West Hartford".
The first meetinghouse, located in downtown Hartford across the street from the Old State House, was completed and dedicated in 1824. It was used until 1860.In 1860 the church moved to a larger building on Main Street at the site where the Travelers Tower now stands. In 1906, the church moved out of downtown, to a building on Asylum Hill. Each of the first three churches was located on prime real estate in the city of Hartford, so the sale of the property each time largely financed the building of the next church. The present building was dedicated in 1931, and a sizable addition completed in 1962. It is in a strictly residential neighborhood in West Hartford, but serves a much larger community, both urban and suburban. The present building in West Hartford dates from 1931, with the addition of Fiske Hall, some church school rooms and a new sanctuary organ in 1962. The church maintains membership in the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), organized in 1961 by the merger of the American Unitarian Association and the Universalist Church of America.
In the early years of the church, ministers’ tenures in general were only a few years. However, since the 1860s there have been long series of ministries, averaging fifteen years. Most notable is the 25-year ministry of former Minister Emeritus, The Reverend Wallace Grant Fiske, followed by fifteen years with The Reverend Frederick Lipp and twelve years with The Reverend Stephen Kendrick. In 2001, The Reverend Dr. Judith Walker-Riggs joined the church as Interim Minister. On November 17, 2002, Jan Katrina Nielsen was installed as the 22nd Senior Minister in the history of this church.
The present church building edifice is a colonial-style, tall-steepled building, erected in 1931 and designed by Walter Crabtree. A large addition was constructed in 1962 includes additional church school rooms, music room, Fiske Hall, a large multi-purpose parish hall with a stage and main kitchen. Between the sanctuary and the addition is the most-used areas, containing newly expanded office space, conference room, library, program center with kitchen and a formal parlor. The church is one of the many in West Hartford to have a youth group, a place for teens to meet and reflect on the spirituality together. The sanctuary seats up to 350 in double rows of pews flanking a center aisle. The memorial stained glass windows which grace the chancel area were designed originally for the former church building. These and other memorial windows were saved and incorporated into this building. An Austin pipe organ was installed in 1963. On the west side of the building is a memorial garden dedicated in 1985. A large parking lot, which is leased from the Town of West Hartford, borders the south side of the property. The church also has a ten-room brick colonial parsonage on Middlefield Drive which it acquired in 1942. On December 5, 1999, the entire church was renovated with a total expenditure of $1.5 million. The extensive renovations touched nearly every inch of the building, including the refurbishing of the sanctuary and addition of a three-floor two-door elevator.
The Arlington Street Church is a Unitarian Universalist church across from the Public Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. Because of its geographic prominence and the notable ministers who have served the congregation, the church is considered to be among the most historically important in American Unitarianism and Unitarian Universalism. Completed in 1861, it was designed by Arthur Gilman and Gridley James Fox Bryant to resemble James Gibbs' St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London. The main sanctuary space has 16 large-scale stained-glass windows installed by Tiffany Studios from 1899 to 1929.
The First Unitarian Society of Madison (FUS) is a Unitarian Universalist congregation in Shorewood Hills, Wisconsin. Its meeting house was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and built by Marshall Erdman in 1949–1951, and has been designated a U.S. National Historic Landmark for its architecture. With over 1,000 members, it is one of the ten largest Unitarian Universalist congregations in the United States.
Starr King School for the Ministry is a Unitarian Universalist seminary in Berkeley, California, US. It is a member of the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) and is affiliated with the University of California, Berkeley. The seminary was formed in 1904 to educate leaders for the growing number of progressive religious communities in the western part of the US. The school emphasises the practical skills of religious leadership. Today, it educates Unitarian Universalist ministers, religious educators, and spiritual activists, as well as progressive religious leaders from a variety of traditions, including Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, earth-centered traditions, and others.
The Young People's Christian Union (YPCU), organized in 1889, was a Universalist youth group created to develop the spiritual life of young people and advance the work of the Universalist church. Soon after it was founded, the YPCU focused its attention on missionary work. It was instrumental in the founding of new southern churches and the creation of a Post Office Mission for the distribution of religious literature.
The Edmonds Unitarian Universalist Congregation (EUUC) in Edmonds, Washington is a Unitarian Universalist congregation.
The Unitarian Church in Charleston, home to a Unitarian Universalist congregation, is an historic church located at 4 Archdale Street in Charleston, South Carolina. It is the oldest Unitarian church in the South and the second oldest church building on the peninsula of Charleston.
The First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia is a Unitarian Universalist congregation located at 2125 Chestnut Street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. As a regional Community Center it sponsors cultural, educational, civic, wellness and spiritual activities.
First Unitarian Church is a historic congregation of the Unitarian Universalist Association in Cincinnati, Ohio, United States. Founded in the early nineteenth century, it survived a series of division and reunifications in the nineteenth century. Among the people who have worshipped in its historic church building on the city's northern side are many members of the Taft family, including William Howard Taft, the President of the United States.
The First Universalist Church is a historic church at 250 Washington Street in Providence, Rhode Island.
The First Unitarian Church of Omaha, Nebraska is a Unitarian Universalist Church located at 3114 Harney Street in the Midtown area.
Unitarian Memorial Church is a historic church on 102 Green Street in Fairhaven, Massachusetts, home to the Unitarian Universalist Society of Fairhaven.
The Pullman Memorial Universalist Church of Albion, New York was constructed in 1894 as a memorial to the parents of inventor and industrialist George Mortimer Pullman. The structure, built of pink Medina sandstone and featuring fifty-six Tiffany stained glass windows and a Johnson pipe organ, is in the Orleans County Courthouse National Historic District. The building has been in constant use since its opening; the congregation affiliating with the Unitarian Universalist Association in 1961 but keeping its historic name.
The Bradford Community Church, originally the Henry M. Simmons Memorial Church and later the Boys and Girls Library, is a historic church built in 1907 in Kenosha, Wisconsin, United States under the leadership of Kenosha's first woman pastor.
The First Unitarian Church of Chicago is a Unitarian Universalist ("UU") church in Chicago, Illinois. Unitarians do not have a common creed and include people with a wide variety of personal beliefs, and include atheists, agnostics, deists, monotheists, pantheists, polytheists, pagans, as well as other belief systems.
Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington (UUCA), historically known as the Unitarian Church of Arlington, is a Unitarian Universalist church located at 4444 Arlington Boulevard in Arlington County, Virginia. Founded in 1948, UUCA was the first Unitarian church in Washington, D.C.'s suburbs. Throughout its history, UUCA has taken part in progressive causes from the Civil Rights Movement to the legalization of same-sex marriage in Virginia. During the Civil Rights Movement, UUCA was the only Virginia church to speak out in favor of racial integration. UUCA's sanctuary building, designed by local architect Charles M. Goodman in 1964, is a concrete Brutalist structure that was listed on the National Register of Historic Places and Virginia Landmarks Register in 2014. It is one of only three church buildings designed by Goodman and the only one in Virginia.
Unitarian Universalist Church of Kent, Ohio is a Unitarian Universalist ("UU") church in Kent, Ohio. Founded in 1866, the current building was completed by builder Joseph Gridley (1820-1902) in 1868 on land donated by philanthropist Marvin Kent and rests on a bedrock of sandstone. It is the only church still using its original 19th century building in the city of Kent and in 1976 the site was designed as a "significant restored building site". In the early and middle twentieth century when there were few women clergy anywhere in the United States, the church is notable for having several women ministers: Abbie Danforth in 1889, Carlotta Crosley in 1903, and Violet Kochendoerfer in 1972. Membership is between 140 and 200 full-time adults as well as 100 children in its religious education programs. The church runs a summer camp called Kent Hogwarts which is a Harry Potter-themed camp for young kids, which emphasizes chemistry, poetry, singing and community service. The church advocates social justice, environmental awareness, democracy and acceptance of diverse peoples including all religions. The Kent church follows the seven basic principles of Unitarian Universalism.
Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church is a Unitarian Universalist church located in Bethesda, Maryland. The church describes itself as a liberal religious community and is active in community service and social justice projects. The church is officially a "Welcoming Congregation" following the guidelines of the Unitarian Universalist Association, of which it is a member. Cedar Lane was instrumental in developing a widely used curriculum on sexuality for middle aged school children. Four times a year, the church hosts a "spirit experience" that emphasizes interfaith and multicultural worship. Cedar Lane has weekly Sunday services and offers religious education classes for young people during the school year.
Northwest Unitarian Universalist Congregation (Northwest) was organized in 1969. The organization of Northwest was the result of action taken by the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta (UUCA) to establish a new congregation in the northwest suburbs of Atlanta.
The Unitarian Universalist Church of Lancaster is a Unitarian Universalist church located at 538 West Chestnut Street, Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The church building is part of the Historic District of the City of Lancaster. The congregation is a member of the Unitarian Universalist Association, in the Association's Central East Region. Like all Unitarian Universalist churches, it is noncreedal, covenantal and religiously liberal. According to the UUA, the Lancaster church currently has 275 members and is an LGBTQIAA+ Welcoming Congregation.