The word "worship" derives from older words meaning "that which is worthy". Thus worship in the Unitarian Universalist tradition derives from our ongoing searching and exploration of the beliefs and values which are most worthy of our respect, nurture, and loyalty as human beings.

The First Unitarian Church of Cleveland gathers as a liberal religious congregation for worship, community, learning and service. Together, we experience the transcending mystery and wonder that moves us to a renewal of the spirit, both communally and personally. We nurture a supportive and caring community through service and social events. We actively support each other's quest for self-knowledge, understanding, personal integrity and spiritual growth in the liberal religious tradition. We minister to the needs of our members and to those of the larger community by working for social, economic and environmental justice, and for systemic social change.

Unitarian Universalist congregations covenant together to affirm and promote the following principles:

  • Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part
  • A free and responsible search for truth and meaning
  • The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all
  • The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large
  • Justice, equity and compassion in human relations
  • Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations
  • The inherent worth and dignity of every person

Sunday Services

Our Sunday service is held in the Sanctuary at 11:00 am year round. The service lasts about an hour and is usually led by our Parish Minister, the Reverend Daniel Budd. For six weeks in the summer, the service is led by our Killam Fellow, a summer student intern chosen annually.  Several services in the summer are lay-led. 

During Sunday services in June, July and August, we provide child care for those five years old and younger. During the remainder of the year, childcare and religious education is available for children of all ages.

Sunday ServiceOrder of Service

The service begins with a greeting and announcements read by a member of the Board of Trustees or other church member. It continues with the lighting of the chalice, the symbol of Unitarian Universalism. Brief words of reflection are read as it is lit, signifying the beginning of the service. During the service we also light our Candles of Community to honor the specific joys and sorrows of members of the congregation. (see below)

Throughout the service, we join together in hymns from our current hymnal, Singing the Living Tradition, which contains a wide range of traditional and contemporary songs. Most Sundays the Chancel Choir sings an anthem. Guest musicians, often church members, provide special instrumental or vocal music as well. Our Director of Music, Ms. Fern Jennings, directs the Chancel Choir and plays the organ and our restored 1915 Steinway piano.

Sermons delivered by the Minister deal with universal themes of life, truth and meaning as well as matters of contemporary concern. They incorporate stories, myths and poems, and scripture from a variety of world religions. After the service, all are invited to Coffee Hour in Fellowship Hall, directly below the Sanctuary. Visitors are encouraged to stop by the Newcomers Table to meet our Membership Coordinator and learn more about the church.

Religious Education classes continue through the end of May, take a summer recess, and begin again in mid-September. Child care for infants and toddlers is available.

Candles of Community

This is the time in our service where we share the pastoral concerns among us: births, deaths, weddings, illnesses, celebrations, transitions, etc.  These joys and sorrows may be submitted to Kathie Kitchingham or the Rev. Daniel Budd during the week, or dropped off with Rev. Budd before the service Sunday morning.  Individuals are also invited to light a candle silently before the service begins.


This is a test blog July 16, 2015