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Unitarian Universalist

Community Church of Glen Allen
Unitarian Universalist

History
The Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Glen Allen (UUCC) was established to provide a stimulating and inclusive environment for people to explore liberal religious beliefs in Richmond’s northwest suburbs. First chartered in 1993, construction on the current church located on Cauthorne Road began in October 2000. The first service in this building was held on July 1, 2001. The UUCC of Glen Allen continues to strengthen in membership and establish itself within the community.

Rituals and Activities
Sunday services are held year-round; services are held at 9 am and 11 am September-June and at 10 am during July and August. The service format is similar to other UU churches: the service convenes with the sounding of the gong and includes hymns, prayer, the lighting of the chalice, candles of community (where people light candles in front of the congregation to celebrate joys and/or express sorrows), an offering, a sermon, and concludes with a benediction. The church also
offers religious education classes for adults. Class offerings and times can be found on the web page. Past classes for adults have included “Sanctuary of Stillness” (focusing on meditation, relaxation and chanting), “Exploring the Essence of Nature” (trip to Bryan Park), and “Building Your Own Theology” (readings and discussions about theological ideas). Also, children can participate in their own religious education classes during the Sunday service time and there is a youth group (Young Religious Unitarian Universalists) for high school students. The church further involves children through its Navigators USA scouting program for those in grades 1 through 12. This group meets biweekly at the church and incorporates traditional scouting activities with community service to build self-esteem and social responsibility.

Fellowship is also an important aspect of church activities. After each service there is a Fellowship Hour for members and visitors to socialize. The church also has several interest groups, one such being the UUCC Book Group. In addition, church activity often revolves around social action and community service projects, several of which are listed in the programs and outreach section below.

Associated Units
The UUCC of Glen Allen maintains a close association with First Unitarian Universalist Church, sometimes co-sponsoring events. UUCC is also associated with the Interfaith Council of Greater Richmond and is a member of this organization of 21 different faith groups celebrating both unity and diversity.

Programs and Outreach
UUCC maintains active involvement within the community through its Social Action Ministry. The Care Committee provides support for members and friends of the congregation experiencing difficult times. UUCC is also extending its outreach to gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender people by becoming a Welcoming Congregation. This program provides workshops for people to explore their knowledge about sexual orientation and gender identification and combat their own homophobia and heterosexism. The church also participates in the Fair Trade Coffee Project. This project ensures that low-income coffee farmers receive a fair price for their goods by
purchasing coffee directly from the fair trade organization Equal Exchange. The church participates in Share the Bounty as well, a partnership with Panera to distribute leftover bread to the needy. Outreach also focuses on the environment through projects like Adopt-a-Highway. Even the children are involved in outreach, dedicating their time to programs like Read to Feed, in an effort to purchase livestock for needy families.

Unique Features
About once every month the UUCC becomes the Shady Grove Coffeehouse, featuring acoustic, family-friendly concerts. The mission is not only to raise funds for the church but to bring the best in acoustic music to the far West End. A schedule of upcoming shows can be accessed from
the UUCC’s website.

Membership Size and Composition
Approximately 215 people of primarily European-American descent are members of the UUCC of Glen Allen.

References
Information for this profile was drawn from UUCC of Glen Allen website

11105 Cauthorne Road
Glen Allen, VA 23059
(804) 752-6005
http://uuccglenallen.org

Prepared by Megan Donald (June, 2005)

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