We are Unitarian Universalists
nlike most religions, Unitarian Universalism is creedless faith. We do not subscribe to a particular religious dogma, and our members hold a variety of beliefs about the nature of the divine and humankind’s relationship to it: From atheism, theism, humanism, and more, our members come from a variety of religious backgrounds. We encourage the free and responsible search for meaning for all of our members, and acknowledge that everyone’s path may be different.
While we do not ascribe to a particular creed or dogma, we do make a set of promises to each other, and we are thus a covenantal faith. These promises, known as the Seven Principles, are what guide our living faith:
The Seven Principles
- The Inherent worth and dignity of every person.
- Justice, equity and compassion in human relations.
- Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations.
- A free and responsible search for truth and meaning.
- The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large.
- The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all.
- Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.
Our faith draws from the following sources:
Unitarian Universalist Sources
- Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and uphold life;
- Words and deeds of prophetic women and men which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love;
- Wisdom from the world’s religions which inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life;
- Jewish and Christian teachings which call us to respond to God’s love by loving our neighbors as ourselves;
- Humanist teachings which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science, and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit;
- Spiritual teachings of earth-centered traditions which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature.
In addition to the Seven Principles, UUCJ has its own congregational covenant.
As members of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Jacksonville, in order to nurture and enhance our lives together in this sacred space where we seek personal growth, discern life’s meaning, and build relationships of fairness and love, we intend to:
- Offer our unique gifts, talents, time, energy, and financial support.
- Respect the views and needs of others, practicing tolerance, understanding, and acceptance even in disagreement, allowing loving relationship to transcend issues.
- Celebrate the diversity within our midst even when it is difficult or uncomfortable.
- Invite and welcome others in the quest for spiritual and ethical growth, recognizing each other and guests in fellowship.
- Share the ministry of our church, caring for each other through times of joy and sorrow.
Phillip Baber: Minister
Phillip Baber is a graduate of the University of Kansas with a Juris Doctor degree from William & Mary. He is a former high school educator with extensive experience in youth and music ministry. He is happily married and the father of two beautiful girls.
Tyler Burley: Director of Religious Exploration
Tyler Burley is a Jacksonville native with a diverse set of skills including experience with Montessori teaching methods. After serving the congregation as a volunteer Religious Exploration leader for several years, he was welcomed as our Director of Religious Exploration. He believes honesty, open-mindedness, and willingness are the foundation of “how” we will change the world. Inspiring faith in our children is his goal and service is his prayer.
The Unitarian Universalist Church of Jacksonville was founded in 1906 by Duncan Fletcher, who served as Mayor of Jacksonville and became one of Florida’s U.S. Senators. After hard times during the depression and war years, the congregation was renewed in the 1950s by strong lay-leadership, led by Dorcas and Francis Alberti. By 1958 the congregation had a home on St. John’s Avenue in Riverside. In 1960, a new minister, Rev. McGehee, was hired. Along with many members of our congregation, Rev. McGehee became an active leader in the civil rights movement.
The architect of our present building was Bob Broward, a student of Frank Lloyd Wright. We share a boundary with the Tree Hill Nature Center, and our buildings have received significant architectural awards.
Our Partner Church
We have a partner church in Bozod, Romania. Learn more about our sister church and becoming involved!