About Us OLD

About East Shore

We are brave, curious, and compassionate thinkers and doers. We are diverse in faith, ethnicity, history and spirituality, but aligned in our desire to make a difference for the good. We have a track record of standing on the side of love, justice, and peace.

We have radical roots and a history as self-motivated spiritual people: we think for ourselves and recognize that life experience influences our beliefs more than anything.

We are Unitarian Universalist and draw from Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Humanist, Jewish, Muslim, Pagan, atheist and agnostic, believers in God, and more.

We currently serve more than 500 adults and 100 children and youth through worship, life-long education, fellowship, social justice, and community outreach.

Our congregations are self-governing.  Authority and responsibility are vested in the members themselves.  Each local congregation—called a church, society, or fellowship—adopts its own bylaws, elects its own officers, calls its own ministers, and approves its budget.

We welcome you: your whole self, with all your truths and your doubts, your worries and your hopes. Join us on this extraordinary adventure of faith.

Our Mission

We practice love, explore spirituality, build community, and promote justice. (approved March 2017)

Our Vision

Practice Love
Offer a loving, welcoming environment for children and adults, inspired by appreciation and acceptance of all people.

Practice and expand our capacity to love, nourish, and inspire as we encourage each other to explore and grow through worship, group activities, education, and deep conversation.

Heal and connect as we share life’s transitions, celebrating our joys and mourning our losses, embracing the rhythms of life and of the Earth we have mutually inherited.

Explore Spirituality
Explore spirituality through worship, classes, and activities that integrate diverse spiritual traditions and build connection to something larger than one’s self, grounding the free expression of our values and faith in the outer world.

Inspire spiritual depth through worship services that incorporate thought-provoking messages of hope from the pulpit, music and other arts, and diverse sources of creative inspiration.

Dedicate space, time, and energy to providing spiritual sanctuary – places and events that offer opportunities for reflection, centering, emotional nurturing, and shared experience.

Build Community
Provide opportunities to grow our capacity for loving community through connection with each other, including covenant circles, topical/interest groups, connections teams, church governance and committee work, and through the covenanted practice of spiritual and loving ways of addressing our conflicts and differences.

Engage congregation-wide participation in exploration of personal, societal, and institutional expressions of racism and oppression through deep listening, compassionate communication, and understanding of systems of oppression, promoting multicultural, anti-racist, and anti-oppressive competencies that expand our communal culture and leadership.

Collaborate to extend our compassion and love into the larger community by providing sanctuary and support for those in need.

Promote Justice
Listen to the voices of those in our communities who are in need, in distress, or in other challenging circumstances, and engage in active outreach to partner with and empower them, visibly demonstrating that “service is our prayer.”

Partner with earth and social justice-related organizations to promote racial, economic and environmental justice through education, direct action, and advocacy.

Voice and live our UU values through sponsorship of educational and artistic earth and social justice events at East Shore for the larger community, serving as a beacon of moral awareness and action.

(approved June 2017)

Our Core Values

Our core values inform what we do and how we wish to be.

  • Love: is at the heart of our covenant and is a more powerful bond than any creed.
  • Transformational Truth: we are willing to be changed by our experience and understanding, one with another, across the generations.
  • Freedom: Faith cannot be coerced.
  • Hope and Celebration: the resources for a meaningful, celebratory and fulfilling life are present and available to all people.
  • Humility: we claim neither a special place within creation nor exclusive access to the divine which create and uphold existence.
  • Invitation: the doors to our Sanctuary are open. The religious life is not a spectator sport.

Our Statement of Purpose

Religious Growth: Our church is a safe, covenanted faith community that inspires religious growth by enabling us as seekers to connect, to dialogue and to transform ourselves, our community, and our world.

  • Our Unitarian Universalist identity offers a path of love, hope compassion, and service.
  • Our values transcend our church; therefore, we nurture faith-filled leaders who transform the world.
  • As we walk together in our life-long search for truth and meaning, our religious path is both personal and respected in our whole community.
  • Sharing our insights permits deeper commitment to each other and our greater community.

Worship and the Arts: Our congregants, friends, and visitors experience personal and communal transformation from a variety of worship and art experiences and energize and nurture spiritual growth and help us live our core values.

  • Worship and the arts offer us pathways to the realm of the sacred.
  • Our varied worship styles encourage freedom of interpretation and discovery.

Justice: Our ministry provides opportunity to live out our faith commitments in our daily lives and to actively promote a peaceful and just world community.

  • We believe the world is radically interdependent.  Our commitment to justice calls us to open our hearts and minds as we accept the challenges of shifting from privilege to interconnectedness.
  • The work of justice is a means to pass our values to future generations.

Caring Community: Our faith community is a safe place to let our needs be known and our strengths be called upon.  We covenant to care so that we may grow spiritually by giving and receiving greater love, health, compassion, and peace.

  • We believe all people possess innate goodness and, in a caring community, honor human goodness.
  • The fabric of our community is greater than the individual threads we weave.   We are in a relationship with the whole fabric, and we care for ourselves and the larger community.
  • Caring holds our community’s door open to all.

Stewardship: Life is a gift, and how we share our gifts with one another and the world reflects our values; therefore, stewardship is a spiritual discipline.

  • Our gathered resources support the church’s vision, mission and ministries.  As a congregation we value contributions of time, talent and treasure from every person.   Members and friends of the church are expected to participate and contribute as they are able.
  • Stewardship is a joyful opportunity for us to express our passions and explore our abilities in harmony with other congregants.  Embracing the ministry in any and every aspect of the church is simple: “How may I help? How may I give of myself?”

Institutional Integrity: The result of the integrated wholeness of our concerted ethical behavior.  With personal and institutional integrity, we have the grounding, the foundation, to do worthwhile work as a church.

  • East Shore Unitarian Church adheres to the highest ethical standards in its representation to its congregants, its constituencies, the wider community and the public; and in its ministry and service; its treatment of all congregants and staff; its relationship with regulatory agencies and the Unitarian Universalist Association and its member congregations.
  • Integrity is taught by example: Institutional integrity calls for our leaders to demonstrate personal integrity.

We accomplish these purposes by creating ministry teams with other people who share our vision and mission of the future.

We believe, we act, we accomplish, and we will change the world.