Welcome to the Unitarian Universalist Society of Greater Springfield!
“We are small enough to need you, yet large enough to serve you”
No matter who you are
No matter who you love
No matter where you may be on your spiritual journey
We have something to offer you!
You are welcome and you are loved, just as you are.
Love is the name of the game here at UUSGS… love within, among, and beyond… the kind of resolute love that changes lives and builds a world worth living in.
Join us for a meaningful and uplifting worship experience every Sunday, and try out some of our other weekday offerings, too! We aspire to live authentically and lovingly every day, and our programs and ministries are designed to support doing just that. Our spiritual home is in Springfield’s Forest Park, but our reach is far and wide. “Love will prevail” is a message we carry throughout the Pioneer Valley – and beyond! – as both a prayer and a promise.
This community is alive with a spirit of welcome & radical hospitality. We teach children and youth about loving your neighbor as yourself, working to make the world a better place, and searching for truth with an open mind. We nourish a sense of reverence and awe in – and for – one another. And we work for local community – and a world – that does the same by honoring the inherent worth and dignity of every person.
So… welcome to our website! Please take a look around. We’re pretty excited about what we’ve got growing here. Please check out the congregational calendar on this site for information about upcoming services and events. And if you have questions what you see here, please feel free to contact us. We would love to hear from you!
As a visitor, you likely have some questions. Here is a brief overview of who we are, what we believe, and what you can expect from us…
Who attends the Unitarian Universalist Society of Greater Springfield (UUSGS)?
UUSGS is an intergenerational congregation of about 250 adults and 100 children located in Springfield, Massachusetts. We strive for a deeply meaningful, transforming liberal religious experience, finding hope, beauty, and inspiration in our worship.
Our religious community thrives on diversity. Many of our members were raised in other religious traditions and bring with them a variety of spiritual experiences. Our members include people who are single and married, with or without children. We are a certified UUA Welcoming Congregation, meaning that we welcome, affirm, and celebrate people regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation. We are an intentionally anti-racist congregation with a team of members actively engaged in helping us challenge racial barriers in our larger society and within our congregation. We are also considering seeking Green Sanctuary status, meaning that we are taking steps to be in right relationship with our natural environment. Our facilities are handicapped accessible and our Sanctuary is equipped for those who require additional amplification. When gathering in-person, free professional childcare is offered at most congregational events.
All of this is to say that we strive for our community to be a place of welcome – but not just once, when you first come and visit. Life changes… and we aspire to meet those changes together. At UUSGS, our ministry is shared. And ministry isn’t about repeating outgrown forms and ideas; ministry is about helping people to live authentically and intentionally in the here and now. We hope you find this congregation to be a place of inspiration and hope, a place that helps individuals and families find and keep their balance.
What are Sunday worship services like?
These days, all of our worship celebrations are online. Why do we call them celebrations? Because even in the face of difficulty, we ground our religious life in celebrating what is good… and growing it intentionally, whether that good is compassion or justice, inner peace or outer peace. Our online services are called “Hope Burns Bright”. Together, we light candles; we pray/meditate; we celebrate the gifts of community in music, story, and images; and we hear a timely message, often from Rev. Jason. Online services are short & sweet – 30-45 minutes – and begin promptly at 10:30AM.
Our worship services are intended to appeal to head and heart alike. Messages, readings and music are chosen carefully so as to be relevant and timely. Some aspects of our liturgy will be familiar to people who have been to church before. Other elements are unique. We believe it is possible to be reverent and intentional without being formal and stiff. We try to blend spirited celebration with quiet contemplation and the need we observe in many people for renewal and de-stressing. And, whenever possible, we include something artistic… a special musical performance, choral music, drama or dance.
What do Unitarian Universalists believe?
The UU Society of Greater Springfield is a member congregation of the Unitarian Universalist Association, which includes over a thousand congregations throughout the United States and Canada. With historical roots in the Jewish and Christian traditions, Unitarian Universalism is a liberal religion — that is, a religion that keeps an open mind to the religious questions people have struggled with in all times and places. We are a “non-creedal” religion, meaning we do not ask anyone to subscribe to a creed or a prescribed belief. This means that individual Unitarian Universalists often believe different things: some believe in a personal God and find great meaning and support in prayer; others pursue a non-theist path, using Buddhist meditation practices or yoga or some other discipline to deepen their spiritual lives. Humanists among us sometimes describe themselves as atheists or agnostics. UU Christians follow the path taught by Jesus of Nazareth, and those who arrive among us from a Jewish background retain their Jewish identity while whole-heartedly embracing their new religious home. We aren’t threatened by a diversity of belief; in fact, we welcome it!
Perhaps the best articulation of UU faith today came from the 16th century Hungarian minister Francis David, who said: “We need not think alike to love alike.”
How can one religious community hold so many people with different beliefs?
We thrive on our religious differences… because we believe that in the search for spiritual wisdom and maturity there is no such thing as a final answer. No one tradition (including our own!) has a monopoly on truth. We keep learning and deepening our understanding all our lives. We therefore strive to create within our walls a lively and engaged religious home that supports the spiritual journeys of our members and friends through: meaningful worship, quality religious education classes for adults and children and youth, small group ministry opportunities, exploration of a variety of spiritual disciplines, and socially engaged ministry in our local community and in the wider world.
What’s going on at UUSGS and how can I get connected?
We offer several opportunities to connect with others. In fact, while we are one community, we are also at the same time a community of communities. The wide umbrella of the congregation supports many smaller fellowship groups where members gather to share similar interests or a desire for deeper fellowship. For example, spiritual practice offerings like – mindfulness and tai chi – provide small-group, practice-based ways to connect on a spiritual level beyond Sunday services. Social Justice Task Forces allow our members to live out their liberal religious values in the world by engaging in social justice work, service, education, and advocacy to our wider community. These programs provide a catalyst for positive personal change as well as change in our local community and the world. Innovative family ministry & religious education programs for children, youth, and adults, provide opportunities for spiritual development. The Music Ministry is integrated into the life of the church through choirs, concerts, and community outreach. When it is safe to do so, UUSGS also hosts Soulful Supper, a mid-week gathering for fellowship and fun every Wednesday evening. Supper is prepared by rotating teams of volunteer cooks and is served from 5:30 to 6:30PM. Following the meal are meetings, classes and rehearsals. Free childcare is available for registered children. Opportunities for fellowship occur all evening long and everyone is welcome.
Please check out our congregational calendar for updated information about upcoming worship services and programming!