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GNOUU is a local cluster of UU churches who are revitalizing their faith while rebuilding their city.

Welcome to Community Church

Community Church's Sunday services and children's religious education are held weekly at 11:00 a.m.

 

CCUU
6690 Fleur de Lis Drive
New Orleans, Louisiana 70124
in Lakeview
All are welcome - casual attire.
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Rev. Jim VanderWeeleWe believe that we are all family and we all have value.

The purpose of Community Church is to form a community to practice and advance a free and responsible search for truth and meaning, the inherent worth and dignity of every person and a commitment to ethical living.

We invite you to visit us on Sunday mornings to explore our spirituality together.  All are welcome.

August Services at CCUU PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 25 July 2015 00:00
August 2, Public Education: It's in Our Bones. The Unitarian stories of John Dewey, Horace Mann, and Sophia Lyons Fahs will be explored in this meditation on the continuing struggle for equality and justice through public education. New Orleans is the center of the largest experiment in privatizing education in our country. Lessons learned from "Post-Katrina" reform will be explored by Rev. Dr. Marie deYoung. (Dr. deYoung served UU parihes as a minister, served in the US Army as the first UU woman chaplain in several combat units. She earned her doctorate in education leadership and teaches in Mamou, Louisiana, "Le Coeur de Mardi Gras.")

August 9, Bring What You Have!!! Rev. VanderWeele will share a message highlighting the beauty of being part of a faih commuity that allows you to enter ito its spiritual life bringing what you have, not what you are told, into the life and life of this church.

August 16, Hot Art in a Cool Place. There will NOT be a service at CCUU on August 19. We will participate in a GNOUU service held at the art show at North Shore UU, 28662 Krentel Road, LaCombe, LA. Y'all are welcome (More details will follow.)

August 23, The Greens and the Blues. Your minister is designing a short play based on the differences in life experiences seen in the Green family and the Blue family. Actors are wanted. Please contact Rev. Jim. If there are not enough volunteers, some of you may be asked to participate in this Reading Theater.

August 30, Rounding the 10-Year Bend! Even if we wish to ignore it, others will tell us that this is the 10-year anniversary of when New Orleans was washed away. Our focus during this year's Water Ceremony will be on celebrting all that we have been able to do during the 10 years of our recovery, renewal, and engagement with our local community.
 
10 year commemoration of Katrina PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 14 June 2015 15:54
 To:  Our Partner Churches
From:  Suzy Mague, Partner church liaison, Community Church Unitarian Universalist, New Orleans
Re:  10 year commemoration of Katrina
It is May, 2015, and we are preparing for the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina - remembering the collapse of the floodwalls and terrible flooding which followed; the dreadful experience of loss; the wondering whether we had a home to come back to; and then the long, often uncertain recovery.  When we sing “Wo Ya Ya” – “…it will be hard we know, and the road will be muddy and rough, but we’ll get there…heaven knows how we will get there…” I always feel drawn back to that time – that’s exactly how we felt.  But Rev. Jim stayed with us, providing unfailing leadership and vision in spite of his own terrible loses, and we who returned were determined - “we know we will” was our mantra.

But now we know how we “got there”, and it was with Jim’s leadership, some strong lay leaders, the faithful help of our members and friends, and the enormous support we received from our partner churches.  A very partial list of our memories includes receiving a gift toward rebuilding from Community Church New York that arrived even before many of us had been able to return home; Target gift cards from Fox Valley for everyone in the congregation at Christmas, 2005; a big gift of fun stuff for a party, also from Fox Valley; guidance from consultant Leigh Henderson, who was available by phone and also made several trips to NOLA; a fund raiser by the Universalist Church of West Hartford that featured our own Cindy Scott; and an enormous financial boost from Pacific Unitarian, who gave us our lead gift.  We had visitors too – from the UU church in Montclair; from Fox Valley and Pacific Unitarian; from the UU Society of Greater Springfield, MA; from West Hartford, CT,  and Williamsburg, VA and from other places too numerous to count.  You helped us develop strategies; you helped rebuild houses; you kept us in your thoughts and let us know we were not alone; you made our survival possible.  And some of you are still there for us, particularly Dave Banks from Williamsburg, who continues as our web master, providing an invaluable service.

We are happy to report that all of your efforts were not in vain.  We are thriving, with a beautiful new solar church, and, of course, regular, meaningful Sunday worship. Our congregation includes about 17 children on many Sundays, so we are growing in the right direction.  We participate in four GNOUU church services each year with our two sister churches, and we support the Center for Ethical Living and Social Justice Renewal, GNOUU’s secular nonprofit that works in the larger community toward justice and compassion.  We have a community outreach collection monthly, which is given to a nonprofit with which we partner; we have an excellent music program, with an experienced and talented music director, a choir, and jazz on a regular basis.  We have a small group ministry with three groups meeting monthly, exploring spiritual topics and forging strong personal friendships, a women’s book group that meets monthly, and other occasional sessions on UU history, immigration, and other topics we need to know more about.

We hope members of our partner congregations will continue to visit New Orleans in the coming years and will come worship with us while you’re here.  Do notice our partner church wall, with posters, pictures, and other reminders of you.  We particularly hope someone from your congregation will be with us for the weekend of August 28 – 30, when we will hold our commemoration of Katrina. Rev. Marta Valentin will return to New Orleans to hold a service at First Church on Sunday, August 30th.  Marta was the newly called minister at First Church when Katrina hit.  She currently serves as minister in Littleton, Massachusetts, which happens to be one of the 5 churches that partnered with NSUUS after the storm.  Although still in the planning stages, we are in conversation with Marta about also presenting a workshop on Saturday, August 29th, for all three congregations.  And plans are underway to hold a GNOUU Katrina Seder on the evening of the 29th.  We would love to have you join us for this weekend.  And do come to GA in 2017 in New Orleans – what a wonderful time that will be!

As we move through this 10th year, hoping we don’t have another storm, we are very aware of how much we have to be grateful for and how much opportunity we have now, to make a difference both to those in our congregation and to the larger community.  Thank you from all of us – long-timers who lived through it and all the new folks who are glad we’re still here.  You made an enormous difference, and we remember with deep appreciation.
Best wishes to you all from all of us at CCUU.
 
Letter in the Advocate PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 06 August 2014 19:46
 Rev. VanderWeele attended the First UU service where anti-choice protestors disrupted worship. This letter was written in response. 40 local faith leaders signed on to say that the Space for Worship is Sacred.  

 
 

On Sunday morning, July 20, the sacred time and space of a historic New Orleans congregation was violated. As congregants of First Unitarian Universalist Church, founded in 1833, held a moment of silent prayer to grieve a young woman of the church who had died the previous week, protestors from Operation Save America began to harangue the minister and spew words of hate to and at the congregation. In shock, but with increasing pain as these diatribes continued, the congregation listened quietly as protestors vilified and insulted them. Soon, though, the protestors were ushered out of the church.

As this was happening in the sanctuary, other protesters, holding grotesque images, massed around the windows of the church nursery, screaming at the babies and toddlers. Youth were told they were “going to hell” and that their family members were suffering from illness due to their sins. The church members responded by singing words of love, justice and freedom to counteract this hateful rhetoric.

For religious communities in the United States, the freedom to worship is a deeply cherished right. Whatever our faith, whenever we worship, the right to worship as we choose was fought for by our ancestors and is vital to all today. Along with this freedom comes the right to disagree, which is one part of the pluralism created by our religious freedom.

But all of us agree that no one has the right to desecrate the sacred worship time and space in order to express their disagreement. The undersigned people of faith do not agree on everything. In fact, some of us only agree that we have the right to disagree. But that is enough. No congregation, whatever their views may be, should have their sacred worship time and space violated. Not ever. Not by anybody.

I and 39 other local religious leaders by this letter call on the larger community to stand with us, with hearts joined on the side of love and in opposition to religious terrorism.

The Rev. Jim VanderWeele, New Orleans
The Rev. William Barnwell
The Rev. Paul Beedle
The Rev. Claire Vonk Brooks
The Rev. Gary Brooks
Pat Bryant, co-moderator, Justice and Beyond
The Rev. Callie Winn Crawford
Rabbi Edward Paul Cohn
The Rev. Jeff Conner
The Rev. Rob Courtney
The Rev. Don Frampton
The Rev. Lauren Frazier-McGuin
The Rev. Joann M. Garma
Vanessa Gueringer, vice president, A Community Voice
Michael G. Hackett, deacon, Diocese of Louisiana
The Very Rev. AJ Heine
The Rev. Henry L. Hudson
The Rev. Eronica C. King
Rabbi Ethan Linden
Rabbi Robert H. Loewy
The Rev. Dr. Jane Mauldin
The Rev. Priscilla Maumus
The Rev. Herbert McGuin, III
Rabbi Barbara Metzger
The Rev. Melanie Morel-Ensminger
Max Niedzwiecki, convener
Tom Paine, pastor
The Rev. Fred Powell, III
The Rev. Tony Rigoli, OMI
The Rev. Darcy Roake
Minister Norbert Rome
The Rev. Mitchell Smith
Dr. William Soileau
The Rev. William H. Terry
The Rev. William Thiele, Ph.D.
The Rev. Jennie Thomas
The Rev. Ron Unger
The Rev. Deanna Vandiver
The Rev. Tom Watson
The Rev. Dwight Webster, Ph. D.

 

 
What Is Unitarian Universalism? PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 23 April 2008 19:10

Unitarian Universalism began within the Christian Church as two separate heresies: belief in the oneness of God (Unitarianism) and belief in universal salvation (Universalism). These ideas, though preceding it, gained followers after the Protestant Reformation in the 1500's and were widely taught in the United States in the 1700's at Harvard College and within the congregationalism of the Pilgrim church.

In 1785 King's Chapel in Boston was the first American church to declare its Unitarianism. Through the years as they were affected by transcendentalism and the rationalist humanists, Unitarianism and Universalism grew further from traditional Christianity and closer to one another and officially merged in 1961.

From their founding both Unitarianism and Universalism were non-creedal, claiming freedom of belief as a basic value. The authority for our individual beliefs is the evidence of our local experience refined through reason and spirit and tested in community. Although those beliefs may range from liberal Christianity to naturalistic humanism, it is probably true that nearly all of us can agree to these four statements:

  1. Each of us has the right and the responsibility to seek his or her own truth.

  2. Our faith, although it may transcend reason may not be contrary to it.

  3. We respect all people for their individual worth without regard to color, creed, gender, or sexual orientation.

  4. We must focus on the needs and purposes of this life rather than an afterlife in which some of us may believe, but for which we have no evidence.

This only scratches the surface, there is a wealth of information about Unitarian Universalism available on the web site of the Unitarian Universalist Association.

 

Unitarian Universalist Association

 
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