UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST FELLOWSHIP OF BAY DE NOC
in Escanaba, Michigan
UU Bay de Noc holds regular services twice a month on the second and fourth Sundays, 1030 AM, at the Bonifas Art Center in Escanaba, Michigan. Sometimes there are also programs on the other Sundays, and Discussion Forums at 0900 before the Service except in summer.
The Unitarian Universalist tradition is hundreds of years old, it’s presence in Delta County is relatively new. About 25 years ago, a small Unitarian Universalist group began to meet in Escanaba. It disbanded after six or seven years.
In the autumn of 2003 another group of 8-10 people began to meet in each other’s homes. We were liberal and free thinkers, had social consciences, and were looking for spiritual community, but did not feel that we fit into other religious traditions or churches in the area. This was the birth of the UU Bay de Noc Fellowship.
We eventually moved to the 8th Street Coffee House and started holding Sunday services on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of the month. We did not have a minister (still do not) and collectively decided on topics and speakers for Sunday services. There was no real organization or structure at that time. Many of us took turns conducting the Sunday services as well as invited guest speakers.
As we continued to meet and share beliefs and philosophies with each other, we started to get a glimpse of our mission; and slowly, through everyone’s input, our present day mission statement evolved.
“Our mission is to foster spiritual community where any individual
can experience fellowship and acceptance;
cultivate a sense of connectedness and responsibility to all creation;
and find support in a journey toward spiritual truth.”
In January, 2005, the decision was made to move from the coffee house to the Bonifas Art Center, and pay rent on a trial basis. The contract with the Art Center has recently been extended indefinitely, and Sunday services are held in the main gallery. Surrounded by works of art and ever changing exhibits, the gallery helps to create a peaceful atmosphere for sharing and reflection.
In April, 2005, we held our first annual meeting. Five committees were formed: Sunday Service committee, Religious Education committee, Membership committee, Social Action & Outreach committee and Finance committee.
This is an exciting time for us, and we invite you to become a part of the process as we continue to grow and evolve as a young UU Fellowship.
We meet the 2nd and 4th Sundays of every month for Sunday Service. We do not have a minister, and many feel this enhances our diversity of services. We also meet on the 1st Friday of every month for what we call “First Friday”, an informal pot luck held in someone’s home as a way of getting to know each other better.
We have had study groups which met midweek, exploring Islam, Buddhism, and studied a book about spiritual growth.
There is also a religious education program for children which usually meets during the Sunday Service, often after an inter-generational moment together. We teach our children from the Unitarian Universalist curriculum.
We are loosely connected to other UU churches by covenant, not by doctrine or common theology, and are therefore affiliated with the national Unitarian Universalist Association (uua.org) and the Central Midwest District (cmwd-uua.org). As with other UU congregations, we accept the 7 basic Unitarian Universalist principles.
We welcome all people who are seeking a liberal spiritual community, who are looking for meaning and truth, and are willing to celebrate diversity.
If you are not sure if you would be comfortable joining us, we invite you to go to a web site called “beliefnet.com” and take the “Belief-o-matic” survey. You just may discover that you are a UU!