For more than two hundred years, The Unitarian Church in Charleston has welcomed those seekers of meaning and purpose who are not satisfied to search alone. We gather, not because we have found all the answers, but because we wish to question together. We want a church that pushes us ahead, that says to us,”bring your mind as well as your heart into the Sanctuary; bring what you believe, what you doubt, and what you ponder. Follow the light given you, and let no one cast a shadow over you.”
Our congregation was formed when the foundation of our Sanctuary was laid in 1772 as a adjunct house of worship for the Independent Church of Charleston on nearby Meeting Street. The two bodies, acting as one congregation in two buildings, coexisted for some time. Eventually, our congregation took on a distinct view and became its own body, the Second Independent Church of Charleston in 1819. In 1839 The Unitarian Church in Charleston was officially chartered.
Today, our community now includes over 350 adult members and 120 children and youth who hail from all areas of greater Charleston. Our church is guided by an elected Vestry and led by a professional staff. Our Minister, the Reverend Danny Reed, coordinates our worship life and manages day-to-day operations. The energy and vibrancy of our church is found embodied in our members whose skill, time, and financial support makes possible the rich life we share together. We are an independent and self-governing congregation, affiliated with The Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations. Click here to learn more about the UUA.
We are the ones who need a church where we can work through our questions and our fears in freedom and without restraint or compulsion. We need not agree on all points. In fact, it is in our places of disagreement where we might find the greatest opportunity for growth, development, and ultimately, faith. No one here will tell you what you ought or must believe. We may differ in our understanding of God, and many other things, but we agree in the authority of conscience, and accept the charge to follow it in all matters of belief. This is not permission to do anything we wish, to the contrary, our emphasis on freedom and conscience points the way toward greater responsibility.
Our church is a place where you can grow spiritually as well as help humankind and protect the Earth. While our members have diverse beliefs and backgrounds, we share a common goal of making better this world, and the lives of our brothers and sisters, now, more than attempting to earn entry in some possible afterlife. To learn more about ways you can get involved within and outside the church, please visit the Religious Education, Social Justice, Events and Getting Involved pages.
OUR SHARED PRINCIPLES
The “Principles and Purposes” were written in 1984 as bylaws to direct the work of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations. Since then, the statement has become a source of inspiration for individuals as well. They are one attempt, among many, to describe the religious freedom we aspire to practice and preserve.
- 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.
For more information, we invite you to visit the website of our national association, The Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations (UUA).