WELCOME to the Unitarian Universalist Church of Buffalo! Here you will find lots of info about us, starting with where we are and how to contact us.
Our church is currently open for in-person services, and masks are optional. We do ask that masks continue to be worn should you meet any of the following circumstances:
· You are not fully vaccinated; You are moderately-to-severely immunocompromised or have discussed the need to mask with your healthcare provider; You feel more comfortable wearing a mask for personal reasons; You have had a known COVID-19 exposure within the past ten days; or You have left isolation following a COVID-19 infection within the last five days.
· We also ask that if you display any symptoms of COVID-19, please join us virtually (see below) until your symptoms subside, regardless of a negative COVID-19 test.
Our YouTube link is http://live.buffalouu.org. Sunday services start at 10:30am. Past services can also be found at the YouTube link. Online Orders of Service will be published in the weekly eblast which you can find here.
We have a small parking lot that is reserved for handicapped accessibility, but parking is readily available on Elmwood, West Ferry, and nearby side streets on Sunday mornings. You will want to allow a bit of extra time for parking, especially in snowy weather.
We have a long church tradition of thought-provoking, integrated programs that typically last about one hour. The heart of each service is usually the readings and the sermon by the minister or guest speaker.
Music is integral to the service. In addition to hymns sung by the congregation, special music by our choir and/or guest artists reflects the theme for the service, and adds depth and beauty to our contemplations.
PARKING – We have two reserved handicapped spaces on West Ferry Street in front of the church, and two spaces on the South, opposite, side of Ferry St. There is one dedicated spot and five spaces reserved for handicapped parking on Sundays from 9am-2pm in our small staff parking lot off Elmwood, between the M&T bank and the church. A metered space has been added on Elmwood at the west side corner of Ferry, this is free on Sundays.
Additional parking can be found in a small lot on the SW corner of Elmwood and West Ferry (the Parish Common). This lot has several designated accessible parking spots.
ACCESSIBLE ENTRANCE – The accessible entrance to the building is located through the garden, which brings you into the Parish Hall. On Sundays, greeters are available at the accessible entrance to assist you. The elevator is to the right once you enter the main building. The sanctuary is located on the second level. A directory listing room locations can be found inside the elevator.
Our Welcome Table is in our Parish Hall as you enter through the Garden Entrance. Individuals at the table can assist you and answer any questions you may have.
RESTROOMS – At this time, we regret that the building’s restrooms are not fully accessible. Both restrooms have accessible stalls, but may be challenging for people who use wheelchairs or scooters due to limited space. All restroom doors are heavy, so do not hesitate to ask for assistance.
If you go out the swinging side doors of the Parish Hall the Men’s Restroom is to the left of the stairs, just before the Office, and the Women’s Restroom is to the right of the stairs. One unisex restroom is located in the basement.
SANCTUARY – There are several sets of Pews in the Sanctuary that are shorter so that anyone using a walker, wheelchair or scooter is able to comfortably participate and sit with their family and friends. These pews are open to everyone, however please consider others who may need them. Also, there are three comfortable chairs at the back of the pews near the doors to the Parish Hall. These seats are for people who need more comfortable seating due to various back injuries.
The church has installed a Tele-Coil System in the sanctuary. This system transmits directly from the sanctuary microphone to the hearing aids of people who have a tele-coil setting.
Large-Print Orders of Service are available upon request from our ushers.
RELIGIOUS EDUCATION – If you have a child with developmental or medical needs, please contact our Acting Religious Education and Faith Development Director, Jessica Pond.
Wear whatever makes you feel comfortable – dress up or casual. On Sundays, adults wear everything from suits or dresses to jeans. We encourage children to wear clothes suitable for play.
We provide Religious Education program for children and teens.
Children are always welcome in the Sanctuary with their families. If your child needs more freedom of movement or voice, you can also hear the service from the Parish Hall. Also, if you wish to keep your child with you there are “busy bags” and Lego binders available at the RE desk that your child is welcome to use for the duration of the service. Just ask the RE volunteer at the RE table to get you one.
The Religious Education program at UUCB covers all age groups. We start with caring for our infant and toddlers during Sunday service and offer curriculum and special interest topics through the lifespan. This Ministry team is dedicated to enriching the lives of our congregants and inspiring ongoing learning. We have different programs for all ages:
1. The Nursery is temporarily closed while we look for a new Nursery Coordinator. When open, the nursery will be available for all children before RE classes starting at 9:30 on Sundays, and for infants and toddlers under 3-years during RE class time. Childcare is also available for special events and classes; please make any special childcare requests at least 2 weeks in advance with Jessica Pond at email@example.com. The nursery offers developmentally appropriate experiences through books, sensory play, and movement. There will be a sign-in sheet in the nursery that you will be asked to fill out during drop-off. Contact Jessica Pond firstname.lastname@example.org or stop at the Welcome Table for more info.
2. Spirit Play: This class centers on the telling of stories that focus on Unitarian Universalist principles, values, and traditions. This class is designed for school-age children.
3. Coming of Age is a foundational curriculum that assists the students in beginning to discern their beliefs and their ideas about their Unitarian Universalist faith.
4. Our Whole Lives: Is a liberal sexual educational curriculum that is offered to many different age groups. Teachers in these classes are specially trained to present the material.
5. Youth Group: This is the group that supports our 14- to 18-year-old students. Group support, special conferences, and community projects are a large part of the program.
At the Religious Education Table in the Parish Hall, you can speak to a Religious Education representative to answer your questions, help you check your child in for the day and register for the program. There is no fee for religious education, but it is expected that if you attend regularly, you will consider the worth of the program when determining your pledge of financial support to the congregation, whether you choose to formally join the congregation or not. You may also request an RE Registration form vis email through contacting Director of Religious Education Jessica Pond at email@example.com.
Learning is a life-long adventure and at UUCB we strive to offer various topics and projects that enrich people’s lives. We will advertise these creative opportunities in both the weekly E-Blasts and the Monthly newsletter.
The UUCB choir is renowned throughout Western New York. The choir provides the music for the Sunday and holiday services with musical offerings from Bach and Handel to Jazz, African-American spirituals to Native American chants, from medieval motets to contemporary Broadway musical numbers, all to enliven and enrich our worship. In addition to organ, piano and harpsichord, other instruments are frequently heard. We have two special Music Sundays each year where the choir is joined by members of the Buffalo music community, often musicians from the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as performances with accomplished guests from outside our region.
For community outreach, we also feature a variety of local musicians and sound artists through our monthly Casual Concerts, held every third Saturday at 2pm. We have MUUsic Weekends twice a year that feature full-length performances of musical masterworks parts of which are also featured in our Music Sundays, as well as our annual Cabaret Fundraiser which is filled with showtunes, food, and fun!
Our services include a time for prayer or meditation, and we know that the definition of prayer varies widely from person to person.
Each Unitarian Universalist congregation develops its own patterns in observing special dates, ranging from traditional celebrations of Jewish and Christian holidays to those of many cultures and earth-centered traditions, and a few that are all our own. In this church, celebrations vary from year to year, and explore a wide range of religious expression.
We have about 300 members. Approximately 80 children and youth are enrolled in the religious education classes, which meet at the same time as the worship service.
Yes! Everyone is welcome, whatever your age, ethnicity, race, sex, sexual orientation, physical-cognitive-emotional challenge, religion, or political affiliation. Since 1995 we have been a Welcoming Congregation, for Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, Trans-Gender, and Questioning (LGBTQ) individuals (check out https://www.uua.org/lgbtq/welcoming/program).
Come to the Welcome Table after the Service where you can meet some of our members who can help you find ways to be involved here. If you sign a Visitor form with your e-mail address we will send you our weekly (E-Blast) and monthly newsletters, so you can learn more about the commitments and activities in the church. You can also sign up for a digital version here. You’re bound to find some activities that you’d like to participate in — a class, a special interest group or one of our social responsibility projects. Once you discover something that’s especially interesting to you, you can contact the person who’s coordinating it or you can simply show up and join in.