Unitarian Universalist Church of Buffalo
695 Elmwood Avenue (corner of Elmwood and W. Ferry)
Buffalo, NY 14222
Phone: (716) 885-2136
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 until your symptoms subside, regardless of a negative COVID-19 test.
Our VIRTUAL YouTube link is http://live.buffalouu.org. Sunday services start at 10:30am. Past services can also be found at the YouTube link.
– Simultaneous livestream services are available here: http://live.buffalouu.org. Services start at 10:30am.
– Online orders of service will still be published in weekly eblast
Children and Youth ministry
– All members of the family are welcome in the sanctuary
– The nursery is temporarily closed until this age group can be vaccinated.
– The Youth Group will meet in-person.
– Your church staff and lay leaders are working together to safely bring back community gatherings like Souper Sundays, etc. We thank you in advance for your understanding and patience.
What goes on during the Sunday worship services?
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.
Location and Parking
We are located at 695 Elmwood Avenue, at the corner of West Ferry Street in Buffalo, New York (see map). We do not have a parking lot, 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.
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 space 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 side door 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
What should I wear?
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.
What do the children do on Sunday?
We provide Religious Education program for children and teens.
What is Religious Education like at Unitarian Universalist Church of Buffalo?
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.
*Unfortunately, the nursery is closed until further notice.
May my child stay with me during the service?
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.
What do the children do on Sunday?
Depending on the child’s age, UUCB offers developmentally appropriate curriculum that supports the principles and values of Unitarian Universalism.
We offer the following experiences:
1. Nursery (Sunday mornings, 9:30-12:30): this room caters to Infants and Toddlers on Sundays so their parents can enjoy the service. Developmentally Appropriate experiences comes through books, sensory play, and movement. Parents are welcome to bring infants, toddlers, and pre-k children to the nursery immediately upon arrival on Sunday mornings, or after the Time for All Ages when the children leave the service for RE classes. 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.
How do I register my child for Religious Education?
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.
Adult Religious Education
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.
What is the music like at the worship service?
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. For two Music Sundays each year, the choir is joined by members of the Buffalo music community, including the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, to provide a special seasonal music experience.
Do you pray in your church?
Our services include a time for prayer or meditation, and we know that the definition of prayer varies widely from person to person.
What religious holidays does the Unitarian Universalist Church of Buffalo observe?
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.
How large is your congregation?
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.
Is there a place for me in your congregation?
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).
How do I meet other people at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Buffalo?
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.
Have we answered your questions?
If we haven’t answered your particular question in the FAQ page, please contact the church office at 885-2136 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.