This profile was last updated in 2007
Activities and Schedule
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The Unitarian Universalist church of Spartanburg began as a group of open minded people who met in each other’s houses until they raised enough money to purchase a house in Converse Heights. As the congregation expanded, the Spartanburg Unitarians were able to raise enough money to purchase the building in which they meet today.
The church is of modest size, and from the outside it has a home-like appearance. The building is divided into a sanctuary, two bathrooms, a kitchen, a nursery, and several additional rooms that are used for religious education classes and conferences.
The sanctuary has folding chairs for seating rather than pews. These chairs are set up facing the pulpit upon which is the traditional chalice. The chalice contains a single candle symbolic of unity. To the right of the pulpit hangs a wind chime that the minister sounds when ending a silent prayer or meditation. There is a fine upright piano to the right of the pulpit. In every service it is played beautifully by John Gault.
In the hallway there is a large bulletin board that displays announcements and pictures from the latest UU events. The rooms are decorated with posters, and crafts created by the children and youth. In the classroom dï¿½cor, one can see symbolism from many different religious traditions.
In October 2006, we completed the addition of a new sanctuary with a seating capacity of 260 and interlocking chairs that form the pews, a new foyer that separates the old sanctuary (now, our Fellowship Hall) and new, and an unfinished downstairs area the same floor size as the new sanctuary. John Gault now plays our new grand piano located to the left of the pulpit.
Since Unitarian Universalism puts such an emphasis on equality and acceptance, Unitarians do not seem to have any one or two foods that are considered sacred, rather they appreciate the sacrality of food in general. The church sold a cookbook several years ago that contains recipes that were contributed by members of the congregation.
The Unitarian Universalist community in Spartanburg realizes that spending meal times together is a powerful way to build fellowship, understanding, and community, so members frequently gather together for meals. Every Sunday, all are welcome to join the Lunch Bunch and go out to lunch at a local restaurant. Thai Taste is a current favorite for the group to have lunch. On festival days such as Halloween, Christmas, Kwanza, and the Summer Solstice, the church holds celebrations that include potluck meals or a meal prepared by the Hospitality Committee. About three times a month there are potluck dinners just for the sake of gathering members of the community together to share foods. The church collects food for charities such as Total Ministries.
Kat Arrants 1/31/2003