Unitatiarian Universalist Community Church of Park Forest

Park Forest, IL–(ENEWSPF)– On April 22, the Unitarian Universalist Community Church, at 70 Sycamore Drive in Park Forest, will host an Earth Day and Seder Celebration at 7:00 p.m. The event is open to all. There will be a vegetarian potluck meal, program, stories ad songs. For more information, please phone the church office at 708-481-5339

The Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Park Forest began in 1953 as the new community of Park Forest grew. A more complete history is available.

We are now a community of about 115 members, friends, children, and youth inclusive of many religious backgrounds, races, sexual orientations, economic and educational levels, and lifestyles.

Unitarian Universalism is a liberal religious expression of the human potential for understanding and interpreting life’s many challenges in natural rather than supernatural ways.

Unitarian Universalists follow congregational polity, a form of church governance in which the local congregation is the ultimate authority in the conduct of its mission. We are governed by a set of bylaws.

Our congregation is part of the larger Unitarian Universalist Association, which connects us within that millennia-old, world-wide liberal religious movement.

We are also connected to numerous other organizations whose links can redirect you to their websites.

Our own facility is a complete worship, meeting and education center located in a wooded, creekside area just off Western Avenue at the southern end of Park forest.

We invite you to explore our virtual home here on the Internet as well as contact us with your questions. Of course, we hope you will join us in person at one of our programs or services of worship if you feel your religious journey might well be with us.

Our Unitarian Universalist Purposes and Principles

We, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, covenant to affirm and promote

  • 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.

The living tradition which we share draws from many sources:

  • Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and uphold life;
  • Words and deeds of prophetic women and men which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love;
  • Wisdom from the world’s religions which inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life;
  • Jewish and Christian teachings which call us to respond to God’s love by loving our neighbors as ourselves;
  • Humanist teachings which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science, and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit.
  • Spiritual teachings of earth-centered traditions which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature.

Grateful for the religious pluralism which enriches and ennobles our faith, we are inspired to deepen our understanding and expand our vision. As free congregations we enter into this covenant, promising to one another our mutual trust and support.

Frequently Asked Questions

Ever wonder about Unitarian Universalist Services of Worship? Here are some Frequently Asked Questions about our Sunday service:

When does our service start?

The worship service is at 10 am.

The service lasts about 1 hour. This service is followed by a time of informal conversation and refreshments; some people leave immediately after the service ends, others linger for some time.

Feel free to wear what is most comfortable; you will be welcomed for who you are, not what you wear!

What do the kids do?

Older children and youth attend the service for the first fifteen minutes most Sundays before going to their religious education classes. Several Sundays in the year consist of intergenerational worship when we worship together for the whole hour. Also, a child who prefers to stay for the service is welcome on any Sunday (that includes infants and toddlers who are not disruptive).

Where do I go when I arrive?

Once you park in our lot (some visitor spaces are available immediately to your left upon entering), you’ll find our main door through the canopy walkway. As you enter the main door, turn left into our Gathering Room and you will find a visitor’s table, staffed by volunteers who would be glad to answer any questions. They will also welcome you and provide you with a nametag, if you’re willing. At the doors to the sanctuary, an usher will give you an order of service, so you can follow the program.

What will happen in the service?

You will find that while our services vary from week to week, there are some common elements. Our opening chime introduces a time of welcome and opening music. This is followed by a lighting of the flame of a chalice – a representation of the symbol of Unitarian Universalism. We then join in unison Words of Affirmation and Song of Aspiration.

At this point in a service a time of Pastoral Meditation includes the specific joys, sorrows, and concerns from members of the congregation followed by music during which many will light a candle to symnbolize their silent personal thoughts. After the meditation, offerings will be collected – contributions to support the work of the congregation and contributions of food and clothing to help those in need in our own communities. This is free-will offering, with no expectations or requirements. If you are a visitor, feel free to let the offering bowls pass you by – your presence is your gift to us!

Words for All Ages follow – stories and reflections for your children and youth.

After the children leave for their program, we usually will have several readings (from religious and secular sources), a hymn, a time of meditation, a musical selection, and the major presentation (sermon, panel, play, etc.). This is followed by another hymn, and then a time of closure.

If you have any further questions, feel free to give us a call at: (708) 481-5339 or send us an email at: [email protected]