New to Unitarianism?
Looking for community? Wanting to find out more about us, but are not sure where to start?
Check our answers to frequently asked questions below. Videos here help explain more about what Unitarian Universalism is about and what members enjoy so much about it.
Do you only gather on Sundays?
Answer: We have programs throughout each month—-please check out the various activities in our ‘Adult Programs’ and our ‘Family Programs.’ Besides these ongoing programs, we also have workshops and special family events and community events. Those will be highlighted on the calendar page of our website. If you would like to know more about what’s happening, sign up for our monthly newsletter.
What provisions do you have for people with disabilities?
Answer: For those who are hearing impaired: We have headsets available from the person in the sound booth (at the back of the Sanctuary on the left-hand side).
We also have reading glasses available from a Greeter.
For wheelchair accessibility: The main entrance is on to the foyer and Sanctuary (worship space) lounge, and wheelchair access is by the ramp on the left-hand side of the main doors. There is a ramp that takes you down into the hall, and also to a wheelchair accessible bathroom. At this time, there upper level is not wheelchair accessible. The lower level is accessible off the lower parking lot entrance (on the right-hand end of the building when you face the main entrance). If you would like to attend a service or event and want to know if it is wheelchair accessible, please contact our office, so that we can do our best to make our event accessible to you.
How do I get there?
We share space with Comox United Church, 250 Beach Drive, Comox (corner of Comox Ave., near St. Joseph’s Hospital).
Are you welcoming of all people?
Answer: Unitarians believe in the worth and dignity of every person. We welcome people of all ages, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, culture, and abilities.
What do Unitarians believe?
Unitarian believe a wide variety of things. You will find Unitarian Buddhists, Taoists, Christians, Agnostics, Atheists and Humanists as well as people who do not or cannot classify their beliefs. What we have in common are our seven principles, which form the foundation to how we want to be together in community and live in the world. We believe in creating a spiritual community where we can be accepted whatever we believe and however we want to make a difference in the world.
Unitarians believe that how we live our lives is the best way to show what we value. We have a different way to approach religion: we believe each person has the right to make their own decisions as to what they hold to be true and right—we choose not to have a set of beliefs our members are required to hold, or a particular teacher that we follow as a movement. That means there is more diversity in our midst (those who believe in God/a higher power, those who don’t and focus more on humans’ ability to do what’s right, and those who are still searching for how to name what they believe). People come from various religious backgrounds, and some from none at all.
What keeps people here together as a spiritual community?
Answer: We affirm common principles. Unitarians also draw on various sources for our inspiration: the world religions,the findings of science, earth-based spiritual teachings, and our own individual experiences that inspire awe and wonder in us. Some draw on all of them, some draw on several more than on others, it is each person’s choice. We come together in a caring, all-ages community to share what we are learning, support one another in the hard times, and celebrate in the good times. What unifies us is our desire to share our experience of life, to celebrate what is important to us, and to engage together in an exploration of life’s meaning.
What is there for our children? Is there childcare and/or Sunday School? What is taught?
Answer: Supporting families is an important part of how we support or community and live our values. We have a program for all ages–from our nursery to our youth group. We have a part time Director of Spiritual Exploration for Young People, who oversees our programs. You can learn more about our family programs here.
What should I/my family wear to a service?
Answer: You should wear whatever you are most comfortable in. Some people dress casually (jeans are fine), and some people dress up. Your children should wear something they can play in.
What can I expect when I come to a Sunday service?
Answer: We offer weekly Sunday services from September until the end of June. Sunday services start at 4pm and go to 5-5:15pm. We aim to provide a range of experiences for people attending Sunday services so we have created a schedule that changes depending on the week. Services come in a variety of formats to nurture our spiritual and intellectual exploration. Go to the ‘Services’ page to learn more about what formats we offer and what services that are coming up.
After the service we have social time in the hall. On the 1st Sunday of each month, we have a potluck meal together. 3rd Sundays we offer some light refreshments. 2nd, 4th & 5th Sundays we spend time visiting after the service before we head off to our own evening meals.
5th Sundays – These interactive, fun multigenerational services are held in the hall.
Why are there Christian crosses around?
We share our space with the United Church. The Church owns the building and graciously have welcomed us into their building so we have a place to gather. Also, some UU’s identify as Christian. We aim to be as welcoming and inclusive as we can with the images you see around the facility and that includes respect for our Christian members and our hosts.
Got 30 seconds?
Meet some Unitarians.
With a 15 minutes this video provides great introduction to Unitarianism.
Here from many different people as they explain why they are attracted to Unitarianism, what they get out of being part of this inclusive community that appreciates and respects everyone and how the UU principles makes sense to them.
Young UU members made this video as part of social justice media competition.
Standing on the side of love is the key message they offer.
‘Coming Home’ is the musical creation of UU members as they share what their fellowship means to them.
Unitarian Universalism is a progressive spiritual movement that was created from the consolidation of two different religions:
Unitarianism and Universalism. In practice, we use the word “Unitarian” as a shortcut for “Unitarian Universalist”. Both religions have long histories and have contributed important theological concepts that remain central to our movement.
The History of Unitarian Universalism:
Both began in Europe hundreds of years ago: Unitarianism in the 1600s and Universalism in the 1700s. After consolidating in 1961 in the U.S., these faiths became the new religion of Unitarian Universalism through the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA). In Canada, Unitarian and Universalist congregations have been active since the mid1800’s. The Canadian Unitarian Council (CUC) includes congregations that call themselves Unitarian, Universalist and Unitarian Universalist (UU).
Historically, all Unitarians were Christians who didn’t believe in the Holy Trinity of God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), but in the unity, or single aspect, of Godthat’s why they got called ‘Unitarian’ (rather than ‘Trinitarian’). Later, Unitarian beliefs stressed the importance of rational thinking, a direct relationship with God, and the humanity (not divinity) of Jesus.
Universalism emerged as a Christian denomination with a central belief in universal salvation; that is, that all people will eventually be united with God. As Unitarians encountered other world religions, they expanded the sources they turned to for inspiration, including the findings of science, truths from various world religions, and spiritual practices of earthbased traditions.
So, now in a Canadian or American Unitarian Universalist you will often find people with various beliefs: those that believe in the God of their understanding, those for whom the concept of God is not useful, Unitarian Christians, practicing Buddhists (and from other world religious traditions), earthbased spiritual practitioners, those who draw from various sources, as well as those still seeking to form their beliefs. All religions and spiritual traditions arise from a common root: human encounter with what is ultimate in reality. We look for those truths, as each of us understand them, and then come together to support one another to live them in the world so it can be come more just, caring and peaceful.