Editor's note: This story is part of the 2011 Welcome to Worship Guide, a special advertising section produced by Wednesday Journal and Forest Park Review. Click here to view the entire 2011 Welcome to Worship Guide.
These are the words that begin each Sunday's service at Unity Temple Unitarian Universalist Congregation. Shortly afterwards, the Congregation's Covenant begins:
Love is the doctrine of this Congregation. The search for truth is its sacrament. And service is our prayer.
Many people are unfamiliar with the Unitarian Universalist religion. Senior minister Rev. Alan Taylor explains. "We focus on life before death. The central question for us is not 'What do you believe?' but instead 'How shall we live?'
"What binds us together is our shared commitment to living our values of respect, compassion, integrity, service, creativity, and courage. We aim to cultivate a community where all can grow and support one another in living our values.
"We are a house of worship where everyone is encouraged to 'come as you are.' We won't tell you to change who you are, but we will challenge you to live with honesty, with courage, with hope. We will challenge you to connect with others and with the spirit of life, which many of us, though not all of us, call God.
"We strive to live up to this simple ideal: We will care for you and call upon you to care for others.
"We offer a full religious education program for children during both our services headed by Rev. Emily Gage, our Minister of Faith Development. Our Music Program, led by Martha Swisher, is renowned.
"At Unity Temple, we are more than just a fabulous building. We are a vibrant community and spiritual home striving to support its members to faithfully live our shared values."
"Come as you are! You are welcome here!"