Our lively congregation of more than 500 members is a vibrant and accepting liberal religious community, celebrating diverse beliefs and supporting individual searches for truth and meaning.
We are an LGBTQ Welcoming Congregation that is passionate about social justice, promotes lifespan religious education, and supports an active campus ministry.
We are a caring community that values all individuals. Join us and experience the warmth of community.
Office Hours and Phone Number
Monday - Friday, 9 am - 3 pm
Church office main line: 812-332-3695
For general questions: email@example.com
The Reverend Constance L. Grant, Interim Lead Minister: firstname.lastname@example.org
Abby Gitlitz, Congregational Board President: email@example.com
Amanda Waye, Director of Administration: firstname.lastname@example.org
Stephanie Kimball, Director of Lifespan Religious Education: email@example.com
Susan Swaney, Music Director: firstname.lastname@example.org
Anabel Watson, Connections Coordinator: email@example.com
Hans Kelson, Technology Coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mandy Skinner, Office Assistant/Communications Coordinator, and Jo Bowman, Office Assistant: email@example.com
Visit us at: 2120 North Fee Lane, Bloomington, IN 47408 | Map and Directions
Mailing address: PO Box 8132, Bloomington, IN 47407
Our Ministers and Staff
Reverend Connie Grant, Interim Lead Minister
Reverend Connie Grant, Interim Lead Minister, has primary responsibility for Sunday and other services of the congregation and for spiritual and programmatic dimensions of congregational life. She also serves as head of staff. Rev. Connie is specially trained and experienced in working with congregations that are in search for a long-term settled minister as they reflect on who they are and who they want to be.Show More Show Less
Rev. Connie brings a passion for Unitarian Universalism, for congregational health, and for helping people live lives of meaning and wholeness. Her continuing education has focused on transitional ministry, grief and end-of-life issues, and family systems theory. Rev. Connie received a B.S. in Spanish from Northwestern University and an M.Div. from Meadville Lombard Theological School. She has served a total of seven congregations across the country in various roles.
Rev. Connie describes herself as an eclectic humanist and metaphorical theist. Her non-professional interests include making jewelry, collecting family stories, and visiting with her widely-scattered offspring when possible.
Rev. Connie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and will be glad to make an appointment. She is often at the church on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. In the event of a pastoral emergency, please call or text 847-840-8542 any time.
Reverend Forrest Gilmore, Affiliated Community Minister
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Rev. Forrest Gilmore is UUCB’s Affiliated Community Minister. He served congregations for ten years as a parish minister and now is the Executive Director of Beacon, Inc, a local nonprofit dedicated to people experiencing extreme poverty. Forrest is a native New Yorker, but has called Bloomington home for over thirteen years. He's a graduate of Cornell University and Starr King School for the Ministry.
Dr. Stephanie Kimball, Director of Lifespan Religious Education
Dr. Stephanie Kimball serves as our full-time Director of Lifespan Religious Education. She is a seeker and educator devoted to lifelong learning and growth. Some of her favorite questions are: Why do we do what we do? Whose interests are served by our norms, assumptions, and traditions? How do we educate for freedom? At UUCB her tasks include developing educational programs for children, youth, and adults; recruiting, training and supporting volunteer teachers; overseeing childcare; and visioning for the future of religious education in our congregation and beyond.Show More Show Less
Stephanie holds a B.A. in Elementary Education, an M.A. in Special Education, and a PhD in the Social Foundations of Education. She has taught all ages, from young children to graduate students; she has also worked for interfaith organizations developing educational programs for responding to climate change.
Aside from work, Stephanie enjoys writing, woodworking, watching things grow, and dreaming about her next big project.
She can be reached via email (email@example.com) and is available by appointment on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.
Anabel Watson, Connections Coordinator
Anabel Watson (she/her/hers) is the part-time Connections Coordinator at UUCB. Starting in spring of 2022, she has endeavored to grow connections within the UU Bloomington community through connecting congregants with activities, resources, and each other. She also accompanies and orients folks through the journey of meaningful self-discovery as they seek to embrace the UU tradition through membership and exploratory courses.Show More Show Less
Currently a member of Second Unitarian Church of Chicago, Anabel grew up attending East Shore Unitarian in Bellevue, WA for a number of years and attended Cascade Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in East Wenatchee, WA during a year with AmeriCorps. Anabel holds a B.A. in Peace, Justice, and Conflict Studies and a minor in Religious Studies from DePaul University’s Honors Program as well as a DELE level C1 certificate of bilingualism from the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture, and Sport.
She has prior work experience in the interconnected spheres of social justice, nature connection, immigrant rights, and sustainability, and as a professional tap dancer. Nourished by philosophical discussion and outlets of creativity and imagination, Anabel feels most at home and interconnected when immersed in the natural world.
Susan Swaney, Music Director
Susan Swaney (she/her) has been our part-time Music Director since 1992. Since then, the choir grew from less than 10 to more than 50 active members, and she went from having virtually no experience to having a doctorate in Choral Conducting. In addition to her work at the church, she currently teaches Voice in the IU Musical Theatre BFA program, is Artistic Director of Voces Novae chamber choir (which has won national recognition for creative programming), and sometimes music-directs musicals for the regional theatre company, Constellation. Her undergraduate degree is in Music history and Violin from the University of Michigan (where she also studied Viola da Gamba), and she received her MM in Voice from Indiana University.Show More Show Less
After her first 20 years with the church, the church established a commissioning fund, which has allowed Sue to commission many choral works, large and small, often in memory of late choir members.
Sue is married to therapist/author Ian Woollen. Their son, Jacobsen, grew up in the church and is also now a conductor. She is happiest when riding her bike, reading novels, hanging out with friends and family, and making music.
The best way to reach her is by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Amanda Waye, Director of Administration
Amanda Waye comes from a background in banking and administration. Her prior roles include branch manager of a local bank and Office Administrator of a local manufactured home dealership. In her current role she is full-time and her available hours at the church are Monday-Friday 9am to 3pm.Show More Show Less
Amanda is an avid learner and explorer. In her free time you can find her relaxing with a good book, practicing another language, gardening, jogging, hiking, roller skating, or walking trails. She enjoys time with family as well as visiting new places. Amanda also enjoys meeting new people, drawing, painting, crafting and loves animals.
Jo Bowman, Office Assistant
Jo joined our staff in June 2023. In their free time, they love to cook, read, photograph, play board/video games, and hike. While their past working experience is varied, they have experience in customer service and managing organizational tasks. They are most excited to get to know each of you and assist you however they can!Show More Show Less
Office Phone: 812-332-3695
Office Hours: Thursday 9am-4pm, Friday 11am-4pm, and Sunday 10am-1pm.
Mandy Skinner, Communications Coordinator
Mandy began working at UUCB as an Office Assistant in the spring of 2018, and in 2023 took on the new role of Communications Coordinator. She focuses on online communications (our newsletters, website, Facebook page, database, calendars, registrations), as well as in-person communications (signage, bulletin boards, and displays around the building).Show More Show Less
Mandy first attended UUCB as a student at IU in the early 2000's, and was also on our childcare staff at that time. She has a background in arts, activism, and education, and has traveled in many parts of the US as well as in Canada, Mexico, Central America, and Brazil. She met her husband in eastern Maine and moved back to Bloomington in 2017; now they have two young children and she is practicing the art of staying in one place.
Mandy works part-time, usually 10 am to noon and 2-3:30 pm, Mon-Fri
Hans Kelson, Technology Coordinator
Hans works on most things related to technology at UUCB. He is responsible for (among other things) the church livestream, all the A/V and slideshow work on Sunday mornings, and the multiplatform (Owl Pro) meeting carts.Show More Show Less
Previously, Hans has done tech support work for the City of Bloomington as well as Monroe County Government. He's been an active UU for most of his life, and loves this congregation. Outside of work, Hans enjoys playing guitar, working on personal tech projects, and doing amateur photography.
Hans works full time, and his hours in the building vary depending on technology needs. He can be reached via email: email@example.com
Jeff Stone, Custodian
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Jeff Stone has been UUCB’s self-described “undercover janitor” for 13 years. Jeff cleans, fixes, organizes, and arranges, and may be largely unknown to the congregation. This has been Jeff’s part-time retirement job, after years in radio where he was well-known yet unrecognizable. Jeff describes his current workplace as something of a miracle. Here, he says, there is common sense, a common purpose, and uncommon compassion.
- Reverend Connie Grant, Interim Lead Minister
In Unitarian Universalism, you can bring your whole self: your full identity, your questioning mind, your expansive heart.
Together, we create a force more powerful than one person or one belief system. As Unitarian Universalists, we do not have to check our personal background and beliefs at the door: we join together on a journey that honors everywhere we’ve been before.
Our beliefs are diverse and inclusive. We have no shared creed. Our shared covenant (our seven Principles) supports “the free and responsible search for truth and meaning.” Though Unitarianism and Universalism were both liberal Christian traditions, this responsible search has led us to an inclusive spirituality drawn from six sources: from scriptural wisdom to personal experience to modern day heroes.
Unitarian Universalists believe more than one thing. We think for ourselves, and reflect together, about important questions:
- The existence of a Higher Power
- Life and Death
- Sacred Texts
- Inspiration and Guidance
- Prayer and Spiritual Practices
We are united in our broad and inclusive outlook, and in our values, as expressed in our seven Principles. We are united in shared experience: our open and stirring worship services, religious education, and rites of passage; our work for social justice; our quest to include the marginalized; our expressions of love.
Our Mission and Vision
Our Vision Statement
Seeking the Spirit, Building Community, Changing the World
Our Mission Statement
In this liberal religious community of inspiration, love and action:
- we celebrate life
- we nurture one another
- we welcome all
- we care for the earth and
- we work for the common good.
— Approved at Congregational Meeting, June 7, 2009
1949: Unitarians first organize in Bloomington when a small group of Indiana University faculty and students create a Fellowship under the auspices of the American Unitarian Association. Meetings are lay-led and held in members’ homes and at the Indiana Memorial Union building.
1950-2015: By 2015, our congregation grows to over 450 members. Our current property, purchased in 1964, undergoes several additions.
1999: With a capital campaign totaling nearly $1,000,000, we nearly double our square footage with the construction of our Meeting Room and additional office and classroom space.
2011-2014: Green Spaces Capital Campaign supports improved landscaping and parking, energy efficient windows and doors, better playground and drainage.
Today: We have a membership of over 500, and our staff includes ordained ministers as well as professionals in charge of religious education, church administration, membership, and music.
- Stories from the Tree of Life - The First 50 Years (1999)
- Festschrift for Reverend Bill Breeden (2014)
- UU Church of Bloomington: Our History and Our Traditions by Elof Carlson (2014)
- UU Church of Bloomington: Our History and Our Traditions, Appendices (2014)
Elof Carlson, our designated congregational historian, has written about 100 Prologue UU History for You pieces for our semimonthly newsletter since 2012. These have been compiled chronologically with five accompanying short essays as an e-book for you to download or read. The surprising effect of reading the Prologue Histories in chronological order is that they create a history of the Unitarian and Universalist movements: PROLOGUE HISTORIES by Elof Axel Carlson (June 2016)
Plus, a site of broader historical interest:
Our Ministers, Since 1958
Rev. Paul Killinger, 1958-1963
Rev. David A. Johnson, 1963-1970
Rev. John Young, 1970-1977
Rev. William R. Murry, 1977-1981
Rev. Dr. Laurel Hallman, 1981-1987
Rev. Dr. Clarke Dewey Wells, 1987-1988 (interim)
Rev. Bruce Johnson, 1988-1992
Rev. Peter Weller, 1992-1993 (interim)
Rev. Barbara Carlson, 1993-2005
Rev. Mary Ann Macklin, 2002-2022
Rev. William T Breeden, 2002-2014
Rev. Emily Manvel Leite, 2005-2023
Rev. Dr. Douglas Wadkins, 2014-2016 (interim)
Rev. Scott McNeill, 2016-2020
Rev. David Clements, 2020-2021 (interim)
Rev. Connie Grant, 2022-2024 (interim)
Board Presidents 1948-present
Our Board of Directors
2023 – 24 Board Members
Our fiscal year runs from July 1, 2023 – June 30, 2024 and board members are voted in at our annual June congregational meeting.
- Abby Gitlitz, President
- Jane McLeod, Vice President
- Bill Lonnberg, Treasurer
- Regina DiLavore, Secretary
- Mary Craig, at large
- Linda Pickle, at large
- Drew Schrader, at large
Our board meets monthly, on the 3rd Wednesday of the month at 7:00 pm in the church library. Board meetings are open to the public and everyone is invited to attend as a spectator, either in person or via Zoom. If you would like to join by Zoom, please email Abby Gitlitz for the link.
Board Meeting minutes back to June 2006 are available here on our website by clicking "show more."Show More Show Less
- 2023-10-18 Board Minutes
- 2023-09-20 Board Minutes
- 2023-08-16 Board Minutes
- 2023-07-19 Board Minutes
- 2023-06-21 Board Minutes
- 2023-05-17 Board Minutes
- 2023-04-19 Board Minutes
- 2023-03-15 Board Minutes
- 2023-02-15 Board Minutes
- 2023-01-17 Board Minutes
- 2022-12-21 Board Minutes
- 2022-11-16 Board Minutes
- 2022-10-19 Board Minutes
- 2022-09-21 Board Minutes
- 2022-08-17 Board Minutes
- 2022-07-20 Board Minutes
- 2022-06-15-Board Minutes
- 2022-04-20 Board Minutes
- 2022-03-22 Covenant of Right Relations revised
- 2022-03-16 Board Minutes
- 2022-02-16 Board Minutes
- 2022-01-19 Board Minutes
- 2021-12-15 Board Minutes
- 2021-11-17 Board Minutes
- 2021-10-20 Board Minutes
- 2021-09-15 Board Minutes
- 2021-08-19 Board Minutes
- 2021-07-21 Board Minutes
- 2021-06-16 Board Minutes
- 2021-05-19 Board Minutes
- 2021-04-21 Board Minutes
- 2021-03-17 Board Minutes
- 2021-02-17 Board Minutes
- 2021-01-20 Board Minutes
- 2020-12-16 Board Minutes
- 2020-11-18 Board Minutes
- 2020-10-22 Board Minutes
- 2020-09-16 Board Minutes
- 2020-08-19 Board Minutes
- 2020-08-02 Special Board Meeting Minutes
- 2020-07-15 Board Minutes
- 2020-06-18 Board Minutes
- 2020-05-20 Board Minutes
- 2020-04-15 Board Minutes
- 2020-02-19 Board Minutes
- 2020-01-15 Board Minutes
- 2019-12-18 Board Minutes
- 2019-11-20 Board Minutes
- 2019-10-16 Board Minutes
- 2019-09-18 Board Minutes
- 2019-08-21 Board Minutes
- 2019-07-17 Board Minutes
- 2019-06-19 Board Minutes
- 2019-05-15 Board Minutes
- 2019-04-17 Board Minutes
- 2019-03-20 Board Minutes
- 2019-02-20 Board Minutes
- 2019-01-16 Board Minutes
- 2018-12-19 Board Minutes
- 2018-11-20 Board Minutes
- 2018-10-17 Board Minutes
- 2018-09-19 Board Minutes
- 2018-08-15 Board Minutes
- 2018-07-18 Board Minutes
- 2018-06-20 Board Minutes
- 2018-05-16 Board Minutes
- 2018-03-21 Board Minutes
- 2018-02-21 Board Minutes
- 2018-01-17 Board Minutes
- 2017-12-20 Board Minutes
- 2017-11-18 Board Minutes
- 2017-10-18 Board Minutes
- 2017-09-20 Board Minutes
- 2017-08-30 Board Minutes
- 2017-07-19 Board Minutes
- 2017-06-28 Board Minutes
- 2017-05-24 Board Minutes
- 2017-04-19 Board Minutes
- 2017-03-15 Board Minutes
- 2017-02-15 Board Minutes
- 2017-01-18 Board Minutes
- 2016-12-21 Board Minutes
- 2016-11-16 Board Minutes
- 2016-11-05 Board Minutes
- 2016-10-12 Board Minutes
- 2016-09-21 Board Minutes
- 2016-08-10 Board Minutes
- 2016-07-20 Board Minutes
- 2016-06-15 Board Minutes
- 2016-04-20 Board Minutes
- 2016-03-23 Board Minutes
- 2016-02-17 Board Minutes
- 2016-01-20 Board Minutes
- 2015-6-17 Board Minutes
- 2015-12-16 Board Minutes
- 2015-11-11 Board Minutes
- 2015-10-21 Board Minutes
- 2015-09-23 Board Minutes
- 2015-08-19 Board Minutes
- 2015-07-15 Board Minutes
- 2015-05-20 Board Minutes
- 2015-04-15 Board Minutes
- 2015-03-11 Board Minutes
- 2015-02-19 Board Minutes
- 2015-01-21 Board Minutes
- 2014-12-17 Board Minutes
- 2014-11-12 Board Minutes
- 2014-10-22 Board Minutes
- 2014-09-24 Board Minutes
- 2014-08-21 Board Minutes
- 2014-07-16 Board Minutes
- 2014-06-18 Board Minutes
- 2014-05-21 Board Minutes
- 2014-04-16 Board Minutes
- 2014-03-26 Board Minutes
- 2014-02-19 Board Minutes
- 2014-01-08 Board Minutes
- 2013-12-18 Board Minutes
- 2013-11-11 Board Minutes
- 2013-10-17 Board Minutes
- 2013-09-18 Board Minutes
- 2013-08-21 Board Minutes
- 2013-07-10 Board Minutes
- 2013-06-12 Board Minutes
- 2013-05-15 Board Minutes
- 2013-04-17 Board Minutes
- 2013-03-27 Board Minutes
- 2013-02-20 Board Minutes
- 2013-01-16 Board Minutes
- 2012-12-19 Board Minutes
- 2012-11-28 Board Minutes
- 2012-10-17 Board Minutes
- 2012-09-19 Board Minutes
- 2012-08-15 Board Minutes
- 2012-07-18 Board Minutes
- 2012-06-13 Board Minutes
- 2012-05-16 Board Minutes
- 2012-04-18 Board Minutes
- 2012-03-21 Board Minutes
- 2012-02-15 Board Minutes
- 2012-01-18 Board Minutes
- 2011-12-21 Board Minutes
- 2011-11-16 Board Minutes
- 2011-10-19 Board Minutes
- 2011-09-21 Board Minutes
- 2011-07-20 Board Minutes
- 2011-06-15 Board Minutes
- 2011-05-18 Board Minutes
- 2011-04-27 Board Minutes
- 2011-03-23 Board Minutes
- 2011-02-16 Board Minutes
- 2011-01-19 Board Minutes
- 2010-11-17 Board Minutes
- 2010-11-11 Board Minutes
- 2010-10-20 Board Minutes
- 2010-09-15 Board Minutes
- 2010-08-18 Board Minutes
- 2010-07-21 Board Minutes
- 2010-06-16 Board Minutes
- 2010-05-19 Board Minutes
- 2010-04-21 Board Minutes
- 2010-03-24 Board Minutes
- 2010-02-17 Board Minutes
- 2010-01-20 Board Minutes
- 2010-01-19 Board Minutes
- 2009-12-16 Board Minutes
- 2009-12-13 Board Minutes
- 2009-11-18 Board Minutes
- 2009-10-07 Board Minutes
- 2009-09-16 Board Minutes
- 2009-08-19 Board Minutes
- 2009-07-15 Board Minutes
- 2009-05-20 Board Minutes
- 2009-04-15 Board Minutes
- 2009-03-18 Board Minutes
- 2009-02-18 Board Minutes
- 2009-01-21 Board Minutes
- 2008-12-17 Board Minutes
- 2008-11-19 Board Minutes
- 2008-10-15 Board Minutes
- 2008-09-17 Board Minutes
- 2008-08-20 Board Minutes
- 2008-07-17 Board Minutes
- 2008-05-21 Board Minutes
- 2008-04-16 Board Minutes
- 2008-03-19 Board Minutes
- 2008-02-20 Board Minutes
- 2008-01-16 Board Minutes
- 2007-12-19 Board Minutes
- 2007-11-12 Board Minutes
- 2007-10-17 Board Minutes
- 2007-09-19 Board Minutes
- 2007-08-15 Board Minutes
- 2007-07-18 Board Minutes
- 2006-06-18 Board Minutes
Our congregational meetings take place twice a year, in June and December. Congregational meetings are open to all, though only church members are able to vote.
Congregational Meeting minutes back to 2000 are available here on our website by clicking "show more."Show More Show Less
- 2023-10-22 Special Congregational Meeting (Bylaws Revision) Minutes
- 2023-06-04 Congregational Meeting Minutes
- 2022-12-11 Congregational Meeting Minutes
- 2022-06-12 Congregational Meeting Minutes
- 2021-12-12 Congregational Meeting Minutes
- 2021-06-13 Congregational Meeting Minutes
- 2020-12-13 Congregational Meeting Minutes
- 2020-06-07 Congregational Meeting Minutes
- 2019-12-08 Congregational Meeting Minutes
- 2019-06-09 Congregational Meeting Minutes
- 2018-12-09 Congregational Meeting Minutes
- 2018-06-10 Congregational Meeting Minutes
- 2017-12-10 Congregational Meeting Minutes
- 2017-06-11 Congregational Meeting Minutes
- 2017-03-09 Special Congregational Meeting Minutes
- 2016-12-11 Congregational Meeting Minutes
- 2016-06-12 Congregational Meeting Minutes
- 2016-04-24 Special Congregational Meeting Minutes
- 2015-12-13 Congregational Meeting Minutes
- 2015-06-07 Congregational Meeting Minutes
- 2014-12-14 Congregational Meeting Minutes
- 2014-06-08 Congregational Meeting Minutes
- 2013-12-15 Congregational Meeting Minutes
- 2013-06-02 Congregational Meeting Minutes
- 2012-12-09 Congregational Meeting Minutes
- 2012-06-03 Congregational Meeting Minutes
- 2011-12-11 Congregational Meeting Minutes
- 2011-06-06 Congregational Meeting Minutes
- 2010-12-12 Congregational Meeting Minutes
- 2010-06-06 Congregational Meeting Minutes
- 2009-12-13 Congregational Meeting Minutes
- 2009-06-07 Congregational Meeting Minutes
- 2008-12-14 Congregational Meeting Minutes
- 2008-06-01 Congregational Meeting Minutes
- 2008-04-20 Congregational Meeting Minutes
- 2007-12-09 Congregational Meeting Minutes
- 2007-06-03 Congregational Meeting Minutes
- 2007-04-22 Congregational Meeting Minutes
- 2006-12-10 Congregational Meeting Minutes
- 2006-06-04 Congregational Meeting Minutes
- 2005-12-11 Congregational Meeting Minutes
- 2005-05-01 Congregational Meeting Minutes
- 2004-12-05 Congregational Meeting Minutes
- 2004-05-02 Congregational Meeting Minutes
- 2003-12-07 Congregational Meeting Minutes
- 2003-04-13 Congregational Meeting Minutes
- 2002-12-12 Congregational Meeting Minutes
- 2002-05-05 Congregational Meeting Minutes
- 2001-12-01 Congregational Meeting Minutes
- 2001-10-28 Congregational Meeting Minutes
- 2001-05-20 Congregational Meeting Minutes
- 2000-05-07 Congregational Meeting Minutes
Annual Reports of the congregation are presented at the June congregational meeting. Annual Reports back to 2008 are available here on our website by clicking "show more."Show More Show Less
- 2023 Annual Report
- 2022 Annual Report
- 2021 Annual Report
- 2020 Annual Report
- 2019 Annual Report
- 2018 Annual Report
- 2017 Annual Report
- 2016 Annual Report
- 2015 Annual Report
- 2014 Annual Report
- 2013 Annual Report
- 2012 Annual Report
- 2011 Annual Report
- 2010 Annual Report
- 2009 Annual Report
- 2008 Annual Report
In policy governance, the board sets forth Ends Statements which establish our general principles as well as what our congregation aspires to do. These statements expand upon our congregation's vision statement of "Seeking the Spirit, Building Community, and Changing the World" and our congregation’s mission statement (below) to provide spiritual and governance guidance to the ministers, staff, and lay leaders.
UUCB’s mission statement, adopted by the congregation, along with the Vision Statement, at the June 7, 2009 Congregational Meeting:
“In this liberal religious community of inspiration, love and action:
- we celebrate life
- we nurture one another
- we welcome all
- we care for the earth and
- we work for the common good.”
The term "Ends" refers to the fact these statements are not policy that dictate "means" or how things are done but are, rather, our expected outcomes. The Ends statements were adopted by the board in September of 2010 during the transition to policy governance and are a living document maintained by the board with input from the congregation. These Ends statements were revised in 2021 following the congregation’s decision to adopt the 8th principle.
By adopting the 8th principle, we have committed ourselves to working to build a multicultural Beloved Community in which people of diverse racial, ethnic, educational, class, gender, sexual orientation backgrounds and identities come together in mutually-respectful, loving, and caring relationships to seek justice within our congregation, the local community, and in the broader world.
Policy I. Ends Statements
Seeking the Spirit
UUCB exists to:
- Provide members from a variety of faith traditions with a liberal, universally accepting spiritual home.
- Provide compassionate spiritual care to congregants without the burden of restrictive creeds, tenets, covenants or preordained beliefs.
- Provide a space where people from diverse backgrounds with different perspectives can freely gather to explore their beliefs.
- Provide people of all ages with opportunities to grow together spiritually through liberal religious education and practice, leadership, and community action.
- Encourage adherence to the Seven Principles adopted by the UUA and to the 8th Principle adopted by the UUCB.
UUCB exists to:
- Build a liberal community dedicated to accountably dismantling racism and other oppressions both within itself and in the larger community.
- Build an accepting community inclusive of diverse gender orientations.
- Build a welcoming community where those from diverse cultural and religious backgrounds feel that their experiences and perspectives are valued.
- Build an active community where members share their time, talents and resources for the common good.
- Build a thoughtful community where people can explore ideas and perspectives without trepidation or fear of rejection.
- Provide members, ministers and staff with an environment where they know that they will be welcomed and valued.
Changing the World
UUCB exists to:
- Encourage leadership and participation in efforts to eliminate prejudice, injustice, and oppression within the community and in the world at large.
- Provide members with the means to undertake projects fostering social justice and community welfare according to their interests.
- Provide members with ways to contribute financially and otherwise to good causes within the community and in the world at large.
- Partner with other congregations and organizations in efforts to foster positive social change.
- Engage with and encourage the UUA to build a diverse and multicultural beloved faith community.
- Encourage leadership and participation in projects that foster ecologically sound, sustainable, and livable communities, both locally and throughout the world.
Bylaws and Policies
The official Bylaws of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Bloomington were written and adopted by the Congregation, and are amended by formal vote of the membership. Last revised 10-22-2023.
Our Board Policies, adopted by vote of the Board of Directors, augment and clarify day-to-day church operations. Last revised 10-19-2022.
- Our Board of Directors
An LGBTQ Welcoming Congregation
We are a Welcoming Congregation, recognized by the Unitarian Universalist Association. This means we affirm and include people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer at every level of congregational life—in worship, in program, and in social occasions—welcoming them as whole people.
As a Welcoming Congregation we have pledged to:
- honor the lives of all people and equally affirm displays of caring and affection without regard for sexual orientation.
- celebrate diversity by using inclusive language and content in worship.
- incorporate an understanding of the experience of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer persons throughout all of our programs, including religious education.
- affirm and celebrate lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer issues and history.
- affirm marriage equality and conduct same-sex weddings.
- advocate for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people, promoting justice, freedom, and equality in the larger society. We speak out when the rights and dignity of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people are at stake.
We recognize that there’s always something more to learn, and remain open to deepening our understanding about the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people.
A Green Sanctuary
Our Green Sanctuary Task Force and our Green Grounds/Green Building group have taken the lead
This new website was built by Hans Kelson and Mandy Skinner, with input from Rev. Grant.
Like any website, this is still a work in progress. We know that there are still a few pages missing, and some content may not be 100% correct. If you find any issues, or you want to give us any feedback, please do so here: New UUCB Website Feedback Form
For now, the old website is still available at old.uubloomington.org. The public archive will be taken offline after we're confident that all relevant content is fully migrated, as the old site contains harmfully outdated information.
We hope you enjoy the new website!
Ministerial Transition Process
We are currently in the process of selecting a new settled minister for our congregation. Our Interim Lead Minister during this time is Reverend Connie Grant.
The Ministerial Search Committee (MSC) is excited to share updates with you and get your input! Please explore these pages to learn more about us, the process, and how to participate in it.
You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Our Search Committee
From L to R, bottom row: Ann, Denise; middle row: Von, Mary Beth, Christine; top row: Olaya, Mike
Denise Breeden-Ost (Chair) makes her own hats, writes a lot, and is immeasurably grateful to live among trees. She is a spouse, parent, and Zen student, and works with Women Writing for (a) Change. Denise arrived at UUCB as a teen in the 1980s. Her past involvement includes serving on staff; religious education for children, youth, and adults; Sunday Services Committee; Green Sanctuary Task Force; and Choir.
Christine Banister is a lifelong UU and served on the Minister's Advisory Council and Search Committee for a new DRE at her previous church in Massachusetts. Involvement during her two years at UUCB includes the Habitat Task Force, RE Development Team, and UUCB Parents Group. Outside of church, she is an Architectural Designer with a career in public interest design and service learning. Christine is mom to Cora (age 6) and Nolan (19 months).
Olaya Fernández Gayol is a highly energetic and loud human who is passionate about science, technology, and improving systems. She is from Spain, and works remotely disrupting traditional scientific publishing. She started attending UUCB in the summer of 2022, and is active in the Spanish conversation and piano groups. Most recently she was a member of the Stewardship Team. In her free time, she enjoys cooking/baking, hiking, reading, playing music, and being crafty in general.
Ann Kamman joined UUCB in the early 80s. She’s a second generation UU from Urbana, IL. She has served on our Board of Directors and currently works with the Women’s Alliance, Bazaar, the Auction, Green Grounds, and walks regularly with the Wednesday Walkers. Outside of her UU life, she volunteers with MC-IRIS (Monroe County – Identify and Reduce Invasive Species) and chairs their annual native plant sale. She is a recycling fanatic, has 2 daughters (20 and 22) and 4 cats.
Mike McGregor joined the church in May 2014. Since then he has sung in the choir and participated in various activities including working for the annual Bazaar, delivering auction items during the pandemic, and taking church members to appointments as part of the Caring Committee. He served on the Leadership Cultivation Committee this past year. During his 31-year tenure at Indiana University he served on many search committees, vetting applicants for faculty and administrative positions.
Mary Beth O'Brien loves writing, being outside, and lots of time with friends and family. She is the Creative Director at Women Writing for (a) Change Bloomington. She joined UUCB in 2002, and has been involved with children’s RE, the Green Sanctuary Task Force, mentoring youth, Caring Committee, and volunteering whenever possible. Mary Beth (“MB”) is mom to Auggie (17) and Marina (13) and married to Matt Zink.
Von Welch grew up in UUCB, went away to college and returned in 2011. He served on the UUCB board from 2012 to 2018. He is married to Ruth Aydt since 2004, retired from Indiana University in 2022 as associate vice president for information security, is an amateur woodworker, and serves on the boards of Beacon Inc. and Constellation Stage and Screen.Timeline
The Search Committee's work began in June of 2023, and will be complete in April of 2024. See a detailed timeline here!
1 | Search Committee is Established
Late Summer 2023
The Board worked hard to establish a seven-person slate of candidates from over 120 individual nominations that has the trust of the congregation and will work hard to hear all of our voices in the search process. Since their election at our June 4th Congregational Meeting, the Ministerial Search Committee (MSC) has been hard at work learning about the search process, and attended an orientation retreat with the UUA Transitions Office on August 20th.
2 | Congregational Survey:
As an inclusive and thorough analysis tool to assess our ministry context and needs, the survey is an opportunity for members and friends of UUCB to move toward a different future with a new minister. The survey will collect basic demographic data and ask ministry-related questions that can be used to spur conversation for cottage meetings and focus groups. A link to the survey has been sent to all congregants, and the search committee will allow about a month for completion and submission. The survey results will then be compiled and shared with the congregation, and will become part of the documents packet the search committee prepares for potential candidates.
3 | Breaking Barriers, Building Beliefs (B4) workshop on Saturday, November 11 with Rev. Patrice Curtis
UUCB is committed to full equality and ongoing learning about anti-racism and anti-oppression. Attendance to this workshop on November 11th (10 am to 2 pm) is strongly encouraged for all members, and is mandatory for the search committee, board members, and other church leadership. Rev. Patrice Curtis (she/they) will cover issues around race/ethnicity, gender/gender identity, visible and invisible disabilities and health concerns, and sexual orientation. Afterwards, the search committee will complete an evaluation and summary for the documents packet. Please register online by Thursday, November 9.
4 | Cottage Meetings and Focus Groups:
Members and Friends of UUCB are invited to participate in cottage meetings and focus groups for congregational input. Cottage Meetings are open groups of congregants that provide an opportunity for people to hear and build on what others say, whereas Focus Groups are targeted at specific groups within the congregation. Both the cottage meetings and focus groups will take place after the survey results are compiled, so the survey can be used as a springboard for further group conversation.
The Search Committee held the following meetings:
- Sat 10/14 @ 10am (Library)
- Sat 10/14 @ 3pm (Library)
- Sun 10/15 @ 11:30am (Rm 112)
- Sun 10/22 @ 11:30am (Library)
- Fri 10/27 @ 1:00 pm (Bell Trace)
- Sun 10/29 @ 11:30am (Library)
- Sun 11/5 @ 11:30 am (Zoom, link in calendar)
- Sun 11/5 @ 11:30 am (UUCB Library)
- Tue 11/7 @ 6 pm (Zoom, link in calendar)
- Sun 11/12 @ 2 pm (Meadowood)
5 | Congregational Record:
The Congregational Record (CR), or Search Profile, is the search committee’s opportunity to present itself to potential ministers in the MinistrySearch system. Ministers are interested in a balanced and nuanced view of our congregation, so the CR will honestly describe our congregation and its needs, rather than present a snapshot of us at our best. The information in the CR comes from several sources, including the survey; cottage meetings and focus groups; the collective wisdom of the search committee; and our congregation’s last certification to the UUA. Congregational Records are released to ministers on December 1, at which point the contents will also be shared with the congregation.
6 | Potential Ministers Indicate Interest:
Potential ministers indicate interest through the MinistrySearch system, and the first round of video conference interviews will begin in mid-January after the MSC has had a chance to look at all applicants. Interview questions will be standardized so that all interviewees are asked the same set of initial questions, and questions asked will reflect the values of the search committee and our congregation.
7 | Pre-Candidating:
Once the list of applicants has been narrowed down to 3-4 ‘pre-candidates’ by mutual selection, each is invited to come to Bloomington for a weekend with the MSC. Components of the weekend include a tour of the building, a social dinner gathering, a three-hour interview, a tour of the area, a neutral pulpit service (the pre-candidate acts as a visiting minister to a nearby congregation so that the MSC may experience a service), and a final lunch discussion/interview. Spouses are often part of the “sell” for a minister and often need to experience the area for both family and employment possibility reasons, so they are welcome at all events except the interview and final lunch.
8 | Candidate Selection:
References and reference checking are an important part of the search process, and there are two to three phases of reference checks in the ministerial search process for search committees. References are the opportunity for confirmation of how ministers depict themselves and for the search committee to ask their own questions from their own perspectives. Ministers also do their own research by talking with interim ministers, regional staff, and previously settled ministers. Research on potential candidates will go beyond references the ministers recommend themselves to include: someone in the ministers’ current congregation or congregation last served; a research call with a UUA regional staff person; and other developed references based on the search committee’s desire for deeper clarity about a pre-candidate. Once the search committee has selected a candidate, they have the option to ask the candidate for additional references within the current congregation or workplace where the minister is serving. Upon mutual selection by the candidate and a unanimous vote from each member of the MSC, the selected candidate will be announced to the congregation and invited to attend candidating week in April.
9 | Candidating Week:
April 21-28, 2024
Candidating week is the opportunity for the congregation to meet the ministerial candidate. The MSC will establish a schedule for the week that allows for the congregation to interact with and vote on the candidate. During the candidating week, the candidate leads services on both Sundays. Other events for the week include: at least one congregation-wide open session; meetings with staff and the governing Board; other meetings with affinity groups, task forces, and committees; a meeting with area clergy; and check-ins with the MSC. The candidate is the go-to minister for the congregation should something arise during that week. The week will conclude with a vote to call the candidate as our next Settled Minister.Congregational Survey
The congregational survey is now closed. We will be releasing summary results on this page in the coming weeks. In the meantime, please attend our cottage meetings for more opportunities to tell the search committee what this congregation is and what we want and need in the new minister.
Sessions will be added to the Timeline page as they are scheduled.Perspectives from the MSC
This is a list of all the Perspectives articles we have contributed so far. Click on the links to learn more about the process and our updates.
November 2023Ministerial Search Committee News - by Von Welch
There is a lot going on right now! We continue to hold Cottage Meetings and hope you take advantage of one of these opportunities to share your thoughts with us. The latest schedule can always be found on the UUCB website and outside of Fellowship Hall. And thank you for your survey responses - over 200 of you completed the survey and we’re working hard to process those responses. Stay tuned for the results!
The Ministerial Search Committee invites the whole congregation to a special Breaking Barriers, Building Beliefs (B4) workshop on Saturday November 11th, from 10am to 2pm, at UUCB.
Participants are welcome to gather at 9:30am for socialization ahead of the workshop. There will be a break for lunch. Please bring your lunch. We’ll have snacks available as well. Childcare will be provided.
B4 workshop participants will:
- Consider the hopes, expectations, and concerns they have for a new minister
- Learn more about the ministerial search process, and
- Explore how creating categories and putting people in them can interfere with choosing the best candidate.
To register: Please register online here by Thursday, November 9.
As part of the registration process, you will be asked to complete a pre-workshop survey.
The workshop will be led by Rev. Patrice K. Curtis (she/they), UUA Transformational Interim Ministries Director. Patrice will also be a special guest in our pulpit on Sunday, November 12th.
Patrice collaborates with and supports interim ministers and Directors of Children’s Ministries in amplifying and practicing diversity, equity, and inclusion within congregations, and in disrupting unhealthy patterns that make Beloved Community difficult to realize. Before the UUA in 2020, Patrice served four congregations and as Program Director with UU Justice Ministry of California.
Before ministry, Patrice served on several non-profit boards; taught marketing research to lower income entrepreneurs; and was a US government foreign affairs program and policy analyst focusing on countries afflicted by civil conflict and climate disasters. Patrice is a life-long humanist, with spiritual practices rooted in mindfulness and meditation, and is currently focused on Tibetan Buddhism.
October 2023From your Ministerial Search Committee
Please complete the Congregational Survey by October 15!
In case you don't know: this congregation is in the process of seeking a new settled minister. Reverend Connie Grant, our Interim Minister, will be with us until next August, when the new minister arrives. This fall, the search committee's task is to learn as much as possible about what this congregation wants and needs in our next minister. Our Congregational Survey on ministry is out now, and ready for your responses.
Some questions we have heard…
- Who should fill out this survey? We want to hear from everyone who considers themselves part of this congregation! Members, friends, and staff; newcomers and long-timers. If you're here every week, if we haven't seen you in a while, or anything in between, we need to hear from YOU.
- What if I already filled it out? Thank you! We've heard from nearly 120 people so far.
- If I haven't filled it out, what's the deadline? October 15.
- What if I can't fill it out online? Paper copies of the survey are available in the church office, or ask a Search Committee member.
- What should I do if someone in our community hasn’t heard about the survey? If you know someone who hasn't gotten the survey, please share the link with them, or let us know who they are—this will really help us get input from as many people in our congregation as possible.
Your response to the survey is important. It helps the search committee and possible ministers understand who we are as a congregation, and what we want and need in a settled minister. Survey responses will also shape the questions we ask during focus groups and cottage meetings in October and November, when we hope you will join us for more open and in-depth conversation.
If you have a question not answered in this article, you can contact the Ministerial Search Committee anytime at email@example.com. And you can find us every Sunday after the service in the hallway outside of Fellowship Hall, along with a timeline of the search process and updates on our work.
Thank you for your participation in this valuable search process!
Denise Breeden-Ost, Chair of the UUCB Ministerial Search Committee.
September 2023Ministerial Search Committee Update
Greetings from Denise Breeden-Ost, Chair of the UUCB Ministerial Search Committee. We’re ramping up and we want to engage with you this fall! How can you stay informed about what we’re doing and how can you connect with us? Thank you for asking…
First, as I expect most of you know, our congregation is in the process of seeking a new settled minister. Our interim lead minister, Rev. Connie Grant, will be with us until the new minister starts in August 2024. The Ministerial Search Committee is charged with finding a good match for our congregation among the ministers who are seeking a congregation. This is a long and careful process and after our orientation retreat last Sunday, we're wading into it in earnest.
Over the course of this fall, much of our task is to understand as much as possible about what this congregation wants and needs from a new minister. We'll be sending out a survey to all members and friends; search committee members will meet with different groups in the congregation; and we'll host open meetings where anyone can come and share their thoughts. Everything we hear will be brought back to the Search Committee and will guide our work: both as we present our congregation to potential ministers, which happens near the end of this semester; and in our discernment process after ministers apply in the New Year.
How do you find out more? How can you participate? Three things:
- Check out the display in the hallway outside Fellowship Hall by the childcare rooms. You'll find photos and bios of Search Committee members, along with a timeline of the whole Search process showing where we are now. Other updates about the search will be posted there too
- Read your UUCB Friday Update and Perspectives Newsletter! We’ll regularly have articles and events reminders.
- Talk to us! We're relying on you to share your questions, your needs, your wants, your concerns, and your dreams for this congregation. This includes taking part in the Congregational Survey, showing up for listening sessions, and talking with individual committee members. You can find us by our green-lettered name tags during Community Hour or can reach us anytime via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I'm excited by the energy, openness, and commitment I see in every member of this committee. All of us look forward to sharing this journey with all of you.
Denise Breeden-Ost, Chair of the UUCB Ministerial Search Committee
August 2023Greetings from your Ministerial Search Committee
Christine Banister, Denise Breeden-Ost, Olaya Fernández Gayol, Ann Kamman, Michael McGregor, Mary Beth O'Brien, and Von Welch are honored to begin the work of finding a settled Lead Minister for our congregation. Since being elected by the congregation on June 4, we've been learning about the Search process and getting to know each other. We'll have an orientation retreat with the UU Transitions Office in late August, and you'll be hearing a lot from us as we move into the fall semester.
One of our first tasks after the retreat will be crafting and sending out a Congregational Survey, to gather the perspectives of everyone in the congregation. As we move on into the fall, we'll be creating many opportunities to connect with and listen to you, the members and friends of UUCB, including in-person and virtual small-group gatherings. Please participate in this process and share your point of view! Hearing from everyone will help us understand as clearly as possible the many facets of who we are as a congregation and what we're looking for in our ministry--an essential part of searching for a new minister.
Photos and bios of all Search Committee members will be up soon, both at church and on the website. Please feel free to talk to any of us at coffee hour or wherever you find us--we're listening, and we're taking notes! You can also email questions and thoughts directly to the full Search Committee, at email@example.com (Mike McGregor will be responding to emails during August).
We look forward to the coming months of listening, discernment, and collaboration with you, our congregation.