Youth Religious Education
"This church has been with me since I was young and has helped me grow up and shown me many different paths and ways of life. I am very grateful to everyone in it, and without you, I would most likely be very different, so I thank you. You are all wonderful and individual and amazing."
"At the time my parents started taking my sisters and I to the local UU church when I was in middle/high school. I was a sullen, moody, paralyzingly shy person. Fortunately for me, the youth in my group are some of the greatest people I have ever met. I was amazed to find others who were interested in things I cared about and who shared their knowledge about things I didn’t know about like politics and science. They helped me find myself – and I realized that I was the happiest when I was able to do something to make someone’s day a bit better I honestly believe that I would be a very different person if I hadn’t been a part of that group."
"Hi! I recently became a member, however, I've been attending this congregation on and off over the past 13 years. One of my first memories was attending Super Con (a youth-planned UU gathering for young people, in essence, a youth conference), here at the congregation. What I remember most about the Con was how involved and knowledgeable the youths were about several issues such as politics, environment, and social justice. The youths were involved in community outreach programs, protests, engaging others in proactive endeavors to change their school, neighborhood, and community. While at the Con I was completely overwhelmed but inspired by these individuals who were just like me and nothing like me. I came to realize there were more important things going on in the world outside of my personal high school drama. As I reflect back on that experience now, I can see how it changed my life. After that Con, I began working with individuals with disabilities; this has turned into a passion and a career. This congregation has and will continue to inspire me and hopefully, I can do the same for others in the future."
"It was late-August/early-September some time ago, the beginning of the school year. I had not anticipated embarking on a spiritual journey when I came home from the office that day, but my wife greeted me with a concerned look. Our daughter had a discussion at school that day with several of her friends which led to the question, "John is Catholic, Megan is Jewish, Raj is Hindu, what are we?" In fact, the "what are we" (as a family) question had never come up - until then.
"The Yellow Pages brought us here. Our family entered the door, and it was an epiphany. The feeling of community was striking for my wife and myself, but the real "Powerful Moment" came when our two children (10 and 7) came running up to us and asked, "Can we come back again next week?" You see, one of the most important gifts you can give a child is a sense of identity and belonging and I commend all of you who came here to give."
Gary, Longtime Member
Religious Services Team
"Hearing the thoughts of my fellow UU’s is powerful. One of the wonderful things about this Congregation is that we can inspire one another to be more mindful and to be more compassionate. It has helped me in my relationships with family and friends. Thank you for those powerful moments that have helped me to grow."
Linda, Longtime Member
"I was here on one of my first Sundays and a gentleman from the Religious Services Committee made a comparison through various art genres of the many types of religions throughout the world. He depicted each as a different type of art to explain their fundamental view of religious expression and philosophy. Unitarian Universalists, he explained, are like Cubists (who) show multiple perspectives of something all at once to see it more completely and perhaps understand that thing better. As an example, he showed a guitar from many viewpoints – top, bottom, side, front, but all a guitar – and then, put them on the canvas at the same time so we could appreciate all the perspectives at once. Well, as you can imagine, by that point, I was hooked. This powerful moment helped me to see that Unitarian Universalists not only acknowledge the value of different religious and spiritual perspectives but actually embrace these differences and attempt to bring them together into one place of worship and community. To take the best from each and move forward to make a difference."
Susan, New Member
"10 years ago in 2003, I was in a slump, a part of life’s ups and downs. I was out of balance, putting too much energy into work and not enough into myself. My play therapy mentor asked me what I used to enjoy, that I wasn’t doing. The answer was singing. So I started on a search to find a place to sing and found the UUs. I joined the choir and by the time the next new member class came up, I knew that this was a place where I wanted to belong."
Becoming a member
"To you who are friends or visitors…If you’re not like me, if you’re a “joiner,” and you feel at home here, then please join us…we need you. But if you, like me, develop such commitments only gradually….please, stick with us anyway. We need you, and already consider you one of us."
"I started attending this church in 1987. I gradually became more involved in activities here, attending the first “Cakes for the Queen of Heaven,” “Alternative Suppers,” and offering music at services. When I participated in activities here, no one ever questioned whether I was a member or a friend. I was simply accepted. After 5 or 6 years when we were working on planning for the Prairie Star District Women’s Spirituality retreat, it came up that I had not officially become a “member” of the church. I had grown to feel at home here, and this had become my church community. So after the meeting, Rev. Charlotte pulled out the membership book, and I signed."
Lucia, Longtime Member
"On the first couple of visits I realized that the spirit here is very similar to my home (liberal Baptist) church. Probably most important is here there is an interest in applying our religion to the world in which we live. We acknowledge and respect sources other than the Bible. Questions and doubt are important. The truth that we are each on our own spiritual quest is respected and encouraged. I do feel I have found a spiritual community that also reaches into the rest of my life. I have come to truly love the Quad City Area and a very large part of that is this Church and you people. Thank you, thank you."
"I first entered, not knowing what to expect, but within minutes I could sense the openness and freedom of people who were very comfortable in their own skin. The atmosphere was relaxed and it seemed to promise a return of the same next week. I was very confident of this assessment; there just seemed to be a strong commitment among the congregation that their values were permanent and programming here would echo their philosophy. I came back and experienced the same openness and acceptance for who I am and what belief systems I had from everyone. Nothing changed from that first day of entering the UU service."
Letters from Sue , bear-hugs from Henry, poetry from Katy, the look Betty would give you when drilling home a point, Jim, now buried out at Fairmount Cemetery at a 45-degree angle so he can keep track of eagles during migration, Calvin who is destined to appear in many people’s “Powerful Moments” in the future …this congregation has given me a wealth of moments worth sharing."
Rich. Longtime Member
Building and Grounds
"A special moment was the ceremony to break ground for the addition, using a John Deere plow instead of shovels. We watched the building addition grow and finally dedicated it on May 17, 1998. Because the congregation pulled together to get this done, we now have this beautiful facility today."
Martha, Longtime Member
Social Justice Ministry
"Reverend Charlotte Saleska and the Progressive Clergy were on the front line for five years as we fought for the Quad Cities Planned Parenthood Clinic. As the original task force chair, I know it couldn't have happened without this church’s support. "
Elaine, Longtime Member
"I grew up Baptist for the first 18 years of my life. Church was a big part of my upbringing. However, as soon as I was on my own, I decided to stop going to church because of the negative messages given about homosexuality, which, as a gay youth, often left me feeling worthless and alone. I was bullied and teased at school, and to hear the same bullying from my church home was disheartening. It made me think, “Why would I want to be a part of a religion that labeled me as a “sinner”?”… that would never allow me to be worth anything in their eyes? So I completely dismissed religion as a possibility in my future.
"That is until my partner began teaching Religious Education at the UUs in Macomb, IL. He talked about how the UUs didn’t subscribe to one specific belief. They wanted to be smarter and better people in the world, who respect everyone and everything in the world around us. I still had reservations about attending church based on the many experiences of my childhood. However, I attended some services in various different cities where we lived, and I was pleased to find communities of people that were forward thinking and genuinely caring.
"So, the first couple of services we attended here in the Quad Cities, and I heard your opening words of welcome and true acceptance. It made a big, lasting impression on me. So, thank you for being the warm, inviting community that you are because I can only imagine how my life would be different had I grown up with this from the very beginning. Thank you."