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Re: Seeking liberal Alameda church
There are many Alameda residents who are members or attend First Unitarian Church of Oakland. Its at 14th and Castro, not far from the Webster St. tube. Check it out at www.uuoakland.org. I hope you join us! Debbie
Re: Seeking a spiritual home
I recommend checking out the First Unitarian Church of Oakland. They have a growing community and are very committed to diversity. Their website is http://www.uuoakland.org My husband and I have been going there for six years now, and our daughter has happily been participating in the young learner's program for two years (since she was born!). anon
Re: Longtime atheist looking for spirituality
I would recommend you visit the First Unitarian Church of Oakland. You can find out more about them at www.uuoakland.org. You can learn more about Unitarian Univeraslism at www.uua.org Best wishes. Rachel
Re: Seeking spiritual community
We've been very happy attending the First Unitarian Church of Oakland in downtown Oakland, first when we were living in Albany and now that we live in North Oakland near Berkeley. Although we do have to drive to get there, the church is literally right off the 14th Street exit for 980, so it takes less than ten minutes to get there on a Sunday morning.
The congregation is very warm and welcoming and the ministerial
team is strong. Unitarian Universalist churches vary in their
worship culture - this one is formal enough that I feel I am
really engaging in spiritual practice and not just going to a
liberal political meeting, but at the same time very creative,
open and oriented to social justice. Yesterday's Halloween/Day
of the Dead service was both fun (costumes, music) and also
deeply moving (honoring of the dead).
Here's the website - http://www.uuoakland.org
UU Oakland Member
Re: Radical church or synagogue
If by ''radical'' you mean, open, progressive and non-dogmatic, with a strong activist social justice tradition, then I would encourage you to try a Unitarian Universalist Church. From www.uua.org: ''With its historical roots in the Jewish and Christian traditions, Unitarian Universalism is a liberal religion -- that is, a religion that keeps an open mind to the religious questions people have struggled with in all times and places. We believe that personal experience, conscience and reason should be the final authorities in religion, and that in the end religious authority lies not in a book or person or institution, but in ourselves. We are a ''non-creedal'' religion: we do not ask anyone to subscribe to a creed.'' We are very happy attending First Unitarian Church of Oakland, which has a wonderful religious education program for kids, an intergenerational service option, and a very strong music program. (http:// uuoakland.org) Fulfilled as a UU.
Re: Secular Jew married to atheist wants ''religious'' framework for kids
I don't know if this might be what you seek, but in my opinion the First Unitarian Church of Oakland provides a great non-religious religious environment. It embraces all spiritual beliefs and provides a setting for respecting and sharing different peoples' approaches to praciting their ''faith.'' And, it is extremenly child/family friendly. I would highly recommend you explore it. It is located at 685 14th Street. Anon
Many interfaith families have found a place in a UU church, as have many others, like us, who discovered the Christian churches we grew up didn't speak to the adults we became. UU's seek truth and meaning in the texts and traditions of many religions, including Judaism, and offer a place and a community where you can forge your own spiritual path. For children, it offers not ''Sunday School,'' but ''Religious Education,'' oriented toward learning about religion and spirituality without indoctrination in a particular faith. The church is also strongly oriented to social justice work, and has a long history of putting faith into action dating back to abolition, and including the modern civil rights movement and the current drive for marriage equality.
We happily attend First Unitarian Church in downtown Oakland, which has a great intergenerational service and a strong music program (uuoakland.org), but there are many others to choose from around the Bay Area (www.uuba.org).
Good luck with your search! Happy to be UU
Re: Family friendly church for a newbie
Looking for a church? Tolerant, family-friendly, social justice- promoting community? Try the Oakland Unitarian-Universalists on Castro at 14th St. in Oakland. The search for one's own truth, which grows and changes as we all do, can be supported without being dictated, in a beautiful and creative format. Wonderful music. A bit less heady/academic than the Kensington church. Bonnie
Re: I think I want to join a Unitarian Universalist Church.
To the person who is trying to choose a UU church: I have been a member of the First Unitarian Church of Oakland since 1992. I've been once or twice to the Kensington church and the Walnut Creek church, but I won't presume to describe them based on that. About the Oakland church, though: it is definitely hospitable to atheists. A healthy portion of our leadership is agnostic/atheist/humanist. That said, you'll find more ''God talk'' in our church than in many UU churches, but it's *very* inclusive. Our members include people from many religious backgrounds, and one of the things we do together is stretch -- that is, we all try to be able to hear messages arising from different traditions or couched in terms other than those we might choose ourselves, whether it's interpreting theist language in humanist terms, interpreting Jewish language in modern feminist terms, or interpreting Buddhist language in Western terms. We have a rich liturgy, including our ''embracing meditation,'' which some UU leaders have called one of the best ways of ''doing joys and concerns'' that they've seen. And I love the way our current congregational minister handles holidays with religious origins that many people may not be deeply familiar with, such as Day of the Dead. She makes them accessible to all, allowing them to enrich each person's sense of the spiritual without requiring background or belief within the originating tradition.
The Oakland church has been strongly involved in justice work for quite some time. Current projects that have originated from within the church include a mentoring program at a West Oakland elementary school, gotCOM (a project for helping low-income families get and learn to use computers), a get-out-the-vote project, an ad hoc committee on gay marriage, a partnership project to build a sustainable job base in our Transylvanian sister village, and probably many others that are off my radar at the moment. We are also involved with the Oakland Coalition of Congregations, which combines the efforts of many churches for social justice projects of shared interest.
Our religious education program for children (there's one for adults, too) teaches about world religions among many other curricula, including a wonderful curriculum on sexuality issues for middle-school-age students (taught outside Sunday mornings and therefore optional, but as a graduate of its predecessor program, I'll say it's one of the best things that could happen to an adolescent in terms of learning effective communication about intimacy and having the information and support to make good choices). We have a children's choir, co-led by our wonderful adult choir director and our Minister of Religious Education, herself a singer.
I do think you're barking up the right tree, and I hope to see you some Sunday soon. If you'd like to talk more about the Oakland church or UUism, drop me an email with your phone. Deborah
I've found the church has been a wonderful place for my 5 and 8 year old sons, as well as for me and my husband. I particularly enjoy the 10:30am Intergenerational Services, a half-hour opportunity for children and adults to worship together in a more child-friendly format. We have these services from September to mid-June, as well as wonderful 9:15am and 11:15am adult services and RE classes. The first 10:30am Intergen service and RE classes of the new church year are this coming Sunday, Sept. 19.
And there are 2 children's choirs, one for younger kids and one for older kids, as well as an awesome adult choir and other music-making opportunities. There is also a lot of energy behind social justice work.
I encourage you to visit and check the church out. There is more info on the web at http://uuoakland.org/, or you can call the church at (510) 893-6129.
Best wishes, Sima
Re: Inclusive & Friendly Church
We recently became members of the First Unitarian Church in Oakland, and think it is a wonderful place. Definitely good music and good sermons, a diverse congregation with all ages represented, and a wonderful, positive, loving energy. We live on the Berkeley/Albany border and can make it there on Sundays in 15 minutes, and found it was worth the drive. We especially love the intergenerational service at 10:30am, and the great religious education program. Sima
A parent recently asked whether there was a Unitarian Church in the area so, as I understand it, her child could explore religion, though the parents aren't religious. I'm a member of the First Unitarian Church of Oakland located at 14th and Castro Streets in downtown Oakland (close to the freeway). It's a wonderful and diverse community with many families who have children of all ages. The community is committed to certain liberal values and social justice activities. Unitarian Universalists affirm that wisdom is found in many world religions, as well as in spiritual and humanist teachings (see http://www.uua.org/principles.html for the UU's Principles and Purposes). Many members have backgrounds in various religions and some of the families have more than one religious background (my family is Jewish/Christian and we participate in an interfaith group through the church that tends to celebrate Jewish holidays together). The community is important to me because the services put me in touch with issues and ideas beyond my everyday life, and we've made good friends who share similar values. I'd be happy to answer any further questions and help anyone get oriented. The church's skeletal website is: http://uuoakland.org/index.html. -Penny
Does anyone have any strong recommendations/opinions about the the Unitarian Universalist Churches in the greater Berkeley area? We would love to find a warm, friendly, musical and active congregation. We have two small children (3 and 6) and are a Jewish/Protestant. couple. - thanks Elizabeth
To the person interested in exposing children to religion and/or spirituality. You might want to check out the First Unitarian Church of Oakland, on Castro Street in downtown Oakland. It has a very open and accepting congregation which believes that "All are worthy, All are Welcome" Plenty of church members there would consider themselves "agnostics" - in fact, questioning seems to be encouraged. They believe in drawing spiritual knowledge and inspiration from many sources, not any single religion or ideology. There are lots of families there, many community activities, and they have a large religious education program for kids.
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