Welcome from the Minister!
We are glad that you are exploring the Winchester Unitarian Society website. Welcome!
If you are new to Unitarian Universalism, a few words about our tradition: Unitarian Universalism is a faith with deep and ancient roots, emerging from the radical branches of the Protestant Reformation. The Unitarians affirmed the humanity of Jesus of Nazareth while the Universalists proclaimed God as a God of love, too merciful to condemn any soul to damnation.
These two progressive movements became one faith in 1961, a liberal religious tradition that requires no one to proclaim a creed to belong. We UUs are perhaps best known for spiritual diversity, with atheists, agnostics, theists and those who identify as Christian, Jewish, Buddhist and Pagan worshiping, living and striving for social justice together. While we have no creed affirming a shared dogma, we make ethical stances, articulated through the Seven Principles, that give voice to our values: Unitarian Universalism's Seven Principles
Like many, I came to Unitarian Universalism from another tradition. Raised in a nominally Catholic family in New Hampshire, I discovered UUism at the Arlington Street Church in Boston in 1994. I was amazed to find a church that truly reflected my values and spirituality. Since then, I have only gratitude for this faith that has opened me in heart, mind and spirit.
In time, I wanted to serve this tradition that has been such a source of growth in my life, leading to a call to ministry. After student ministries in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin and receiving a Master of Divinity degree from Meadville Lombard Theological School in 2005, I served Cedar Lane UU Church in Bethesda, Maryland as the Associate Minister for ten years. I am delighted to receive a call to serve the Winchester Unitarian Society; our journey together began in August of 2015.
We live in cultures that tell us that we are not enough - not smart enough, not wealthy enough, not thin enough, not white, straight, beautiful, able-bodied, old or young enough. Not enough. The Universalist gospel that we all belong and are worthy of love challenges the deep pain of our world. And the Unitarian message that each of us - like Jesus - has gifts that can teach, heal, love and inspire one another is also counter-cultural. Belief in the inherent worth of every person moves us to challenge systems of oppression that violate human dignity and the earth from which we draw life.
The Winchester Unitarian Society is a vibrant congregation, founded on this vision of joyous inclusion, personal growth and learning, service and social change. This is a community of engaging, fun and friendly people...and there are many things going on.
Relationships are at the heart of our congregation. So I encourage you to be in touch so I may hear your story and learn about your hopes - for yourself, for your loved ones, for the life we all share together. I look forward to the conversation!
Rev. Heather K. Janules