Listed below are common questions that people have when first visiting North Shore Unitarian Church. Hopefully, these answers will give you the information you need to become more comfortable with our church.
1. How do I find you?
2. How should I dress when I visit your church?
3. Can I bring my children?
4. How large is your congregation?
5. I’m interested, but need more information. How can I find out more about your church?
6. What is a Welcoming Church?
8. What do UU's believe?
9. Am I a Unitarian Universalist Without Knowing It?
We are located about 25 miles north of Chicago in the village of Deerfield, at 2100 Half Day Road (Route 22), about one-quarter mile east of the I-94 Tollway. For specific directions and a map to the church click here.
Dress as you feel comfortable. Members dress in a wide range from dressy to casual.
Both you and your children are welcome to our services. We have childcare available for infants through age 4 and a full Religious Education program for school age children during both services (September thru June). A youth group for adolescents is available during our second service. To find out more about our Religious Education offerings click here.
NSUC has approximately 400 members with more than 200 children in the Religious Education program.
Come and visit us!
A greeter will welcome you and show you where to go for the worship service and, if appropriate, the children’s Religious Education classes. The greeter will be happy to answer any questions you may have, sit with you during services, and will be there to chat during the coffee hour.
After the church service, you may also join us in our Fellowship Hall. There, you’ll be guided to take your coffee or tea in a yellow mug. In this way you let other congregants know you’re visiting, and they can make a point to meet you!
A Welcoming Church is the Unitarian Universalist Association designation given to churches that have made certain special efforts to welcome people of all sexual orientations and gender identities, LGBTQ. NSUC officially became a welcoming church in 2007, and we continue in our efforts to welcome all. If you want to learn more about the UUA's programming for Welcoming Congregations, here is a link to their website.
Our All-Church Project for the past few years has been the 7th Principle Project, a special initiative to transform NSUC into a "Green Sanctuary", certified by the Unitarian Universalist Ministry for Earth. To receive certification, NSUC must complete a minimum of 12 projects in specific areas all related to the environment from becoming more energy efficient in the building to weaving earth-centered themes into some worship services. To learn more about our Environmental Task Force and the green sanctuary project click here.
This frequently asked question is surprisingly easy to ask, and for some who rely on creed, doctrine or catechism, should seem easy enough to answer. But for those in UU, creating a personal religious way of life is far too important to be left to those who would make dogma. One person may answer easily regarding his or her personal beliefs, but it may be difficult for any one individual to answer for everyone because as there is no single creed or doctrinal answer.
One way for us to answer is to quote from a document produced by the Unitarian Universalist Association, written by minister, David O. Rankin:
“We believe in the freedom of religious expression. All individuals should be encouraged to develop their own personal theology, and to present openly their religious opinions without fear of censure or reprisal.
We believe in the toleration of religious ideas. All religions, in every age and culture, possess not only an intrinsic merit, but also a potential value for those who have learned the art of listening.
We believe in the authority of reason and conscience. The ultimate arbiter in religion is not a church, or a document, or an official, but the personal choice and decision of the individual.
We believe in the never-ending search for Truth. If the mind and heart are truly free and open, the revelations which appear to the human spirit are infinitely numerous, eternally fruitful and wondrously exciting.
We believe in the unity of experience. There is no fundamental conflict between faith and knowledge, religion and the world, the sacred and the secular, since they all have their source in the same reality.
We believe in the worth and dignity of each human being. All people on earth have an equal claim to life, liberty, and justice--and no idea, ideal, or philosophy is superior to a single human life.
We believe in the ethical application of religion. Good works are the natural product of a good faith, the evidence of an inner grace that finds completion in social and community involvement.
We believe in the motive force of love. The governing principle in human relationships is the principle of love, which always seeks the welfare of others and never seeks to hurt or destroy.
We believe in the necessity of the democratic process. Records are open to scrutiny; elections are open to criticism so that people might govern themselves.
We believe in the importance of a religious community. The validation of experience requires the confirmation of peers, who provide a critical platform along with a network of mutual support.”
A common reaction we hear is "I seem to have been a Unitarian for a long time; I just did not realize it." People who have abandoned a church of their childhood because it no longer met their needs or those who have searched on their own for many years are often pleasantly surprised to find that there is a church, which welcomes them, their personal search, their doubts, and their personal discoveries.