New to Tri-UU?
We are the Tri-County Unitarian Universalists (Tri-UU) in Summerfield, Fla. Unitarian Universalism is a centuries-old movement that truly welcomes all people, no matter who they are or what religious or nonreligious beliefs they hold. We are brave, curious, compassionate, and a bit feisty, too. Most important in the Unitarian Universalist philosophy is the free and responsible search for individual meaning.
Tri-UUers have diverse backgrounds, including traditional Christian, Jewish, Eastern, Humanist, Pagan, agnostic, atheist, and other philosophies that make the world so interesting. And as an LGBTQ Welcoming Congregation, Tri-UU offers all people a comfortable, supportive home.
Committed to “deeds, not creeds,” Tri-UU has a rich history of social justice activism and offers activities and classes to meet the many interest of our members.
Sound intriguing? Browse through our website, then consider a visit to our congregation in Summerfield, Fla.
Come visit with an open or a skeptical mind, with a bruised or a joyful heart, because you will indeed be welcomed. Your adventure starts here!
Who We Are
The Tri-County Unitarian Universalists congregation (Tri-UU) was formed in 1982. Ever since, our vibrant, open-minded, and diverse group of people continually strives to support and love each other in the pursuit of spiritual growth and social justice.
The current and growing membership of around 120 is augmented by many others who choose to participate without formal membership, and both full-time and seasonal Florida residents are well represented. Because we are located in the center of one of the most highly concentrated retirement areas in the country, the demographic of the church skews toward those over 55, although people of all ages are most welcome.
We are diverse in background and belief. Many have come from traditional Judeo-Christian backgrounds and from other world beliefs and nonbeliefs. Whatever you believe – or don’t believe – about God, you will find yourself among others like you. Unitarian Universalism encourages each of us to search for individual spiritual meaning that both comforts and challenges each of us to become our best self. We are guided by the covenantal principle of the worth and dignity of all, and we draw inspiration from history, nature, science, and our family of congregants.
We put our individual and shared values into action. Issues such as marriage equality, environmental change, immigration, the sanctity of nature, and the worth of all races and people are addressed by a vigorous social justice component that conducts and assists in community programs and action.
We also support individual spiritual growth and the value of social interaction through classes, small groups, social events, meals, and shared church projects. Sunday services are conducted by the minister, a ministerial team, the choir, and the active participation of the church community. It’s important to note that the Unitarian Universalist Association empowers each local congregation to be autonomous in the establishment of organization, rules, and action – a unique system in the world of religion.
The Tri-UU Mission
“We unite in religious community to seek spiritual growth, live with integrity, and serve with compassion.”
“We will be an influential voice for progressive religious values in a diverse community."
How We're Different
Each UU congregation independently sets up its own rules for how it runs itself. Doing this work of creating the documents we govern ourselves by is both a spiritual duty and a challenge. We work together to create our very own rules to follow.
We are progressive and inclusive.
Guided by covenantal principles such as "the worth and dignity of all," we draw inspiration from science, history, and all world religions.
We put our values into action.
On issues like immigration reform, marriage equality, and environmental change, we live out our values every day.
We are diverse in background and belief.
Whatever you believe about God, or don't, you will be welcomed here—and challenged to become your best self.
We seek our own spiritual path.
Our fellowship encourages freedom of belief and the search for advancing truth, and tries to provide a warm, open, supportive community for people who believe that ethical living is the supreme witness of religion.
Beliefs & Principles
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 backgrounds 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. Instead, we have seven principles that guide our community and our commitment to individual beliefs.
We the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, covenant to affirm and promote:
The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
Justice, equity, and compassion in human relations;
Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.
We have a “living tradition” of wisdom and spirituality, drawn from sources as diverse as science, poetry, scripture, and personal experience.
The living tradition we share draws form many sources:
Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces that create and uphold life;
Words and deeds of prophetic people, which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love;
Wisdom from the world's religions, which inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life;
Jewish and Christian teachings, which call us to respond to God's love by loving our neighbors as ourselves;
Humanist teachings, which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science, and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit;
Spiritual teachings of Earth-centered traditions, which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature.
Learn more about Unitarian Universalism beliefs and principles, visit our national organization at UUA.org.
What We Do
"Deeds, not creeds" is one of our favorite mottos. It’s what we do that counts.
There are many types of activities in the Tri-UU congregation, and on this website you can begin to explore some of them. But of course, nothing beats first-hand experience, and you need not be a member of Tri-UU to participate in any activities.
So come visit us soon. You are most welcome to try us out!
You needn’t be a trained singer to participate in our Choir. A desire to celebrate through song is the only prerequisite. (OK . . . being able to carry a tune helps, too.)
As you might expect of a congregation as diverse as ours, there are plenty of additional activities available, from a book club to vegan potluck dinners. Check out some of the options here.
We hold services every Sunday morning at 10:30 a.m, preceded by a Forum discussion at 9:30. The service is followed by refreshments and friendly conversation. More information is here.
Programs & Activities
From marching in the Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade to providing comfort to the homeless, Social Justice actions are the essence of Unitarian Universalism. The activities are many and varied.
In the personal quest to discover and develop one’s own spirituality, many members find that participation in one of our Small Group Ministries stimulates fresh ideas.
Many central Florida residents are entering or are well into their retirement years, and this brings new challenges and opportunities. Our Lifespan Education activities can help.
Founding Fathers & Scientific Followers
Many of the founders of our nation were either Unitarians or Universalists. The list includes John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, and Paul Revere.
Scientific followers were
Alexander Graham Bell, Charles Darwin,
Elizabeth Blackwell, Samuel Morse, Sir Isaac Newton, Linus Pauling, Albert Schweitzer, and Alfred North Whitehead.
Unitarian Universalism is a liberal religious tradition formed from the consolidation of two religions
(Unitarianism and Universalism), both of which began in Europe many centuries ago. In the United States, the Universalist Church of America was founded in 1793 (its first congregation, in Gloucester, MA, still worships in its 1805 meetinghouse), and the American Unitarian Association was founded in 1825. Over 200 congregations were founded before the Civil War began. After consolidating in 1961, these faiths became the new religion of Unitarian Universalism through the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA).
The long histories of both religions have contributed important theological concepts that remain central to Unitarian Universalism. Since the merger of the two denominations in 1961, Unitarian Universalism has nurtured its Unitarian and Universalist heritages to provide a strong voice for social justice and liberal religion.
More contemporary members or friends are Morris Dees, Stanley Ann Dunham (Barack Obama's mother), Paul Newman, Keith Olbermann, Melissa Harris Perry, Christopher Reeve, Pete Seeger, Rod Sterling, Joanne Woodward, and Frank Lloyd Wright.
Louisa May Alcott, Ray Bradbury,
e. e. cummings, Charles Dickens, Ralph Waldo Emerson, T. S. Eliot, Herman Melville, May Sarton, and Kurt Vonnegut.
Other Unitarian Universalists were John Dewey, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Juliet Ward Howe, Arthur Schlesinger, Adlai Stevenson, William Howard Taft, and Daniel Webster.