You will find here who we are and a little bit of our history.
about uu Santa fe
UU Santa Fe is a Free Thinker/Humanist Friendly Community!
We are a Welcoming Congregation that embraces all who come with open minds and kind hearts. We value the richness which diversity brings to our fellowship, including differences in age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical and mental capacities, and political outlooks. Our community includes people from various religious and secular traditions―people who believe in a deity of some description, people who don't, and people who simply embrace mystery. We invite you to add your unique outlooks and skills to our community.
UU Santa Fe is a "Welcoming Congregation"
We are welcoming to all, regardless of one’s race, economic status, past religious background or sexual orientation. Within our congregation we have people who identify themselves as Unitarian Universalist Christians, UU Humanists, UU pagans and in a host of other ways. Most of us, however, resist labels of any kind, knowing only that we are comfortable in the company of fellow travelers on a shared journey toward more meaningful lives. We offer a wide variety of programs and activities to which you are warmly invited. UU Santa Fe is a member of the Unitarian Universalist Association. We are in the Pacific Western Region.
A Brief History of UU Santa Fe
In 1952, a group of religious liberals from Santa Fe and Los Alamos met at the La Fonda Hotel in Santa Fe with a representative from the Beacon Street Headquarters of the American Unitarian Association in Boston. They were advised of the steps necessary to form a recognized group. Soon the required ten members were enlisted and the Santa Fe Fellowship was formed.
After moving around for several years renting space from other churches in the area, a search was made for a house of our own. With much trepidation, and an active membership of not more than thirty-five, a house was purchased in 1968. This house served our needs well for the next few years, with an upstairs room for the children and a dusty basement for the teenagers.
As membership grew rapidly, space again became a problem. Efforts were made to locate a building to buy. From the sale of the house and some property on St. Michaels, it was hoped that financing would be possible. By very good fortune, the Mormon Church (our present location) became available. We took full possession and in the fall of 1979 moved in. Formal dedication was December 2.
In the expanded space, the membership grew rapidly and we were able to call a minster in September of 1981, when Dr. Kitchell joined us. By 1990, we had outgrown our building and used our reserves and a special fund drive to expand the existing building. An office was made available for Dr. Kitchell, a new wing to the north was added for the Faith Development program, the kitchen space doubled and rooms freed up for the library and committee rooms.
When Rev. Kitchell retired in 1998, UU Santa Fe had an active membership and a very modest religious education program. There were were two Sunday services, along with a Forum lecture/discussion group and a modest program for children and youth. Two years of interim ministry, 1999-2000, saw little growth in membership. Alice Springer, a professional director of religious education, was brought on in August, 1999 in an effort to build a stronger program for families with children.
Rev. Stephen Furrer, our second settled minister, arrived about a year later in September 2000, and quickly established himself as an able preacher and pastor. Attendance once again began to grow. The Faith Development program took off under Alice Springer’s direction. During Rev. Furrer’s tenure, new programs were added to support the membership, including several covenant groups, worship associates, “Bridges” (a pastoral care support team), the Caring Council, Lifespan Faith Development, a Covenant of Right Relations, Welcoming Diversity and others. Rev. Furrer left in June 2009. Between August 2009 and July 2011 UU Santa Fe was served by two Interim Ministers, Rev. Jim Grant and Rev. Gary Kowalski.
In April 2011 the congregation joyfully voted to call our third settled minister, Rev. Gail Lindsay Marriner, who leads our community of ~230 current members and 70 friends. Steven Mead, Lifespan Religious Educator, joined our staff in July 2017 to assist UU Santa Fe in transitioning from the retirement of our long-time religious educator, Alice Springer. Steven continues to serve UU Santa Fe, providing Program Ministry support through June 2022.
There are a number of initiatives which are part of UU Santa Fe's identity:
It is the church that assures us that we are not struggling for justice on our own, but as members of a larger community. The religious community is essential, for alone our vision is too narrow to see all that must be seen, and our strength too limited to do all that must be done. Together, our vision widens and our strength is renewed.―Mark Morrison-Reed, “The Task of Religious Community” (Unitarian Universalist, minister, historian)