The Mission of the First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Antonio is to
Invite all into caring community
Inspire spiritual growth
Involve everyone in working for a peaceful, just and free world
It was founded in 1945 in San Antonio.
Unitarian Universalism is a theologically diverse religion in which members support one another in our individual search for truth and meaning.
We promote reason and tolerance in our communities and embrace a free and responsible search for truth and meaning. As members of a non-creedal religious tradition, we Unitarian Universalists are encouraged to discern our own beliefs about various spiritual topics. Our members hold wide-ranging opinions on topics like the afterlife, God, and scripture. What unites us is our acceptance of diverse spiritualities and our commitment to making the world a better place for everyone.
Unitarian Universalism is a non-creedal religion. Our churches are held together by Covenants that express our shared commitments and values. Our church covenant is recited during our service each week and reminds us of the promises we make to one another:
Love is the doctrine of this church, the quest of truth is its sacrament, and service is its prayer. To dwell together in peace, to seek knowledge in freedom, to serve humanity in fellowship, to the end that all souls shall grow into harmony with the Divine—thus do we covenant with each other.
Our Seven Principles
The Seven Principles of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) express the shared values that UUA member congregations affirm and promote. Many Unitarian Universalists find rich personal and theological meaning in these principles:
•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.
Our Six Sources
Unitarian Universalism draws from 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 which create and uphold life;
•Words and deeds of prophetic women and men 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.
These principles and sources of faith are the backbone of our religious community.
The Social Justice Committee initiates and coordinates outreach activities of First UU in the larger community. These activities are largely determined by the interests of our members. These initiatives can range from one time a year events to ongoing organizational activities.
Below are some of the activities and events, or ongoing “portfolios” that our church members are involved with in the larger community. The links will take you to the partner organizations’ websites.
Compassionate San Antonio
On May 18, 2014, we voted at our congregational meeting to become a Charter for Compassion Partner Organization with the Compassionate San Antonio network. We work to help make San Antonio a more compassionate community.
Congregational Study/Action Issues
Congregational Study/Action Issues (CSAIs) are issues selected by Unitarian Universalist member congregations for four years of study, reflection and action. In the third year of this process, delegates at General Assembly (GA) can vote to approve a Statement of Conscience (SOC) resulting from congregational feedback on the CSAI. A fourth year is devoted to implementation.
A broad-based interfaith community organization dedicated to organizing local citizens and working on a range of issues of concern to our families.
Hands-On Service opportunities
Throughout the year, members of our congregation serve those in need in the local community by preparing meals at Haven for Hope for our homeless residents, and sorting and preparing food bags for the hungry at the San Antonio Food Bank.
Texas Unitarian Universalist Justice Ministry (TXUUJM)
TXUUJM is a statewide justice ministry that raises the voice of Unitarian Universalist values in the public arena and seeks to have those values enacted into legislation and promulgated in public policy. Guided by Unitarian Universalist principles, TXUUJM educates and organizes member congregations, and partners with sympathetic organizations, in order to advocate effectively for public policies.
Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC)
Through a potent combination of advocacy, education and partnerships with grassroots organizations, UUSC supports programs and policies that empower women, defend the rights of children and support the struggles of indigenous people and oppressed racial and ethnic groups. We also provide financial and technical support when disasters strike impoverished areas.
Other events that the Social Justice Team and First UU members have frequently participated in include the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday March (January), the International Women’s Day March (March), the Cesar Chavez March (March), Gay Pride Picnic, events promoting peace and justice, reproductive rights, concerts raising awareness about the death penalty and the environment, and more.
Unitarian Universalist Association Social Justice
Information about current social justice issue priorities within the UUA, as well as links to social justice statements and other social justice resources.
In May 2017, the congregation voted to become a Sanctuary Congregation. It has an active Sanctuary Task Force whose members work with R.A.I.C.E.S. to conduct Know Your Rights trainings in the community and accompany refugees attending court or ICE monitoring sessions. It works with the Interfaith Welcome Coalition and the San Antonio Sanctuary Network.
Also in May 2017, the congregation voted to become a Reproductive Justice Congregation, which means we honor the principles of (a) trusting and respecting women, (b) promise that women who attend our congregation will be free from stigma, shame or judgment for their reproductive decisions, including abortion, and (c) believe access to comprehensive and affordable reproductive health serves is a moral and social good.
For the past two years, several members have participated in our Black Lives Matter Group. It provides programming for the congregation, interacts with local groups, and supports UU Black Lives.
Programming for church members and friends includes:
1. Adult religious education
There are on-going classes before the church service, plus other short-term classes offered, depending upon interest and resource leaders. The church also has a lending library and a book store open every Sunday after church.
2. Children's religious education
There are classes for all ages before church. Children attend and participate in the first part of the worship program and then go to the playground. The middle school and high school youth have social groups and programming. The OWL curriculum on sexual education is offered to youth.
3. Celestrial Celebrations
Lay-led worship services, presenting earth-centered spiritual perspectives are help seasonally.
4. Covenant groups
Members may join small groups which meet monthly for the purpose of community and caring.
5. Pastoral Care
When members need support, they can access pastoral associates, the member-care committee, or the minister.
6. Social activities
Members may participate in monthly small-group dinners. About 35 participate in the choir.