The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Statesboro has been meeting regularly since 1985. We are one of over 1000 congregations associated with the Unitarian Universalist Association.
Our 8 Principles
Inherent worth and dignity of every person;
Justice, equity, and compassion in human relations;
Acceptance of one another and encouragement to 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;
Journeying toward spiritual wholeness by working to build a diverse multicultural Beloved Community by our actions that accountably dismantle racism and other oppressions in ourselves and our institutions.
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In late 1973, about a dozen individuals looking for a liberal religious home constituted the first Unitarian Universalist presence in Statesboro. Aided by several members of the Savannah UU Church, the group was officially recognized by the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) and known as the Statesboro Unitarian Fellowship. After about two years of monthly meetings with speakers, however, the Fellowship became inactive in 1976.
The current Fellowship began in 1985 when the late Rev. Frank Anderson, then minister of the Savannah UU Church, compiled a list of Statesboro residents visiting his church and circulated a copy to each of them. As a result, a number of these individuals began to gather again for monthly pot-luck suppers and programs. After several years, the group decided to re-affiliate with UUA (the earlier membership had lapsed). In April 1990, the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Statesboro became an official society of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations.
During 1991-1994, the Fellowship moved from meeting in homes to the Developmental Studies building on the Georgia Southern University (GSU) campus and later (1994-1996) in the Bland Cottage at GSU’s Botanical Garden. When average attendance at Sunday services outgrew the capacity of the Cottage, the services were moved to GSU’s Nursing Building.
In the spring of 1998, the Fellowship voted to dramatically increase the operating budget in preparation for renting or building a structure dedicated to Fellowship purposes. The opportunity to buy two lots from the Bulloch County Hospital Authority led then-President Judy Holleman to launch, in July 1998, a three-year capital campaign and, during 1998-1999, to coordinate the development of building plans and to oversee building construction while Pauline deLaar coordinated the Decorating and Usage Committee work. All members and many friends of the Fellowship contributed labor (all interior and trim painting, lot and construction clean-up, initial landscape preparation and plantings), and gifts (over $40,000 pledged to the capital campaign), and loans ($50,000 in promissory notes). With a grant of over $16,000 from the Thomas Jefferson District Chalice Lighters, the Fellowship was able, in November 1999, to move into its new building at 609 East Grady Street and to furnish it with comfortable seating for the dedication ceremony in April 2000 at which the Rev. William Sinkford (UUA President 2001-2009) spoke. The debt on the building was paid off in December 2003.
At its June 2006 annual meeting, the Fellowship voted to call the Rev. Jane Page as its first settled minister to serve at least half time, beginning July 1, 2006. The Rev. Page was ordained and installed as the congregation’s first minister on September 24, 2006 and she attained “final fellowship” status as a Unitarian Universalist minister in 2009. Also in 2009, the Fellowship hired a part-time administrative consultant.
As we continued to grow, the fellowship sought possibilities for a larger building with more visibility. A gift of property including a large metal building that was a former body shop, provided hope for a move to our current location at 6762 Cypress Lake Rd. Renovations of the old body shop resulted in a lovely “new” building with sanctuary, two classrooms, a room for young children’s activities and a kitchen plus two all gender restrooms and storage. We moved from the Grady Street building to this new facility on June 28, 2015. On January 24, 2016, UUA Moderator Jim Key provided the keynote address and Rev. Keith Kron, former intern minister at UUFS and a staff member at UUA, provided an inspirational dedication for our new building.
In 2017, we added a Mind-Body Center for meditation and yoga classes. Meditation had been meeting weekly or twice weekly at UUFS since September 9, 2014 (and online via Zoom through pandemic). The group moved from Grady Street to the UUFS sanctuary at our current location on August 4, 2015 and into the MindBody Center August 3, 2017, changing the name to Statesboro Zen sangha in 2023. Meditation events are led by member Laura Milner, a lay minister at Anattasati Magga sanga in Asheville, NC, and guide for Statesboro Zen since 2014. Statesboro Zen welcomes newcomers in person or online via the group's Zoom room every Friday at 9:00 a.m. Contact Laura at firstname.lastname@example.org for the link. Yoga classes also began in August 2015. Classes are led by member and Iyengar Certified Instructor Inge Spencer, long-time UU friend, Fred Richter, and others. Call or text Inge at 912-596-3322 for more information.
Our members, led especially by gardener extraordinaire Cynthia Frost, have been responsible for our wonderful outdoor property. Our playground, plants, and lawn provide a lovely setting for many activities.
The Fellowship holds Sunday services throughout the year, with services led by our minister, Rev. Jane Page, UU seminarian Clint Tawes, lay leaders, and guests. The music is provided by the Fellowship Singers, led by Mortimer MacArthur. We also provide weekly religious education for children and youth, and a variety of religious education programs for adults. In 2023, we began a new tradition of Fellowship Circles.
UUFS supports social justice activities in the community such as helping to fund and construct a Habitat for Humanity house, using monthly “Giving Away the Plate” collections to provide financial support for worthy local organizations, sharing our presence at demonstrations for peace and justice, marching annually in the M. L. King, Jr. parade, joining with our partners at Magnolia Missionary Baptist Church in serving meals once a month at Rebecca’s Café, and providing meeting space for community groups.
Annual traditions include an Ingathering service in August featuring a blessing of children and our annual water communion, the children’s trick-or-treating for contributions to UNICEF, a service to bless animals, the UU Service Committee’s Guest at Your Table program, the winter solstice celebration/holiday potluck, the local M. L. King, Jr. parade, the children’s Easter egg hunt, and the Summer picnic. In addition, the Fellowship publishes weekly email blasts about upcoming events, a monthly newsletter, and a membership directory. We maintain a website (with access to Rev. Page’s sermons, monthly newsletters, Fellowship calendar, and other information), a Facebook page, and a listserv for posting announcements to members and friends.
In 2025, the fellowship will celebrate our 40th Anniversary! Our hope is to continue to serve this region of southeast Georgia and serve as a beacon of light, hope, and love.