A Message from Reverend O’Neall
You are always welcome at the Unitarian Universalist Association of Schenectady. We welcome people of all ages, races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, gender identities and physical abilities, celebrating freedom, tolerance and reason in religious community.
Joining us for worship? Learn about what to expect in our thought-provoking and soulful worship services.
Interested in our programs for children and youth? Explore our transformative workshops and groups, nursery through high school.
As you explore our website and learn about our location, feel free to contact us with your questions. We look forward to meeting you and helping you find what you need.
With faith, hope, and love,
Rev. Margret O’Neall
Where is UUSS?
At 1221 Wendell Avenue in Schenectady … directions and a map may be found from the menu at the top this page.
We are a liberal religious community espousing freedom of theological belief, high ethical standards, and respect for the interdependence of all living things. People who are in sympathy with these ideas will likely feel at home here. Read about our shared faith in more detail here.
Are there people in the congregation who hold diverse beliefs?
Yes. Unitarian Universalists trust that individuals are capable of developing their own theology on the basis of their own life experience, diligent questioning, and participating in discussion and study with others in community. There is no set creed that one must adopt to become a Unitarian Universalist. Historically, Unitarian Universalism developed within the Christian tradition, but it has long since become more inclusive. We recognize timeless wisdom from all the world’s religions and philosophies, as well as that of thoughtful people of our own time.
What goes on during the Sunday service?
Our minister leads at least three services a month. The other services are led by members of the congregation or by visiting speakers. While the format of the service remains fairly constant, the content varies considerably. Because of our expansive outlook on religion, we do not restrict our sources of liturgy or music to any one sacred book or calendar. On most Sundays, the children go directly to their Religious Education programs, and one Sunday a month the younger grades have a Children’s Chapel as part of their Religious Education program. About once a month everyone is in the Great Hall for the entire service, as we program special worship for all ages, with stories, music and messages that are engaging and inspiring for all. Upcoming services are described here, as well as publicized in our weekly e-mail Circuits.
Is there childcare/Sunday school during church?
Children’s Religious Education (RE) classes are held during our regular adult service (10:30 am each Sunday, from September through May, and then we offer Summer RE in July and August.) Childcare for children too young to participate in the RE program is available. Read more about the UUSS Religious Education program here.
If my child doesn’t separate well, can my child stay with me during the service?
Your child is always welcome to stay with you during the worship service. If your child becomes restless, we invite you into the Fireplace Room where there are comfortable chairs and the service may be heard over the public address system. Our Director of Lifespan Religious Education, Julie Rigano, can help find ways to make both you and your child comfortable; please talk with her if you have any concerns.
What should my children and I wear to this church?
We are an informal group of people. Wear what feels comfortable to you.
Are there music programs my children or I can participate in?
We have a superb music program, with a junior choir, society choir, and many other performing arts opportunities.
Are there programs especially for women or men?
Yes: both the Women’s Alliance (daytime) and Evening Branch of the Women’s Alliance run several excellent series of regular events. There are also two Men’s Groups, one that meets for lunch monthly, and another with evening discussion sessions.
What other programs are there?
Programs and activities reflect the interests and energies of the members of the congregation. From social action to social gatherings, there is always something interesting happening, and new initiatives are encouraged.
Are there people of color in the congregation?
Yes: a minority of our members belong to varied racial heritages. We are delighted to welcome people of all races.
Are there bisexual, gay, lesbian, and transgender people in the congregation?
Yes: whoever you are, whomever you love, we welcome you. We have been an actively Welcoming Congregation for over 10 years.
Is the church accessible for differently abled people?
Yes, the entire main church building is wheelchair accessible (the Great Hall only at the top seating row), hearing assistance is available, wheelchair-accessible rest rooms are available, and people are very helpful.