Welcome to the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Bennington!
I hope you will find warmth and acceptance in this congregation, and the growth in yourself you might be seeking. People of this congregation treasure the friendships they have made, the non-dogmatic Sunday services, and religious exploration across the lifespan. We invite you to join us on the pathway of discovery—discovery about what matters most to you, and how to make a difference in the world.
What happens on Sundays?
We will greet you when you arrive, and do all we can to make your visit friendly and comfortable. You will notice the warm feeling of the meetinghouse and the art works on display. Seating is in moveable chairs instead of fixed pews. During the service, people have an opportunity to speak from the heart about personal celebrations or sorrows. After the sermon or presentation, the congregation is invited to respond with their own thoughts. Following the service there are refreshments and conversation. Someone from Membership is expected to engage you in conversation.
Sunday services generally follow a similar pattern, but the content varies from week to week, and centers on a particular theme. Several fine musicians in the congregation contribute their gifts to engage the spirit, and the choir sings regularly.
We offer Religious Education for children and nursery care in rooms adjacent to the meeting space. Dress is casual. A voluntary offering is collected during the service, half of which is donated to local organizations that help people.
What else can I expect?
There is no dominant religious belief in Unitarian Universalism and no creed. We welcome people of all faith traditions and none. Some people are lifelong Unitarian Universalists. Some have had previous religious affiliations, while others have had little or no experience in a congregation. Some people are comfortable with traditional religious language. A slight majority have a more humanist orientation. Some of us find meaning in earth-based spirituality and practices.
Average attendance is between 45 and 65 adults. The age range is from 20s-90s. The congregation has about 85 adults, a few of whom are homebound. There are as many singles as there are couples. There are 13 children from infant to thirteen years-old.
One can be a visitor and friend of the church for as long as one wants without pressure to join. Membership implies a commitment to the ideals and financial support of the church, and usually occurs following an orientation class.
This congregation has a long and strong tradition of lay leadership. There is no hierarchy. The congregation makes all its own decisions and is completely self-supporting. The Fellowship are members of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations.
No matter who you are, how you are, whom you love, or what you think, if you visit meetinghouse and its dedicated and friendly group of people, you will be welcome. Please contact us if you have additional questions.
Rev. Lucy Ijams
Rev. Lucy Ijams
After many years of visiting Vermont to ski or see a friend, it is a joy to live here! I grew up on Long Island, then moved to Maine after college.
The Roman Catholic Church was my childhood tradition, but it was not a good fit. After several teenage and young adult years not going to church, I found a religious home at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Brunswick, Maine. A few years later, feeling called to the ministry, I studied at Andover Newton Theological School and graduated with a Master of Divinity degree in 1994.
I was ordained by the Brunswick church in 1996, and soon thereafter began my first settled ministry with the Unitarian Universalist (UU) Church in Meriden, CT. Fourteen years later, the UU Church of Utica, NY hired me as Consulting Minister. On September 2013, I began my half-time service as consulting minister of the UU Fellowship in Bennington.
My adopted cats, Kitty and Tiger, keep me company in my apartment a few blocks from the UUFB meetinghouse. I love to dance, sing, go to the movies, watch TV, play word games, and spend time on the coast of Maine.
Welcome, Rev. Lucy!