This website will give you a good sense of our Hinsdale congregation and our larger liberal religious tradition. However, you may still have some questions. Feel free to give us a telephone call or an email about your interests. You may even want to arrange a visit with our Director of Operations to see our church home or learn about all the opportunities we offer from our Director of Programs. We offer stimulating Sunday services for adults and various Religious Education activities for our children and youth. You and your family are always welcome. We are pleased you’ve found us on the internet and hope that this is just the beginning of your association with us.
The Unitarian Church of Hinsdale is located only blocks from downtown Hinsdale. Please see the map below for detailed
directions on where we are and click to get directions from your location.
With roots in the Judeo-Christian tradition, our denomination was formed in 1961 with the merging of the Unitarian and Universalist faiths. Both Unitarianism and Universalism have vibrant histories, with each encouraging freedom of belief, an expectation of social consciousness, and liberal religious values. While our religion encourages members to develop their own religious belief system, we look to the Seven Principles of Unitarian Universalism to guide us not only in how we worship, but in how we participate in our lives.
As a result, Unitarian Universalists consistently raise their voices for social justice, human rights, and environmental care. We typically relish asking questions, exploring potential, and appreciating both the beautiful and intellectual aspects of humanity and nature.
For more information on Unitarian Universalism, we encourage you to consult the following websites: The Unitarian Universalist Association (http://www.uua.org), Famous Unitarian Universalists (http://www.famousuus.com) , ReligiousTolerance.org (http://www.religioustolerance.org/u-u.htm), 100 Questions That Non-Members Ask About Unitarian Universalism (http://www.uunashua.org/100quest.shtml)
The Unitarian Church of Hinsdale was founded in 1887 by William Channing Gannett, a blueblood Bostonian who counted himself among the “Unity Men.” The Unity Men were intellectual renegade radicals of the west who asserted that religious authority was not to be found only in the Bible but rather in intuitive, direct experience of God. This kind of ethical theism allowed for unlimited spiritual freedom. The church was originally founded as a mission church for these “unity men,” and it was initially named Unity Church.
In the late 1800′s, Unitarians were divided between the Christian-leaning Unitarians based in New England and their more “theist” counterparts, the transcendentalists led by Ralph Waldo Emerson. Gannett fell on the theist side of this split, but was committed to encouraging unity within the denomination. He wrote a document that became quite influential called “Things Commonly Agreed Among Us,” in which he affirmed Christian roots but acknowledged other sources of inspiration and truth beyond the Judeo-Christian tradition. He also wrote a hymn that was sung at the dedication of the church and remains the congregation’s motto today, entitled Here Be No Man a Stranger. The idea was that this was a church that excluded no one and emphasized commonalities rather than differences.
The church also has a strong history and ethic of openness to world religions. When the Parliament of World Religions came to Chicago in 1893, religious leaders from around the world came and spoke from the UCH pulpit. And in 1952, Sunder Joshi, an Indian Christian, lectured on world religions at the University of Chicago and at UCH. The congregation liked him so much, they hired him to be their minister, despite the fact that he was not ordained, and he served for seventeen years. He was well-loved and there is a hall named after him adorned with fabulous paintings representing seven of the world’s religions.
Becoming a Member
Membership in the Unitarian Church of Hinsdale is a voluntary commitment. There is no test of faith, no secret words, no anointing with oil. The only formal requirement of membership is the signing of our membership book. But of course, membership carries with it the pledge to support the church and our community. All members are expected to contribute financially and with their time and talents.
To welcome new members and to incorporate them into our community, we offer “New UU” courses that tell the Unitarian Universalist story, going back hundreds of years; that introduce new members to each other and to church leaders; and that encourage the study of each member’s own faith journey.
Anyone who visits UCH is welcome as a guest. Come back as a visitor and a friend and enjoy the fellowship and enlightenment of our services. Get a nametag and a newsletter, learn about our denomination, and find out about our social, caring, and environmental programs. Ask anyone about how to get more involved and, maybe, about joining our congregation.
If you are interested in using our facilities for a wedding, child dedication, memorial service, special gathering, recital, or on-going program, please peruse our Events Page, then contact the church office at 630-323-2885, ext. 101, or email@example.com.