First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia ~ Welcome home!

Summer Services

Starting Sunday, June 23, Sunday services will be held at 10:00 AM in our air-conditioned Parish Room. See you there!

June 23. Cultivating Curiosity (Deborah Hartranft)

In what areas of your life are you “certain" or "convicted”? Sometimes, our certainties give us strength, but they can also hold us back. Are there ways to use curiosity to challenge those certainties? What gifts come with curiosity? What challenges arise when our convictions are opened up?

June 30. The Furness Family Out of the Box (Dane Wells and Richard Frey)
Join us for an exploration of the spiritual and architectural works of the Furness family, beginning with the Rev. Dr. William Henry Furness, this congregation's abolitionist first minister, and continuing on to explore the lasting impact of his wife, Annis P. Jenks, and their four children, including Frank Furness, the architect of our church buildings. Stay after the service for a tour of our building's unique Furness design!

July 7. Religious Resistance in the Spirit of 1776 (Phyllis Belk and Eric Orts)
 Our Declaration of Independence proclaims that “whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of [our inalienable rights including Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit or Happiness], it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles.” In this patriotic spirit, how are we called by our religious principles to resist ongoing violations of basic rights by the government and other powers in our country?

July 14. The Holiness of Caring for the Self (Kitty Carbrey)

When we consider our first Unitarian Universalist principle, "the inherent worth and dignity of every person," we often forget to remember our own worth and dignity as we seek to affirm each other. Join us as we break apart the idea that self-care is selfishness, and explore together how we can break this cycle, learning to care for ourselves as we ultimately care for one another.

July 21. The Power of Sharing Your STORY (Rev. Zemoria Brandon)
We all have a story to tell. Each story is a unique representation of our personal growth through life’s challenges and lessons learned. What we may not realize is how the power of sharing our stories can reveal, heal, and transform us, as well as others. Join us for a time of story-telling through uplifting music, sacred dance, spoken word and poetry.

July 28. A Growth Mindset: How We Can Learn to Our Full Potential (Stephen Oliver, Ed.D.)

Join us us as we explore moving from a "fixed mindset" (where we are concerned with how we will be judged), to a "growth mindset" (where we are concerned with improving personal qualities to be open to change). Together we will move towards fulfilling our potential!

August 4. The Multiverse and Chaos: A Scientific Spiritual Tool (Amelia Wisniewski-Barker)

How can we use multiverse and chaos theory to deepen our spiritual lives? Each of us and our choices drive the direction of the universe; every choice we make is significant, every decision can change the course of life. On the other hand, we are ultimately insignificant at the cosmic scale; no choice any of us can make will make or break the way existence unfolds. This service will explore how holding those two ideas simultaneously can offer us powerful spiritual tools for times of struggle and hardship.

August 11. Questions of Faith (Rev. Abbey Tennis)

Rev. Abbey returns for a spontaneous, unscripted service to answer your questions on matters of spirituality and social justice. If you’d like to submit a question, please send it by Wednesday, August 7, to with “Questions of Faith” in the subject line. There will be a chance to ask questions during the service as well!

August 18. Are People Good? (Phaedra Tinder)

How do we square a desire to see the best in others with the harms we know people are capable of? What does "being a good person" even mean? This week we consider this tension and try to imagine what living with it might look like in practice.

August 25. Blessing of the Animals (Rev. Abbey Tennis)

Bring your (well-behaved and/or crated) pets to receive a blessing in this intergenerational service celebrating our relationships to the non-human community of life. Pictures of shy or departed pets, stuffed animals, or other symbolic animals are invited to receive a blessing too!

September 1. Improv as Spiritual Practice: Making It up as We Go (David O'Connor)

The rules that govern good improv play are worth exploring as a way to live in community with others. Let's play together and see what sticks!


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