Manatee Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
322 15th St W, Bradenton, FL 34205
We are a friendly beacon for religious freedom, supporting lifelong spiritual growth and working for social justice with compassion and love. Join us on a Sunday morning and you will be treated to a worship service that we hope will inspire you, touch your heart and make you want to return to learn more about us. We are a congregation that affirms and welcomes people of all faiths, races, genders and sexual orientations. We strive to be a caring community where children and adults can safely learn and grow in mind, spirit and desire to serve.
We come from many different faith traditions and follow different paths, but all embrace reason and truth. What binds us together is our respect for each other, our willingness to listen, our commitment to the principles of Unitarian Universalism, and the promises we make to create, maintain and contribute to our community together. We worship, we teach our children, we learn from them and each other, and sponsor social justice programs and events, locally and globally. We also have fun! You are invited to join us for a Sunday service or any other event on our calendar.
WE LIGHT THE FIRE
We light the fire of a new idea.
It is the light of our coming together
To share our common experience
And to know and experience new life.
The picture above is of our reredos, our “alterpiece” at the front of our meeting room. It was painted by member Patience Morrisey many years ago. She created the flame as a background for our chalice, and, with others in our Women’s Alliance, selected the prose that radiates from the flame, representing wisdom from all peoples, all religions over the years. There are 28 quotes going clock-wise around the center flame; here’s a sampling:
——“What is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Edmund Burke
——“I follow no creed. My mind is my church.” Thomas Paine
——“Love thy neighbor.” Jesus
——“To love is to approach each other center to center.” Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
——“The moon hangs like a yellow lantern in the trees that lie like lace against the sky. Ah! Still the night. Ah! Hush the breeze. Surely God is nigh.” Walter Kerr.
Unitarians consider the humanity of all peoples and therefore their religions are of signicance to us. The six symbols flanking the reredos represent broad groupings.
- The flaming lamp is for enlightenment of Unitarian Universalists. The double circle suggests our attitude of inclusiveness.
- The cross represents the sacrifice of Christianity.
- The Jewish star is the sign of that questioning, vigorous religion.
- The crescent moon and star for Islam.
- The animal head (with a soul inside) is an Indian totem symbolizing the respect of all native peoples for natural forces.
- Einstein’s equation for energy is a symbol for our contemporaries who feel that science is enough to think about.