About the Fellowship
Celebrating 60 years in 2014!
The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Athens, or UUFA, was founded in 1954 by ten families seeking a liberal religious presence in Athens. Originally small gatherings were held in members’ homes to hear interesting speakers. From the beginning, we have been known for our strong commitment to social justice and human rights. In the 1960s, members of our Fellowship led the University of Georgia faculty in supporting campus desegregation. Later, other members helped to create the Clarke Community Federal Credit Union to serve the needs of lower income people.
Today, UUFA is a vital community of over 300, with a minister, choir and religious education program for both children and adults. We are a growing congregation, grateful for the beauty and functionality of our new building, dedicated in 1993.
Along with more than 1,000 other member UU congregations in the United States and Canada, our Fellowship benefits from the leadership and support of the Unitarian Universalist Association.
How UUFA Began
The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Athens (UUFA) began as an informal gathering of men and women living in Athens during the 1950s who “conceived religion as a normal human experience, believ[ing] that rational discussion of contemporary life”1 would offer them a forum for discussing issues of the time. According to former UUFA historian Horace Montgomery, the eight or ten families, who came from several previous religious traditions, came together in 1954 to form the Universalist Unitarian Community of Athens (UUCA), which would eventually become the Athens Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. Since the Community Church (CC) did not have a home, members met in many different locations throughout the city. When attendance grew to about 25, religious education for children began. In 1965, with the purchase of the Lumpkin House, the CC was incorporated and came to be known as the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Athens (UUFA). Programs were lay led.
1. from “In Pursuit of the American Birthright: A Quarter-Century of Unitarian-Universalist Involvement in Athens, 1954-1985,” by Horace Montgomery
Our Fellowship also has a rich tradition of social events, from Wednesday potlucks and circle suppers to Nifty-Gifty (a children’s holiday gift-making workshop). Committees and activities are as diverse as our membership because they are led and organized by the members. In 1995, we began our paraministerial CARE RING program to support and strengthen the members of our community. Additionally, we honor the gifts of our lay members by having at least one lay-led service each month. We invite you to join us in the pursuit of your religious, spiritual, and intellectual interests.
With its historical roots in the Jewish and Christian traditions, Unitarian Universalism is a liberal religion — that is, a religion that keeps an open mind to the religious questions people have struggled with in all times and places. We believe that personal experience, conscience and reason should be the final authorities in religion, and that in the end religious authority lies not in a book or person or institution, but in ourselves. We are a “non-creedal” religion: we do not ask anyone to subscribe to a creed.