The Unitarian Universalists of the Blue Ridge (UUBRidge), a liberally religious congregation that began two years ago in the town of Washington, celebrated its Charter Sunday Nov. 21 at the Link community center in Sperryville. Pending a few formalities, the congregation now joins the larger Unitarian Universalist community by joining the Unitarian Universalist Association.
More than 40 individuals signed the UUBRidge membership book, signifying their formal commitment to the congregation, which has attracted members and friends from Rappahannock, Culpeper, Fauquier, Madison and other nearby counties. The newly chartered congregation elected a board of directors and approved a set of bylaws.
In a sermon titled “Our Ultimate Commitment,” the Rev. Evan Keely, UUBRidge consulting minister, described the congregation’s members as “seekers, driven by a hunger to explore truth and beauty and goodness . . . UUBRidge is not merely a refugee camp for the theologically displaced. It is a home, a place to run to with joy and gratitude and conviction, because this congregation stands for something that is life-affirming and good.”
Witnessing the ceremony were representatives of established Unitarian Universalist congregations in Fairfax County, Stephens City and Manassas, which had provided financial support and encouragement to the emerging congregation in the Blue Ridge. Rev. Richard Speck, Joseph Priestley District executive for the Unitarian Universalist Association, delivered the denomination’s “charge” to the new congregation.