Visiting / Membership
What should I wear?
You are welcome to wear whatever makes you comfortable. Most of our members dress in casual attire. Greeters will be glad to help make your visit comfortable and enjoyable. You will notice they will be wearing name tags and find that they are especially prepared to answer any questions you may have. If you wish, you may fill out a name tag and sign our guest book to receive upcoming newsletters.
Because some of our members are sensitive/allergic to chemical scents, the use of perfumes and colognes is discouraged. Thank you for your consideration.
What happens during the worship service?
Our service is different each week but a typical Sunday service consists of: welcome, announcements, chalice lighting, expressions of joys and concerns, readings, hymns and other music, a brief silent meditation, a sermon or talk. Following the talk, the minister or speaker will invite comments and questions from the congregation to facilitate a dialogue. After the service, people socialize over coffee and other refreshments.
What kinds of people attend Don Heights?
You’ll find a wide variety of people at Don Heights, including those with Jewish, Buddhist, Christian, Agnostic, Atheist, Humanist or Pagan backgrounds. Many members have attended other churches but were not able to accept the beliefs presented. Some have never before been part of a spiritual community.
Acceptance is very important to our membership, we learn from each other and realize that none of us know all the answers.
What are the services like?
Our services explore and challenge timely topics – whether it is social action, peace, personal growth, freedom, justice or any of the deep questions in life. With an open mind, we present meaningful, topical subjects. Our services are presented by visiting ministers, speakers from the community and members of the congregation. Topics are wildly different from one service to another on intellectual, spiritual or topical subjects.
What if I’m part of an interfaith family?
Many Don Heights families embrace more than one religion and specifically choose our church because we honour and celebrate many religious traditions. This means each partner or other family member can continue to practice some elements of his/her faith, while sharing in a common faith with other family members. We also hold a monthly Interfaith group meeting and participate in other interfaith activities.
Will I be welcome if I’m gay or lesbian or transgender?
Yes, some of our members are gay or lesbian. In 2006 we officially became a Welcoming Congregation. The program was developed for Unitarian Universalist congregations wanting to become more inclusive of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ) people. Welcoming Congregations are those which have completed a Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) program and have passed a congregational vote to affirm that they welcome the membership and active participation of the LGBTQ community.
What about if I’m agnostic or atheist?
Yes, some of our members are agnostics or atheists, and there are others who do believe in God. We provide a safe place to explore and grow spiritually, wherever they start from and wherever they journey.
What holidays and ceremonies are celebrated?
We celebrate many of the great religious holidays in some way that speaks to the UU faith, including Easter, Summer and Winter Solstices, and Christmas. In addition, we have our own annual traditions, such as Flower Sunday in early June and an Ingathering water service in early September.
Is your church accessible to people in wheelchairs?
Yes, we are located on the ground floor. Our building and washrooms are handicapped accessible. All elements of the Sunday service and our programs can be enjoyed while remaining seated.
How much does it costs to be a member?
There is no set cost. Members make responsible financial contributions according to their means. Other ways of contributing are being active with a committee, or helping out (for example, placing dishes in the dishwasher) after a service. You do what you can when you can but always within your means and abilities. We welcome all kinds of people with different talents.
What if I want to become a member?
Glad you asked! After visiting us and becoming aware this is a community that fits your needs and lifestyle, you can speak to a Membership Committee member who will guide you through the six steps to becoming a member.
Six Steps to Membership in Don Heights Unitarian Congregation
- After attending several of our Sunday services, you will be invited to become a member during which you would discuss what drew you to Don Heights Unitarian Congregation and how you see yourself contributing to the congregation.
- You will be invited to attend a short workshop on the principles of Unitarianism and the meaning of membership.
- You will be asked to fill out an application form.
- The Board will approve you as a member.
- You will sign the Membership Book.
- You will be officially welcomed at a Sunday Service.