For Newcomers

Newcomers - Welcome!

Thank you for your interest in our spiritual community.

Our congregation offers a community that will nurture your religious and personal growth while respecting your right to freedom of individual beliefs. We are a welcoming congregation, which means that our church affirms and promotes the inherent dignity of every person. We invite, welcome and celebrate people of all ages, races, sexual orientation, levels of education and economic status.

People return to our church because of the spiritual and intellectual stimulation they experience here as well as the friendly people they meet. If these strengths resonate with you, we encourage you to visit one of our services or programs. You are invited to stay afterwards to get to know us better while enjoying a coffee or tea. However you choose to interact, you will always feel welcome here at Don Heights. Please take time to explore our website for information about who we are and what we do.

If you are new to Unitarianism, the Canadian Unitarian Council has a very good explanation of what it means to be a Unitarian on their website.

Who We Are

Don Heights is a resilient, welcoming community of diverse individuals, promoting love, reason and freedom of religion, fostering life long spiritual growth and acting for social justice and the environment.

We are a religious community embracing a common faith expressed by our commitment to the Unitarian/Universalist Principles and Purposes.



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, lighting candles 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 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 may be presented by members of the congregation, visiting ministers and speakers from the community, who discourse on a variety of topics of an intellectual, spiritual or topical nature.


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.


Will I be welcome if I’m gay or lesbian?

Yes, some of our members are gay or lesbian. In 2006 we officially became a Welcoming Congregation to people of all sexual orientations: gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans-gender.


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, our building and washrooms are handicapped accessible. All elements of the Sunday service and our programs can be enjoyed while remaining seated.


What We Believe

As Unitarian Universalists we are guided to live by our seven Principles. We covenant to affirm and promote:

  • The inherent worth and dignity of every person.
  • Justice, equity and compassion in human relations.
  • Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations.
  • A free and responsible search for truth and meaning.
  • The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large.
  • The goal of world community with peace, liberty and justice for all.
  • Respect for the inter-dependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

Grateful for the religious pluralism which enriches and ennobles our faith, we are inspired to deepen our understanding and expand our vision.

The living tradition we share draws from many sources:

  • Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of spirit and an openness to the forces which create and uphold life.
  • Words and deeds of prophetic women and men which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion and the transcending power of love.
  • Wisdom from the world’s religions which inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life.
  • Jewish and Christian teachings which call us to respond to God’s love by loving our neighbours as ourselves.
  • Humanist teachings which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science, and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit.
  • Spiritual teaching of Earth-centered traditions which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with rhythms of nature.



Don Heights' Mission Statement

Through open dialogue and exchange of ideas, Don Heights creates a safe, supportive religious community which celebrates and nurtures individuals on their diverse journeys. We respect the interdependence of all existence and demonstrate our Unitarian principles in the wider community by working for peace, justice and equality for all.



We would appreciate hearing from you as to how you learned about our website. Also, please let us know if you have any comments regarding the website itself - was it easy to negotiate, did it answer all of your questions, are there any other questions you may have?

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