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The Unitarian Universalist Church

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The Unitarian Universalist Church of Worcester has a goodly heritage beginning with the activities of the pioneers, whose strong convictions led them to brave the hostility of their fiercely Calvinistic neighbors and adhere to the Universalist faith.

In 1834, at the time of the first Universalist preaching, Worcester was a town of about 7,500 people served by seven established churches with large and flourishing congregations: Old South Congregational, Second Parish (later Unitarian), First Baptist, Central Congregational, Wesley Methodist, Christ Church (Catholic - later St. John's), and Union Congregational. All Saints Episcopal Church was incorporated and holding services but had no building. Quite in contrast to the doctrines of these conservative churches was the preaching in Worcester by the Rev. Dr. Lucius Paige of Cambridgeport and Hardwick. He preached in the town hall on weekday evenings on Jan. 27, Feb. 5, April 14, and Sept. 15, 1834, to a gathering of about 200, mostly men. Few women dared to be seen in such an unpopular place. In fact, by many, Universalism was believed to be the open door to wickedness and crime.

Universalism was firmly established in Massachusetts by that time, and churches in Milford, Hardwick, Oxford (where Hosea Ballou was ordained in 1794 in the oldest Universalist Church building in America), and Charlton especially, lent financial aid and moral support to the small Worcester group. The Unitarian Universalist Church of Worcester, in consonance with the principles of the UUA seeks to:

  • foster personal growth and joy in a warm, diverse community;

  • provide an open, respectful forum and voice for intellectual, social justice and ethical concerns;

  • ritually mark important events in people's lives.

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