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Welcome to the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Columbia


The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Columbia calls on Governor Nikki Haley and the state legislature to act with love and courage to welcome Syrian refugees for resettlement in South Carolina.  These families fled their homes to escape the terror of the Bashar al Assad regime and ISIL.  Even after extensive screening of 18 months to two years before being allowed to come here, they will face more persecution and suffering if  South Carolina turns its back on them and their plight.  It is unconscionable, immoral, and un-American.  Immigrants built this country and continue to add incredible richness and diversity to the American tapestry.

We must not face terrorism with fear; love is the only thing that we know can truly conquer hate.  We call on our elected officials to lead on the side of love for refugees.

-- From our social action committee and ratified by our board of directors.

Our Services and Activities

Please join us on Sunday mornings for services at 11 a.m. A typical service at the UUCC would include hymns, readings, choir, children's stories, communal sharing of joys and concerns, and a sermon.
 Adults interested in discussing current issues or on a wider range of other topics are invited to join our Forum at 9:30 a.m. in the library.

During most services, our children will start in the sanctuary and leave together for their Religious Education classes. Occasionally children stay in the sanctuary during one of our multi-generational services. Child care is available for all infants and toddlers. 

Our interim minister is the Rev. Jennie Barrington. Rev. Barrington's sermons stretch our intellect and touch our hearts. Her worship services are enhanced by UU History, scholarly research, and classic poetry and contemporary literature. A third-generation Unitarian Universalist, Rev. Barrington's theology is influenced by Protestantism, Humanism, and Process Theology. Once a month, we have guest speakers in the pulpit. We encourage you to attend several worship services, as we all learn from the best of world religions and philosophies.
Besides our Sunday services, we offer a wide variety of 
groups and activities. A few of them are; a humanist group, a coffeehouse that features nationally touring musicians, several book clubs, a Sunday choir, a women's choir, a children's choir, and September Set for seniors. We have an active Social Action group with many service opportunities. The congregation has taken part in the UUA Welcoming Congregation Program to become more inclusive towards bisexual, gay, lesbian, and/or transgender people.

Best Church:
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

"A church where skepticism is welcome and adherence to dogma is suspect? A church where all religions are invited but none are beyond introspection? A church that regularly presents nationally touring singer-songwriters? A church where half the congregation might have been at Hunter-Gatherer the night before? Now that’s a church we can support." — Dan Cook, Free Times



Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Columbia
 2701 Heyward Street, Columbia, SC  29205

Office Hours
Monday-Friday 9:15 a.m. - 1:45 p.m.
(803) 799-0845

Committee Night:  1st Wed. of each month at 6PM
Board Meetings:  3rd Wed. of each month at 6:30PM

Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Columbia

A Message from our Interim Minister, Rev. Jennie Barrington

Minister’s Meditation

December 20, 2015

The Rev. Jennie Barrington, Interim Minister

“Practice giving things away, not just things you don't care about, but things you do like. Remember, it is not the size of a gift, it is its quality and the amount of mental attachment you overcome that count. So don't bankrupt yourself on a momentary positive impulse, only to regret it later. Give thought to giving. Give small things, carefully, and observe the mental processes going along with the act of releasing the little thing you liked. (53)” (From, The Tibetan Book of the Dead, as referenced by Robert A.F. Thurman and Huston Smith.)

Dear Members and Friends,

Something about the changeover of the calendar year evokes both sadness and gratitude, tenderly mixed together in images of losses I regret, fortuitous opportunities I had not foreseen, and hopes for the coming year that I hope against hope, even though it’s unclear how they might materialize. The turning of the calendar draws our attention to the fact that the past year contained some things we feel were taken from us, and some gifts we received due to someone else’s thoughtfulness. Often the reasons for those losses and gifts don’t make sense. As human beings, we try to make meaning out of the interactions and events of our lives. Indeed, that’s one of the main things human beings have always needed religion for. And during the last few days of the year, we try even harder to make sense of where we’ve been in our lives thus far, and where we’re going next. Even so, much is simply a mystery, and some things will remain a mystery, for the rest of our lives. That religious impulse therefore calls us to accept the changes of our days and years, let go of needing to find patterns and meanings in all of those changes, trust that caring companions will help us through the losses, and have faith that there is a higher wisdom and a greater love that holds all the days of our lives, and holds us in loving kindness, too.

Giving gifts with thoughtfulness and receiving gifts graciously are two things I can always use more practice at. One way to get better at those things is to let go of outcomes and expectations. Before giving a gift, I often worry terribly whether the person has one of those already, whether they’ll dislike it, or whether postal carriers will even get it to them successfully. And often when a gift is given to me, I question whether I’m worthy of it at all. Yet that is the very definition of grace: a gift you somehow did not even think you deserved. The most generous gifts, therefore, are those that are given without expecting anything in return. They are given completely; integral to the act of giving is a letting go.

The greatest loss I experienced this year was the disastrous flooding in our city in early October. All residence of Columbia lost some things, from their belonging or their very homes, to wages, safe passage along familiar roads or bridges, and time with family or friends that we won’t get back now. At the same time, the greatest gift I received this year was the opportunity to assist people who suffered losses due to the floods. Our congregation received messages of sympathy, encouragement, and support from Unitarian Universalists all over the United States. It was humbling, moving, and inspiring to receive those wishes and prayers. When people heard about our hardship, they responded with spontaneous generosity. We received money from many Unitarian Universalist, so your board and staff and I created a “Flood Fund.” It has been an honor to administer that fund. I have received prayers, well-wishes, and donations, and I have given away prayers, well-wishes, and donations. The UU congregations and individuals who sent us money are from:

Blacksburg, Virginia

Radford, Virginia

Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina

West Melbourne, Florida

Clemson, South Carolina

Waynesboro, Georgia

Glen Allen, Virginia

North Chesterfield, Virginia

Aiken, South Carolina

Greenville, South Carolina, and

Mountain Home, Arkansas

I imagine that some of these kind and generous people have, through their lives or their loved-ones’ lives, experienced a flood, or other weather disaster, that hit them unexpectedly, and they empathized with us, here. We’ll never know exactly what moved them to help us. I’m just immeasurably grateful and heartened that they did. The amount of the donations is not what matters; I thanked them all. They did something they did not have to do. In so doing, they were part of creating a higher wisdom and a greater good.

During this interim period, we are looking at and articulating our congregation’s unique identity, mission, and purpose, in this distinct place, in these challenging and inspiring times. We are here to help each other be her or his fullest best self, and to help UUCC be its fullest best self. Maybe one essential purpose of our congregation is to help us, in all our relationships, to say, “Please,” “Thank you,” and “You’re Welcome,” more frequently, unreservedly, and with grace.

Faithfully, Your Interim Minister,

Rev. Jennie

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Tragedy in Charleston

The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Columbia stands in solidarity with Emanuel AME and grieves with the Charleston community at this time of deep suffering.