Dorothea Dix UU Community | Bordentown NJ

Welcome to the Dorothea Dix UU Community

Welcome to the Dorothea Dix Unitarian Universalist Community

Welcome SignWe join together, in the liberal tradition of Unitarian Universalism, to celebrate and encourage one another in the free search for individual belief. Our collective cultural and religious diversity unites and sustains us as we travel the path on our individual spiritual journey. Women, men, and children; persons of any color, culture, age, ability, economic status, or sexual orientation; skeptics and those pursuing diverse religious paths – all are welcome to join us in this celebration.

Who Are We?

We are a small congregation with dreams of growing. We are old and we are young. We come from many different faith traditions and walks in life. Our faith is based on the Seven Principles of Unitarian Universalism and grounded in reason and conscience and the value of every individual. We share a strong commitment to serve our community through social action and service. We are located in Bordentown, NJ , which is in Northern Burlington County, and we also draw from the City of Trenton as well as various nearby suburban and rural areas. A shared spirit of community binds us together in fellowship and faith. We invite you to visit, ask questions, share ideas, and grow with us.

Our Community

We provide or participate in many activities, such as book discussions, small spirituality discussion groups, and numerous social action tasks. We have dinner discussion groups throughout the year, and a theme dinner once a year. Over the summer our members host picnics. Once a month, DDUUC prepares and delivers meals to the homeless housed in two local motels. At Christmas, we prepare approximately 20 food baskets to provide Christmas dinners to needy families. Many of our members participate in the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (TASK) by preparing meals and tutoring. We always strive to live up to the Seven Principles of our denomination.

 

Past, Present, Future

In the beginning we were thirteen, former members of the Washington Crossing Unitarian Universalist Church, sitting around a dining room table discussing what direction, if any, to take. We needed a religious home;  had not found what we wanted when we visited the already existing UU churches in the area. It was decided that we form our own religious community.

On January 31st 1994 we held our first service at the Old Heidelberg Restaurant in Hamilton Township. They made the coffee. We held services in the back room. Religious Education was in the restaurant proper or the parking lot. From the beginning we held services every Sunday, except during the summer. Services were lay-lead and got better and better over time. We were off and running. We had our Charter Service on Easter Sunday that year at the Dorothea Dix Chapel, on the grounds of Trenton Psychiatric Hospital.

We soon moved to the Dwier Center in Groveville, NJ, where we stayed for a few years. Members from the Universalist Fellowship of Burlington County visited with us for a year and then joined with us in September 2002. eight members from the Burlington Fellowship have remained as active members of DDUUC. We found kindred spirits among them.

In 2005 we moved to the Crosswicks United Methodist Church where we rented their community hall. It felt like a more permanent home.  Our space could be set up and it would stay the same from week to week. At one time we had 23 adult members and 13 children. People came. People stayed. People moved. People left. The children grew up. At that time we also decided to leave Metro New York District and become members of the Joseph Priestley District. Six members from the Burlington Fellowship have remained as very active members of DDUUC. After we moved to Crosswicks, new people joined us. We had a sign, although a little one, that could stay out front.

Our membership has seen a turn about in the last three years. For a while, after the original children grew up and left we had only a couple of children. They too grew up and we were left with no children. In the past three years children have returned and we have nine now enrolled in religious Education classes. Young families are once again a part of us.

In 2010 we purchased a new building and relocated to Bordentown, NJ as the beginning of being a permanent presence in an area that is without much a liberal religious presence. Our sign is larger, our space more flexible and permanent. We have services and programs that fit in with our philosophy. We can make a difference in the larger community.

The Seven Core Principles of Unitarian-Universalism

Unitarian-Universalism  is a creed-free religion founded with the understanding that individuals can rely on their own reasoning and inner wisdom in the seeking of religious truth.   The discovery of truth is an ongoing and open journey whose seekers can find answers and pose questions in the realms of history, poetry, literature and music; in new and unexplored places; as well as in the exploration of a variety of well-established traditions including Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Wicca and Taoism, to name a few.  We are respectful of each individual’s personal journey, while together we join to affirm and promote:

1) The inherent worth and dignity of every person

2) Justice, equity and compassion in human relations

3) Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations

4) A free and responsible search for truth and meaning

5) The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large

6) The goal of world community with peace, liberty and justice for all

7) Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part

We are part of a two larger denominations, including the national Unitarian Universalist Association and the local Joseph Priestly District.  As a congregation, we seek diversity, compassion, service to the greater community, and joyous celebration.  Come as you are and be welcomed!

 

 

The Pulse – January 2010

The January 2010 edition of our community newsletter “The Pulse” now available by clicking here.

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Governance

DDUUC is a self-governing Unitarian Universalist congregation operating under the principle of congregational polity.  We operate under a set of bylaws drafted by the Board of Trustees and approved by the church membership. Occasionally, the bylaws are revised as the need arises.

Congregational polity is based in our firm commitment to our Fifth Principle: “The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large.”

The Board of Trustees does not represent an external authority, but rather it is empowered by members of the congregation to act on its behalf to further the mission and goals of DDUUC.

Dorothea Dix UU Community Board of Trustees 2016-2017

  • Warren Spengler, President
  • Kelly Hansen, Vice President
  • Ruth Cristy, Secretary
  • Kit Pendleton, Treasurer
  • Joan Spengler, Sunday Services
  • Bea Chawla, Religious Education
  • Chris Kaden Social Action

Committee Chairs – 2016-2017

  • Finance – Prim Reeves
  • Membership – Pat Skelly
  • Publicity – Lisa Jahn and Chris Sturgis
  • Denominational Affairs – Mike Skelly
  • Committee on Ministry – Joan Spengler, John DeMasi, Joan Cseh
  • Community Life – TBA
  • Building and Grounds – Roger Long
  • Sacred Space – TBA
  • Religious Education – Bea Chawla
  • Sunday Services – Joan Spengler
  • Social Action – Chris Kaden