The First Unitarian Universalist Church of Indiana (First UU) celebrated the groundbreaking for the new addition on Sunday with a special Sunday morning service followed by a catered lunch for members and guests in the church’s sanctuary. Since the 1970’s, Unitarian Universalists in Indiana met in private homes for discussion and religious education for their children. In 1980, Mrs. Glen Harkin bequeathed a considerable amount of money to the small fellowship. Those inspired members used the money to purchase the land that has held the small church building and memorial garden since 1993. In 2010, First UU received a significant bequeath from John L. Grauer.
First UU has grown into a vibrant liberal religious church community. First UU members have a vision that the expanded space the church will serve as a beacon for religious acceptance, justice, and activism in Indiana County. The members envision the church as a hub of activity for promoting progressive legislation in our county, our state, and our nation.
Over the last decade, the First UU church community has accepted the responsibility to fund full-time ministry. Our minister, Rev. Joan M. Sabatino, has served First UU congregation since 2003. In her role as minister, she has been a resource for many families in Indiana. With her guidance, she has hosted many life-affirming ceremonies, particularly the first gay church wedding in Indiana county in May 2014. Rev. Joan has often been a religious voice for liberal ideas in Indiana, serving as President of the IUP Interfaith Council for six years and leading the public gathering on the courthouse steps after the Orlando tragedy last year.
With the building expansion project set to be completed by September, the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Indiana congregation believes it will be able to continue in even more ways to becoming the liberal religious hub in Indiana County.