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350 Years and Counting… Our Anniversary Weekend

In July 2022 we celebrated 350 years since the beginning of our congregation. Our earliest members would not have identified with the word ‘Unitarian’ but would have entirely understood our ethos of freedom of thought, celebration of diversity, and shared exploration. You can view our 350th anniversary service on the ‘Services’ page of our website, and download a talk about the future of Unitarianism to read here:

The weekend also featured musical entertainment, and of course plenty of cake!

Let’s Share Your Good Read

Would you like to chat about a book (fact or fiction), article or blog post you have read?
Would you like to listen to others recommend their good read?
Join us in Chapel on Thursday 29 September 2-4 pm
(This group meets quarterly but will vary dates and times to promote wider accessibility)

Poetry Group

The chapel’s poetry group meets (in members’ homes and on zoom) on the last Wednesday of every month, from 7pm to approximately 9pm. Each month the group picks a theme and shares poetry they have found or written on the theme.

Zoom Discussion Group – Why are we Here?

Members of York Unitarians and other YUU and neighbouring congregations are invited to an online discussion group in July and August based on ‘Why are we Here? Discerning our Unitarian Mission in
an Upturned World’ . The book has been published this year by the Lindsay Press. You don’t have to have read the book to take part, but there is a copy in the library if you want to have a look, and the essays in it are based on last year’s Hucklow Summer School theme talks, which are still available online to listen to at
https://www.hucklowsummerschool.co.uk/

Sessions are at 6.30pm on 12th and 26th July and 9th and 23rd August, and generally last around an hour

Pride Weekend

York Unitarians had a great day at 2022 York Pride. Did you see our banner marching through town, or visit our stall on Knavesmire?

We also had a Pride-themed Sunday service on 19th June. If you missed it, you may like to read the opening words on the UUA website: https://www.uua.org/worship/words/opening/protest-and-party. The service ended with these thoughts:

“Pride can be set against humility, and we can say that humility is a virtue and pride a sin. But pride can also be set against shame, and when society has done all it can for the longest time to make a person feel as if they don’t deserve to exist, don’t deserve a space in the world, don’t deserve love or happiness, then pride can be a very healthy antidote. Pride in our progress encourages more progress. Pride in ourselves and our society encourages us to treat one another better. And pride in our diversity encourages us to care for each other regardless of race, ability, gender and sexual expression. Ultimately, I was proud to march yesterday behind the banner ‘Unitarians celebrate diversity’ – because Pride is how we celebrate diversity.”

YORK UNITARIANS 350th ANNIVERSARY (1672 – 2022)

From the Chair of the Congregation, David Zucker:

“1672 was described by the Dutch, “Het Rampjaar” (the disaster year). That was not surprising. In April they were attacked by the French and in June, by Munster and Cologne. 

Earlier in January of that same year the English government could not pay its debts and defaulted, with King Charles II ordering the government to make no payments in that year.

Have things changed? War in Europe and a financial  crisis. Alas not!

However 1672 was a year of recognition of the importance of science. Sir Isaac Newton, himself a Unitarian, though not publicly so, was elected to the Royal Society of London for improving Natural Knowledge. Freedom of thought was in the ascendancy. Part of that advance was the increasing development of non conformism with Unitarianism,  as distinct from Trinitarianism, growing as it permitted theology to give way to science.

In 1672 the Unitarians took their place amongst the faiths in York. This year we celebrate 350 years in the city. As a faith movement we have come a long way, now being a very liberal and inclusive community, celebrating diversity in all its forms, demanding of our members only that they live by our shared values, placing tolerance at the highest level. 

We in York are very excited to be celebrating 350 years in the city and would be pleased to welcome anyone of all faiths and none, who would care to join us in our celebrations on 2nd and 3rd July.”

Programme

11am Saturday 2nd July: Talk: “Unitarians past, present and future” by Rev. Andrew Hill and Rev. Stephanie Bisby

Afternoon of Saturday 2nd July: refreshments and music (1.30 to 4pm)

6.30pm Saturday 2nd July: poetry open mic night

11am Sunday 3rd July: worship and celebration

Afternoon of Sunday 3rd July: refreshments and music

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