Greater Pittsburgh Cluster of Unitarian Universalist Churches Formed

On November 1, 2014, 72 people from 11 congregations gathered at First Unitarian Church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for the first ever Cluster Assembly of the Greater Pittsburgh Cluster of Unitarian Universalist Churches. 40 delegates to the first business meeting of the newly formed cluster approved a mission statement and bylaws and elected a board of directors. The assembly also included opening and closing worship, an inter-congregational choir, workshops on several relevant topics, and lunch. Rev. Renee Ruchotzke delivered remarks on the ongoing regionalization of the Unitarian Universalist Association's governance structure and our future together.

The founding congregations are the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Smithton, First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh, Allegheny Unitarian Universalist Church, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Morgantown, First Unitarian Universalist Church of Indiana, Unitarian Universalist Church of the North Hills, Unitarian Universalist Church of the South Hills, East Suburban Unitarian Universalist Church, Ohio Valley Unitarian Universalist Congregation, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Ligonier Valley, and the Ginger Hill Unitarian Universalist Congregation.

We are large and small, old and new, gay and straight, urban, suburban, and rural. Together we represent over 1100 Unitarian Universalists who, with geography and the Seven Principles in common, have covenanted to work together on behalf of our collective faith and interests. Our mission is to:

- encourage mutual relationships among Pittsburgh area Unitarian Universalists churches in order to live in fellowship, share resources, and act collectively;

- create networks among our congregants, church staff, and ministers;

- address common concerns compelled by our shared values;

- organize and promote opportunities for area Unitarian Universalists to cooperatively learn, play, worship, engage in service, and work for justice; and

- increase the presence and impact of Unitarian Universalism in the greater Pittsburgh region.

Unitarian Universalism is a liberal religion with Jewish-Christian roots. It has no creed. It affirms the worth of human beings, advocates freedom of belief and the search for truth, and provides an open, supportive community for people who believe that ethical living is the supreme witness of religion. Headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, the Unitarian Universalist Association works to advance its principles and serves local congregations by providing staff, services, and resources. Each of the 1,047 congregations in the United States, Canada, and overseas are democratic in polity and operation; they are held together by covenant and govern themselves.