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The Congregation

The Unity Temple Unitarian Universalist Congregation's history began in 1871, when a group of Unitarians and Universalists gathered in an Oak Park home to bring a liberal approach to religion to Oak Park, forming Unity Church. The community has not been the same since!

In 1905, the congregation's building was struck by lightning and destroyed. It was resolved immediately that they would rebuild, and the architect was chosen from within the congregation. His name: Frank Lloyd Wright - nephew of the great Universalist preacher and social reformer Jenkin Lloyd Jones. His design embodied the spiritual vision of the Unitarian Transcendentalists. Among these bold and prophetic voices in religion and society were Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Fuller, William Ellery Channing, and Theodore Parker. The history of the UU movement is also graced with figures like Susan B. Anthony, Clara Barton, Joseph Priestly, Thomas Jefferson, and John Quincy Adams.

At Unity Temple, there is no steeple pointing up to a "God-Out-There" in the distant heavens. Instead, you find a remarkable sacred space, a sanctuary that stands foursquare, where no one is more than forty-five feet from the pulpit, where the congregation can see each other, and where all are invited to look into other human faces and find divinity there.

Our religious movement, the Unitarian Universalist Association, is small compared with others. But unlike most faiths, it has been experiencing steady growth for the last decade. It is within our "tradition of bold spirits" that many find a spiritual home for today and tomorrow.

To bear the responsibility of continuing so great a tradition is our happy and humbling task.

Learn more about the Unity Temple congregation and its history here.