We are a Unitarian Universalist congregation in East Brunswick, New Jersey
We practice inclusiveness and celebrate life in its variety, welcoming a diverse group of seekers - people interested in a freethinking religion; those looking for a community that welcomes them as they are, and values them for who they are; people of all ages, all races, backgrounds, orientations or origins are welcome to attend and help us build a beloved community.
Want to know more? Check out these links:
- Watch "Unitarian Universalism in 30 Seconds"
- Watch "A Very Brief History of Unitarian Universalism"
- Read our church's magazine, "UU World"
- Visit us on Facebook
- Read our Annual Report
Sunday Services at 10:30
We hold worship services and religious education classes for children and youth every Sunday at 10:30 AM. Please browse our site for more information about who we are and our programs and activities
Some Things We Believe In
As Unitarian-Universalists, we do not have a creed. The closest two things to one that we have are, first, this congregation's mission statement and, second, our Bond of Union, which we recite in each service, much as most Christian denominations would recide their Apostles' creed.
The Unitarian Society, a Unitarian Universalist congregation, is a welcoming, supportive and accepting environment of people with diverse beliefs.
We explore, develop and share our spiritual journeys, guided by principles of compassion, love, justice and service.
Our Bond of Union
"In the spirit of community and service, we unite in the quest for those values which give our lives deeper meaning and spiritual satisfaction, reserving to each individual the right to his or her own beliefs as to the nature of God and the universe."
The Unitarian Society of East Brunswick operates a Montessori school on its premises. For 26 years, The Unitarian Montessori School has been educating for young children, embracing a diversity of culture, nurturing appreciation and awareness of our human diversity, and emphasizing peace and cooperation.For more information, please visit the webpage.
Coming up at The Unitarian Society
Please join us for one or more of the events listed below. For more information on any activity, please contact the Society's office at (732) 246-3113. We welcome all into our house!
May 19: Board Meeting, 7:30pm
May 20: Newsletter Items due
May 22: Sunday Service: Election 2016: Let's Talk About Trump & Clinton. Rev Carol Thomas Cissel
May 22: TUS Parent Group Meeting (11:45 am -- 1 pm)
This is a change from the original date of May 15th due to Rutgers commencement.
May 24: Shakespeare Reading Group -- Hamlet. 7:30pm
May 25: Painting Class. 7pm
May 26: Women's Group. 1pm
May 29: Sunday Service: On Doing Evil Rev Carol Thomas Cissel.
June 5: Buddhist Meditation Group 12:15pm
Alan Oliver will lead us in a continued discussion of the Heart Suttra and its connection to the middle way. We will begin that meeting with a brief meditation. Alan is a longtime UU and Buddhist scholar.
June 5: Karen Johnston's Ordination in North Hampton, MA
We are running a bus trip to take part. If you'd like to go, email the TUS office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
June 12: Book Discussion Group,
Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckart Tolle
June 18: Potluck Dinner in Honor of Reverend Carol
Come celebrate and thank Rev. Carol T. Cissel for her ministry with us.
Meet Karen Johnston, our next minister!
We have called our next minister!
The Unitarian Society, a Unitarian Universalist Congregation is ecstatic to announce calling Pastor Karen G. Johnston to settled ministry here in East Brunswick, NJ. After a rigorous and joyful candidating week from April 30th to May 8th, including enlightening sermons preached by Pastor Karen on the 1st and 8th of May, the vote was tallied directly following an engaging and robust discussion at our special congregational meeting. We are overjoyed to announce the results of this 74-member vote culminated in a unanimous approval for the call. TUS is thrilled to have called a dynamic, energetic and thoughtful minister in Pastor Karen, and we are greatly looking forward to the shared growth this next (ad)venture will bring forth. Upon receiving the Call, Pastor Karen had this to say “The chance to believe this congregation into being is thrilling. I couldn't have landed a better first pastorate.”
Counting Our Blessings here in New Jersey,
The Unitarian Society, a Unitarian Universalist Congregation
Karen grew up mostly in Oregon, where her mother’s side of the family have been for generations. After coming East for college in the mid-1980s, she has lived in the Boston area, the Washington DC Metro area, and for the past two decades, in the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts. Karen’s older brother received his doctorate at Rutgers, so in a wonderful coincidence, Karen spent the summer of 1988 living in Central New Jersey in Jamesburg, anticipating the birth of her nephew.
She graduated from Hamilton College with a BA in Women’s Studies and spending much of her time involved in anti-Apartheid and feminist activism. Attending to justice issues as they relate to race, poverty, violence, gender and sexual identity, and climate change are important to her. Before entering professional ministry, Karen worked as a licensed clinical social worker for 20+ years, gaining her MSW from Smith College School for Social Work (doing her two internships in the DC area), and then worked in the field of birth-to-three home visiting, including working as an independent trainer and consultant for the past seven years while putting herself through seminary.
She received her Masters of Divinity in a cooperative program from both Hartford Seminary and Andover Newton Theological School in December 2015, which is also when she passed the Ministerial Fellowship Committee with their highest honors. She completed her internship as a hospital chaplain at Baystate Medical Canter in Springfield, Massachusetts. She is finishing up a two-year part-time parish ministry internship at First Parish Church of Groton (also in Massachusetts), including currently serving them as their sabbatical minister. Before her internship, she served as part-time co-minister at Village Church in Cummington, MA for two years. She will be ordained in just a few weeks by both her internship congregation and her home congregation, the Unitarian Society of Northampton & Florence, on June 5, to which you are all invited.
Karen maintains a Buddhist meditation practice (Insight Meditation) and finds stimulation, inspiration, and helpful spiritual tools in this realm. Her spouse, Tony, who is originally from England, is a long-time Buddhist who will be retiring from teaching high school humanities to join her at the end of the calendar year. Karen has two young adult children whom she adopted when they were little, as well as is step mother to Tony’s two adult children.
Not only has she lived on both coasts of this country, she has lived in West Germany; has studied in Sweden and East Africa; and traveled to Leningrad, Cuba (for her honeymoon in 2011), to the UK, and Myanmar/Burma. Karen is a poet and used to take part in grassroots poetry slams and festivals. She has an irreverent side. She has been blogging for the past three years. Karen says, “I believe that we are at our best when each of us — as individuals, as well as when we gather as congregations — is able to live into the markers of spiritual maturity (as described by the humanist UU minister, Kendyll Gibbons). In this practice are the seeds of peace — peace within us and peace in the world. I believe we honor our historical and contemporary understanding of religious pluralism through the practice of humility with respect to the answers we and others find to Life’s Deep Questions and to celebrate the wide and inspired creativity of humanity across the ages to honor Great Mysteries.
The Ministerial Search Committee is incredibly excited about Karen's visit to TUS and we hope you are able to set aside some time to meet her and see why we feel she is an excellent choice to be our next Settled Minister!