Morristown Unitarian Fellowship

M U F  L I N K S

About the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship

MUF | Our Building | Our Minister | Our Religious Education Program | Our Music Program

Our Mission and Covenant | Our Congregational Goals

 

The Morristown Unitarian FellowshipThe Morristown Unitarian Fellowship (MUF) was founded in 1955 to serve the needs of those in the Morristown, New Jersey, area who wished to be part of a religious community that values social equality and the freedom of individual spiritual beliefs.  We are a vibrant, caring community, with a deep sense of social responsibility. Our over 300 members have a wide diversity of beliefs and traditions, all of which are respected and honored.

We are lifelong learners who enjoy helping each other deepen our spirituality.  Children are an integral part of our community.  Our religious education program is a rich opportunity for children to develop their own beliefs in a fun, supportive atmosphere. We also have adult religious education classes to enrich the spiritual lives of all of our members. Most importantly, our Sunday Services are a very enjoyable time for us to come together and celebrate the values that we hold dear.

The MUF Fellowship Building

All who share our liberal religious values or wish to learn about them are welcome to participate in our programs and activities. Those who wish to deepen their commitment are warmly invited to do so by becoming members. Members commit that they:

  • Agree to uphold our principles and purposes and share in the Sunday morning experience that is central to our spiritual life.
  • Pledge their talents, energy, time, and financial support to the overall activities of the Fellowship and the maintenance of its buildings and grounds.

In addition to the rich spiritual and personal rewards of being a member of our Fellowship, members also:

  • Have the ability to vote in Congregational Meetings and hold office.

  • Are listed in the annual MUF Member and Friends Directory.

  • Receive a subscription to the MUF monthly newsletter.

  • Receive a subscription to the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Publication "UU World."

Those who not yet ready to commit as members, but who are active and contributing financially, are considered Friends of the Fellowship, eligible to be listed in our directory and receive our newsletter.


Rev. Alison MillerOur Minister The Reverend Alison B. Miller has been serving as our Minister since the fall of 2005. She holds an A.B. from Bryn Mawr College and a Masters of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School. She is a life-long Unitarian Universalist who was raised in an interfaith Jewish-Christian family in New York City. She is passionate in her belief that many people in Morris County and beyond are thirsting for a religion that is spiritually alive, grounded in love and justice, and open to the wisdom of the world religions, the sciences, and human experience. In these first couple of years together, her ministry and ours have created exciting possibilities for our congregation, and many new people have found their way to our liberal religious home.

Two spiritual themes that are of particular interest in her ministry are diverse forms of worship and the meaning of healing to liberal religionists, like Unitarian Universalists. She has experience leading youth worship, young adult worship, contemporary and traditional worship. Alison feels this congregation has provided a wonderful opportunity for her to combine these experiences because of our long history balancing tradition and experimentation with the arts, multi-media and the spoken word in our Sunday Services.

Our lifespan learning programs have exploded under her leadership. To name a couple of highlights, she enjoys teaching classes and has already personally taught over one hundred members while supporting the launch of our new covenant circles program in which over a third of the congregation has participated. She has also demonstrated a steadfast commitment to our children's educational and worship programs.

Involvement in the broader Morristown community has been a major focus of her ministry, including interfaith organizing and anti-racism and diversity work. One highlight of this commitment is her efforts alongside several of our lay-leaders to deal positively and collaboratively on the issues of immigration and the economic needs of our county. She is currently serving as co-chair of the Morris Area Clergy Council, as Vice-Chair of a Morristown based Worker's Center Taskforce, and as a member of the Inclusion Committee and the Youth Board of Morris County's United Way .

Alison has been very involved over the years in congregations, in our association, and in the communities in which she serves in the areas of youth ministry, young adult and campus ministry. She has served in many capacities, including as the spokesperson for a national campaign for these ministries. She has worked as a local and district wide Youth Minister and as a local, district, and continental Young Adult and Campus Minister and trainer for the UUA. She is currently serving as the Unitarian Universalist Minister's Association representative to the UUA's Youth Ministry Implementation Working Group.

Alison lives with her husband, David Snedden, who works as a middle school science teacher and is also a lifelong Unitarian Universalist.

Alison works closely with our Congregational Leaders to build our Fellowship according to our Congregational Goals and meet the needs of its members according to our Mission and Covenant Statement.

 

Our Religious Education (RE) Program, is headed by our Director of Religious Education Tim Atkins.  Tim worked in the educational services field specializing in teacher training and curriculum development before joining the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship.  He also serves as the Social Media Coordinator for the Church of the Larger Fellowship and serves on the denominational Appointments Committee of the UUA Board.

Our RE program offers a rich opportunity for children to explore different belief systems in order to develop their own beliefs. This happens in groups of children of the same ages, in an atmosphere that is fun, supportive, and non-judgmental. Children of newcomers are welcome to attend our classes at any time. We do require basic registration information (such as name, age, parents) for our records. There is no charge for our religious education classes.

We also have lifespan learning programs to enrich the spiritual lives of all of our members.

 

Dr. Jim BlantonOur Music Program is headed by Dr. Jim Blanton. Jim has been a professional singer in opera, oratorio, and chamber music, as well as an accompanist for chamber and choral groups. He is also the creator and producer of Kids Classics, an educationally based series of children’s and family performances.
     

Jim has a Doctorate in Musical Arts from Florida State University, and extensive performance experience as a pianist, organist and singer. He is well organized and an experienced administrator.

Music is a big part of the community at the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship, thanks to several committees and numerous talented performers, including Dr. Blanton. Naturally, our Sunday Morning Services almost always feature music. These occasions can feature talented musicians sharing their gift, performances by an interpretive dance group, or the congregation singing together. We have newly organized adult and children's choirs.  However, Sunday Mornings are not the only times that the halls at MUF ring with the sounds of music. We hold many concerts, classes, and special events that make our home "sing."



MUF Building

MUF Building

Our Building is very special.  "Thorne Oaks" was built in 1912 by the architects Delano and Aldrich for a wealthy New York City family who wished to have a country home for weekend getaways. It was occupied by several families through the years until eventually it was purchased in the mid 1950's by a gentleman wishing to convert it to a home for the elderly.  When circumstances prevented his project from happening, he sold the property to membeNormandy Parkway Historic Districtrs of our Fellowship who were loMUF National Register Signoking for a home for their new spiritual community. It is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places and is located in the Morristown Normandy Parkway Historic District.

Our unique building has given our Fellowship not only a place to hold services, but a true spiritual home for all those who join our caring community.  It also has meeting space available for other groups and organizations, as well as weddings, ceremoLabyrinthnieMemorial Gardens, and celebrations. In addition to our elegant main building, there is a lovely garden with a brick path leading to a brick paved center with benches.  There is also a brick labyrinth behind our building that gives peace to many members and visitors.


Our Congregational Goals

chaliceTo grow in unity and maturity as a congregation to more fully honor and affirm the differing backgrounds, beliefs, and needs that individuals bring to our Unitarian Universalist community.

chaliceTo nurture spiritual deepening and life-long learning through expanded programming and religious education opportunities for all ages.

chaliceTo reach out beyond our walls to all who share our liberal religious values and intentionally encourage and support a more diverse membership.

chaliceTo make our regional and global community a more just, humane, sustainable, and beautiful place because of our commitment and action.

chaliceTo grow in our ability to act as stewards of our growing organization through effective financial management, leadership development, and planning oUUr future.

 

Our Mission And Covenant Statement


We, the members of the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship, mindful of the rich diversity and essential oneness of human experience, covenant to weave together the fabric of community from the strands of our separate lives. This is our pledge:

chaliceTo create for ourselves and our children a spiritual home which will nurture, challenge and offer us renewal.

chaliceTo seek what is true even as we celebrate the mystery of existence.

chaliceTo reach out to all who share our liberal religious values and participate in the broader Unitarian Universalist movement.

chaliceTo work for social justice and the well-being of our planet Earth.

Adopted May 23, 1993

 


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Copyright © 2014 Morristown Unitarian Fellowship

Page last updated June 14, 2014