Our Minister

Rev. Joseph M Cherry (Rev. Joe)


My name is Reverend Joe Cherry and I am the fairly new minister here at the Unitarian Universalist Society of Cleveland. Before moving to Cleveland I, and my partner the Reverend Denis Paul, lived in the Central Valley of California, where we both had ministries. Rev. Denis is currently the Developmental Minister at the East Shore Unitarian Universalist Church in Kirtland, OH.

If you’re like most people we’ve met, you’re asking some variation of the following question: “Why would anybody move from California to Cleveland?”

There were several factors in our decision to move to Ohio. Our geographic choice was inspired by our desire to move back closer to our families. But there were many church options available to us, and we chose the two churches we did for good reasons.

I chose to come to the Society because it’s a church that is open, friendly, and looking to break out into a new direction.

We don’t know what that new direction is yet, but we’re gathering our talents to move.

As for my part, if you’re reading this site, consider giving us a visit, I hope you do. In this congregation we have all sorts of theologies, from Atheism and Buddhism to Christianity and Pagan beliefs. Not sure what you believe? That’s okay, too.

I think that people come to a church because they’re looking for something. I know it’s why I did 20 years ago. I hadn’t really ever been to church, and I started going because I’d just moved to a new city and didn't know anybody.

If you claim to be “spiritual, but not religious,” check us out. We are religious, but not in the way perhaps you’re used to. Here you’ll hear the world’s religious texts given equal amounts of respect and reverence. The same goes for secular literature, sociology, history, etc.

Come by any Sunday at 10:45 a.m. for some musical meditation before service, or some coffee and conversation. Service starts at 11:00.

I’m sure I’d be delighted to meet you.

Reverend Joe

Notes From Our Minister

The Beacon - January 1, 2015

Dear Members & Friends,

In olden days the only option we had to keep track of our lives was with pen and paper. Every January 1st, you got to look at a brand new, clean slate of a year. Well, mostly, if you were busy, you had already been recording appointments for the month of January back in December, but that did little to quell the idea of a brand new beginning.

We still celebrate January as the beginning of a brand new year, and the imagery of a clean slate is still prevalent in our lives. New Year Resolutions get made each year and a sense of freshness is in the air. People feel they can dust off the proverbial dust of yesteryear and step into a new chapter of their lives.

What is our collective new chapter going to be? We can’t know that just yet, though I think that some shape of it might be forming. This month we focus on Justice as our theme, and already we’ve been engaging the work of justice with some gusto.

Justice takes many forms, of course. There are many social ills for us to address, and ways to get involved. I’ve noticed in my 25+ years of social justice work that one thing that social justice worker bees don’t always do well is take care of themselves. Impassioned people sometimes forget to take naps and vitamins.

As we actively engage in work that helps to make our world a place more fair and just for all, please remember to take care of yourself at the same time. And take care of each other while you’re at it!

And don’t worry too much if you’re not the best at self-care, our tomorrows won’t always be a January 1st, but they are still a new day with new possibilities.

In Faith,
Rev. Joe



December 1, 2014

November 1, 2014

October 1, 2014

September 1, 2014

August 1, 2014

July 1, 2014

June 1, 2014

May 1, 2014

April 1, 2014

March 1, 2014

February 1, 2014

January 1, 2014

December 1, 2013

November 1, 2013

October 1, 2013

September 1, 2013

August 1, 2013

July 1, 2013

June 1, 2013

May 1, 2013:  Leading from Strengths

April 1, 2013:  The Gift of Time

March 1, 2013:  Building A Healthy Foundation

February 1, 2013:  What Gifts Can We Bring?

January 4, 2013:  The Work of a New Year

December 1, 2012:  Inns, Ancient Stories, Open Hears and Open Doors

November 1, 2012:  Things to Make the Season Bright

October 1, 2012:  The Stories We Carry

September 1, 2012:  What DOES One Do at a Transition Workshop?