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 - August 1, 2015

Dear Members and Friends,

August is upon us, and a new church year is just around the corner!

This time of year always fills me with anticipation. I think about all the Sundays we’ll get to see each other, all the songs we’ll sing and all the conversations that we’ll have. I anticipate our annual rituals, like Water Communion and Flower Communion, Christmas Eve and welcoming in new members.

Loving church is one of the reasons I became a minister, after all.

But I’m feeling not just joy alone. I’m also feeling a bit of “sayful” or “jodness,” a new word I’m trying to make up to contain the feelings I have at the departure of Rina Shere, our departing Director of Lifespan Faith Development.

Rina leaves us for a good reason and with a cause of great celebration: she is on to her next step in ministry, as a full year Chaplain Resident with the VA hospital. She has worked very hard in seminary, facing challenges of time management, scholarship and spiritual stretching, and she graduated last May. Now she moves on to her next challenge, and I say without hesitation “Good Job! Good Luck!” and with less exuberance “I’ll miss working side by side with you.”

With Rina as my teammate in ministry, my first year at the Society was filled with exciting collaboration and mutually beneficial educational opportunities.

I hope that as we spend our last month with Rina among us in the role she’s had for four years, you will take time to express to her how much she’s enriched the life of our congregation.

Yours in faith,

Rev. Joe Cherry



July 1, 2015

June 1, 2015

May 1, 2015

April 1, 2015

March 1, 2015

February 1, 2015

January 1, 2015

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?