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.
Notes From Our Minister
The Beacon - July 1, 2015
My message for July is being written a wee bit early because the final week of June, I, along with several other folks from the congregation, will be in Portland, Oregon attending the General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations.
I’m writing to you on the heels of a lovely Flower Communion in which guests and members of all ages shared not just the beauty of flowers as a whole, but had a chance to examine the beauty of each flower and appreciate the uniqueness of each individual, both flowers and people.
This is a lovely metaphor for what we do at the Society. We take our time to appreciate the individual person. We celebrate each other’s gifts and we show each other in our words and actions, that every human being has a deep worth and deserves to be treated with dignity.
This is why we work so hard on issues of social justice. Social Justice is, for us, spiritual work. It can be hard, marching in the hot sun, writing letters, staffing phone banks and the like, but we know, deep down, that it is only with our very human efforts that things get done.
Rev. Denis and I will be on vacation for most of July, and I leave you in the capable hands of one another to care for, support and celebrate each other.
May you find plenty of time to take a walk, or a swim this summer. May you find shelter in the air conditioning of the library or a cool summer night.
May joy be yours.
Yours in faith,
Rev. Joe Cherry
NOTES FROM OUR MINISTER ARCHIVES