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 - March 1, 2016

Dear Members and Friends,

March is a month of basketball madness, of brave young flowers (hopefully) bursting through the snow and the beginnings of kite flying season at Edgewater Park.

It’s leprechauns and Lent this year and this month’s theological theme is letting go.

Last month, Megan L. reflected upon the spiritual practice of letting go, about how a song that she has every right to be sick and tired of has inspired in her the spiritual practice of following Elsa’s advice.

I‘m reminded of the teachings of Louise Hay. She taught that she used to believe that having control over everything in her life, not losing a single thing or person, made her feel like she was safe and in control.

In reality, this practice kept her from letting new things in, letting new experiences be hers and having a fuller life.

As the Earth turns once again, this time toward warmer temperatures and longer days, as we celebrate the equinox again this month, I encourage you to let go of the things that no longer encourage you to let go of the things that no longer serve you, and open space for wondrous things that you don’t yet know and cannot predict.

I am not encouraging a Meis van der Roweian abandon of what has come before, of what influences have shaped us, or even the physical tokens that remind us of our past.  As long as they serve you.

In the spirit of our theological theme this month, spend some time with your thoughts and heart and ask yourself what’s really worth keeping, and what needs to be released.

In faith,

Rev. Joe



February 1, 2016

January 1, 2016

December 1, 2015

November 1, 2015

October 1, 2015

September 1, 2015

August 1, 2015

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

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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?