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 - October 1, 2014

Dear Members and Friends,
This week I saw two pumpkins so large that they became misshapen by their own very existence. I marveled at their size and, for a moment, wondered if they were "real" or fake.
As we enter into our time of the Fall Harvest it is natural that thoughts turn to bounty. In the Spring we plant seeds, all through the growing season we tend to our gardens, watering, weeding, perhaps even just sitting in our garden to enjoy them.
When we went to the Geauga County Fair, we were delighted by the many projects of the young people of the 4 H club. I was never a 4 H'r myself, having grown up not in the more rural parts of Michigan, but the plain old suburban parts. I know that there is a whole culture behind 4 H that merely looking at their chickens, goats and gigantic sunflower plants only brushes up against.

In our seemingly American rush to always move faster, get better, grow bigger (produce), I sometimes wonder if we lose something in the joy of the process.
If we're always chasing the blue ribbon, and the blue ribbon is victory, is the rest failure?
If the pumpkin you grow is so large that it must be grown on a shipping pallet and will never be eaten, is that a worthwhile pursuit, or have you in your pursuit of a blue ribbon somehow betrayed the very nature of your pumpkin? If it all goes to waste because the pumpkin is so large as to have lost all its flavor, and is therefore inedible, have you betrayed those seeds you planted in the Spring?

There is a healthy, responsible and joy-filled way to grow something you nurture and care for, be it a pumpkin or your church. Racing head-long into growth, for the sake of

growth alone, is no way to get a terrific pumpkin pie, for example.
As we consider bounty, endings and the coming winter this month, let us not forget that a thing in its proper size, well cared for, can be a joy to behold.

As the leaves begin to explode in color this month, take time to notice them. Go for a walk and look at the beautiful splendor of this season, a season of change, harvest and decay.
In Faith,
Rev. Joe


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?