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, 2015

I’ve always been a little partial toward March. There are a couple of reasons for it, I’m sure, not the least of them being that I was born in the month.

But I also love March for its budding greenery, for the promise that the snow will someday all melt. For days in the winds of Spring when kite flying is amazing.

As our planet re-awakens this month, let her teach you a lesson. Take time to refresh your own spirit. Make time to stretch yourself in ways you haven’t done in months because you too were hunkered down in the cold.

This month marks the 50th Anniversary of the Marches in Selma. On March 8th we will be joining Unitarian Universalist congregations across the nation in marking this date. March 11th marks the 50th Anniversary of the death of Rev. James Reeb, killed in Selma, and of a Unitarian Universalist wife and mother from Detroit. She was gunned down near Selma on March 25th for her part in working to end the oppression of African Americans. Her name was Viola Liuzzo, and her murder left 5 children behind.

Our service on March 8th will feature some personal recollections of that March in Selma from members and friends of the Society. It is my hope that through living history we can more deeply understand these events and that they can inspire us to continue to work toward justice for all in our own time.

May we always remember that the work we do in hopes of bringing our world further into balance is not the work of just one person, me or you, or even of a few people, us. Rather it has been the work of generations of people, each who have helped to inch the world closer to where our aspirations lie.

The moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward justice.

May we ever be prepared to lend a hand in its bending.

In Faith,
Rev. Joe


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?