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, 2015


It’s October 1st, and the weather has become appropriately fall-like. I don't know about you, but I couldn’t be happier.

Ray Bradbury, Unitarian Universalist author, in his book Long After Midnight wrote:

“He had never liked October. Ever since he had first lay in the autumn leaves before at his grandmother's house many years ago and heard the wind and saw the empty trees. It had made him cry, without a reason. And a little of that sadness returned each year to him. It always went away with spring.”

I can’t relate to how this young man felt, because I have always loved the Autumn more than the Spring, and yet I know that there are many who feel the way that Bradbury’s character does.

Being able to understand and accept that people we know and interact with have differing experiences, reactions and feelings about the things that cross our paths is part of marveling in the wide variety of life.

We celebrate the spectrum of experiences and identities that we represent as a congregation, and for us this is important and even holy work. Being able to meet our fellow humans where they are, to hear their stories, to laugh with them and to offer comfort, this is the finest of humanity.

In a world troubled unceasingly by violence, be it near or across the globe, we have this: our ability to see a common humanity in all. Let us choose always to see the stranger as a potential new friend. Let us lead assuming best intentions of one another. This, I think, is the path to peace, in our world, in our nation, and in our homes.

We’re beginning the second month of our church year, and October will feature services led by me, our Worship Team, Rev. Denis Paul and the Intern Minister from First Church, Valerie Freseman. We’ll also be kicking-off our third of three adult religious education classes; Build Your Own Theology, which will be happening the first Tuesday of each month.

In Faith,
Rev. Joe


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?