Library Committee

Welcome to the Unitarian Universalist Church of Lancaster (UUCL)

UUism in Lancaster, PA

Purpose of Committee

The library committee supports the mission of the church and of its committees, by making available publications pertaining to the history and present spiritual life and development of our congregation and the denomination. As part of our mission, we also seek to contextualize and disseminate information about our collections and to encourage collaboration with everyone at UUCL.

How can church members get involved?

All congregants are very welcome to use the Behrens Library and its resources, and contributions and suggestions are gratefully accepted. Committees of the church are invited to maintain reserve shelves in the library.

The core of the Behrens Library is the generous gift of Grace Behrens, in memory of her husband. In recent years, our library has also been enriched through the kindness of other bequests and now holds over 1000 books, as well as a few items in other media. Most recently we have re-arranged and renewed the collection to improve access (better use of shelves closer to eye level, more signs), and we have also tried to improve our focus on core parts of the collection: areas of active ministry in our congregation, and works representing traditional focus areas of UU theology, history, and activities.

Our recent renewal gives a new focus on the Six Sources of our faith, including especially religions that may be unfamiliar to many of us at UUCL. World religion has long been a core interest of our faith leaders, perhaps most famously T.W. Higginson, who wrote (“The Sympathy of Religions”, 1871): “The creed [of each world religion] … furnishes a formula for all religions. It might be printed in blank like a circular, leaving only the closing name to be filled in… [R]ead Christ, and you have Christianity; read Buddha, and you have Buddhism, read Mohammed, and you have Mohammedanism. Each of these, in short is Natural Religion plus an individual name. It is by insisting on that plus that each religion stops short”. A sympathetic interest in spiritual paths different from our own is as valuable today as it was for our Transcendentalist ancestors.

You are very welcome to come in and read, check out (and return) books, and leave suggestions and requests in the marked boxes whenever you are in the church building. We have a wealth of material on the life of our denomination and our congregation. Green Sanctuary shelves include a great collection of recently donated books on climate change, native plantings, theories of conservation and earth-based lifestyles. Web and Wheel offers books on spirituality, rituals, labyrinths and pagan authors. Justice with Mercy and Racial Justice also have collections to view and borrow. We also collect work by present and past members of the congregation, our ministers, and invited speakers. Come in and browse. Drop-in during coffee hour and stay awhile. Bring your friends, bring your coffee. Our door is usually open. If not, just Open the Door and Come In!

Some Featured Books

  • Unitarian Universalist Pocket Guide (current and historical editions)
  • A Chosen Faith: An Introduction to Unitarian Universalism, by John Buehrens and Forrest Church
  • The Prophetic Imperative: Unitarian Universalist Foundations for a New Social Gospel, by Richard S. Gilbert
  • More Than Numbers: The Way Churches Grow, by Loren B. Mead
  • Love and Death, by Forrest Church
  • Gentle Closings: How to Say Goodbye to Someone You Love, by Ted Menten
  • Becoming Wise, by Krista Tippett
  • The Pursuit of Loneliness. American Culture at the Breaking Point, by Philip Slater
  • Mary Moody Emerson and the Origins of Transcendentalism, by Phyllis Cote
  • Saving Paradise, by Rita Nakashima Brock and Rebecca Ann Parker
  • Universalism in America, by Conrad Wright
  • Works (15 volumes), by Theodore Parker
  • Essays, by Henry David Thoreau
  • The Autobiography of Malcom X, as told to Alex Haley
  • Little Victories, by Kit Howell
  • Habits of the Heart: Individualism and Commitment in American Life, by Robert N. Bellah et al.
  • The Birth of Christianity, by John Dominic Crossan
  • Women-church. Theology and Practices of Feminist Liturgical Communities, by Rosemary Radford Ruether
  • Drawing Down the Moon. Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers and Other Pagans in America, by Margot Adler
  • Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual, by Michael Pollan
  • Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants, by Douglas Tallamy

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