Love is the spirit of this church
And service is its law.
This is our great covenant:
To dwell together in peace,
To seek the truth with love,
And to help one another.
Unitarian Universalism is a non-creedal denomination that encourages each one of us to an individual search for truth and meaning. It affirms the inherent worth and dignity of each person, regardless of race, sexual or gender expression, ability, and age. So it is no accident that the Meeting House has long provided a safe and thoughtful community for gay, lesbian, straight, transgendered and bisexual people. But we also reflect a broad diversity of beliefs and religious backgrounds. This makes for a very lively and stimulating–and sometimes rocky–journey!
Universalism came to Provincetown in 1820, when two little girls, Sylvia and Elizabeth Freeman, found a waterlogged book on the beach. They took it home and dried it out. The Life of Rev. John Murray, Preacher of Universalist Salvation swept through the town and transformed a community weighed down with the fear of hellfire and judgment with the joyous awareness of God's universal love for all beings. The power of acceptance and tolerance has informed this congregation's spirituality from its inception. The Church of the Redeemer (Universalist) was formed in 1829. The name was changed to the Universalist Church in 1863, and later to the Universalist Meeting House. We outgrew the first building; our current Meeting House was built in 1847 (see About Our Building).
The congregation grew and waned with the fortunes of our town. In the 1970s and 80s it was down to a handful of people. However, in 1985, the congregation, with the help of the Unitarian Universalist Association and the Reverend Peter Fleck, called the Reverend Kim Crawford-Harvie as full-time minister. Kim increased membership as well as summer attendance before being called as senior minister to the Arlington Street Church in Boston. Since that time, the Universalist Meeting House has been served by a number of settled and interim ministers.
Our congregation has always served the needs of its community, whether housing an infirmary during the 1918 flu epidemic, starting the Soup Kitchen in Provincetown (SKIP), or responding to the AIDS epidemic with the first dedicated AIDS Ministry, in 1995. During the summer of 2004 we helped over 400 U.S. citizens to register to vote. And we have been very active in equal marriage protection for gay and lesbian couples. One of our current projects is the Cape to Cape Partnership, which teams the UU Meeting House, the AIDS Support Group of Cape Cod and Outer Cape Health Services with the Bamabasani Project AIDS clinic in the Cape Town region of South Africa.