For BOT
10 Lyons Plains Road Westport, CT 06880 203.227.7205 uuwestport.org
Possible Name Change Under Consideration
Board of Trustees of the Unitarian Church in Westport 2021
For many years we have proudly worn the name “The Unitarian Church in Westport.” It is a little-known fact that this was not always so. We were founded in 1949 as “The First Unitarian Fellowship of Fairfield County.” If you haven’t seen this, we’d urge you to go to Our Congregation’s History at https://uuwestport.org/ministers-greeting/our-congregations-history/.
 
The name became The Unitarian Church in Westport in late 1964, so it’s important to remember that it has not always been TUCW. However… we have heard many times, from many congregants, that this does not represent the true diversity that makes up our beautiful community. The sticking point for those of us not from a Christian tradition has been the word “church.” Many of us are comfortable with this name, but many have not been. Furthermore, although we are a part of the Unitarian Universalist faith community (Universalists merged with Unitarians in 1961) our current name recognizes only one half of this tradition.
 
Yet - we strive for inclusion of all who share our moral and spiritual beliefs, especially at this time when it is important to our future that we grow. After thoughtful discussion, the Board of Trustees voted in February “To embark at this time on the process to consider a name-change for TUCW.”  We would emphasize the words “embark”, “process” and “consider.” This will be a congregational decision, in the best democratic traditions of the UUA. Notably, many congregations in Connecticut and the country have renamed themselves for similar reasons; we know from their experiences that this will take some time.

So our journey begins. Over the next eight or so months, we will be holding discussions with various friends and members: town halls, committee and church leaders, various groups and committees, and the congregation at large. The principal purpose of these gatherings will be to listen to you. If response is favorable, this will culminate in a Congregational Meeting and voting, perhaps this December.

The first such meeting will be held Sunday, May 16 after the service, via Zoom.

What are we proposing?

To get us in motion, the Board has proposed to change our name to The Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Westport. Certainly there are many options, and we are open to alternatives, but we believe setting forth this name now allows us to move forward with purpose, while allowing for the smoothest transition and capturing the essence of who we are, as our mission states. The addition of “Universalist” is to include both parts of our religious heritage, not just the Unitarian ancestry. And the change from “church” to “congregation” is proposed so that we can truly live up to the TUCW motto:

We are a diverse and welcoming congregation.
 
Stay tuned for more information about meetings. We look forward to talking with you about this. And please reach out to any of our subcommittee on this should you wish to discuss it more: Luke Garvey, Catherine Onyemelukwe, Beth Cliff, Wendy Levy, and Ravi Sankar.


Sincerely,

TUCW Board of Trustees
Luke Garvey
Stapley Emberling
Stephen Grathwohl
Bob Trefry
Catherine Onyemelukwe
Andy Gundell
Beth Cliff
Wendy Levy
Ravi Sankar
The Unitarian Church in Westport is a diverse and welcoming religious community, free of creed and dogma, and open to people of all backgrounds and beliefs. 
 WE INSPIRE and support individual spiritual growth. 
 WE CONNECT through worship, music, learning, and caring ministries. 
 WE ACT in the service of peace and justice.