Cedar Lane Welcome Center
The Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church welcomes you. We would like to share with you information about our church:
its purpose, history, and programs.
Who Are We?
We have no creed or interpretation of theology to which members must agree as a condition of church membership. However, traditionally the use of reason has been the unique quality of our religion. We wish to encourage caring, supportive relationships between people. We are also concerned about peoples' relationship with the environment.
The member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association covenant together to affirm and promote the following basic principles:
(Click here for the complete text of the Principles and Purposes of the Unitarian Universalist Association.)
For more information on Unitarian Universalism, visit the UUA website.
Unitarianism grew out of the Protestant Reformation in 16th-century Europe. In America, Unitarianism gained prominence during the early 1800s primarily, at first, in New England and the Mid-Atlantic States. The name (originally an epithet, later embraced) refers obliquely to the insistence upon the use of humanity's intellect and common sense in resolving issues of faith, and, specifically, to a belief in one God and a rejection of the trinity as having no scriptural authority. During the 20th Century, Unitarian Christians were joined by Humanists and the adherents of a wide array of schools of theological expression, including those originating in the Far East as well as the Earth-centered faiths.
Universalism developed in America during the late 1700's in rural New England and quickly spread throughout New York State, the Midwest and the South until it became, briefly, by the end of the Civil War, one of the largest Protestant denominations in the nation. The name refers to the Universalists' faith in a loving God and, accordingly, belief in universal salvation. Throughout its history Universalism, like its Unitarian cousin, remained staunchly creedless.
Both Unitarians and Universalists have been at the forefront in the quest for religious freedom and social justice. In 1961, decades after the formation of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) and the Liberal Religious Youth (LRY), the two denominations merged to form the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) which is headquartered in Boston.
Cedar Lane was organized in 1951 from All Souls Church (Unitarian) in Washington, D.C. It was one of several churches around "the Beltway" started in a time of local Unitarian expansion, in great part spurred by the enormous popularity of All Souls' minister A. Powell Davies whose sermons spoke forthrightly and courageously against all forms of racial injustice and against the hysterical excesses of the McCarthy era. At our first services, held at the nearby Chevy Chase Women's Club, Dr. Davies' sermons were heard by way of a telephone hook up.
At the time of our first day of Sunday School classes, we had the largest Religious Education enrollment in the denomination. Cedar Lane has remained one of the largest congregations and one of the leaders in our denomination. We moved into our beautiful building abutting Rock Creek Park in 1958, added the chapel wing in 1963, our magnificent organ was installed as part of the building renovation project in 1993, and in 1999 we completed our new "Center" and our Memory Garden with its moving Name Wall.
We exist to offer a warm, open, supportive community to all regardless of race, abilities or lifestyle. We want to provide a place where individuals can meet, find acceptance, and develop understanding friends. We look to each other for intellectual stimulation through all of life's stages and difficulties.
Worship is an integral part of our religious life. Worship is when we come together to celebrate the community and all that is of worth in and around us. Each service is unique with differing themes. Once a month, our young people share part of the service with us. Worship is a blend of the intellectual and the spiritual. It is enhanced by music and quiet reflection.
In a Unitarian Universalist Church, religious education is a life-long process and is an integral part of our church community. Everyone, regardless of age, is on a pilgrimage that is nurtured in a community of seekers. Our programs invite people with varied questions, challenges, and needs into a dialogue of sharing ideas, attitudes, values, and feelings. Of deepest concern for all of us is the development of a sense of faith that invites and permits children, youth, and adults to learn, to hope, to lead, and to move with expectancy into the future.
A diverse curriculum is offered, drawn from many sources and incorporating various religious traditions and life issues. The Religious Education Council, the Adult Programs Committee, and the Youth-Adult Committee invite your participation in all of their programs. For more information, visit our Religious Education page.
We offer many opportunities for you to give of yourself and to gain the warmth of belonging to our religious community. Possible areas for committee involvement include member services, music, education, flowers, newsletter, Sunday morning, church finance and governance, and others.
The Social Justice Council coordinates many opportunities to volunteer for community service. The various task forces include such topics as Hunger, Affordable Housing, Women's Social Issues, and Welcoming Congregation. Church members are invited to bring their own social concerns to the attention of the Board.
(Click here to learn more about our Committees and Activities.)
Membership is open to all by signing the Membership Book. There are no creedal
tests. If you wish to participate in our activities, but
do not wish to become a member, you are welcome to do so. You may sign our Guest
Book at the Visitors' Center and ask to be placed on the mailing list as a
friend. We encourage both members and friends who are active in the church to
make an annual pledge to support the church. To learn about joining Cedar Lane
as a member,
For those interested in learning more about our church and its heritage, classes and activities are planned regularly. Newcomer talks - in which the church and Unitarian Universalism are examined in more detail - are held each Sunday after each service. Whether you wish to join the Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church or not, you are most welcome to attend.
Our ministers welcome the opportunity to meet with you regarding your interests, needs, and questions. Please contact Allison Cox, Membership Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 301-493-8300 ext. 301.
Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist