Our Mission Statement

The Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara, a loving community of seekers:

  • Living with integrity
  • Nurturing wonder
  • Inspiring  action

Adopted by the congregation in November 2013

Our Ends

Living with integrity, we:

  • 1. Support each other in life and life’s transitions with loving care, joy, celebration and gratitude.
  • 2. Care for the earth and its rich web of life for current and future generations.

Nurturing wonder, we:

  • 3. Experience the transcendent that opens us to deep connection and life’s mystery.
  • 4. Cultivate spiritual practices and engage in lifelong learning, utilizing our hearts and minds.

Inspiring action, we:

  • 5. Shift the larger culture toward justice and compassion through bold individual and congregational endeavors.
  • 6. Welcome and connect with people across differences of identity and lived experience.

Adopted August 2013, revised January 2020

Covenant of Healthy Relationships

Being mindful of how we communicate with and about others, we will:

  • Listen actively
  • Seek to understand the perspectives of others
  • Attend to the impact of our intentions, words, and actions

When conflicts arise, in order to pursue a peaceful and constructive path to resolution, we will:

  • If possible, communicate directly with the person(s) involved. If safety is a concern or if help is needed, consult the Committee on Shared Ministry as a resource to support communication and resolution
  • Stay engaged with the process of addressing harm, repairing relationship, and establishing a resolution to the conflict
  • Explore solutions through mutual learning and respect, trusting in others whose truths are based on their own lived experiences

Celebrating the diversity within our community, we will:

  • Recognize and honor the variety of beliefs and spiritual paths within our community, including the words and ways others express their spirituality
  • Honor the contributions of those who have been historically marginalized in the larger world and in our congregation

This Covenant of Healthy Relationships, grounded in the principles and values of this congregation and our Unitarian Universalist tradition, upholds the foundation of our community at the Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara and our commitment to one another as members of this community. Our goal is to be a safe and inspirational place in which we, as individuals and as a congregation, can live out our spiritual journeys.

Adopted October 2022

Timeline of the Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara

1872-1876 Meeting in a private residence
1877 Rev. George Young forms Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara congregation
1885 USSB incorporated
1890 Stone church built at the corner of Arlington Avenue and State Street
1921-1928 Dr. Lewis C. Carson, minister
1925 Earthquake destroys stone church building
1929-1932 Rev. Edward P. Daniels, minister
1930 Present Spanish-style church building completed
1933-1958 Rev. Berkeley Blake, minister
1949 Sarah Foot School opens (Starr King Parent Child Workshop)
1957 Blake Building completed and dedicated to Rev. Berkeley Blake
1959-1977 Rev. John Alexie “Lex” Crane, minister
1962 Jefferson Building added
1978-1990 Rev. Tony Friess Perrino, minister
1979-1982 Rev. Maren Hansen, associate minister
1982-1986 Rev. Frank Robertson, minister of religious education
1987-1994 Rev. Carol Edwards, minister of religious education
1990-1991 Rev. Jack Mendelsohn, interim minister
1991-1999 Rev. Sarah Moores Campbell, senior minister
1999-2001 Rev. James E. Grant, interim minister
2001-2008 Rev. Kenneth Collier, minister
2008-2009 Rev. Joy Atkinson, interim minister
2009-2014 Rev. Aaron McEmrys, minister
2011-2015 Rev. Julia Hamilton, associate minister
2014-2015 Rev. Lee Bond-Upson, interim minister
2015- Rev. Julia Hamilton, lead minister
2015-2018 Rev. Caitlin Cotter Coillberg, assistant minister