Unitarian Universalist Church of Annapolis, Maryland: Breakthrough Congregation
Prior to showing their video, Scott Eden, president of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Annapolis, MD, (UUCA) said that they were thrilled to be chosen as one of this year's Breakthrough Congregations. The video began with UUCA members, filmed from above, greeting delegates at St. Louis, and then went on to outline the history of the congregation and its ministries to members and the community. It told how they used to choose worship times in order to work well for midshipman at the Naval Academy, but now they meet twice a Sunday to accommodate their growth. They are a year-round church, and they are about people. There are a variety of ways for lay people to be involved in ministries—in worship, leadership, and in the community. Their words of welcome include words that make all people feel invited into the life of the congregation. They see their job as teaching and learning, and they have reached out to Transylvania and Romania since 1990, while recently they have developed relationships with the UU Church of the Philippines through visits and funding cooperative village programs.
Rather than RE standing for "religious education," their lifespan program is entitled "religious exploration" to ensure children, youth, and adults know it is learning in a new way. There are 170 children and youth involved, and there is no more space in the church building. The program is focused on community rather than content.
UUCA is also involved in the community, with projects such as Habitat for Humanity, an HIV/AIDS hospice, prison ministry, and musical coffee house. They are rooted in the community at large.