"Different people. Different beliefs. One faith."
We are proud to be of service to Edmond and North Oklahoma City.
Nestled back in a serene and wooded pastoral setting, Channing has a more homey feel to it than that of most traditional churches. Entering through its kitchen door is more like walking into someone's home. And to many of its members, it is a home away from home.
At Channing, our mission is to provide a safe, affirming, and encouraging place for the progressive religious community to explore spirituality through education, religious service, and involvement in issues of community concern, social justice, and civil liberties.
Unitarian Universalists (UUs) believe in complete but responsible freedom of speech, thought, belief, faith, and disposition. We believe that each person is free to search for his or her own personal truth on issues like the existence, nature, and meaning of life, deities, creation, and afterlife. UUs can come from any heritage, have any sexual orientation, and hold beliefs from a variety of cultures or religions.
Concepts about deity are diverse among UUs. Some believe that there is no god (atheism); others believe in many gods (polytheism). Some believe that God is a metaphor for a transcendant reality. Some believe in a female god (goddess), a passive god (Deism), a Christian god, or a god manifested in nature or one which is the "ground of being". Some UUs reject the idea of deities and instead speak of "universal spirit" or "reverence for life". Unitarian Universalists support each person's search for truth and meaning in concepts of deity.
We like to use a Wizard of Oz analogy: all the characters are on one path but each is in search of something different.
Channing’s members don’t just talk the talk;
we are constantly learning how to walk it.
Channing's members and friends also host a variety of activities.
We are involved in supporting the civil liberties of the GLBT community.
Our choir blends their voices to bring us beautiful music for our Sunday service.
Channing's youth are true friends that enjoy spending time with each other and taking road trips to local attractions.
We support Made in Oklahoma products and growers by hosting The Oklahoma Food Co-Op of Edmond at our facility.
And our members frequently find an excuse to congregate outside of church just to enjoy each other's company at get-togethers like barbecues and house parties.
Channing is a wonderful place full of both spiritual and human values, and warm, caring friends.
Come out and give us a visit!
Like us on FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/ChanningUUChurch
A Brief History of Channing
Church of Edmond , Oklahoma
In 1983 three active Unitarian Universalists in the Oklahoma City area decided to found another UU Church in the OKC area. These three individuals, Bob Russell, Colleen (Christian) Gallaspy, and Betty Rasmussen, had been active in leadership roles and staff positions at First Unitarian Church of Oklahoma City, and used their leadership skills to persuade 20 others to be charter members.
After obtaining its Charter in October 1983, the congregation met in various office locations in northwest Oklahoma City in hopes of attracting new members residing in this popular growth area. During this span of several years, we had an extension minister, Rev. Michael Nelson, whom we shared with the Stillwater Fellowship.
In 1989 the decision was made to move the Church to Edmond, primarily to give us a more unique identity. However due to the small number of members, the group almost disbanded except for two major events.
First, a charismatic minister, Rev. Wayne Robinson, initially volunteered his time. Second, a building was available to purchase at a very reasonable price. Thus, in 1991, the congregation purchased its first building located at 1209 S. Broadway. Rev. Robinson quickly attracted many people to the church and our membership grew. He became a UU minister in the process.
To help us attract more publicity in the Edmond area, Channing sponsored an ongoing program, the Channing Classical Music Society that was well received and lasted for six years.
Then Rev. Robinson, with the aid of the ACLU, decided to personally protest the cross symbol on the Edmond City Seal. This event, in conservative Edmond, created a lot of publicity, most of it not very favorable. (The suit went to the U.S. Supreme Court and upheld a lower court decision to have the cross symbol removed from the Edmond City Seal.) In December 1995, Rev. Robinson resigned and accepted another ministerial position elsewhere.
For the next several years, Rev. Donna Compton, a liberal Disciples of Christ minister, was the Church’s primary minister on a contract basis. In 1999 the building at 1209 S. Broadway was sold and after almost a year of meeting in a temporary space, the congregation moved into its current home, a remodeled house on 5 acres of land in west Edmond.
Rev. Compton left in 2000 to answer a call to serve at a Disciples of Christ church in southern Oklahoma but continues her relationship with Channing by giving sermons at Channing monthly.
At the beginning of 2001, the congregation adopted a new ministerial team (a new idea in UU circles) with Rev. Jonalu Johnstone as its consulting minister and Anna Holloway as our student minister. These leaders helped us develop a long range plan for growth.
In May 2003 a memorial garden was planted and later dedicated by Rev. Johnstone. Anna Holloway left in June 2003 to pursue her further requirements for the UU ministry. In addition to Rev. Johnstone, Channing’s pulpit was filled with area UU ministers as well as having occasional lay speakers, a tradition we carry on today.
In the fall of 2003, we hired a Director of Religious Education and celebrated our 20th Anniversary as a congregation. In 2004 we initiated a very important two-year ministry program to receive designation from UUA Headquarters as a Welcoming Congregation, for which we received approval in 2005.
The Welcoming Congregation is a volunteer program designed to offer inclusion and affirmation of those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgender into all aspects of what Channing has to offer.
After Rev Johnstone accepted a position at First UU Church in OKC, we conducted a ministerial search and in February 2005 hired Rev. Tim Wilkins, as our part time minister and he remained with us for three years.
In 2006, the Spiral Circle CUUPS chapter for UU Pagans was formed. Our church also became more involved in the Edmond community, and continues that association today by providing leadership in the local CROP Walk, food donations for the HOPE Center and adopting one or two Hope Center families at Christmas.
In 2007 a group of dedicated gardeners started a church garden which continues to yield a delicious bounty for its laborers and supporters. We also became the first site in Edmond for the OK Food Co-operative. To support our “green” initiative, we are working toward being designated as a UUA Green Sanctuary.
In 2008 Channing celebrated its 25th anniversary and planted trees in our memorial grove to honor founders and charter members.
In October 2013 Channing celebrated its 30th Anniversary with speeches from several members on "What Channing Means to Me."
With our rotating pulpit supply and several special interest and covenant groups to offer, Channing strives to be an inviting liberal church in central Oklahoma. Music has always had a prominent place at Channing and with Peggy Green Payne, the principal pianist of the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, as our pianist and music director, we are doubly blessed. Our enthusiastic choir performs frequently.
Our church may be small, but the enthusiasm and efforts offered by our membership are amazing. Our goal at Channing is to grow in strength, depth, and numbers yet continue to be a congregation with open minds and open hearts.
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Copyright © 2005-2014
Channing Unitarian Universalist Church of Edmond, OK
There are seven principles which Unitarian Universalist congregations affirm
The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.