UUCLV to mark 70th anniversary
The Unitarian Universalist Church of the Lehigh Valley will be celebrating its 70th anniversary Sept. 22 and 23 at 424 Center St. in Bethlehem. The theme of the celebration is “Open Minds, Loving Hearts - 70 Years Together.”
The public is invited to join the festivities at an open house at the church Sept. 22 from noon to 4 p.m. On Sept. 23 there will be a jubilee service at 10:30 a.m. and a dinner for members and friends at 4 p.m. Saturday’s attractions at the open house will include ice cream, popcorn, and free hot dogs; live music; a puppet petting zoo by the Book and Puppet Company of Easton; and tours of the historic church building.
“As an open fellowship committed to honoring the diversity of faiths and spiritual paths, Unitarian Universalism is a living tradition where people of different faiths and heritages can come together and celebrate shared values.”
The UUCLV first met in the Americus Hotel in 1948 with just nine members. After several moves, the growing congregation purchased the Wesley Methodist Church on Center Street in Bethlehem and today has over 200 members.
The building, constructed in 1869, has undergone many renovations. The latest has been the installation of an elevator to allow increased accessibility for the building, including the beautiful second story sanctuary. Showers have also been installed in the lower level as part of the church’s Bethlehem Emergency Sheltering outreach.
The church offers many programs, such as its Religious Education curriculum for all ages; a lively music program featuring the Beacon Choir, directed by Dr. Larry Lipkis from Moravian College, as well as a monthly Second Sunday concert series; a weekly Breakfast Forum presenting speakers on diverse topics and a Fourth Friday film series, both of which are open to the public for free.
The church has an extensive Social Action agenda, including participation in the Bethlehem Emergency Sheltering network as well as a local food pantry; offering meeting space for groups such as the ACLU; HAVEN for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth; a Green Committee; escorts for the Women’s Center; and UU Plan supporting progressive legislation.
The anniversary celebration is an opportunity for friends, neighbors, and the general public to come and find out more about the UUCLV.