Welcome to the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Burlington. For more than 200 years we have been a religious home for open-minded and big-hearted Vermonters. We are diverse in our thinking and beliefs, but we are united in our desire to live out the principles of Unitarian Universalism. We support each other in our religious and spiritual explorations, drawing on many different sources.


We have no creed. We create our community around a shared covenant or promise:

We are united in our commitment to live out our mission to inspire spiritual growth, to care for each other and our community, to seek truth, and to act for justice.

Our iconic building sits at the top of the Church Street Market Place, inviting all to worship, fellowship, justice-making, and compassionate care. We are an inclusive congregation welcoming all people––of whatever age, class, ethnicity, gender, physical ability, or sexual orientation––into our Beloved Community.

We hope you’ll continue to explore our website and join us this Sunday.  

 Upcoming Services

December's Theme:  Darkness and Light  

At this time of year, in our little corner of the northern hemisphere, there is more darkness than daylight. The sun goes down early, and night begins its vigil before many of us have returned home from our daily activities. Along with bare branches, dropping temperatures, and the first dusting of snow flakes, the shortening of our days and lengthening of our nights tells us that winter has arrived. And as the darkness grows deeper, our spirits are drawn to the lights, both secular and sacred, that we kindle in the midst of it. 

December 21, 9am & 11am – Winter Solstice Celebration
Worship Leaders: Rev. Mara Dowdall and Martha Dallas
Worship Associate: Wendy Coe
Music: Adult Choir, 11am


December 24 – Christmas Eve

  • 4pm – Early Service- No-rehearsal pageant for all ages, carols and candlelight.

  • 6pm – Traditional Candlelight Services with Readings, homily, choir, carols and candlelight.

  • 8pm - Traditional Candlelight Services with Readings, homily, choir, carols and candlelight.

December 28, 9am & 11am –  The Triumph of Light and Love:  Living Universalism Today
Worship Leader: Rev. M’ellen Kennedy, guest minister
Worship Associate: Melinda Lee

Universalism is the whole-hearted conviction in the power of Love and Light. The message of Universalism is a healing balm for our broken and beautiful world. Our denomination today is the result of the merger of two traditions: the Unitarian and the Universalist. Currently, we’re witnessing an upsurge of interest in the Universalist side of our heritage. The Vermont-Universalist connection is quite strong since one of the greatest Universalist was Hosea Ballou, a Vermonter. What does Universalism mean today? What is the Living Tradition of Universalism? How are we called to understand and embody Universalism in today’s challenging context? Let’s explore these questions together.

Bio - The Rev. Dr. M’ellen Kennedy loves her work as a Unitarian Universalist minister and a Sufi minister. Rev. Kennedy lives in Lincoln, Vermont and is pleased to be a member of the First UU Society of Burlington. She has the honor of serving as consulting minister with the Springfield Unitarian Universalist Church and the Washington (summer only) UU Church. She has a passion for the Universalist side of our tradition, received a Universalist Heritage Foundation Sermon Award a few years back and typically preaches in the Universalist style (without a script -- www.preachingbyheart.org). She had the honor of leading worship at the Universalist Convocation in Cincinnati, Ohio in May. About ten years ago, Rev. Kennedy co-founded the UU Small Group Ministry Network. She is also founder of the Peace and Unity Bridge (PUB), a program dedicated to cultivating friendship and understanding among Muslims and non-Muslims (for more info visit www.peaceandunitybridge.org).

January 4, 9am & 11am “Reflections on JFK, Malcolm X, MLK, and RFK”
Rev. Douglas Wilson, guest minister
Our guest preacher, Douglas Wilson, was the Executive Director of UU Rowe Camp and Conference Center from 1974 until 2012.  He’s a Unitarian Universalist minister, writer, political activist, amateur comedian, wise guy, collage artist, and philosopher. Since his retirement two years ago, Doug's primary political activity has been inspired by the book, JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters, by James Douglass. Doug has worked with a small group creating a play, Project Unspeakable, about the assassinations of these four great men.  The play premiered on the Anniversary of JFK's murder and is being reworked to be shown in Harlem on February 21, 2015, the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Malcolm X.
Worship Asociate: Wendy Coe

January 11, 9am & 11am—Rev. Mara Dowdall, preaching
Worship Asociate: Maeve McBride
Music: Adult Choir ar 11am

January 18, 9am & 11am—MLK Sunday, “Be the Change: An Activist Dinner Party”
Rev. Mara Dowdall and friends
Worship Asociate: Wendy Coe
Music: Children’s Choir, 9 and 11am

January 25, 9am & 11am—Rev. Mara Dowdall, preaching



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Using Our Building

The First UU Society Meeting House is centrally located in downtown Burlington and offers several excellent rooms for events. Our building is accessible and is located near city parking and public transportation.  To use our space for your wedding or other special event, click here.