About South Church

South Church formed in 1713, when we split from the congregation now known as North Church. We became Unitarian in 1819, just as Unitarianism was emerging as a denomination in the United States. In 1947, Portsmouth’s Universalist Church burned to the ground, and the two congregations merged. Fourteen years later, in 1961, the Unitarian and Universalist denominations would merge as well, forming the Unitarian Universalist Association (www.uua.org).

Our community includes about 430 adult members and 200 children and youth. We are a vibrant multi-generational congregation, whose members hold a wide variety of religious beliefs and spiritual paths. We cherish our diversity, and also our shared commitment to a common purpose as expressed in our mission.

At South Church,
We nurture spiritual growth through worship, learning and community,
We celebrate the worth and dignity of all people;
And we inspire one another to act on our faith in the larger community.

We gather in warm and supportive community to learn and grow, to connect and to serve. Along the way, we turn for wisdom and guidance to a number of sources including the world’s religions, Jewish and Christian teachings, science and the natural world, and notable women and men who have led exemplary lives.

While some of our members grew up in this or another Unitarian Universalist congregation, most new members come from other religious traditions or no religious tradition at all. All are welcome.

South Church is guided by a Board of Trustees and led by professional staff. Our ministers serve as our primary spiritual leaders, and run day-to-day operations. Our members are the heart of our congregation. Members give generously of their time, talent and financial resources, and give the congregation its warmth and character.

We are a self-governing congregation, free to call the ministers that guide us, and responsible for helping to shape and enact our community’s mission.

OUR SHARED PRINCIPLES

Unitarian Universalists do not have a set creed. We do share a covenant, an agreement about how we will walk in the world as a people of faith. Together, we commit to affirm and promote:

  • Respect for the inherent worth and dignity of all people
  • Justice, equity, and compassion in human relations
  • Acceptance of one another and encouragement to growth in our congregations
  • A free and responsible search for truth and meaning
  • The right of conscience and the use of democratic process within our congregations and 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