About

Unitarian Universalist Church of Roanoke, Virginia

Beacon of hope, harbor for all.

UUCR Mission Statement – We respect and honor one another as we work for social, racial, economic, and environmental justice.

Our Vision – UUCR is a beacon of hope and a harbor for all who value wisdom found in every faith tradition and every person’s spiritual truth.

Unitarian Universalism

Unitarian Universalism is historically founded upon two ideas developed in the context of the Christian religious tradition: Unitarianism, which believed that the nature of God is unified and that there was a divine spark in every human being. Universalism affirms that God’s love is so powerful that every person will find salvation. In 1961 the Unitarian and Universalist denominations merged to form the Unitarian Universalist Association.

Although the two movements had many differences, they came together to form a stronger movement to impact the world. As the (Unitarian) protestant reformer Francis David once said “we need not think alike to love alike.” Since the merger into a single denomination, inclusion has become of the most important values within the Unitarian Universalist church.

We believe that one of the most important affirmations of faith is to respect the inherent dignity and worth of all people. Today, Unitarian Universalist churches often include not only Christians, but count people connected to Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, Taoism, humanism, and agnostic seekers amongst its members. Unitarian Universalist chuches welcomes people of all ages, races, places, and sexual orientation into their membership and leadership.

Are you a Unitarian Universalist?

Who Are Unitarian Universalists?

Our religious tradition originated out of Christianity. However, we now define ourselves more inclusively, celebrating a wide variety of religious traditions and perspectives. Our religious philosophy is grounded in an affirmation of the worth and dignity of all human beings and a belief that life should be celebrated as a sacred gift.

We trust people’s ability to determine their own faith and we believe people should be encouraged to think for themselves. This freedom of belief is a basic principle of Unitarian Universalism. We do not require assent to any creed or statement of faith before a person can join us..

“Religion” is commonly defined among us as that which unites human beings and gives meaning to our lives. We honor the importance of community and celebrate the redeeming power of a relationships. Indeed it is in the midst of relationships with each other and the wonders of the natural world that most of us have experienced “The Sacred.” One does not hear the word “God” in our midst as often as in other religious communities because our opinions about theology radically differ. Some believe in a supreme being or power. Others take an agnostic or non-theist perspective of existence. Yet all of us find common ground around a more “humanistic” search for meaning, beauty, justice, and joy. It is this search that unites us and motivates our journey together.

A diverse, caring community, nurturing our members in their quest for spiritual growth, and living our faith in service to the larger community.

~The UUCR Mission Statement.

Who We Are

The Unitarian Universalist Church of Roanoke (UUCR) has been a center of progressive faith in the Roanoke Valley for over 50 years. The members strive to practice their faith by being a force for good in the world.

UUCR is a growing congregation. We are a diverse group representing different age groups, ethnic and religious backgrounds, and sexual orientation. Singles, couples, and families alike, have found a place where they can share common values and interests and find lifelong friendships.

We’re committed to engaging and connecting with one another and others, believing that together we can make the difference in people’s lives. Through joining in worship, fellowship, and acts of service, we strive to make justice, hope, and love known in the Roanoke Valley and beyond.

Our congregation is open and welcoming to anyone wishing for a safe place to explore their spirituality at their own pace.

Ministers and Staff

Rev. Walter Leflore, Minister
Office: (540) 342-8888 | Mobile: (978) 618-1961
Email: revwleflore@gmail.com
Available: Tuesday-Saturday (by appointment only)

Rev. Walter LeFlore and his wife Yvette relocated to Roanoke from Poughkeepsie, NY, where he served as minister to the UU Fellowship of Poughkeepsie from 2011 – 2019. He serves on the Board of Trustees for the Unitarian-Universalist Ministers Association (UUMA), and he co-chaired the UUMA’s Committee on Anti-Racism, Anti-Oppression, and Multiculturalism in 2016. He holds a Master in Divinity from Andover Newton Theological School. Rev. Walter explains that his call to serve as the Developmental Minister at UUCR came about because he was “looking for a congregation that I can genuinely partner with and can more fully utilize my interests, skills, competencies and vision for Unitarian Universalism. I want to work with a congregation that is interested in deepening a sense of community and more fully living into our covenant/principles.”

Rev. Kirk Ballin, Minister Emertius
Office: (540) 342-8888| Mobile: (540) 793-0752
Email: uurevkirk@aol.com
Rev. Kirk received his Master of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School in 1983. He served the Unitarian Universalist of Meadville, PA, from 1983-1987. Kirk was the full-time minister at UUCR from 1987-1999, and part-time minister at First Unitarian in Lynchburg, VA, from 2000-2003. He has been Minister Emeritus at UUCR since 2017.

Samantha Wills, Office Administrator & Facilities Coordinator
Office: 540-342 8888
Email: admin@uuroanoke.org
Office hours: M-F 10 AM-2 PM
For information regarding facilities rentals, please contact Samantha.

Jessie McKeon, Director of Lifespan Faith Development
Office: (540) 342-8888 | Mobile: (540) 358-1588
Email: jmckeon@uuroanoke.org

Bonnie Evans, LFD Coordinator
Office: 540-342-8888
Email: bevans@uuroanoke.org
Bonnie is available by appointment
Bonnie is a Roanoke native, who has been married 51 years to her husband Richard. Their two grown children and granddaughter live out of state. She loves working with children and youth, and she enjoys watching movies, reading, and laughing.

Kerry Morgiewicz, Music Director
Home: (540) 989-3190
Email: kmorgiewicz@uuroanoke.org
Kerry can meet by appointment
Choir on Wednesdays 7:15 pm.
Kerry Morgiewicz has been the Music Director at UUCR for 14 years. She loves the people here, and each year, she finds new and inspirational music to bring to the folks at UUCR. Kerry also works as an Instructor of Music at Hollins University and teaches private piano lessons. While her degrees are in piano performance, her heart resides in choral music and with UUCR choir, of course. Kerry often writes and arranges for the choir. Kerry and her husband Sev have twin boys, who make them very proud.

Lay Leadership

Board of Directors

President: Erika Joyner
President Elect: Katherine Hoffman
VP Finance: Gary Mason
Board Clerk: Jeanne Larsen
Member at Large: Jill Thompson
Member at Large: Matt Livingston
Member at Large: Walker Hartman
Non-Voting Board Member: Rev Walter LeFlore

Please contact the church office (540-342-8888) for Board Members’ contact information.

Our Governance

UUCR Board and Acting Board Members – As a self-governing religious organization, the congregation holds the Board of Directors accountable through the election process. Board members serve two-year terms, which are staggered for continuity. Each year at the Annual Meeting, a president-elect and new at-large Board members are elected to replace those who have completed their two years. The Board elects from its members a Personnel chair, and selects stewardship and governance committees. The Board may also create additional ad hoc or standing committees as needs arise. The following year, the president-elect becomes president, and the president remains on the Board as immediate-past. A list of current members are posted under Elected Leaders.

Location and Accessibility

2015 Grandin Rd. SW
Roanoke, VA 24015

Entrances

The main entrance to the Sanctuary faces Grandin Road – this entrance has steps that lead to our front door. A single-level entrance is accessible via the alley located behind the Church. You may pull up to the door, drop off area is directly behind the black staircase. Marked handicapped parking spaces are located in the main parking area, just in front of the playground area.

Parking

Parking is located in our main lot. Overflow parking is located in two areas, one is directly across the street from the church in the grassy area – the gravel road must remain accessible for all of our neighbors. In addition, Patrick Henry High School has graciously allowed us to park in the section of their lot closest to Grandin Road when school is not in session (weeknights, weekends, etc.). Please be careful crossing the street.

Parking on the neighborhood streets is prohibited, with towing at owner’s expense. This is per city ordinance.