Family style

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Northern Nevada

Angie Flynn, left, and Bobbie Taslo serve dinner to 6-year-old Cassandra Gurrola. Flynn and Taslo are part of a women’s group at the UU that arranges homeless visits for people like Cassandra and her family.

Angie Flynn, left, and Bobbie Taslo serve dinner to 6-year-old Cassandra Gurrola. Flynn and Taslo are part of a women’s group at the UU that arranges homeless visits for people like Cassandra and her family.

Photo By David Robert

The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Northern Nevada, 780 Del Monte Lane, 851-7100. Services are at 10:30 a.m. Sundays. For more information,

Let me make a generalized statement of fact: It is impossible to know Reno without knowing the spiritual side of its people. This concept is fascinating to me, really. I’ve only been writing Filet of Soul for six weeks now, and the city has already acquired new a layer of depth.

The church is at the end of Kietzke Lane, where it dead-ends on Del Monte, right next door to a Nazarene church. There’s a rather unadorned vestibule with coffee and pastries, a book cart, a table with free fluorescent light bulbs—"Take one for your mom"— and announcements. Down the hall, there’s the childcare center and a gallery of painted Impressionist landscapes by Barbara Maclean.

A large percentage of the building is devoted to the meeting hall. It’s a very large room with a peaked roof, huge windows and a concrete floor. The chairs are straight-backed but comfortably padded. As far as colors, the room is earth tones with a light pumpkin predominate and blond woods. At the front, there’s a lectern, and in the center, a double lyre-like chime and a chalice with a candle in it. There’s a grand piano and 13-member, traditional-style choir at the right front.

Let me give you a little background about this church. The UUs affirm and promote these seven principles: “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; and respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.”

The service began with a two-tone chime and the lighting of a candle. The choir sang, “The Fire of Commitment,” followed by a few words, and then everyone sang the hymn, “I Seek the Spirit of a Child.” It was an appropriate choice, as after the greeting, when everyone hugged or shook hands and introduced themselves, there was a dedication ceremony for the youngest members of the church. In a twist, instead of dedicating the children to the church, the fellowship dedicated themselves to raising the children. The children were touched with a rose: first on the head, that the mind will always be open; then on the heart, to feel compassion; then on the hands, to do good works; finally on the feet, so the child would always walk a path of great joy. It was cute, especially when the baby went for the rose.

After a reading, recent high school graduates were honored, and each told the congregation their plans for the next year. It felt like children telling the grandparents their adventures at Thanksgiving dinner.

Lois Bianchi gave a personal reminiscence of her time as a “Big” with the Big Brother Big Sister program, and the congregation was then honored for their commitment to the program with a certificate and $1,500.

The homily began with a short guided meditation in which we were asked to close our eyes and picture our lives as young adults. The younger members of the congregation were asked to imagine their lives in the future. After a moment, Rev. Carol S. Rudisill, interim minister for the church, talked about where the church fit in people’s lives and how the fellowship extends beyond the city limits.

This church is a friendly place that puts a huge emphasis on family and community. Its service has a traditional feel, but incorporates the ideas of many spiritual philosophies.

Want to take Brian to church? Call 324-4440 ext. 3525.