Jefferson Unitarian Church (JUC) established a second campus in Evergreen on December 18, 2011, to serve the mountain communities. JUC has two campuses and is one church with the shared mission to act to nurture our spiritual community, grow Unitarian Universalism, and transform the world outside our church walls.
JUC’s Evergreen Campus was established to fulfill one of three objectives set forth by the Board of Trustees in October 2009. That strategic objective was to grow the capacity of JUC to accomplish our mission and touch lives.
Jefferson Unitarian Church’s Golden Campus experienced significant growth within the previous decade, increasing membership from 459 at the end of the 2000-2001 church year to 743 in June 2010, with a peak membership of 786. We had reached our physical capacity (facility and parking) yet had it within our mission to grow Unitarian Universalism. How should JUC grow?
Through dialog, analysis and effort, the Board approved the Strategic Planning Group’s recommendation in August 2010 to proceed with the pursuit of establishing a second JUC campus. Two experimental services were held in the summer of 2011 in Evergreen at Congregation Beth Evergreen and Church of the Hills resulting in well-attended services and an affirmation that a mountain area campus was a viable option for growth. At the September 28, 2011, congregational meeting, the congregation voted unanimously in support of establishing a second campus for Jefferson Unitarian Church in Evergreen.
The first worship service of the newly established campus was held at Rocky Mountain Academy of Evergreen on December 18, 2011, with Rev. Wendy Williams presiding. We rented space at the charter school for almost two years, moved to Church of the Hills on October 6, 2013, and began meeting at our current venue, Congregation Beth Evergreen, on October 19, 2014. We are grateful for the hospitality extended to us by the Evergreen community. We began meeting monthly on the third Sunday of the month and have grown to meet on first, third and fifth Sundays.
JUC was among a small group of Unitarian Universalist congregations on the frontier of multi-site church campus exploration. The wisdom of leaders at First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Diego and Pacific Southwest and Mountain Desert District staff informed our work and direction. Extending our ministry through an additional campus provides a spiritual home to those who find meaning in our worship and connection within our community.