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The Ballou Channing District

Who we are

Map of BCD, CBD, MBDThe Ballou Channing District is an administrative region of the Unitarian Universalist Association, one of 19 regions across the United States. The District covers southeast Massachusetts, including the Cape and Islands, and Rhode Island.  There are 45 member congregations – 7 in Rhode Island and 38 in Massachusetts – with a total membership of about 5500 Unitarian Universalists.

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The District's name comes from two important individuals in Unitarian and Universalist religious history who had connection tot he area that is now part of the district.  Hosea Ballou (1771 - 1853), a leading early Universalist minister whose family lived in Burrillville, RI, and William Ellery Channing (1780 - 1842), the "Father" of Unitarianism who was born in Newport, RI.

Our Mission

The mission of the Ballou Channing District is to assist and inspire its member congregations to grow in spiritual and institutional health and to advance the Principles and Purposes of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations.

To this end the District provides resource information, news, consultation and education and training to member societies and their leaders; promotes and facilitates inter-society connections and cooperative relationships between societies, the District community and the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA); supports the UUA as an information and resource link.

How we function

A volunteer fourteen-member elected Board of Directors governs the District.  The board establishes policies, sets desired outcomes for programs, and maintains relationship with the member congregations. A district executive is employed in a capacity similar to the executive director of a non-profit agency to provide general management oversight, administrative direction, as well as, serving as the senior consultant to work with member congregations.  District staff includes an administrator, a program associate and several specialist consultants.  In addition, there are several volunteers that serve as auxiliary staff, and committees that provide services to congregations in specific functional areas.

The Unitarian Universalist Association

The Ballou Channing District is part of the operational structure of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations. The UUA an organization composed of congregations that identify as being Unitarian Universalist who have voluntarily joined in union. There are approximately 1300 congregations across the United States who are members of the Association.

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Unitarian Universalist congregations do not profess a creed, but express foundational principles that guide our religious movement and our involvement in everyday life.  This is stated for the Association, the continental organization of congregations, in our Principles and Purposes.

Principles and Purposes 

We, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association covenant to affirm and promote:

The inherent worth and dignity of every person:

Justice, equity and compassion inhuman 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 in within our congregations and in 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 part.

Grateful for the religious pluralism which enriches and ennobles our faith, we are inspired to deepen our understanding and expand our vision.  As free congregations we enter into this covenant, promising to one another our mutual trust and support

Voices of a Liberal Faith

The following video, Voices of a Liberal Faith, was produced by the UUA and tells the story of our faith through powerful imagery and inspirational testimonials. In it, you'll see and hear Unitarian Universalist leaders and members share elements of our history, our theology, what it's like to worship with us, how we educate our children, and more. You'll also learn about our deep commitment to social justice and inclusiveness.

For further information about Unitarian Universalism and the Unitarian Universalist Association visit

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