We are Beacon
Beacon was started in the 1950s by a small group of people, mainly faculty from Arizona State Teachers College (now Northern Arizona University), who met on Sundays to talk and listen to classical music. Two participants of this music club happened to hear the Rev. A. Powell Davies, a very prominent preacher at All Souls Unitarian Church in Washington, DC, and brought back inspiration and information about forming a Unitarian group.
In 1958, they applied for membership in the American Unitarian Association. In 1961 the Unitarian denomination united with the Universalists and became the Unitarian Universalist Association. With 20 members, the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Flagstaff was incorporated in 1964. The first 50 years of the UUFF were documented here by member Jan Nelson in 2008.
By 2011, the fellowship had experienced a strong period of growth, with good energy and high expectations. A long-range strategic plan envisioned increased membership, a larger building, and a more visible role within the Flagstaff community. With a new Mission and Vision, the fellowship had grown to more than 100 members, and we changed our name to Beacon Unitarian Universalist Congregation.
We are a strong, open-hearted, and resilient congregation, deeply committed to living and sharing our UU values. Many skilled and dedicated members have led our annual pledge campaigns so that we have the financial resources to support a full-time minister and part-time staff. We also conducted a successful capital campaign during 2018 and 2019 and began construction on a building addition and remodel in the summer of 2019.
The contractor’s construction phase of the building project was completed in November 2019. Members of Beacon painted the interior, constructed office space, and landscaped the back yard. You can read more about the REI Building Project HERE.
We were able to enjoy our new spaces (the Social Room and the Rainbow Room, and new offices) for about three months, and then in March 2020, Covid-19 forced us to shut down and stay connected via Zoom and the internet. However, when spring came and the ground thawed, we spent many hours together outside digging, building, dumping rocks, landscaping, and planting a brand new back yard. These get-togethers helped keep many of us sane through the pandemic.
Beacon showed its resilient colors during the COVID-19 pandemic, transitioning to Youtube services and Zoom meetings so that the community could retain the values of connection it holds so dear. They found ways to keep the community going and are in their transition to in-person services. It has been a true delight to slowly return to in-person programming.
Beacon’s “glowing coal” is comprised of two elements: loyalty and heart. We have a faithful core of long-time members who have worked diligently through the years to sustain the organization, which is run by dependable volunteers who make Beacon a loving, thoughtful, and successful congregation. “We show up”: we enthusiastically participate in caring, both within our doors and in the larger Flagstaff community.
Beacon Unitarian Universalist Congregation sits at the base of the San Francisco Peaks, on homelands sacred to Native Americans throughout the region. We honor their past, present, and future generations, who have lived here for millennia and will forever call this place home.
We invite you to visit us and see for yourself why we choose to be Beacon members!
Join our community on our Facebook page! We share updates, notices, pictures, and congregational updates!
Read some of our diverse member’s stories here.