Our members

At DuPage Unitarian Universalist Church (and any UU church!), we are people of all agespeople of many backgrounds, and people of many beliefs, creating spirituality and community beyond boundaries. We embrace and respect our unique journeys of spiritual development and personal discovery and growth while finding many points of commonality as we work together for greater social, racial and environmental justice and more love in our own lives and in the world.

Learn why we come, and why we stay.

Karen Hutt and Steve Tiwald | Jo Linsley and Patty Hansen | The Gelder/Brown family


Karen Hutt and Steve Tiwald

When we moved to Naperville in August 1987, we were excited that there were so many Unitarian Universalist churches in the Chicago area. We had become UUs in 1971, and had belonged to UU churches in three cities previously. We decided to start with the church closest to our new home—DuPage Unitarian Universalist Church. We attended the Ingathering Service in September 1987, and we never left.

Member photo: Hutt-TiwaldsFor us, belonging to a UU congregation is having a community that reminds us what it means to live thoughtfully, generously, and intentionally. It is being part of a community that calls us to be our best selves, and that supports us in that journey. It is a community that allows our children to ask important questions about religious beliefs, and encourages them to come to their own understandings about religion and how they wish to live in the world.

We found all of that at DUUC. We have been supported in our personal and public lives, and we are constantly reminded and challenged to reflect on what is necessary to live a meaningful life. We are blessed to have fellow members who bring richness, knowledge and new understandings to our worldview. We are inspired by members who give so much of themselves to our congregation and to the greater community, and by the commitment of this congregation to building a just and compassionate society. This is our faith community.

Jo Linsley and Patty Hansen

Jo Linsley and Patty HansenI learned about Unitarian Universalism from an online friend who shared my interests in respectful parenting, civil rights and earth-centered practices. At the time, I was also beginning to acknowledge my lesbian identity. Our congregation was a welcoming, safe haven. The individuals and the institution supported my spiritual journey as well as my journey of coming out to friends, family and employer. When I started dating the woman who would eventually become my wife, the people here welcomed her with open arms. They continue to support our marriage in person and in practice. We stay with this community because of the kind people and the group’s commitment to social justice and to maintaining respectful relationships.

Roy and Diane Gelder; Kat Gelder and Chris Brown

The Gelder-Brown familyWe each came to DUUC looking for a church that allowed us to be our own religious selves, and we have stayed for a variety of reasons. Chris was the first member of our family to attend; he has been working with the youth group for the past 10 years to offer them what he loves about the church: A place where people with different beliefs can find a way to get along. When Kat married him, she became active in social justice and planning Sunday Services. And more recently, they have celebrated the birth of their son with this community.

Kat’s parents, Roy and Diane, joined after attending the Goods and Services Auction. Roy appreciates sermons that force him to think deeply as well as the beautiful music our choir and musicians share on Sundays. Diane enjoys meeting new people every week and hosting auction parties.

And little Gil’s favorite part of church so far is smiling at everyone! This community has seen our family through births and deaths. DUUC is more than a church for us; it is our spiritual home.