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Our 150th Year

The congregation of First Unitarian Church of San Jose first met at City Hall in November of 1865, and we celebrated 150th anniversary with gala party, a history display at the MLK branch of the San Jose Public Library, and monthly historical Presentations during by Kristin Rivers. More activities are still to come.


FUSCJ 150th History Project

Learn about the Project! Help Research our History! Celebrate our Church's Contributions to Making Love Visable! The History Project Team has researched and created and will continue to research and create informational displays for each month focusing on these milestones in the church's history:

Service Time Frame Event(s)
1860s

First Unitarian service in San Jose @ City Hall >100 in attendance (Nov 1865)

POWERPOINT | PDF

1870s

Congregation worked in US Sanitary Commission (that later became the Red Cross) helping Civil War victims

POWERPOINT | PDF

1900s

Sheltered SF Earthquake victims (1906) and began San Jose Day Nursery (1916)

POWERPOINT | PDF

1910s

Minister and congregation actively supported Women's Suffrage

POWERPOINT | PDF

1930s

Spoke out against lynching (specifically the ones in St. James Park in 1933) & Anti-lynching legislation

POWERPOINT | PDF

1940s

Actively opposed Japanese Internment Camps & w/ Quakers @ train station providing moral support, food

POWERPOINT | PDF

1950s

Minister then congregation voted refused to sign Loyalty Oath: Church paid taxes (1953-1958 until Supreme Court ordered taxes returned)

POWERPOINT | PDF

May 2016 1960s Civil Rights Movement: Facilitated exchange program between Birmingham and San Jose FUCSJ teens
Jun 2106 1980s Provided sanctuary for victims of Central American Wars and called 1st lesbian minister in CA UU church
Jul 2016 1990s Called 1st LatAm immigrant minister, started Spanish-speaking Ministry, and launched 3rd St Com. Center
Aug 2016 2000s Actively opposed Iraq War: >100 church members in SF war protest, LGBT Efforts
Sep 2016 2010s NPJ launched Beloved Conversations/ Community: personal, societal, congregational white privilege & racism

Questions: Please email Kristin Rivers at knrivers66@gmail.com or call or text (408) 888-0757.



Making Love Audible

Calling all youth and long-time members... here’s an opportunity to give back to the church and be part of our 150th Anniversary Celebration. Now is your chance to help preserve 150 years of Making Love Visible.

The 150th Celebration Committee would like to pair members of our youth group with senior members of our congregation. The purpose for this Making Love Audible project is to gather and archive FUCSJ history as told by our members. We have so many long-time members who have so many amazing stories the 150th Celebration Committee would love to capture these conversations on digital media and make them available to all members of the congregation. These stories need to be cherished and shared!

The recordings will be posted to the FUCSJ website, making them available to our members and the public. The recordings will be a great way to promote our church. We have so much to offer the community! Why not promote FUCSJ via our website and or special events like the 150th Celebration?

  • We need youth volunteers to be interviewers!
  • And elders with stories of FUCSJ to tell!

All recording sessions will be held in our church on Sundays after service and by appointment. If you’re interested in either role – Youth interviewers or Elder story teller - please contact Patrick Canonge at 150yearsfucsj@gmail.com Please provide the role of interest and any questions you may have.