Joseph Priestley District of the Unitarian Universalist Association
What is the Joseph Priestley District?
The JPD is the district of the Unitarian Universalist Association covering Delaware, Maryland, Southern New Jersey, Eastern Pennsylvania, Northern Virginia, plus Washington DC, with 70 certified congregations and others in formation.
Joseph Priestley District Mission Statement
It is the mission of the Joseph Priestley District (JPD) to develop and strengthen a community of healthy congregations and affiliates, striving for diversity of theology and culture, deepening our sense of mutual accountability to each other and the movement.
Who was Joseph Priestley?
Though a scientist of note and discoverer of oxygen, Priestley (1733-1804) considered himself primarily a Unitarian minister. Following the destruction of his home and laboratory in England for his religious and political views, he was welcomed to this country by Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin in 1794. He helped found our oldest congregation, the First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia, in 1796.
After settling in Philadelphia he moved to Northumberland, PA with the dream of establishing a community for English settlers seeking similar freedoms, and reestablished his life and work on the banks of the Susquehanna River.