Wed, May 04, 2016

UU Beliefs and Principles 

Overview of beliefs, principles, and many wisdom sources. 

“…Whoever you are, whatever you are, wherever you are on your journey, we bid you welcome.”

Unitarian Universalism is a faith tradition which encourages each individual to develop a personal faith. It draws from many different religions, in the belief that no one religion has all the answers and that most have something to teach us. From our Judeo-Christian heritage, we learn the teachings of the bible and Jesus. From Buddhism we learn the power of meditation. From Judaism we learn the belief that working together we can achieve peace and justice. From Native American and other earth-centered traditions we learn respect for the earth and reverence for natural cycles. From Humanism, we learn the belief in reason and direct experience of the sacred. 

Unitarian Universalism is a way of being religious rather than embracing a specific religious doctrine. For us, religion is an ongoing search for meaning, purpose, value and spiritual depth in one's life. We believe that individuals are entitled to make their own search, and that not all persons are going to share the same beliefs. We believe there is wisdom and value in most all religions, but that no one religion has all the answers. We believe in an inner harmony that will lead to ethical action. Unitarian Universalists believe in individual responsibility to search for and form their own beliefs, and as a result many of them may believe different things. What holds UUs together is not common belief, but common experience and a common approach to life. Unitarian Universalists believe in the Golden Rule, loving our neighbors as ourselves, working for a better world, searching for truth with an open mind, using reason to help us explore religious ideas, and granting everyone the right to choose their own beliefs. 

An excellent resource about Unitarian Universalism is the book A Chosen Faith by John A. Buehrens and Forrest Church. (Source: UUA)

UU Principles

Unitarian Universalists covenant with each other to affirm and promote: 

  • The inherent worth and dignity of every person 
  • Justice, equity, and compassion in human 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 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 a part


The Six Sources

The living tradition we share draws from many sources. They include:

  • Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and uphold life; 
  • Words and deeds of prophetic women and men which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion and the transforming power of love; 
  • Wisdom from the world's religions which inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life; 
  • Jewish and Christian teachings which call us to respond to God's love by loving our neighbors as ourselves; 
  • Humanist teachings which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science, and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit; 
  • Spiritual teachings of Earth-centered traditions which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature. 


Perhaps you have been looking for a church where:

Your doubts are not ridiculed.
Your guilts are lightened.
Your griefs are comforted.
Your joys are celebrated.
Your children are taught all religions.
Your talents are nurtured.
Your concerns are shared.
Your reason is honored.
Your friendships are deepened.
Your love of art and beauty is expanded.
Your need to serve others is fostered.
Your need to laugh is encouraged.
Your individual decision is treasured.

These are the aspirations of Unitarian Universalist churches. If they are yours, we invite you to join and help us achieve them. - Marjorie Achley (UUA)

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