Imagine a religion where people of different beliefs worship as one faith. Members whose positions on faith may be derived from a variety of religious beliefs: Jewish, Christian, Buddhist, naturist, atheist, or agnostic. Members who might tell you that they are religious humanists, liberal Christians, or world religionists. Imagine all these people, and others who label their beliefs still differently, who are committed to the practice of free religion. Imagine Unitarian Universalism. Unitarian Universalists emphasize life and living rather than a creed. We discuss such questions as, “What does life mean?” “What is the meaning of good and evil?” and “What happens when we die?” and by doing so, we are enriched by a diversity of beliefs as we grow spiritually together.
We value freedom of thought as the right of all people, and practice tolerance of others’ beliefs. To us, these are more important than creed. Our churches are democratic, loving communities where we all learn together and reach out to one another.
Unitarian Universalist churches uphold liberal values of freedom of belief and conscience, unrestricted use of reason in religious inquiry, and tolerance for theological diversity.
Our beliefs are based on four elements: Unitarian Universalist Identity, Judeo-Christian Heritage, World Religions and Cultures, and Values or Character. We study all of the worlds religions, not emphasizing one as the “right” one.
The Unitarian Universalist Association affirms and promotes the following principles:
- The inherent worth and dignity of every person
- Justice, equality 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
- We believe in freedom, love, and reason in religion.
- We commit ourselves to an organized religious community, recognizing the greater effectiveness of common effort.
- We come together to enrich our spiritual lives, to share our ideals, and to increase our sensitivity to the needs of others.
- We believe we can achieve our goals without conforming to set theological doctrines.
- We welcome and offer friendship to kindred spirits of any race, nationality, sexual orientation or religious background.
- Within the limits of our abilities and in keeping with our personal choices we dedicate our time, effort, and financial support to this Congregation.
Be ours a religion which, like
sunshine, goes everywhere;
Its temple, all space;
Its shrine, the good heart;
Its creed, all truth;
Its ritual, works of love;
Its profession of faith, divine living.
This is the philosophy
Unitarians try to live by.
– Theodore Parker
1800s Unitarian Universalist Minister
The history of our denomination goes back many centuries. Our American forbears include John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Clara Barton, Susan B. Anthony, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Adlai Stevenson.
Unitarian and Universalist churches grew out of the Judeo-Christian heritage. Unitarians emphasized the unity of God, an alternative to the doctrine of the trinity. Universalists emphasized belief in universal salvation, an alternative to the notion that only the select few could be saved. In 1961, the Unitarian and Universalist movements merged into the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) which now has more than 1,000 affiliated congregations in the United States and Canada.
A collection of helpful, interesting and informative links related to Unitarian Universalism.
Unitarian Universalist Association
Everything you ever wanted to know about UUA.
Purchase UUA books.
100 UU Questions
100 Questions about UU – from the UU Church of Nashua – Covers the most common questions asked about Unitarian Universalists, and also includes an extensive list of famous UUs – from Thomas Jefferson to Kurt Vonnegut and many many more!