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spacerWho We Are :: The Unitarian Universalist

Unitarian Universalism is a liberal religion which in form is of fairly modern origin but in substance embodies the most ancient sources of wisdom. As its name implies, it is concerned with the search for finding a universal truth that will speak to all people. Unitarian Universalism became a denomination in 1961 when the American Unitarian Association and the Universalist Church of America united. Both were formed in the Judeo-Christian tradition, mainly in Europe and then in America, at the time of the enlightenment in society and the radical reformation in religion. In some sense UUism has continued to this day to imrove itself.

UUs are considered to be exceedingly openminded in that they value keeping their minds open to all religious questions. Contemporary UUs find their inspiration as well in very ancient and original forms of religion and in pagan and secular venues as well. They believe deeply in the freedom of conscience which urges them to form their own beliefs but without imposing them on others.

UUs are also considered to be very openhearted in that everyone is welcome in their gatherings regardless of their creeds, or ethnicity, or gender orientation or any other incidental characteristic. What matters is that people treat each other fairly and work by democratic principles. Through local efforts and such agencies as the UU Service Committee UUs actively strive to improve world conditions.

We believe that personal experience, conscience and reason should be the final authorities in religion. In the end religious authority lies not in a book or person or institution, but in ourselves. We put religious insights to the test of our hearts and minds.

We uphold the free search for truth. We will not be bound by a statement or belief. We do not ask anyone to subscribe to a creed. We say ours is a non creedal religion. Ours is a free faith.

We believe that religious wisdom is ever-changing. Human understanding of life and death, the world and its mysteries, is never final. Revelation is continuous. We celebrate unfolding truths known to teachers, prophets and sages throughout the ages.

We affirm the worth and dignity of all women and men. We believe people should be encouraged to think for themselves. We know people differ in their opinions and lifestyles and believe these differences generally should be honored.

We seek to act as a moral force in the world, believing that ethical living is the supreme witness of religion. The here and now and the effects our actions will have on future generations deeply concern us. We know that our relationships with on another, with other people, races and nations, should be governed by justice, equity and compassion.

As Unitarian Universalists, we strive to live our lives in the spirit of the Principles and Purposes of the UUA, although these do not make up a creedal test for membership:

  • 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

Page last updated: 12/03/2008

Rev. Sinkford
Rev. William G. Sinkford,
President, Unitarian Universalist Association
Boston, MA

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