This site was created to make it quick and easy to tell someone about Unitarian Universalism.
“Questions about Unitarian Universalism? Visit UUFAQ.org.”
How’s that for easy?
Explore Popular UU FAQ’s
- Frequently Asked Questions About Unitarian Universalism from the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations.
- 100 Questions That Non-Members Ask About Unitarian Universalism by the Unitarian-Universalist Church of Nashua, New Hampshire.
A great way to learn about Unitarian Universalism is to watch this collection of short introductory videos.
Here’s the deal…
Our congregations bring people with diverse beliefs together around shared values. That’s how I explain Unitarian Universalism. It is the key point that differentiates us from other religions — the diversity of belief you will find within one community.
I mentioned shared values. What are those values? The same core values that have been at the heart of American from its birth — freedom of religion, democracy, justice, celebrating diversity. Just as America’s strength is being a melting pot, our strength is the diversity of ideas and belief that come together in our congregations.
About the Name
The name “Unitarian Universalist” comes from our historical roots. Once upon a time religious liberals who didn’t believe in the trinity of God came to be known as Unitarians. Those who believed in Universal salvation instead of hell came to be known as Universalists. Over time these groups merged into one association of liberal congregations creating the really long hybrid name Unitarian Universalists.
But wait! Things didn’t stop there. Over time our congregations have evolved beyond what one would consider a Christian church. We grew into a liberal religion welcoming people of diverse beliefs, coming together around shared values, seeking to lead lives of meaning while working to make the world a better place. Regardless of our individual beliefs about theology, we can agree on human rights, justice, how we should treat one another, and so on. It is a beautiful thing…
Here’s a great (though long) video of one of my favorite UU ministers being interviewed…
UUA Principles and Purposes
While our congregations are independent democratically governed communities, the majority have joined together in an association — the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations. In order to join this assocciation, member congregations agree to “affirm and promote” the following principles and purposes which I like to think of as our UU glue. It is our common ground.
There are seven principles which Unitarian Universalist congregations 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.
Unitarian Universalism draws from many sources:
- 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.
These principles and sources of faith are the backbone of our religious community.