Love is the spirit of this church, and service its law.
Unitarian Universalism was formed from the consolidation of two religions: Unitarianism and Universalism. Both had origins in Europe during the Reformation. Unitarians were Christians who didn’t believe in the Holy Trinity of God, but in the unity, or single aspect, of God. Unitarian beliefs later evolved to stress the importance of rational thinking, a direct relationship with God, and the humanity of Jesus. Universalism emerged as a Christian denomination with a central belief in universal salvation, i.e., that all people will eventually be reconciled with God.
Both religions were brought to America by colonists in the late 1700’s and early 1800’s and became widely practiced in urban(Unitarian) and agricultural (Universalist) societies during these centuries. A consolidation of the faiths in 1961 formed the denomination known as the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations, Inc. with headquarters in historic Boston.
In the fifty years since the merger, Unitarian Universalism has continued to evolve as a liberal religion embracing diverse spiritual beliefs and advocating for equality, social justice and compassion.
While Unitarian Universalism has historic roots in the Jewish and Christian traditions, today’s individual Unitarian Universalists may also identify with Atheism, Agnosticism, Buddhism, Humanism, Paganism, or other philosophical or religious traditions. Interfaith families often find that Unitarian Universalist congregations are a good fit.
Unitarian Universalism today encourages all seekers to follow their own path for spiritual truth and meaning. They are encouraged on this path within the UU congregation.
As a liberal, non-creedal religion, Unitarian Universalists do not have a formal statement of beliefs on which all agree. Instead, UU’s believe in Seven Principles expressing shared values that unite us:
Unitarian Universalists also draw inspiration from the following 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; and
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.
Here is a great video where you can hear more, directly from some Unitarian Universalists!
For more information, please visit the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations page at www.uua.org