Unitarian Universalism descends from two movements that developed in the 18th and 19th centuries: Unitarianism, which affirmed the unity of God (as opposed to the trinity) and emphasized reason as a test for theological truth;and Universalism, which proclaimed universal salvation for all people. By the mid 1900s, these groups had evolved to share a common philosophy of religious tolerance and ethical responsibility. In 1961, they united as the Unitarian Universalist Association.
Unitarian Universalism is a religion that celebrates diversity of belief and is guided by seven principles:
- 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.
Our congregations are places where we gather to nurture our spirits and put our faith into action through social justice work in our communities and the wider world.