Purposes and Principles of Unitarian Universalism :

We, the members of the Congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, Covenant to 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 ot conscience and the usee 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.


Poem By Anne Frank

In spite of everything, I still believe

that people are really good at heart.

I simply can't build up my hopes on a foundation

consisting of confusion, misery and death.

I see the world gradually being turned into a wilderness,

I hear the ever-approaching thunder, which will destroy us, too,

I can feel the suffering of millions, and yet,

if I look up into the heavens,

I think that it will all come out right,

that this cruelty will end,

and that peace and tranquility will return again.

In the meantime, I must hold up my ideals

for perhaps the time will come

when I shall be able to carry them out.

Anne Frank



Unitarianism Universalism is an unusual religious organization. Unlike most religions in North America, it does not require its adherents to adhere to a specific set of beliefs. Its membership includes individuals who identify themselves as Agnostics, Atheists, Buddhists, Christians, Humanists, Wiccans, or other religious tradition. Many inter-faith couples find it to be a comfortable religious home. UUs view the main function of the congregation as facilitating the spiritual quest of its members.

Major concerns of the UU religion include social justice and service to humanity. Most UUs readily adapt their beliefs to the findings of science. Thus they were very active in the abolition of slavery, gaining of equal rights for women, and the attainment of equal rights, including the right to marry, for homosexuals and bisexuals. They have an influence on the culture that is far beyond what one would expect from their numbers.


Purposes and Principles of Unitarian Universalism :

We, the members of the Congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, Covenant to 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 ot conscience and the usee 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.

The Living Tradition We Share Draws From Many Sources:


Direct experience of that trascending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and openness to the forces that create and uphold life;

Words and deeds of prophetic men and women which challenge us to confront powers and structiures of evilwith 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 teaching which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit.

The Wisdom of the Earth Centered Traditions.


How we began
UUA Boston by Richard Scoby
UUA, Boston, MA

Like your congregation, the Unitarian Universalist
Association of Congregations is more than the sum of its parts. It is a dynamic movement, a collective expression of our living tradition, and the means by which we, together, promote congregational health and vitality.

Working together for our mutual benefit is a longstanding tradition for Unitarian Universalist congregations. Our roots in North America go back to the independent, self-governing churches of colonial New England that covenanted to help one another in times of need. In Europe, our heritage reaches back to religious and social reformers in England, Poland and Transylvania.

The Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations (UUA) was formed in 1961 through the consolidation of the Universalist Church of America and the American Unitarian Association. Today the UUA is a faith community of more than 1000 congregations that support each other and bring to the world a vision of religious freedom, tolerance and social justice.

Our congregations elect a Board of Trustees to govern the Association in accordance with our commitment to the democratic process. Our Association supports the ongoing vision, mission and ministry of member congregations. Annually, we hold a meeting of the entire Association, called General Assembly, where delegates representing their congregations vote on Association issues.

"The commitment we make to one another, the promises we make to one another as a congregations, as an association, are what creates church community."
–The Rev. Rebecca Parker, The Premise and the Promise


What Unitarian Universalists Believe

Belief in Deity
Very diverse beliefs--Unitarian/Universalists welcome all deity beliefs as well as nontheistic beliefs. Some congregations are formed for those who share a common belief, e.g. Christianity.

• Incarnations
Very diverse beliefs, including belief in no incarnations, or that all are the embodiment of God. Some believe Christ is God's Son, or not Son but "Wayshower."

• Origin of Universe and Life
Diverse beliefs, but most believe in the Bible as symbolic and that natural processes account for origins.

• After Death
Diverse beliefs, but most believe that heaven and hell are not places but are symbolic. Some believe heaven and hell are states of consciousness either in life or continuing after death; some believe in reincarnation; some believe that afterlife is nonexistent or not known or not important, as actions in life are all that matter.

• Why Evil?
Most do not believe that humanity inherited original sin from Adam and Eve or that Satan actually exists. Most believe that God is good and made people inherently good but also with free will and an imperfect nature that leads some to immoral behavior. Diverse beliefs. Some believe wrong is committed when people distance themselves from God. Some believe in “karma,” that what goes around comes around. Some believe wrongdoing is a matter of human nature, psychology, sociology, etc.

• Salvation
Some believe in salvation through faith in God and Jesus Christ, along with doing good works and doing no harm to others. Many believe all will be saved, as God is good and forgiving. Some believe in reincarnation and the necessity to eliminate personal greed or to learn all of life’s lessons before achieving enlightenment or salvation. For some, the concepts of salvation or enlightenment are irrelevant or disbelieved.

• Undeserving Suffering
Diverse beliefs. Most Unitarians do not believe that Satan causes suffering. Some believe suffering is part of God’s plan, will, or design, even if we don’t immediately understand it. Some don’t believe in any spiritual reasons for suffering, and most take a humanistic approach to helping those in need.

• Contemporary Issues
The Unitarian Universalist Association’s stance is to protect the personal right to choose abortion. Other contemporary views include working for equality for homosexuals, gender equality, a secular approach to divorce and remarriage, working to end poverty, promoting peace and nonviolence, and environmental protection.


Comparison of Christianity and Unitarian Universalism:

We do few comparisons of faith traditions on this website beyond describing their range of beliefs in deity and their shared beliefs in the "Golden Rule." We will do so here, because the UU movement is so dissimilar from other religions, and because Christianity is such a dominant religion in the U.S. and Canada.

We compare conservative Christianity and the UU movement below:

Beliefs of Conservative Christians In common with most other religions, Evangelical faith groups expect their members to adhere to a list of beliefs concerning the nature of God, of mankind, and of the rest of the universe. This usually includes the following theological beliefs, derived largely from the literal interpretation of biblical passages:

1. The original writings of the Bible, were inerrant (without error).
2. Jesus Christ was born of a virgin.
3. Atonement: that through Jesus' death, the relationship between God and a person can been restored.
4. Resurrection: that after Jesus Christ's death and burial, he arose again.
5. Second coming: that Jesus' return to earth is imminent.
6. Incarnation: that God appeared on earth in human form as Jesus Christ.
7. Justification: an act of God in which any person who accepts that he/she has sinned and who believes that Jesus is their personal Lord and savior is forgiven of his/her sins and brought into a close relationship with God.
8. Regeneration of the spirit: that a new believer undergoes a spiritual rebirth.
9. Inspiration: that the authors of the Bible were inspired by the Holy Spirit.
10. The Trinity: the belief God is a single entity consisting of three persons: the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
11. Satan is a created being. He was once an angel but is now an all-evil tormentor of humanity.
12. Salvation is attained by repentance and trusting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
13. Heaven and Hell exist as places of eternal reward and punishment after death.

Beliefs of Unitarian Universalists: Many people think that UUs are required to believe that God is a unity and to reject the concept of the Trinity. This is not true. Members are not required to hold any specific belief concerning God, Jesus, heaven, hell, etc. As a result, UUs hold diverse beliefs about deity. Within a single congregation, there will be some individuals who are unsure of the existence of god(s) and goddess(es). Others believe in no deity, a single deity or many deities. They hold various views on life after death, including complete annihilation of the person, some form of afterlife removed from earth, or reincarnation. They are free to have beliefs that parallel those of conservative Christians; but few do so. Approximately 10% of UUs consider themselves to be Christians. These people typically share many beliefs about Jesus with members of liberal Christian denominations.

Practices of Conservative Christians A main responsibility of all members is to follow the "Great Commission" and attempt to win as many souls to Jesus Christ as possible. Many are heavily motivated to do this, because they believe that anyone who does not trust Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior will remain lost for all eternity in the torture chambers of Hell, and never attain heaven. Some faith groups teach that men and women must function within specific roles in the family and in church. Generally, women are restricted from exercising power and authority. Some faith groups actively promote laws or practices that discriminate against sexual minorities, same-sex committed couples, etc., and which limit people's choice in abortion, euthanasia, etc. Some believe that non-Christian faith groups worship demons, and that their organizations are either influenced by Satan or actually led by Satan. They tend to be politically conservative. They are urged to avoid being "unequally yoked," by being married to spouses who are not conservative Christians.

Practices of Unitarian Universalists: UUs do little proselytizing. They make few attempts to convert others to their religion. They believe that other religions have value; they cherish religious diversity and freedom. UUs are generally motivated by the principle of "liberty and justice for all" and believe in the inherent dignity of each human, regardless of race, color, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, nationality, degree of ability, etc. Starting in the 1950s, UUs were influential beyond what their numbers would suggest, in the battles to end racial segregation. They have been actively involved in programs to promote equal rights for women, gays, lesbians and other oppressed minorities. They value their local congregation as a place where they can help each other in their individual quests for spiritual knowledge. They have a larger percentage of women clergy than any other religion (other than Neopaganism). They were the first large faith group to have an office to promote equal rights for gays and lesbians, including the right to marry. Most of their congregations have solemnized unions of gays and lesbians. They tend to be politically liberal. Many couples who were raised in different religions find that membership in a UU congregation is an excellent environment in which they can share spiritual and religious experiences, while maintaining their individual beliefs.


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