Unitarian Universalism

Who Are We?

uua-200The Unitarian Universalist Association of congregations  (UUA) is an organization of approximately 1,000 congregations in the United States and Canada. It was formed in 1961 through the merger of the formerly independent associations of Unitarian and Universalist bodies.

Both of the historical denominations had roots extending back to the colonial era. They had their differences but were always on the progressive, liberal edge of the theology of their day as well as on social justice issues. Both affirmed the role of religion as a forward-looking source of ethical conduct.

What Do Unitarian Universalists Believe?

There is no pat answer to this question because religious pluralism is a hallmark of our tradition.  We impose no fixed creed or catechism. What brings us together is not the answers, but the questions. What we offer is not the truth, but a circle of trust and honesty within which you are free to seek truth as you discern it.

Nevertheless, there is a unity that binds us in our diversity. Every Unitarian Universalist congregation agrees to affirm and promote our 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;
  • 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 Universalists also claim many Sources which the denomination describes in this fashion:

  • Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and 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.

 Organization

Like all congregations in the UUA, the First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis is independent and self-governing. The denominational headquarters in Boston provides resources to congregations and coordinates many activities, as does the  MidAmerica Region of the UUA.

The North American UUA maintains relationships with Unitarian churches throughout the world (primarily in the United Kingdom and Europe), but those churches have their own heritage and doctrines.

 Further Reading