Our beliefs are diverse and inclusive. We have no shared creed. Our shared covenant is our seven Principles which supports “the free and responsible search for truth and meaning.” Though Unitarianism and Universalism were both liberal Christian traditions, this responsible search has led us to embrace diverse teachings from Eastern and Western religions and philosophies. Unitarian Universalists believe more than one thing. We think for ourselves, and reflect together, about important questions:
- The existence of a Higher Power
- Life and Death
- Sacred Texts
- Inspiration and Guidance
- Prayer and Spiritual Practices
We are united in our broad and inclusive outlook, and in our values, as expressed in our seven Principles. We are united in shared experience: our open and stirring worship services, religious education, and rites of passage; our work for social justice; our quest to include the marginalized; our expressions of love
The Seven Principles
Unitarian Universalist congregations affirm and promote seven Principles, which we hold as strong values and moral guides. We live out these Principles within a “living tradition” of wisdom and spirituality, drawn from sources as diverse as science, poetry, scripture, and personal experience
We, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, covenant to affirm and promote:
- The inherent worth and dignity of every being;
- 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.
“The Principles are not dogma or doctrine, but rather a guide for those of us who choose to join and participate in Unitarian Universalist religious communities.”
– Rev. Barbara Wellsten Hove
Our Sources of Inspiration
The living tradition which we share draws from many sources. These are the six sources our congregation affirms and promotes:
- 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.
“Throughout history, we have moved to the rhythms of mystery and wonder, prophecy, wisdom, teachings from ancient and modern sources, and nature herself.”
– Rev. Kathleen Rolenz
The seven principles of Unitarian Universalism are important to all UU congregations. But each lives those principles out in its own way and with its own particular emphases. At UUFA, we have identified three basic ideas, or “pillars,” as central to our identity as a faith community: religious pluralism, inclusive community, and sustainable living.
Religious pluralism is a commitment to value and affirm all religions as equally valid traditions of wisdom and spiritual expression, and to support each individual in pursuing their unique spiritual path or experience of connection with something larger than the self. We believe there is one light and many paths to it, and we value open, honest, and caring dialogue among the various paths.
Inclusive community means that religion is for everyone. We believe our duty as people of faith is to offer an experience of community that is welcoming to all, of any race or gender or sexual orientation or age or creed or political inclination. And we seek to integrate that diversity into a rich and harmonious community.
Sustainable living means that we understand ourselves as interdependent, with each other and with the community of life on this planet. Therefore, we are called to work for the good of the web of life in which we participate, and to honor each creature’s place in that web as equal in importance to our own. We seek to live in a way that allows all to live well.
These are the principles that guide UUFA’s ministry in its community. These are the yardsticks by which we measure our efforts to live out our faith.