With its historical roots in the Jewish and Christian traditions, Unitarian Universalism is a liberal religion — a religion that keeps an open mind to the religious questions people have struggled with in all times and places. We believe that personal experience, conscience and reason should be the final authorities in religion, and that in the end religious authority lies not in a book or person or institution, but in ourselves.
Unitarians and Universalists each have a separate and rich history. These traditions came together formally in 1961. There are now over one thousand UU congregations in the United States and Canada.
Part of the history comes from Eastern Europe, whose Unitarians were bold to express a faith that was actively opposed by government.
In the United States, the Unitarians were strong statesmen and women, writers and intellectuals, who gave shape to a new and developing country. Unitarians denounced slavery and worked for the freedom of black slaves in the South.
Universalists, though represented too by articulate and active thinkers, often attracted workers, laborers and farmers. Universalism was a loving and affirming religious alternative.
At its root, Universalists believed that all persons would eventually be reconciled with God.
We are a "non-creedal" religion. We do not ask anyone to believe a specific set of doctrines.
Like many world religions, a common idea in UU is that truth is always revealing itself.
UUs value freedom in religion; use critical reason and even doubt to expand our understanding; cultivate tolerance to hear one another; and practice justice, which is "love with its sleeves rolled up".
Our members practice their beliefs in different ways. We have remarkable elders who have worked for justice and peace for decades.
Many UUs are parents raised in different traditions, raising children in multi-religious families.
We seek wisdom from all sources - contemporary and ancient poets, the Bible, Buddhist texts, Native American religion, and many other practices and faiths.
The aspects of church that appeal to UUs include everything! Community, care, connections, coffee hour, children, and activism.
Our youth are inspiring!
UU attracts many families because of the wonderful church school programs, which introduce and explain world religions in an equal, non-biased way, as well as other outstanding curricula.
There is enormous diversity in how UUs seek truth. Some UUs consider themselves Christian. Many UUs would also describe themselves as Buddhist or Jewish. Other members are attuned to earth-centered spirituality and religion. UUs may also use the terms humanist or atheist to describe themselves.
For others, spiritual things are too big, glorious or wondrous to define with meager words. But lots of us try....