What is Unitarian Universalism?
Unitarian Universalism is a liberal religion—that is, a religion that keeps an open mind to the spiritual and religious questions that people have struggled with in all times, in all places. What gives life meaning? How should we raise our children? How should we live our lives? Why do terrible things happen and how should we respond? What happens when we die? We welcome people of good faith, of all faiths, backgrounds, races, and sexual identities, and regardless of who you love.
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, deity, person, or institution, but in ourselves—our own hearts, minds, and values. So we draw on many sources (see Unitarian Universalist [UU] Principles below).
We are a "non-creedal" religion, in that we do not ask anyone to subscribe to a creed. We are focused more on how to live rather than on what to believe. Many of us experience (or yearn to experience) a spiritual aspect to life that may deepen our spirit, strengthen our resolve, and connect us one to another in love. Though we are each on our own journey, we want to be in the company of others who quest for meaning and hope. And we want our children and youth to know and be guided by adults who share these values.
UU congregations are self-funded and self-governing. Authority and responsibility are vested in the membership of each congregation. Each UU congregation is involved in many kinds of programs. Worship is held regularly, and the insights of the past and the present are shared with those who will create the future. Service to the community and liberal values are priorities. Events and activities serve to build a sense of community within the congregation and the community beyond the congregation. We work toward justice for all people. Friendships are an example of the enduring results of practicing our values.
The Unitarian Universalist Association is the central organization for Association’s more than 1,000 member congregations. The Association’s primary purpose is to serve the needs of its member congregations, organize new congregations, extend and strengthen Unitarian Universalist institutions, and implement its Seven Principles. Congregations are united in geographic groupings called Districts and Regions. PBUUC is a member of the Central East Region (CER), which includes congregations in Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, District of Columbia, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.
Unitarian Universalist Principles and Sources
Unitarian Universalism affirms and promotes seven Principles, grounded in the humanistic teachings of the world's religions. Our spirituality is unbounded, drawing from scripture and science, nature and philosophy, personal experience and ancient tradition. We believe in:
- 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.
We Are Unitarian Universalists
A video by bethc.
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