..are curious, compassionate thinkers and doers who value thinking for themselves and acting on what they believe. We are diverse in faith, ethnicity, history and spirituality, but aligned in our desire to make a difference for the good.
We come from a variety of backgrounds, traditions and religions. We respect and celebrate our differences, and seek not to convert, but to share. We are not a melting pot, but rather a mosaic, and subscribe to no dogma.
We are free to hold any belief or non-belief concerning God or judgment. We find expression in our religion by living out our values. People do not have to abandon their faith or traditions to become members or friends of our church. We ask only that they let go of the doctrine of exclusivity.
We have radical roots and a history as self-motivated, spiritual people: we think for ourselves and recognize that life experience influences our beliefs more than anything.
We need not think alike to love alike.
Unitarian Universalism creates change -- in ourselves, and in the world.
Seven days a week, Unitarian Universalists live their faith by doing. We know that active, tangible expressions of love, peace, and justice, are what make a difference.
Unitarian Universalist congregations are committed to Seven Principles that include the worth of each person, the need for justice and compassion, and the right to choose one’s own beliefs. Our congregations and faith communities promote these principles through regular worship, learning and personal growth, shared connection and care, social justice and service, celebration of life’s transitions, and much more.
Our faith tradition is diverse and inclusive. We grew from the union of two radical Christian groups: the Universalists, who organized in 1793, and the Unitarians, who organized in 1825. They joined to become the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) in 1961. Both groups trace their roots in North America to the early Massachusetts settlers and the Framers of the Constitution. Across the globe, our legacy reaches back centuries to liberal religious pioneers in England, Poland, and Transylvania. Today, Unitarian Universalists include people of many beliefs who share UU values of peace, love, and understanding. We are creators of positive change in people and in the world.
In Unitarian Universalism, you can bring your whole self: your full identity, your questioning mind, your expansive heart.
Together, we create a force more powerful than one person or one belief system. As Unitarian Universalists, we do not have to check our personal background and beliefs at the door: we join together on a journey that honors everywhere we’ve been before.
Our beliefs are diverse and inclusive. We have no shared creed. Our shared covenant (our Seven Principles) 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 an inclusive spirituality drawn from six sources: from scriptural wisdom to personal experience to modern day heroes.
Unitarian Universalists believe more than one thing. We think for ourselves, and reflect together, about important questions:
The existence of a Higher Power
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 exploration, and rites of passage; our work for social justice; our quest to include the marginalized; our expressions of love.
Learn more about Unitarian Universalists from a variety of beliefs and backgrounds: Atheist/Agnostic, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Humanist, Jewish, Muslim, Pagan, and more.
The Flaming Chalice
A flame within a chalice is a primary symbol of the Unitarian Universalist faith tradition. Many of our congregations kindle a flaming chalice in gatherings and worship services and feature the chalice symbol prominently.
Hans Deutsch, an Austrian artist, first brought together the chalice and the flame as a Unitarian symbol during his work with the Unitarian Service Committee during World War II. To Deutsch, the image had connotations of sacrifice and love.
To Unitarian Universalists today the flaming chalice is a symbol of hope, the sacred, the quest for truth, the warmth of community, the light of reason, and more.
We light a flaming chalice in worship to create a reverent space for reflection, prayer, meditation, and singing.
Principles and Sources
Unitarian Universalist congregations affirm and promote Seven Principles, which we hold as strong values and moral guides.
As Rev. Barbara Wells ten Hove explains, “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.” They are:
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 live out these Principles within a “living tradition” of wisdom and spirituality, drawn from sources as diverse as science, poetry, scripture, and personal experience:
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.
These seven Principles and six Sources of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) grew out of the grassroots of our tradition, were affirmed democratically, and are part of who we are. Read them as they are written in the UUA Bylaws.