Our Principles

The Seven Principles

We, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, covenant to affirm and promote

  • 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.
The Six Sources

The living tradition which we share draws from many sources:

  • 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.

Grateful for the religious pluralism which enriches and ennobles our faith, we are inspired to deepen our understanding and expand our vision. As free congregations we enter into this covenant, promising to one another our mutual trust and support.

Note: The above seven principles and six sources are not like creeds which too often survive long after they may be relevant. As many beliefs become inaccurate as human knowledge and experience expands, the UUA Bylaws include a provision for a study and review process of these principles not less than every 15 years. Such a review and study process was launched in May, 2006. Any changes require approval by 2/3 vote of representatives from all UU congregations at an annual General Assembly.

The Flaming Chalice

Chalice with two flamesChalice with palm branchChalice in two rings

At the opening of Unitarian Universalist worship services, many congregations light a flame inside a chalice. This flaming chalice has become a well-known symbol of our denomination. It unites our members in worship and symbolizes the spirit of our work. Two flames or two circles represent Unitarianism and Universalism.  A history of the flaming chalice symbol can be found on the UUA website.

Chalice images from Steve Bridenbaugh's font

 

 

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