This is our covenant:
To dwell together in peace
To seek the truth in love,
And to help one another.
Unitarian Universalist individuals and congregations are uniquely diverse in their beliefs and practices. We are unified in our commitment to affirm and promote the following seven principles:
Unitarian Universalists believe in spiritual growth and development through study and reflection on life experiences. A primary purpose of Unitarian Universalist churches is to support individuals’ search for spiritual maturity. Unitarian Universalists understand the world using a wide range of sources, including:
Unitarian Universalism asks a strong commitment to social justice and a commitment to explore spiritual development as individuals and together as a community.
Most Unitarian Universalists attach no particular theological label to their beliefs. Diversity of views is considered a strength in the Unitarian Universalist movement. The emphasis remains on the common search for meaning among its members and on acting on their shared principles to make this world a better place for all. In a survey, Unitarian Universalists in the United States were asked which provided term or set of terms best describe their belief. Many respondents chose more than one term to describe their beliefs. The top choices were:
Humanist – 54%
Agnostic – 33%
Earth-centered – 31%
Atheist – 18%
Buddhist – 16.5%
Christian – 13.1%
Pagan – 13.1%
Belief in a single God or all encompassing force in the universe is ancient and not unique to any system of beliefs. Unitarian Universalism evolved within Christianity in central Europe in the early years of the protestant reformation. Located in the religiously diverse borderland between Christian Europe and the Muslim Ottoman empire, in 1568 King John II Sigismond issued the Edict of Torda, the first broad decree of religious freedom in the modern history of Europe. He founded the Unitarian Church of Transylvania, which broke with the Catholic Church in not accepting the doctrine of the trinity and which espoused religious tolerance. In the 1700's during the Enlightenment Unitarianism's distinctive non-trinitarian beliefs developed philosophically and expanded geographically across northern Europe as those ideas science-based took root and spread.
In New England, Unitarianism evolved from the Pilgrim fathers’ Congregational Christianity which was originally a separatist sect of Calvinism. As others had before them, liberalizing reformers of the 1800’s rejected the belief in a trinity of Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Instead they asserted the unitary nature of God and thus their name: Unitarians.
Universalism started in England and migrated to America in the mid-1700's. New England Universalists rejected the Puritan forefathers’ belief that only a select few would achieve salvation. Instead, Universalists asserted that because God is good ‘all were universally saved.’ Long aware that their beliefs were compatible, Unitarians and Universalists joined together formally in a single association 1961.
Unitarian Universalists believe that the divine can be found in all people and in many faiths. Unitarian Universalists draw inspiration from their own history of evolving trust in reason and direct experience and from a variety of faith traditions.
Many Unitarian Universalist churches celebrate observances associated with other religious traditions, including Buddhist-style meditation groups, Jewish Seder dinners, and Christmas Eve/Winter Solstice services. The Falmouth Fellowship follows this tradition.
Sunday service themes revolve around the questions, “How to be in this world? How to live a good and useful life?” Readings and sermons are drawn from a very wide variety of books, newspapers, religious texts and commentary with, perhaps, an emphasis on those by Unitarian Universalists. Known for teaching religious tolerance, UUs have been in the forefront of most of America’s great movements for social change including abolition of slavery and civil rights for all peoples.
Children’s religious education classes teach about the divinity of the world and the sanctity of world religions. One of its more popular curricula, Neighboring Faiths, takes middle and high school students to visit the places of worship of many faith traditions including Hindu and Buddhist temples, Reform and Orthodox synagogues, Islamic mosques, and Catholic and Protestant churches. Study of other faiths and of humanism, agnosticism, atheism, ethics and science encourage questioning and learning about religious experience and morality in the context of freedom of thought.
To learn more go to wikipedia's discussion of Unitarian Universalist beliefs or the Unitarian Universalist Association's website page on our denominations beliefs.
We believe you must think for yourself to find your own understandings of life and purposes in life.