Unitarian Universalism is a liberal religious tradition which emphasizes freedom of thought and conscience, compassionate human connections, and a commitment to reason, equal justice, and peace. The roots of this movement go back to the radical origins of the Protestant Reformation, and include Enlightenment thinkers, the American Transcendentalists, social reformers and political leaders, as well as artists, scholars, and activists of our own day.
Unitarianism originated in questions about the Christian doctrine of the Trinity among those who advocated the unity of God and the humanity of Jesus. Universalism arose among those who were convinced that a loving God would bring every human soul to salvation eventually. Both traditions affirmed the importance of thoughtful honesty in each person’s religious ideas, rather than conformity to orthodox dogma. This gave rise to a creedless movement that establishes congregations on the basis of a covenant of mutuality, rather than uniform beliefs.
Today, the united Unitarian Universalist Association includes humanists, atheists, agnostics, pagans, Christians, Jews, Buddhists, and many other varieties of faith practices in each local congregation. We affirm that every individual has a unique spiritual journey to pursue, and that we will find many paths leading to a fully human, mature and generous way of life. Religious community is an important resource for us, where we grow with one another’s support, by engaging the challenges of diversity and working together to confront oppression and nurture positive change throughout our global village.
Each of the more than 1,000 UU congregations in this country has its own specific history and personality; All Souls has a strong humanist tradition, and a commitment to our urban identity. At the same time, we are proud to be a member congregation of the national Unitarian Universalist Association, and to affirm the following Principles and Purposes of that body:
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 living tradition 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.
To learn more about Unitarian Universalism, please visit the UU Association Website.