Welcome to Unitarian Universalism, a religion that celebrates diversity of belief and is guided by Seven Principles. Our congregations are places where we gather to nurture our spirits and put our faith into action through social justice work in our communities and the wider world. There is a rich dialogue in our congregations about many spiritual topics. While our congregations uphold shared principles, individual Unitarian Universalists may discern their own beliefs about spiritual, ethical, and theological issues.
Newcomers are always welcome in Unitarian Universalist congregations. There is no formal conversion process, so becoming a Unitarian Universalist is simply a matter of self-identification. Membership is voluntary and is an invitation to live out the UU principles and support the work of the congregation both with time and treasure.
People often ask what Unitarian Universalists believe in. The Seven Principles are expressed as a covenant among congregations to affirm and promote rather than statements of belief by individual members. These principles are guidelines which we, as individuals members and as a congregational community, affirm as the values which hold us together in community, form the basis of our covenantal relationships and guide the vision and decision-making regarding our mission and programs.
For Unitarian Universalists, developing our own belief system built on core values is a challenging but rewarding experience that, frankly, never ends. We often refer to ourselves as "seekers" rather than "finders".
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.
We draw on many sacred and secular sources for inspiration. Unitarian Universalists believe that the light of truth shines through the many different rainbow colors of our diverse experience and perspectives. As a result "the truth" appears to be different to each of us and that's a fine (if sometimes challenging) thing. These sources have been described officially as:
Unitarian Universalism is a liberal religious tradition that was formed from the consolidation of two religions: Unitarianism and Universalism. In America, the Universalist Church of America was founded in 1793, and the American Unitarian Association in 1825. After consolidating in 1961, these faiths became the new religion of Unitarian Universalism through the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA). Both religions have long histories and have contributed important theological concepts that remain central to Unitarian Universalism and provide a strong voice for social justice and liberal religion.
A flame within a chalice (a cup with a stem and foot) is a primary symbol of the Unitarian Universalist faith tradition. Many of our congregations kindle a flaming chalice in gatherings and worships and feature the chalice symbol prominently.
Unitarian Universalists today have many different interpretations of the flaming chalice, including the light of reason, the warmth of community, and the flame of hope.
Our current official UUA logo debuted in 2014, offering a visual representation of a modern and dynamic faith. Unitarian Universalist congregations are free to use the UUA's logo in their congregational work, but they are not required to do so. Because of this, you may see many different styles of flaming chalices and other images used by Unitarian Universalist congregations.
The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA)
The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) is the central organization for the Unitarian Universalist (UU) religious movement in the United States. The UUA’s 1000+ member 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 action and service, celebration of life’s transitions, and much more.
ERUUF is a member of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), the central organization for UU congregations in the United States. The UUA governing by-laws outline our Principles and Sources, the UUA’s Purposes, our Inclusion clause, and Freedom of Belief Statement with the section identified as Article II. The by-laws require that Article II be studied and potentially revised every 15 years. In 2020, the UUA established and charged a Study Commission for this purpose.