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Unitarian Universalism

chalice logo

The chalice is a symbol of Unitarian Universalism.

The chalice at the upper left which is used at UUFA, was created by a local artist in memory of Hazel Hammer, a former member.

The Principles of Unitarian Universalism

  • The inherent worth and dignity of every person
  • Justice, equality and compassion in human relations
  • Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth
  • A free and responsible search for truth and meaning
  • The right of conscience and use of the democratic process
  • The goal of world community with peace, liberty and justice for all
  • Respect for the interdependent web of all existence

The Origins of Unitarian Universalism

Unitarianism and Universalism arose independently as liberal religious movements in Europe and North America, beginning in the 16th century. Both groups looked towards the Bible for guidance, and rejected the parts of Catholic dogma that were not based on the Bible.

The name Unitarianism refers to the belief in a single God, as opposed to the Holy Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The name Universalism refers to the belief in a loving God and universal salvation, as opposed to a vengeful God and the existence of hell, purgatory, and limbo.

Unitarians and Universalists merged in 1961 to become the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), a world-wide liberal religious organization with over 1,000 congregations and 200,000 members.

What Do UUs Believe?

Unitarian Universalists believe in tolerance and independent thinking.

Members are not required to subscribe to any particular creed. Some are Christians, some are atheists, agnostics, or humanists. The living tradition we share draws from many sources: direct experience of transcending mysteries, words and deeds of prophetic women and men, wisdom from the world's religions, humanist teachings, and earth-centered spirituality.

Congregations receive recommendations from the UUA, but not orders. The concept of congregational polity states that each congregation makes its own decisions. Ministers are hired by the congregation, not appointed by the UUA. Some congregations are Bible-centered, others are not.

For more information on Unitarian Universalism, check out the links below.

Famous Unitarians and Universalists

Here are a few well-known Unitarians and Universalists. Many more can be found at Famous UUs or Famous UU Women.

  • Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888), author of Little Women and other books.
  • Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906), organizer of the women's suffrage movement.
  • Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the World-Wide Web, without whom you would not be reading this.
  • Ted Kooser, Poet Laureate of the United States.
  • Florence Nightingale (1820-1910), British nurse and hospital reformer.
  • Paul Revere (1735-1818), silversmith and patriot.
  • Kurt Vonnegut, author of Slaughterhouse Five and other books.
  • Frank Lloyd Wright (1869-1959), architect.
  • Several US presidents: John Adams (1735-1826), John Quincy Adams (1767-1848), Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), Millard Fillmore (1850-1853), James Madison (1751-1836), William Howard Taft (1909-1913).
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