Our Unitarian Universalist Beliefs and History

Our Unitarian Universalist Beliefs

Photo: Russ Behler

As a Unitarian Universalist congregation, we covenant to affirm and promote the following beliefs:

  • 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 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.

 

Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) represents the interests of more than 1,000 Unitarian Universalist congregations on a continental scale. The UUA grew out of the 1961 consolidation of two religious denominations: the Universalists, organized in 1793, and the Unitarians, organized in 1825.

MidAmerica Region The MidAmerica Region includes 194 congregations in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Missouri, Kentucky, Michigan, western Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois.

UU World is a companion website to UU World, the magazine of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations.
Unitarian Universalist History

Unitarian Universalism traces its roots back to Europe in the 1500s. “Unitarian” originally came from the belief in the unity of God rather than a Trinity. “Universalism” originated with the belief in universal salvation, the idea that everyone will be saved and no one is eternally damned.

In 1961, two historic American denominations, the American Unitarian Association and the Universalist Church of America, merged into the Unitarian Universalist Association, with headquarters in Boston. Each of the more than 1,000 congregations in the U.S., Canada and overseas are democratic in polity and operation, and govern themselves. For this reason, each Unitarian Universalist congregation has its own unique character. Today the Unitarian Universalist Association counts more than 200,000 individual members.

In the U.S., prominent Unitarians and Universalists over time have included Thomas Jefferson, four other U.S. presidents, and many signers of the Declaration of Independence, as well as influential historical figures such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Susan B. Anthony, Henry David Thoreau, Louisa May Alcott, Clara Barton, Frank Lloyd Wright, Whitney M. Young, and Adlai Stevenson.

Find out more about famous UUs!

First Church History