What We Believe

We gather together to:

Nurture the Spirit. Engage the Mind. Inspire Action.

We, the people of First Church, build community where we:

  1. Value, develop, and celebrate the gifts that come from authentic connection across difference, emphasizing racial, ethnic, and generational difference.
  2. Recognize power differences and challenge injustice where it arises.
  3. Follow the leadership of people most affected by injustice, partnering to move the Milwaukee community toward justice.
  4. Generously give and receive support, connection, and care in times of joy and challenge.
  5. Promote Unitarian Universalism and our shared values in the world.
  6. Open ourselves to wonder, making ourselves vulnerable and available to find meaning, inspiration, and transformation.
  7. Create communal experiences celebrating our interconnectedness.
  8. Create accessible, courageous, and innovative welcome to people who might find a sense of belonging and a spiritual home with us.

This list was developed by the Board of the First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee, based on input from church members, in Fall 2017.

At the heart of First Church, we value:

  • Wonder
  • Authentic Connection
  • Love
  • Justice

As Unitarian Universalists, we affirm 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.

Unitarian Universalists promote these Seven Principles as strong values and moral guides. These are not dogma or doctrine, but a guide for those who choose to participate in Unitarian Universalist communities. The sources for these principles come from the world’s religions, from humanist teachings based on reason and science, and from other spiritual and ethical traditions.

Unitarian Universalist History

Unitarian Universalism is a liberal religious tradition. The Unitarian part traces back to Europe in the 1500s, with 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, Unitarians and Universalists merged into the Unitarian Universalist Association. Each of the 1,000-plus congregations around the world are democratic, govern themselves, and has its own unique character.

In the United States, prominent Unitarians and Universalists have included Thomas Jefferson, four other U.S. presidents, many signers of the Declaration of Independence, and 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.

Unitarian Universalist Organizations

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

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 the publication of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations.