Our Beliefs and Covenant and Principles
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.
Our beliefs are diverse and inclusive. We have no shared creed. Our shared covenant (our seven Principles) supports “the free and responsible search for truth and meaning.” Though Unitarianism and Universalism were both liberal Christian traditions, this responsible search has led us to an inclusive spirituality drawn from six sources: from scriptural wisdom to personal experience to modern day heroes.
Unitarian Universalists believe more than one thing. We think for ourselves, and reflect together, about important questions:
- The existence of a Higher Power
- Life and Death
- Sacred Texts
- Inspiration and Guidance
- Prayer and Spiritual Practices
We are united in our broad and inclusive outlook, and in our values, as expressed in our seven Principles. We are united in shared experience: our open and stirring worship services, religious education, and rites of passage; our work for social justice; our quest to include the marginalized; our expressions of love.
Love is the spirit of this church and service its law. This is our great covenant: to dwell together in peace, to seek the truth in love and to help one another.
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 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.
- that God is a Unity as opposed to a Trinity
- that all human beings can hope for salvation
- that there is in each human person a spark of the divine
- that relevant and meaningful statements of belief are personal statements
- that truth grows and changes
- that people should be free to judge whether or not to accept the pronouncements of the church
- that a broadly inclusive tolerance in religion is preferable to an enforced uniformity
- that religious assertions must be reasonable if they are to be accepted as valid
- that doubt can help to winnow truth from untruth
- that a person must develop a trusting reliance on him or herself and his or her own capacity to make sensible life-improving choices
- that religion ought to be concerned primarily with this life
- that answers to questions, solutions to problems and comfort from discomfort – to have any real or lasting effect – must come from within a person, not from outside
- that God is in the world, not outside the world
- that religious literature gives symbolic, rather than literal, truth
- that suffering is part of Life, not punishment for a way of living
- that religion ought not to involve only ritual, but also reflection and action for goodness
Rev. Roy Phillips (1941-2008)
St. Paul, Minnesota