Our Seven Principles
By Buffy Boke, February 7, 2017
People often ask what Unitarian Universalists believe. Unitarian Universalism is not a creedal faith, however. We aren’t asked to subscribe to a specific set of beliefs, but to be in covenant with one another to affirm and support certain principles. These principles sometimes are used in place of a creed, but they are not so much statements of belief as they are attitudes toward life.
As you can read on the Unitarian Universalist website, uua.org, “we are people of all ages, people of many backgrounds, and people of many beliefs. We create spirituality and community beyond boundaries, working for more justice and more love in our own lives and in the world.
“Unitarian Universalism affirms and promotes seven Principles, grounded in the humanistic teachings of the world’s religions. Our spirituality is unbounded, drawing from scripture and science, nature and philosophy, personal experience and ancient tradition as described in our six Sources.
“As Rev. Barbara Wells ten Hove explains, ‘The Principles are not dogma or doctrine, but rather a guide for those of us who choose to join and participate in Unitarian Universalist religious communities.’”
The Principles we agree to affirm and promote are:
- 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; and
- Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.
The Sources we draw from are:
- 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.
If this rings true for you, you have a home with us.
Rev. Beverly Boke, First Parish Unitarian Universalist – Canton