21 November 2011
Unitarian Universalism is a religion that supports a free and responsible search for meaning and truth. Unitarian Universalism is made up of people with many different religious theories. They can come from any religious background and can adhere to morals from a variety of cultures. Meaning of life, creation, afterlife, existence, and deities are all based on individual truth and is accepted. Unitarian Universalists are unified with the belief that all have complete freedom of speech, thought, faith, philosophies, principles, and practices. Their unity is in shared desire and searching for spiritual growth. One’s personal spiritual practice is a matter of personal choice. Unitarian Universalists like to share their own beliefs, but also, enjoy learning of others. They support each person’s search for truth and meaning in concepts of spirituality. The idea of deities is mostly rejected and instead speaks of the “spirit of life” that binds all life on earth. They believe that the divine can be found in all people and in many faiths. They draw inspiration from the variety of all the faith traditions. . Unitarian Universalism has a strong commitment to social justice and community exploration in spiritual development. Many consider themselves humanists. A small number will continue to hold to labels of Buddhist, Jewish, atheist, agnostic, pagan, and various others. Mostly, they choose not to attach to any particular label. Historically, this religion has roots in the Christian faith. Although they tend to maintain some Christian traditions, it’s only to the extent in keeping their non-dogmatic approach to spirituality and faith development. Unitarian Universalism was formed from two historical Christian denominations, the Universalist Church of America and the American Unitarian Association. The Universalist Church of America emerged in the United States in 1793. Universalism refers to a theological belief that all persons and creatures are related to a god or the divine and will be reconciled to god. Universal salvation was taught with the belief a loving god would ultimately redeem all human beings. Unitarism rejected the Trinity, or the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. They believed Jesus was a man with a unique relationship to god, but not god himself. They did not believe in the pre-existence of Christ. Both religions were heretics, and believers could choose what they wanted to accept as truth. In 1961, both religions merged to become one, Unitarian Universalism. By the time the merge happened in Boston, Massachusetts, the religious significance had expanded beyond the old Christian understanding they had. Today, The Unitarian Universalist Association serves churches all over the United States. As this religion grew numerically and institutionally, the reasons are simple. They have grown because they have remembered it is not words that count but their deeds, and their deeds do indeed speak louder. Unitarian Universalists refer to themselves as a living tradition. They support beliefs based on individual thoughts, and range from monotheistic beliefs to more philosophical beliefs. They respect all religious texts of other religions. Members are encouraged to view other texts or doctrines as historic literary work and view with an open mind. Unitarian Universalists do not have a creed to share. Instead there is a set of Principles, Purposes, and Sources agreed upon. This was suggested by and voted in by members of the Unitarian Universalists Association. Over time, they have been modified to reflect the changes in their spiritual beliefs in this religion. There are seven principles which Unitarian Universalist congregations 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...