To The Point
What’s Unitarian Universalism?
Here is a diverse collection of brief responses to that question—short enough for an
elevator ride, cashier line, or sidewalk chat. If you are wondering what Unitarian
Universalism is, this may serve as an intriguing introduction. If you are a UU, perhaps this
will help inspire your own responses.
Unitarian Universalism is a BIG faith and we have a big message—that there is one
Spirit of Life that moves within and between us and calls us to care for each other. Our
faith celebrates the beauty, diversity, and goodness of all creation—all life. We believe
in love and compassion for all—and in using our best learning to make the best choices
—Rev. Natalie Maxwell Fenimore, Manhasset, New York
At its best, Unitarian Universalism is a religion of people who covenant to treat one
another well, care for the earth, and protect the beautiful tapestry of cultures and
communities that make up the people of the world. Love is the core value from which
—Rev. Sunshine Jeremiah Wolfe, Syracuse, New York
Unitarian Universalism is a non-judgmental religious home that will accept and support
you wherever you may be in life’s journey. It is composed of diverse communities
operating without a common belief about God, the universe, and death. Instead of
creed, we share a spirit and vision of radical inclusivity, individual agency, and social
justice. It is a safe space to stand out, stand up, and change your mind, particularly
during life’s transitions. We embrace personal discovery and growth through learning,
engagement, and service. Our only doctrine is love.
—Victoria Mitchell, Eugene, Oregon
Unitarian Universalists believe:
It’s a blessing you were born.
It matters what you do with your life.
What you know about god is a piece of the truth.
You do not have to do it alone.
—Laila Ibrahim, Berkeley, California
Both Unitarianism and Universalism sprang from liberal Christianity. Unitarianism
speaks to the nature of God as One: Holy, Transcendent, Immanent, Whole, Mystery.
Universalism speaks to the nature of our relationships—with the Divine, with ourselves,
with each other, and with the planet which we call home.
—Rev. Michelle Buhite, Cheektowaga, New York
Unitarian Universalists have different religious beliefs but share a common faith. We
know there’s something sacred about life. And we’re committed to finding it, together,
even if it takes us our whole lives.
—Rev. Erik Martínez Resly, Washington D.C.
The historical organizing principle of Unitarianism was the unity of God, not the trinity.
The historical organizing principle of Universalism was the goodness of God, not the
judgment of God. Unitarian: God is one. Universalist: God is love. We have evolved into
a religion that has no creed; each person is free to believe what they find to be true. This
means that, on a Sunday morning, you might be sitting next to people who give different
names to what they believe (theist, atheist, agnostic, Christian, Jewish, undecided,
Humanist, Muslim). We become Unitarian Universalists because we believe that humans
need the freedom to grow toward their own beliefs. We gather in community to
encourage one another in our spiritual growth, to learn how to live together in loving
diversity, and to work together for good purpose in the world.
—Rev. Kathleen Hepler, Framingham, Massachusetts
Our faith is not interested in saving your soul—we’re here to help you unfold the
awesome soul you already have.
—Andrea Lerner, Breinigsville, Pennsylvania
Unitarian universalism is a cradle, a critic, and a comforting hand during the journey of
spiritual growth and constant realization of self. It is a diverse community in thought and
experience, strongest when we listen deeply to one another, when we lead with humility
and grace, and when we practice courageous love. One of our greatest values and
challenges as a faith community is that there is always more growing to do, and
changes must unfold to reveal new truths. Unitarian Universalism is an expression of
interconnectivity that holds us all accountable to this expectation by guiding us toward
people and lessons that will help us, shape us, affirm us, and celebrate us in the ways
that we need in in those moments.
—Paloma Callo, BC, Canada
We stand in a tradition of abundance. We have said for centuries that there is room in
our religion for every kind of seeker and sojourner. We are called to embody a
generosity of spirit, an open and optimistic view of God and of life, that claims that
everyone is included. Skeptics and poets and scientists are welcome here, as are
nonconformists and shy and uncertain folk, and all manner of smart people and foolish
ones. I believe that our restlessness and doubts have a divine origin and are a sign of
grace. Our love of truth can be understood as the holiest of gifts. Our devotion to truth
may be the means of deliverance.
—Rev. Barbara Merritt, Worcester, Massachusetts
Unitarian Universalism is at a wisdom tradition crossroads, critical to the new global
community where we need to listen to each other across difference and learn about
each other in depth. It affirms our basic human unity, our ecological interdependence in
the world, and our spiritual connection to the larger universe.
—Rev. Scotty McLennan, Stanford, California
The one thing I know to be true about Unitarian Universalism is that it is the shared
experience of individuality, being yourself among thousands and celebrating it. My
beliefs are my own, my words are my own, yet shared. My passions are my own, yet
shared. And my love is my own, yet shared. We have this beautiful intersection between
individuality and unity and it fills me with such joy to know I’m a part of it.
—Mel Priese, St. Louis, Missouri
Unitarian Universalism is about accepting all of the imperfect people who interact with
it. It’s a faith made up of broken, questioning, and innocent people. It’s about finding a
community of people who don’t want to change you, only help you be the best version
of yourself—however that looks.
—Libby Palmer, Englewood, CO
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