It's easy, come on in and visit with us. Attend a service or two. Introduce yourself to a greeter at the church. He or she can help you learn more about Unitarian Universalism, and our congregation.
If you want to know more right now, view a great 10 minute video about our faith and denomination
Some do, some do not. That’s the great thing about Unitarian Universalism; you are free to pursue your beliefs and your own search for life’s meaning. We only ask that you respect the principles that govern our conduct.
We are careful about the word “God”; the word God is much abused. Unitarian Universalists are more apt to speak of "reverence for life" (in the words of Albert Schweitzer, a Unitarian), the spirit of love or truth, the holy, or the gracious. This language is inclusive; it can be used with integrity by our theist and nontheist members.
Whatever we think about the word “God”, Unitarian Universalists generally agree that the fruits of religious belief matter more than beliefs about religion. So we usually speak more of the fruits: gratitude for blessings, worthy aspirations, the renewal of hope, and service on behalf of justice.
Again, some of us do, some do not. Many Christians find their spiritual home at a UUA church But being a non-deity based religion, many of us honor Jesus along with other master teachers including Moses or the Buddha.
Unitarian Universalist Christians have understood Jesus as a savior because he was a God-filled human being, not a supernatural being. He was, and still is for many UUs, an exemplar, one who has shown the way of redemptive love, in whose spirit anyone may live generously and abundantly. Among us, Jesus' very human life and teaching have been understood as products of, and in line with, the great Jewish tradition of prophets and teachers. He neither broke with that tradition nor superseded it.
Do Unitarian Universalists believe in any sacred texts like the Bible, Tora or Quuran?
We do not think the Bible, Torah or Quuran, or any other spiritual guide, to be the exclusive source of truth. We respect the sacred literature of different religions, and we also value works of science, art, and social commentary. Unitarian Universalists aspire to truth as wide as the world-we look to find truth anywhere, universally.
Is this a Christian based religion?
No, it is not, if by Christian you mean the acceptance of any specific creedal belief whatsoever, and if adherence to that creed is necessary for salvation. Although we may acknowledge the Christian history of our faith, Christian stories and symbols are no longer primary for us.
Instead, we draw our personal faith from many sources: nature, intuition, other cultures, science, civil liberation movements, and so on.
Christianity is an important part of the UU history. Our core principles and practices were first articulated and established by liberal Christians. But we do not feel that Christianity, or any other creedal-based religion, has the answers for today’s world.
What do I need to believe to join?
Nothing. We have no creedal requirements. When you join you only have to you affirm your willingness to enter and to remain in a continuing and tolerant dialogue concerning the ways of truth and love, a dialogue within which free persuasion may occur; to share in our fellowship and in our corporate decision making; and to support with your gifts of energy and money our common work for the common good.
So can I believe anything I want?
Nope. You cannot believe that you have the right to work counter to our Unitarian Universalist Principles. They are concise and insightful, and tell you what you need to know about UU beliefs.
All Right, what do you believe?
One of our ministers, David O. Rankin, described our beliefs in ten statements. They are:
- We believe in the freedom of religious expression. All individuals should be encouraged to develop their own personal theology, and to present openly their religious opinions without fear of censure or reprisal.
- We believe in the toleration of religious ideas. All religions, in every age and culture, possess not only an intrinsic merit, but also a potential value for those who have learned the art of listening.
- We believe in the authority of reason and conscience. The ultimate arbiter in religion is not a church, or a document, or an official, but the personal choice and decision of the individual.
- We believe in the never-ending search for Truth. If the mind and heart are truly free and open, the revelations which appear to the human spirit are infinitely numerous, eternally fruitful, and wondrously exciting.
- We believe in the unity of experience. There is no fundamental conflict between faith and knowledge, religion and the world, the sacred and the secular, since they all have their source in the same reality.
- We believe in the worth and dignity of each human being. All people on earth have an equal claim to life, liberty and justice-and no idea, ideal or philosophy is superior to a single human life.
- We believe in the ethical application of religion. Good works are the natural products of a good faith, the evidence of an inner grace that finds completion in social and community involvement.
- We believe in the motive force of love. The governing principle in human relationships is the principle of love, which always seeks the welfare of others and never seeks to hurt or destroy.
- We believe in the necessity of the democratic process. Records are open to scrutiny, elections are open to members, and ideas are open to criticism-so that people might govern themselves.
- We believe in the importance of a religious community. The validation of experience requires the confirmation of peers, who provide a critical platform along with a network of mutual support.
Traditions and Ceremonies
We observe the rites of marriage and commitment, and celebrating births and deaths, not because they are required by some rule or dogma, but because in them we may voice our affection, hopes, and dedication.
At UUCL we celebrate many of the great religious holidays with enthusiasm. Whether we gather to celebrate Christmas, Passover, or the Hindu holiday Divali, we do so in a universal context, recognizing and honoring religious observances and festivals as innate and needful in all human cultures.
Unitarian Universalist Christians are considered heretics by those orthodox Christians who claim none but Christians are "saved." (Fortunately, not all the orthodox make that claim.)
Did you know the word “heretic” is based on an ancient Greek word meaning “to choose”? In that sense, we would wear the label as a badge of honor, as we feel everyone needs to make their own responsible choices about life and the world.
We sure do! For us, religious exploration (RE) is a life-long commitment, starting with the smallest of people and never ending. We teach about the religions of the world, ethics and responsible decision making, respect for the earth and our ecosystems, and more. We do not teach dogma, nor do we say that there is only one way to think and believe. We teach people to conduct their own search, and we help provide the tools for free thought to conduct this search.