By Farrell Brody, IACO Council Member
I am a Unitarian Universalist, and a member of the First UU Church of Columbus. Unitarian Universalists are diverse in faith, ethnicity, history, and spirituality, but aligned in the desire to make a difference for the good. UUs stand on the side of love, justice, and peace.
Unitarian Universalists do not ascribe to a common creed and have no single holy book. Inspiration derives from the humanistic teachings of the world’s religions, scripture and science, nature and philosophy, personal experience and ancient traditions.
Our beliefs are diverse and inclusive. Our principles include:
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.
Unitarians are confident in the powers of human reason and place high value on education and social progress. Unitarianism had its origins in 16th century Eastern Europe.
Universalists stress the benevolence of God, and derived their name from the doctrine of universal salvation. Universalism arose as a progressive, grassroots movement in 18th century New England.
Both traditions base their actions on democratic principles and personal freedom. Unitarian Universalism was born in 1961, with the consolidation of the Unitarian and the universalist Associations of Free Congregations.
Unitarian Universalists celebrate holidays from multiple traditions. Religious and secular holidays that may be celebrated include, Christmas, Easter, Passover, Ramadan, Holi, Winter Solstice, Earth Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Thanksgiving, and Buddha’s or Gandhi’s birthdays.
I believe in Unitarian Universalism because I believe in our ability to do good and to help to support human rights and justice. The UU symbol, the Chalice, was first used as a marker for Jews escaping the Nazis. Our congregations always promote faith in action.