Spirituality

As Unitarian Universalists, we recognize a diversity of spiritual paths, and a deep unity in our travel together. In this church, there are people who pray, people who meditate, people who write, people who make art, people who practice paying attention, people who read mindfully, and people who have no active spiritual practice at all. We don’t say the same words, perform the same actions, or address the holy aspects of life in the same ways.

UU World/Flickr
UU World/Flickr

In that diversity is our unity and our strength. Whatever form our spiritual life takes, we believe that behind the diversity is unity: our lives begin and end in mystery; our universe is vast and we ourselves tiny; we make our own choices, and we are entangled with every person and living thing in this world.

Our spirituality is an individual path which we find in community. It is a personal road, guided by the wisdom of generations and the counsel of our community. Its way is always changing against the constant guideposts of being alive and having to die.

We come into this church because tending to the inner flame of our spirit – whichever language we use to name it, or practices we follow to cultivate it – is something we cannot not do.

What do the names “Unitarian” and “Universalist” mean?

“Unitarian” was a theological term, applied in the sixteenth century, to those who denied the doctrine of the trinity. Unitarians thought that the idea of equating Christ with God was unscriptural, illogical, and unnecessary.

“Universalist” stood for the teaching that salvation was not for a limited few-the “elect”-but was a gift of God for all. The joys of a final reconciliation with God were ultimately available to all men, regardless of their errors or doubts. No God of love, the Universalists declared, could eternally damn anyone.

Both Unitarians and Universalists, although focusing on different doctrines, were thus affirming the importance of human beings as not separated from God, and their natural ability to know and do what is right.

When did the Unitarians and Universalists unite?

The two separate but similar religious traditions gradually drew closer during this century and became one with the formation of the Unitarian Universalist Association in 1961.

Do Unitarian Universalists believe in God?

Unitarian Universalists believe that all persons must decide about God for themselves.In their churches are agnostics, humanists, even atheists-as well as nature worshipers, pantheists, and those who affirm a personal God. All recognize, however, the the word “God” is a stumbling block to religious communication for many people because it has so many meanings. All know also that there is no special virtue in being able to declare, “I believe in God.”

Do Unitarian Universalists believe in prayer?

Many do, though it is frequently called “meditation.” For Unitarian Universalists, prayer is less a matter of who is listening and more a concern with the aspirations expressed. Whether spoken or silent, prayer is an expression of feelings of gratitude, regret, hope, and rededication. Its purpose is not to influence a God but to discipline the human mind or spirit.