What is Unitarian Universalism?

There around 215,000 people representing over 1,000 Unitarian Universalist (UU) congregations in North America. Unitarian Universalism is a non-dogmatic, non-creedal faith. We are a covenantal religion held by a set of guiding principles. While many other churches have been closing their doors, Unitarian Universalism grew nationally by 15.8% from 2000 to 2010, according to the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies.

UUs are often asked “what do you believe?” You will find some of those answers here.

(If you like graphs and data, you’ll learn a  lot and enjoy this information from Pew Research on Unitarians!)

Re-examine all that you have been told… dismiss that which insults your soul.

Walt Whitman, poet and Unitarian

Our Principles

All Unitarian Universalists endorse seven principles; an eight principle has been ratified by some congregations and will soon be considered by the entire association. The principles are stated as follows.

We, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, covenant to affirm and promote:

1st Principle

The inherent worth and dignity of every person;

2nd Principle

Justice, equity, and compassion in human relations;

3rd Principle

Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;

4th Principle

A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;

5th Principle

The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;

6th Principle

The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;

7th Principle

Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part;

8th Principle

Journeying toward spiritual wholeness by working to build a diverse multicultural Beloved Community by our actions that accountably dismantle racism and other forms of oppression in ourselves and our institutions.

Who Are We?

We are brave, curious, and compassionate thinkers and doers. We are diverse in faith, ethnicity, history and spirituality, but aligned in our desire to make a difference for the good. We have a track record of standing on the side of love, justice, and peace.

We have radical roots and a history as self-motivated spiritual people: we think for ourselves and recognize that life experience influences our beliefs more than anything.

We need not think alike to love alike. We are people of many beliefs and backgrounds: people with a religious background, people with none, people who believe in a God, people who don’t, and people who let the mystery be. We are Unitarian Universalist and Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Humanist, Jewish, Muslim, Pagan, atheist and agnostic, believers in God, and more.

On the forefront of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer inclusion for more than 40 years, we are people of all sexual orientations and gender identities.

We seek to welcome your whole self, with all your truths and your doubts, your worries and your hopes.

All Unitarian Universalists endorse seven principles; an eight principle has been ratified by some congregations and will soon be considered by the entire association. The principles are stated as follows.

We, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, covenant to affirm and promote:

Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and uphold life

Words and deeds of prophetic people which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love

Wisdom from the world’s religions which inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life

Jewish and Christian teachings which call us to respond to God’s love by loving our neighbors as ourselves

Humanist teachings which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science, and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit

Spiritual teachings of Earth-centered traditions which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature

Unitarian Universalist Association

The Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Montclair is a member of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA). The UUA is the central organization for the Unitarian Universalist (UU) religious movement in the United States. The UUA grew from the union of two radical Christian groups in 1961: the Universalists, who organized in 1793, and the Unitarians, who organized in 1825. Each UU congregation is autonomous—congregational leaders set their own priorities and choose their own ministers and staff. Congregations vote for the leaders of the UUA, who oversee the central staff and resources.