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Religious Tolerance logo

 

Beliefs of Unitarian Universalist Church Members

An Excerpt From Rev. Beckett Coppola's Article in
"What We Wish People Knew
About Unitarian-Universalism
"

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Most religions, faith groups and denominations, including the 30,000 or so Christian denominations around the world, have a statement of specific religious beliefs that each member must accept before joining.

The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) is different. They have a group of seven very generally worded Principles that are included in the UUA bylaws. The UUA website states:

"As Rev. Barbara Wells ten Hove explains: 'The Principles are not dogma or doctrine, but rather a guide for those of us who choose to join and participate in Unitarian Universalist religious communities.' 1

  1. 1st Principle: The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
  2. 2nd Principle: Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
  3. 3rd Principle: Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
  4. 4th Principle: A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
  5. 5th Principle: The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
  6. 6th Principle: The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
  7. 7th Principle: Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part."

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Marcus Hynes, Office Assistant at the Unitarian Church of Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada compiled a group of personal statements on the general topic "What We Wish People Knew About Unitarian Universalism." 2 The following is the contribution by the Rev. Beckett Coppola. She is the minister of the Kingston Unitarian Fellowship in Kingston, Ontario Canada:

"There are religions and worldviews that allow great latitude to their members; in ours, this is broader and larger than in most, and it’s due to our principled pluralism -- we all gather and come together in community under a single roof regardless of our theism or non-theism, our relationship with the universe, or our personal understanding of the unseen realms of human existence and experience. There is an understanding that human experience is deeply and uniquely individual for each and every one of us and, as a result, so are our beliefs."

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References used:

  1. Rev. Barbara Wells is a retired UU minister in Bellingham, WA. She has served congregations in the Seattle area, Denver and Maryland.
  2. "What We Wish People Knew About Unitarian Universalism," Secure Web Exchange, undated, at: https://www.securewebexchange.com/

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Originally written: 2020-AUG-21

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