With its historical roots in the Jewish and Christian traditions, Unitarian Universalism is a liberal religion — that is, a religion that keeps an open mind to the religious questions people have struggled with in all times and places. We believe that personal experience, conscience and reason should be the final authorities in religion, and that in the end religious authority lies not in a book or person or institution, but in ourselves. We are a “non-creedal” religion: we do not ask anyone to subscribe to a creed.
Our congregations are self-governing. Authority and responsibility are vested in the membership of the congregation. Each Unitarian Universalist congregation is involved in many kinds of programs. Worship is held regularly, the insights of the past and the present are shared with those who will create the future, service to the community is undertaken, and friendships are made. A visitor to a UU congregation will very likely find events and activities such as church school, day-care centers, lectures and forums, support groups, poetry festivals, family events, adult education classes and study groups.
© Unitarian Universalist Association, 1995
The Principles of the Unitarian Universalist Association
We, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, covenant to affirm and promote:
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;
Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.
The Living Tradition Which We Share Draws From Many Sources:
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 women and men 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.
Grateful for the religious pluralism which enriches and ennobles our faith, we are inspired to deepen our understanding and expand our vision. As free congregations we enter into this covenant, promising to one another our mutual trust and support.
The Purposes of the Unitarian Universalist Association
The Unitarian Universalist Association shall devote its resources to and exercise its corporate powers for religious, educational and humanitarian purposes. The primary purpose of the Association is to serve the needs of its member congregations, organize new congregations, extend and strengthen Unitarian Universalist institutions and implement its principles.
The Association declares and affirms its special responsibility, and that of its member congregations and organizations, to promote the full participation of persons in all of its and their activities and in the full range of human endeavor without regard to race, ethnicity, gender, disability, affectional or sexual orientation, age, language, citizenship status, economic status, or national origin and without requiring adherence to any particular interpretation of religion or to any particular religious belief or creed.
Nothing herein shall be deemed to infringe upon the individual freedom of belief which is inherent in the Universalist and Unitarian heritages or to conflict with any statement of purpose, covenant, or bond of union used by any congregation unless such is used as a creedal test.
For National UU information go to www.uua.org
Regional UU home page www.md-dc-va-churches.org/
The Joseph Priestley District
The Joseph Priestley District of the Unitarian Universalist Association serves the 65 congregations in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Northern Virginia, and the District of Columbia.
“It is the mission of the Joseph Priestley District to develop and strengthen a community of healthy congregations and affiliates, striving for diversity of theology and culture, deepening our sense of mutual accountability to each other and the movement.”
For more information please go to www.jpduua.org
Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of Maryland
The Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of Maryland (UULM-MD) envisions a Maryland free of oppression and injustice, where all are guaranteed their human rights. We address this vision by alerting, educating, activating, and facilitating our state-wide UU base to address several human rights issues before the Maryland General Assembly each year. In 2007, those issues were health care reform, civil rights of same sex couples, global warming, and Darfur.
For more information go to our website at: www.uulmmd.org
Unitarian Universalists for Social Justice
We are a Unitarian Universalist partnership of congregations, organizations and individuals deeply committed to our religious principles of human dignity, justice and compassion for all people. We work in the Baltimore Washington & Northern Virginia area to help Unitarian Universalist activists carryout their social and economic justice agendas.
For more information go to our website at: www.uusj.org