As Unitarian Universalists, we care deeply about our beliefs. So deeply that we don’t want to say the words “I believe” unless we truly believe! We are humbled by life’s great mysteries. What does it mean to be human? Do we have a purpose? What happens when we die? We accept that some mysteries could be beyond our human ability to experience, comprehend, or express in a way that satisfies everyone.
Accordingly, we don’t impose a set of beliefs on our members. Instead we encourage spiritual growth in our theologically diverse community. Our members decide how to describe what they believe. Each of us needs to understand in our own way. Our Unitarian Universalist religion helps us support each other in the search for personal answers.
Principles, Sources, & Credos
These seven Principles and six Sources of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) grew out of the grassroots of our tradition, were affirmed democratically, and appear in the Bylaws of the UUA. They are part of who we are. They are not dogma or doctrine but rather a guide for those who choose to join and participate in Unitarian Universalist religious communities.
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 4th principle, “a free and responsible search for truth and meaning,” has led us to an inclusive spirituality drawn 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.
These principles and sources of faith are the backbone of our religious community. They are expressed more simply as our Kids’ Principles.
We occasionally offer a class called Developing Your Own Theology. It encourages clarification of beliefs. At the end of the program, each participant develops a “credo,” or statement of belief. You might be inspired by some of our members’ credos.
As the credos illustrate, at Starr King Church we differ in our expressions of belief. But we are united in our broad and inclusive outlook and in our values. We are united in shared experience: our open and stirring worship services, religious education, and rites of passage, our work for social justice, our quest to include the marginalized, our expressions of love. We work toward a loving community and a faith that agrees with knowledge.
Together, we create a force more powerful than one person or one belief system.