What We Believe
Love is the spirit of this church,
and service its law.
This is our great covenant:
To dwell together in peace,
To seek the truth in love,
And to help one another.
- James Vila Blake
The Five Smooth Stones of Liberal Religion
- Revelation is open and continuous.
- Relationships are consensual and never coerced.
- It is our responsibility to build a just and loving community.
- We deny the immaculate conception of virtue. Good things are brought about by hard work done by human beings.
- Resources are available - both human and divine - that can help to bring about the changes we seek. These resources are a cause for ultimate optimism.
James Luther Adams 1901-1994
- parish minister, social activist, journal editor, prolific author,
distinguished scholar, translator and editor of major
German theologians, and divinity school professor.
The Reverend Susan Smith discussed the "Five Smooth Stones" in her luncheon address to the 2011 Standing on the Side of Leadership Conference. You can watch her presentation on our page for that conference:
What is Unitarian Universalism?
Unitarian Universalist congregations are covenantal, not creedal, faith communities.
What is a covenant? According to Connie Goodbread, Lifespan Program Consultant for the Florida District, a covenant is "a deep abiding promise between equals to partner with each other and that which is bigger than ourselves, to work for a just and loving community."
Unitarian Universalists are free to discern their beliefs about theological and ethical issues. Unitarian Universalism is a liberal religion that draws inspiration from many of the world’s religions and other sources. We believe no one religion has all the answers, but there is wisdom in each of them.
As members of a liberal religion, Unitarian Universalists share concerns about the welfare of all living things, the continued health of our planet and other global, national and local problems. A glance at our history shows that we have acted on our concerns. We claim five US Presidents and many individuals who have made significant contributions to the quality of life and the safeguarding of civil liberties in our nation.
Our shared values are affirmed and promoted in Seven Principles.
These principles represent the official covenant of the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, as adopted in 1985 and modified in 1995.
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 Rev. Suzanne Meyer
Originally presented at the Southwest Conference District Meeting on Nov. 11, 1995
Rev. Meyer provides an interesting perspective on the challenges and opportunities
of adapting our UU mission and witness to the changes that are taking place in the culture in which we live.
Children of the village of Chupaderos, Mexico, will have a brighter and warmer Christmas thanks to an interfaith project of the Community UU Church of Plano, Texas.
Community gardens are starting to appear on our church grounds with some wonderful results.
The living tradition 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.
- We believe in the freedom of religious expression. All individuals are encouraged to develop their own personal theology, and to present openly their religious opinions without fear of censure or reprisal.
- We believe in the tolerance of diverse religious ideas. All religions, in every age and culture, possess not only an intrinsic merit, but also a potential value for those who have learned the art of listening.
- We believe in the authority of reason and conscience. The ultimate arbiter in religion is not a church, or a document, or an official, but the personal choice and decision of the individual based on their life experiences.
- We believe in the never-ending search for Truth. If the mind and heart are truly free and open, the revelations which appear to the human spirit are infinitely numerous, eternally fruitful, and wondrously exciting.
- We believe in the unity of experience. There is no fundamental conflict between faith and knowledge, religion and the world, the sacred and the secular, since they all have their source in the same reality.
- We believe in the worth and dignity of each human being. All people on earth have an equal claim to life, liberty, and justice - and no idea, ideal, or philosophy is superior to a single human life.
- We believe in the ethical application of religion. Good works are the natural product of a good faith, the evidence of an inner grace that finds completion in social and community involvement.
- We believe in the motive force of love. The governing principle in human relationships is the principle of love, which always seeks the welfare of others and never seeks to hurt or destroy.
- We believe in the necessity of the democratic process. Records are open to scrutiny, elections are open to members, and ideas are open to criticism -- so that people might govern themselves.
- We believe in the importance of a religious community. The validation of experience requires the confirmation of peers, who provide a critical platform along with a network of mutual support.
-based on the words of Rev. David O. Rankin