Unitarian Universalist Association
Seven Principles & Purposes
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
- 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
- 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
is the Fairhope Unitarian Fellowship Mission Statement?
A: To explore
new ideas. To search for truth and knowledge. To take care of Earth. To
enjoy fellowship with open-minded thinkers. To support and care for each
other. To create an atmosphere of love and understanding among our members
and for those who come after us. (Adopted 2002)
Q: What is your Statement
A: There is
no creed or Statement of Beliefs. Membership in our Fellowship is open to
all who feel they have found a home here. To join simply means three things:
- You are in fundamental
sympathy with the principles of freedom and reason in religion and in
life. This is the basis for our "creedless" fellowship.
- You welcome the camaraderie
and support of an organized fellowship, but one that does not require
you to confess your sins or follow a specific dogma.
- You accept the responsibilties
that go with membership and are willing to participate as best you can
toward furthering the ideals we all share.
Q: Do Unitarians believe
A: While there
is a perception of UUs that we do not believe in God, it is much more accurate
to say that we do not have a single, defined concept of God in which all
UUs are expected to believe. Each member is free to explore and develop
an understanding of God that is meaningful to him or her. They are also
free to reject the term or concept altogether. Most of us do not believe
in a supernatural, supreme being who can directly intervene in and alter
human life or the mechanism of the natural world. Many believe in a spirit
of life or a power within themselves, which some choose to call God.
Q: Do Unitarians believe
A: Most UUs
regard Jesus as one of several important moral and ethical teachers who
have shown humans how to live a life of love, service and compassion. Though
some of us may question whether or to what extent Jesus was an actual historical
figure, we believe his teachings are of significant moral value.
Q: What bible do Unitarians
read if any?
A: We regard
the Christian Bible as one of many important religious texts. As a group,
UUs endorse no single text. But as individuals, we read widely for inspiration
and understanding in sacred and secular literature, both ancient and contemporary.
Q: Do some UUs have
different beliefs than other UUs?
A: They certainly
do. Since individual freedom of belief is one of our basic principles, it
follows that there will be differing beliefs among us. Found in today's
UU congregations are humanism, agnosticism, atheism, theism, liberal Christianity,
neo-paganism and earth spiritualism. These beliefs are not mutually exclusive
-- it is possible to hold more than one. While we are bound by a set of
common principles, we leave it to the individual to decide what particular
beliefs lead to those principles.
Q: What role does science
play in your beliefs?
A: We accept
the teachings of science and the scientific method. UUs believe that the
scientific principle that states there is always more truth to be discovered
about our world also applies to religion.
Q: What do children
study in your Children's Religious Education program?
A: Our goal
is to provide children and young people with knowledge and experiences which
will help them make informed choices about their religious life as they
approach adulthood. Major goals are to teach respect for oneself and for
others, appreciation of the teachings of world religious traditions, concern
for social justice, and respect for our planet Earth.
Q: Who are some well
United States Presidents were Unitarians: John Adams, John Quincy Adams,
Millard Fillmore and William Taft. Also, Thomas Jefferson
and Abraham Lincoln, while they did not specifically identify with
any organized religion, had UU leanings.
well-known Unitarian Universalists are:
- Margot Adler.
Commentator on National Public Radio.
- Horatio Alger
(1832-1899). Writer of rags-to-riches books for boys.
- Conrad Aiken.
Poet and novelist.
- Louisa May Alcott
(1832-1888). Author of Little Women and other books.
- Ralph Alpher.
Physicist who developed "big bang" model of universe in 1948.
- Tom Andrews.
U.S. Representative from Maine, 1991-1995.
- Susan B. Anthony
(1820-1906). Organizer of women's suffrage movement.
- Adin Ballou
(1803-1890). Critic of the injustices of capitalism.
- George Bancroft
(1800-1891). Founder of the U.S. Naval Academy.
- P.T. Barnum
(1810-1891). Well-known showman, owner of the Barnum and Bailey Circus,
and a founder of Tufts University.
- Bela Bartok
(1881-1945). Hungarian composer.
- Clara Barton
(1821-1912). Founder of the American Red Cross.
- Alexander Graham
Inventor of the telephone; founder of Bell Telephone Company.
- Henry Bergh
(1811-1888). A founder of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty
- Ambrose Bierce
(1842-1914).Early twentieth century writer of Civil War stories. Disappeared
attempting to join Pancho Villa's revolutionary army in Mexico.
- Charlie Bird.
One of the top guitarists of the twentieth century.
- Nathaniel Bowditch
(1773-1838). Mathematician, navigator, astronomer.
- Ray Bradbury.
Science fiction writer.
- William Cullen Bryant
(1794-1878). Author and newspaper editor.
- Charles Bulfinch
(1763-1844). Architect of United States Capitol building.
- Luther Burbank
(1849-1926). American botanist of early twentieth century.
- Robert Burns (1759-1796).
Scottish poet and song writer.
- Rachel Carson
(1907-1964). Author of Silent Spring (1962), which condemned the
indiscriminate use of pesticides, especially DDT.
- William Ellery Channing
(1780-1842). Abolitionist, founder of Unitarianism in America.
- William Cohen.
Secretary of Defense during Clinton administration.
- Norman Cousins
(1915-1990). Humanitarian, author and editor of the Saturday Review of
Literature. In "Anatomy of an Illness" he described how he
drew on laughter to overcome a near fatal illness.
- Nathaniel Currier
(1813-1888). Lithographer, partner of James Merritt Ives.
- e.e. Cummings
(1894-1962). Twentieth century American poet, noted for his unorthodox style
- Clarence Darrow
(1857-1938). Attorney who argued against William Jennings Bryan in the Scopes
evolution trial (1925).
- Charles Darwin
(1809-1882). Scientist and evolutionist, author of Origin of the Species.
- John Dewey
(1859-1952). Regarded as the father of progressive education in America.
- Charles Dickens
(18 12-1870), English novelist.
- John H. Dietrich.
Humanist. Along with Curtis Reese and Charles Potter, founded the American
Humanist Association in 1933.
- Dorothea Dix
(1802-1887). Crusader for the reform of institutions for the mentally ill.
- Don Edwards.
U.S. Representative from California for three decades.
- Charles William
Eliot (1834-1926). President of Harvard, editor of the Harvard Classics.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
(1803-1882). Unitarian minister, philosopher, essayist.
- Edward Everett
(1794-1865). President of Harvard, governor of Massachusetts, UU minister.
- Fannie Farmer
(1857-1915). Cooking expert.
- Benjamin Franklin
(1706-1790). Scientist, writer, statesman, printer.
- Robert Fulghum.
Author of Everything I Wanted to Know I Learned in Kindergarten and
- Margaret Fuller
(1810-1850). A feminist before her time. Leading figure in the Transcendentalist
movement and an editor of The Dial, along with Ralph Waldo Emerson.
- William Lloyd Garrison
(1805-1879). Abolitionist, editor of The Liberator.
- Charlotte Gihnan
(1860-1935). Writer, social reformer. Major work was Women and Economics
(1898) which focused on the need for women to gain economic independence.
- Horace Greeley
(1811-1872). Journalist, politician, editor, and owner of the New York
Tribune, champion of labor unions and cooperatives.
- Edward Everett Hale
(1822-1909). Unitarian minister and author of The Man Without a Country.
- Henry Hampton
(1940-1988). Writer, film-maker. Producer and director of civil rights documentary,
Eyes on the Prize.
- Andrew Hallidie
(1836-1900). Inventor of the cable car.
- Frances Ellen Watkins
twentieth century black author, poet, abolitionist, and women's rights advocate.
- Bret Harte (1836-1902).
Writer, author of The Luck of Roaring Camp.
- Nathaniel Hawthorne
(1804-1864). Nineteenth century American novelist, author of The Scarlet
- John Haynes Holmes
(1879-1964). Co-founder of the American Civil Liberties Union.
- Oliver Wendell Holmes,
Jr. (1841-1935). Lawyer and member of the U.S. Supreme Court, 1902-32.
- Mark Hopkins
(1802-1887). Educator, theologian. Teacher of moral philosophy and later
president of Williams College.
- Julia Ward Howe
(1819-1910). Composer of Battle Hymn of the Republic.
- Samuel Gridley Howe
(180 1-1876). Pioneer in working with the deaf and blind.
- Abner Kneeland
(1774-1844). Advocate of land reform, public education and birth control.
- Lewis Lattimer
(1849-1928). African-American inventor who worked with Edison inventing
numerous items associated with the light bulb.
- Margaret Laurence
(1926-1987). Author. Her most famous books were the Manawaka series: The
Stone Angel, A Jest of God, and others.
- Henry Wadsworth
Longfellow (1807-1882). Poet, author of Paul Revere's Ride.
- James Russell Lowell
(1819-1891). Noted nineteenth century poet, anti-slavery leader, and Unitarian
- Horace Mann
(1796-1859). A leader in the public school movement, founder of the first
public school in America in Lexington, Mass; President of Antioch College;
- John Marshall
(1755-1835). Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court.
- Thomas Masaryk
(1850-1937). The first president of Czechoslovakia (1920); proponent of
democracy and social justice.
- Herman Melville
(1819-1891). Writer, author of Moby Dick.
- Chris Moore.
Founder and director of Chicago Children's Choir.
- Samuel Morse
(1791-1872). Inventor of the telegraph and Morse Code.
- Paul Newman.
Actor in more than 60 films. Won Academy Award for Best Actor for The
Color of Money (1986).
- Florence Nightingale
(1820-1910). British nurse and hospital reformer.
- Thomas Paine
(1737-1809). Editor and publisher of Common Sense.
- Theodore Parker
(1810-1860). A renegade Unitarian minister of the mid-nineteenth century
and a leading figure of the Abolitionist movement in the Boston area.
- Linus Pauling
(1901-1994). Chemist. Won Nobel Peace Prize, 1962.
- Beatrix Potter
(1866-1943). Author of Peter Rabbit and other children's stories.
- Joseph Priestly
(1733-1804). Discoverer of oxygen, Unitarian minister.
- Elliot Richardson
(1920-1999). Former Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare; former Attorney
- James Reebe.
A UU minister, he was killed at Selma, Alabama in a civil rights demonstration.
- Paul Revere
(1735-1818). Silversmith and patriot.
- Malvina Reynolds.
Social activist. Along with Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger, wrote Little
- Tim Robbins.
Film actor, director, and writer. Either acted in, wrote, directed, or composed
songs in Bob Roberts, Shawshank Redemption, and Dead Man
- Benjamin Rush
(1745-1813). Signer of the Declaration of Independence; physician, considered
to be the "Father of American Psychiatry."
- Carl Sandberg
(1878-1967). Poet, writer, folklorist. Wrote Chicago (1914) and won
Pulitzer Prize for his biography of Lincoln.
- Margaret Sanger
(1879-1966). Birth control advocate. Founded the Birth Control Review
in 1916. Helped establish 300 doctor-staffed medical clinics. Assisted in
founding Planned Parenthood.
- May Sarton (1912-1995).
Poet, writer. Wrote Endgame: A Journal of the Seventy-Ninth Year
- Pete Seeger.
Songwriter, singer, and social activist.
- Rod Serling
(1924-1975). Television scriptwriter. Author of 200 television plays. Won
six Emmy awards.
- Robert Shaw.
Founder of Robert Shaw Chorale; assistant conductor of Cleveland Orchestra;
conductor of Atlanta Symphony.
- Ted Sorenson.
Speechwriter and aide to John F Kennedy.
- Charles Steinmetz
(1865-1923). Electrical engineer; holder of 200 patents; known for his theoretical
studies of alternating current.
- Adlai Stevenson
(1900-1965). Governor of Illinois; candidate for President of the United
States; U.S. Ambassador to the U.N.
- George Stephenson
(1781-1848). English engineer. Invented the first locomotive.
- Gilbert Charles
Stuart (1755-1828). Artist. Best known for his portrait of George Washington.
- Sylvanus Thayer
(1785-1872). Engineer. Founded U.S. Military Academy.
- Clyde Tombaugh
(1906-1997). Astronomer. Discovered the ninth planet, Pluto.
- Henry David Thoreau
(1817-1862). Essayist and naturalist. Author of Walden Pond.
- Hendrik Wilhem Van
Loon (1882-1944). Historian and author.
- Kurt Vonnegut.
Writer. Author of Slaughterhouse-Five.
- Daniel Webster
(1782-1852). Orator; U.S. Senator; Secretary of State; candidate for President
of the United States.
- Josiah Wedgwood
(1730-1795). English potter. Founder of Wedgwood Pottery.
- William Carlos Williams.
Physician and poet.
- Frank Lloyd Wright
- Owen D. Young
(1874-1962). Chairman of General Electric Company.
- Whitney Young
(1921-1971). Head of the Urban League.