UU Principles Through History

UU Purposes & Principles (adopted 1986 and modified 1995)
We, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist association, covenant to affirm and promote:
1. The inherent worth and dignity of every person.
2. Justice, equity, and compassion in human relations.
3. Acceptance of on another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations.
4. A free and responsible search for truth and meaning.
5. The rights of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large.
6. The goal of world community with peace, liberty and justice for all.
7. Respect for the interdependent web of all existence, of which we are all a part.

 
Six sources of our faith
1. 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 that create and uphold life.
2. Words and deed of prophetic women and men, which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love.
3. Wisdom from the world’s religions, which inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life.
4. Jewish and Christian teachings, which call us to respond to God’s love by loving our neighbors as ourselves.
5. 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.
6. 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. (added 1995).

 
1974-Unitarian Universalist
The Association, dedicated to the principles of a free faith shall:
(a) Support the free and disciplined search for truth as the foundation of religious fellowship.
(b) Cherish and spread the universal truths taught by the great prophets and teachers of humanity in every age and tradition, immemorially summarized in the Judeo-Christian heritage as love to God and love to humankind.
(c) Affirm, defend, and promote the supreme worth and dignity of every human personality, and the use of the democratic method in human relationships.
(d) Implement the vision of one world by striving for a world community founded on ideals of brotherhood, justice, and peace.
(e) Serve the needs of member societies.
(f) Organize new churches and fellowships and otherwise extend and strengthen liberal religion.
(g) Encourage cooperation among people of good will in every land
(Unitarian Universalist Pocket Guide, 1974, p.78)

 Material Below taken From This We Believe Pamphlet: Historic Unitarian & Universalist Affirmations of Faith UU Christian Fellowship Pamphlet (7/88)

1985-Unitarian Universalist
We, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist association, covenant to affirm and promote:
1. The inherent worth and dignity of every person.
2. Justice, equity, and compassion in human relations.
3. Acceptance of on another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations.
4. A free and responsible search for truth and meaning.
5. The rights of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large.
6. The goal of world community with peace, liberty and justice for all.
7. Respect for the interdependent web of all existence, of which we are all a part.

 The living tradition which we share draws from many sources: (Five sources of our faith)
1. 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 that create and uphold life.
2. Words and deed of prophetic women and men, which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love.
3. Wisdom from the world’s religions, which inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life.
4. Jewish and Christian teachings, which call us to respond to God’s love by loving our neighbors as ourselves.
5. 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.
(Article II, Section C2.1 of the Bylaws of the Unitarian Universalist Association)

1961-Unitarian Universalist
The members of the Unitarian Universalist Association, dedicated to the principles of a free faith, unite in seeking:
1. To strengthen one another in a free and disciplined search for truth as the foundation of religious fellowship;
2. To cherish and spread the universal truths taught by the great prophets and teachers of humanity in every age and tradition, immemorially summarized in their essence as love to God and love to man;
3. To affirm, defend, and promote the supreme worth of every human personality, the dignity of man, and the use of the democratic method in human relationships;
4. To implement our vision of one world by striving for a world community founded on ideals of brotherhood, justice, and peace;
5. To serve the needs of member churches and fellowships, to organize new churches and fellowships, and to extend and strengthen liberal religion;
6. To encourage cooperation with men of good will of all faiths in every land.

(Article II, Section 2, of the Constitution of the Unitarian Universalist Association, in 1961.)

 
1935-Universalist
The bond of fellowship in the Universalist Church shall be a common purpose to do the will of God as Jesus revealed it, and to cooperate in establishing the Kingdom for which He lived and died.
To that end, we avow our faith in God as Eternal and All-conquering Love, in the spiritual leadership of Jesus, in the supreme worth of every human personality, in the authority ot truth known or to be known, and in the power of men of good-will and sacrificial spirit to overcome all evil and progressively establish the Kingdom of God.
(The Bond of Fellowship of the Universalist Church; adopted in Washington, DC, 1935; to which were appended the Winchester Profession of 1803 and the Five Principles of 1899; The larger Hope, Vol. II, p.114.)

1899-Universalist
The essential principles of the Universalist faith: The Universal Fatherhood of God; the spiritual authority and leadership of His Son Jesus Christ; the trustworthiness of the Bible as containing a revelation from God; the certainty of just retribution for sin; the final harmony of all souls with God.
(“The Boston Declaration” of “the Five Principles” was adopted by the General Convention in 1899 as an addition to the Winchester Profession; The Larger Hope, Vol. II, p.89.)

 
1880-Unitarian
In the freedom of truth, and in the spirit of Jesus Christ, we unite for the worship of God and the service of man.
(“The Ames Covenant,” written by Charles Gordon Ames for the Spring Garden Unitarian Society in Philadelphia, in 1880, and later adopted by many Unitarian churches.)

 
1865-Unitarian
Whereas, the great opportunities and demands for Christian labor and consecration at this time increase our sense of the obligations of all disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ to prove their faith by self-denial and by the devotion of their lives and possessions to the service of God and the building up of the Kingdom of his Son –
Therefore, the Christian churches of the Unitarian faith here assembles unite themselves in a common body, to be known as the National Conference of Unitarian Churches, to the end of reorganizing and stimulating the denomination with which they are connected to the largest exertions in the cause of Christian faith and work.
(Preamble and Article I, National Conference of Unitarian Churches: The Epic of Unitarianism, p.121.)

 
1853-Unitarian
We desire openly to declare our belief as a denomination, so far as it can be officially represented by the American Unitarian Association, that God, moved by his own love, did raise up Jesus to aid in our redemption from sin, did by him pour a fresh flood of purifying life through the withered veins of humanity and along the corrupted channels of the world, and is, by his religion, forever sweeping the nations with
regenerating gales from heaven, and visiting the hearts of men with celestial solicitations. We receive the teachings of Christ, separated from all foreign admixtures and later accretions, as infallible truth from God.
(American Unitarian Association, 1853, Twenty-eighth Annual Report, pp. 22-23.)

 

1825-Unitarian
The objects of this Association shall be to diffuse the knowledge and promote the interest of pure Christianity throughout our country.
(Article 2 of the Constitution of the American Unitarian Association.)

 


1803-Universalist
Article I. We believe that the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments contain a revelation of the character of God, and of the duty, interest and final destination of mankind.
Article II. We believe that there is one God, whose nature is Love, revealed in one Lord Jesus Christ, by one Holy Spirit of Grace, who will finally restore the whole family of mankind to holiness and happiness.
Article III. We believe that holiness and true happiness are inseparably connected, and that believers ought to be careful to maintain order and practice good works, for these things are good and profitable unto men.
(Universalist “Profession of Faith” adopted in Winchester, New Hampshire, 1803; Universalism in America: A Documentary History, p.110.)

 


1790-Universalist
Section 1. OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURES.
We believe the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to contain a revelation of the perfections and will of God, and the rule of faith and practice.
Section 2. OF THE SUPREME BEING.
We believe in one God, infinite in all his perfections, and that these perfections are all modifications of infinite, adorable, incomprehensible and unchangeable love.
Section 3. OF THE MEDIATOR.
We believe that there is one Mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus, in whom dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, who by giving himself a ransom for all, hath redeemed them to God by his blood; and who, by the merit of his death and the efficacy of his Spirit, will finally restore the whole human race to happiness.
Section 4. OF THE HOLY GHOST.
We believe in the holy ghost, whose office it is to make known to sinners the truth of this salvation, through the medium of the Holy Scriptures, and to reconcile the hearts of the children of men to God, and thereby dispose them to genuine holiness.
Section 5. OF GOOD WORK.
We believe in the obligation of the moral law as to the rule of life; and we hold that the love of God manifested to man in a Redeemer, is the best means of producing obedience to that law and promoting a holy, active and useful life.
(Articles of Faith adopted by the Philadelphia Convention; The Larger Hope, Vol. II, p.46.)

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