Our Diverse Beliefs
Unitarian Universalists believe it is natural to be interested in ideas from many faith traditions and encourage people to develop their own theology without fear of censure or reprisal. Most of us started out as Jewish, Catholic or Protestant, Buddhist or Muslim. Others identify as Humanist. Some of us still maintain a variety of beliefs in our original faith tradition and yet find comfort and acceptance at UUCCWC. Some of us are agnostics or atheists. Others believe in an earth-based spirituality. Many of us develop a personal theology that combines those parts of different traditions that speak most to us. We all believe in the search for truth and a deeper meaning in life.
How can an agnostic or atheist go to church?
People who identify as agnostics or atheists are just as likely to be searching for meaning in life or interested in spiritual issues as people self-identified as religious. Some Unitarian Universalists believe the journey to find meaning is a spiritual quest with multiple possibilities and outcomes. Others define it quite differently. Whatever your definition, you are welcome at UUCCWC.
How do UUs worship together, but believe many different things?
UUs desire worship services each Sunday as a way to nourish our minds and our hearts. Taking time and creating a space each week for reflection and connection with one another is a joy. We also appreciate that the service elements hold different meanings and satisfy different needs for each individual. For example, a minute of silence can mean prayer, meditation, or reflection. Lighting a candle can be ritual expression of gratitude, a request for help, an earth-based tradition of calling to fire, or remembering a person or event.
We don’t expect anyone to accept or believe in everything said in reading, in sermons, in personal reflections. In fact we know that UU congregants will disagree. However, we do have foundational Principles and a shared Covenant for guidance in right relations with others that allows to share our diverse beliefs, learn from them, and grow both individually and together.
Is there a Unitarian Universalist head organization that endorses a specific creed or set of beliefs churches must follow?
There is an association of Unitarian Universalist congregations which provides resources for programs, curricula, and other activities to UU churches and fellowships. However, the association does not prescribe a creed or doctrine as is typically found in other churches. In addition, each congregation chooses which of the resources it wishes to use for religious exploration classes.
To get a sense of our congregation it is important to visit several times. Each week’s sermon explores different faith traditions, contains readings from religious leaders throughout history, and provides an opportunity for thoughtful exploration of how the message matches or does not match your personal spiritual journey and search for truth. Though Unitarian Universalists encourage each member to find their own personal theology, all congregations adhere to the seven principles of Unitarian Universalism.
- 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.