Let’s Take Some Time to Reflect
When I was a New UU or a NU-U, I struggled describing the ideology of our religion. I would say, “On any given day I might sit next to a Buddhist, Christian, Atheist, Witch, or Jew.” People often wondered how we could meet every Sunday without constantly arguing and being at each others throats. Over time, I came to understand was that we can meet in our manner due to our agreement to uphold seven guiding principles.
We come together at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Jackson, agreeing that we will abide by these principles. These aren’t beliefs so much as just assertions about how we agree to be together. We don’t hold these ideals as a creed, we don’t recite them for every service, in fact many UU’s just know them by generality. If I were to ask UU’s to quote the principles I might very well be met with absolute refusal and cries of injustice and oppression. But that doesn’t diminish the strength or importance of them. Nor does it diminish our agreement to abide by and uphold them.
If fact after becoming a UU, the seven principles became the core of my explanation. I would say, “We are a non-creedal church that agrees to fellowship in community based on our seven principles.” These principles serve as a basic set of ground rules so that when we come together and want to know whether or not we are being faithful to our community we can ask ourselves, “Are we abiding by our principles?”
As we go into our new year, lets take some time to reflect on our principles.
We are a community of people who base our associations on these seven things:
- 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.