Unitarian Universalists have always avoided creating official creeds. Creeds have a way of cutting off debate and shutting people out. They also have a tendency to become a liability when new knowledge turns out to contradict them. I think it’s safe to say, though, that most UUs would agree with what I’ve put on the slide here. We believe that life is holy—a priceless unearned gift of grace, and one that imposes great obligations on us. If you want to know what something is worth, don’t try to measure it in dollars; rather, measure it in terms of things that enhance the precious gift of life—in justice, compassion, happiness, beauty, knowledge, and understanding.
UUs are concerned first and foremost with this world—with appreciating it deeply and with making it as beautiful as possible. We also believe in the unity of existence: we deny any separation or conflict between science and religion, or between the sacred and the secular.
We believe that every person has deep, inherent worth. Poor people matter as much as rich people; gay as much as straight. Ugandans matter as much as Americans; Moslems as much as Christians. We’ve always placed a very strong emphasis on working for social justice.
We also believe that nature matters. The world isn’t ours to exploit, but rather to cherish and share. We’re guests here. Our needs do not automatically trump those of polar bears or redwoods or slime mold. Most important of all, we must not use the world up. It’s all we will ever have, and it has to last forever.
Finally, we believe we are called to act on our convictions, forcefully, but with humility and with respect for those who disagree, because we don’t know all the answers, and we can’t be absolutely sure of the answers we think we know. Like just about everyone, we have ancestors who were slave owners and male chauvinists and homophobes. Our job is to get better over time, and to help the whole world do likewise.
And for anyone who’s curious, there are four UU churches in the greater Rochester area. I go to this one, which sits across the street from Xerox tower downtown. To learn more, visit uua.org or uuroc.org.