Tuesday, September 5, 2017

UU: Sunday morning fellowship or a way of life?

Bill you asked how UU A Way Of Life got its name. It comes from several sources all of which contributed to the idea that Unitairan Universalism is not a "movement" as some people call it, but a religious path which, if it is to be beneficial, must be lived.

Unitarian Universalism asks us to covenant together to affirm and promote seven principles which, it is believed in faith, will lead us to a happier life. Unitarian Universalism provides us with a sense of purpose in joining together with not only other like minded people but with the whole world.

It seems that there is a curiosity behind your question, Bill, that is wondering about a choice that a person has to make between a life without the UU principles and covenant, and one with them. That choice is one, at least for me, of a life without meaning, purpose, hope and joy, and one with those things which Unitarian Universalism can provide.

There are other paths to happiness for sure, and Unitarian Universalism is only one of many. The institutional UU church denomination which is the physical manifestation of the covenant is very small compared to other religious ways of life and yet its smallness does not detract from its ability to radiate a light of truth to the world which far exceeds its diminutive size. There is no order of importance and significance when it comes to truth and Unitarian Universalism may excel in quality although not yet in quantity.

Part of the faith of UU is that its covenant will spread eventually as the truth of its principles become apparent to others and they choose, too, to follow the principles to work together, in fellowship, to achieve a happier world.

The basis of the UU faith which comes from our Universalist tradition is love. Love is the basis of our faith. One of the UU affirmations written by Lucas Hergert sums up the meaning of Unitarian Universalism succinctly when we say together in unison:

Love is the doctrine of this church
Our faith in each other is its sacrament
Working for justice and living with compassion is its prayer.
Reverently we covenant together
to stand on the side of love, to heal and not to harm,
and to share hope with each other and with the world.

These words, Bill, could just be empty words, but if said with sincerity and intention it is not just a Sunday morning liturgical ornament of worship but rather a  commitment to a way of life which is precious.

I appreciate your question, Bill, and I am interested in your further thoughts.




  1. The question of whether UU will help you achieve happiness or meaning or maybe both is important. Which do you think is more important if you have to choose: happiness or meaning?

  2. It is good that people hear the call of the Spirit and become aware that there is a better way. UU is one such path. We all have ears, but only some listen. We all have eyes, but only some see. We all have some understanding, but only some have wisdom. The UU path has helped me immensely and I gently recommend it to others who are seeking and ask. "The more the merrier" as they say.

  3. The prinicples of UU scare a lot of people. They would involve too big a change in their lives and would require a significant re-orientation from what they have been conditioned to believe. I don't think many people are ready for the leap to a new way of living and dealing with themselves in the world.

  4. It made me laugh when I read that "Love is the doctrine of this church". What kind of "doctrine" is love? Seems ludicrous to me. It would be more precise to say something like "Love is the animating energy of our covenanting together to affirm and promote what we understand to be the basic principles of a happy life at one with the Spirit of Life."

    1. Shaquan:

      I get your idea, but way to wordy. How could this idea be crystallize into a meme? "Love is the fuel that makes UU go." "Love is the rock on which our covenant is built." Perhaps it has already been articulated as "Standing on the side of love." All I would do is add the work "together." "Standing on the side of love together!"




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