Unitarian Universalism is a liberal religion characterized by a “free and responsible search for truth and meaning.” Unitarian Universalists assert no creed but instead are unified by their shared search for spiritual growth. As such, their congregations include many atheists, agnostics, and theists within their membership. The roots of Unitarian Universalism lie in liberal Christianity. –Wikipedia
I was raised in a small United Methodist community church west of Asheville. As a young man in my early teens, I started having some questions regarding the Bible and other of the religious teaching. The Sunday school teachers and ministers could not fully answer my questions to my satisfaction. It was in 1979 that I was first introduced to the UU religion.
Here I learned that questioning was an accepted way and I got a variety of answers. Differing beliefs were accepted. In discovering this new religion, I really started looking at the beliefs of my upbringing. I started looking at new answers to my questions. This also brought new questions for me to research for answers.
There is no creed or dogma for us to follow. Instead, we have an inclusive and diverse set of beliefs. We have a shared covenant of the seven principles which are used as a guideline in our religious quest. We also incorporate diverse teachings from Eastern and Western philosophies and religions.
We question and reflect together on subjects of life and death, higher power existence, prayer, spiritual practices, various sacred texts, and other topics of interest. In our search for answers we are sharing our experiences with each other and we are able to learn from each other, thus increasing our understanding and knowledge. We have open and exciting worship services touching on many varied topics; rites of passage ceremonies; sharing expressions of our love; and an RE program that teaches our youth about life and the many differences to be expected and a way of dealing with life’s issues.
We are a religion of various backgrounds and beliefs that we bring together. Our religious backgrounds differ: no religious background; people who believe or not in God; UU’s pagans; agnostics; atheists; humanist; and many other choices.
We promote gay rights. ( UU’s have been active in this area for over 40 years). We welcome people of all ethnicities no matter where they come from and whoever they love.
We come from many backgrounds with many varying beliefs. We are compassionate, deep thinkers, and doers. We work for social justice and community and more love and understanding in our lives. We stand on the side of peace, justice, and love.
We come together under the banner of Unitarian Universalism and together we will continue to grow with help and understanding from each other. These are some of the reasons why I was drawn to this path.
Cecil Bennett, Board of Trustees