- About Us
"Unitarian Universalism doesn't really care one whit whether you're an atheist, a theist, agnostic, Buddhist, Pagan, or Barnes and Noble-ite. Our question for you is whether your atheism, theism, paganism, Buddhism, or Barnes and Noble-ism leads you to connection, leads you to listen to your deepest self, be open to life's gifts, and serve needs greater than your own.
In other words, do your beliefs help you connect to self, life and others?"
~ Kaaren Anderson
“What then is sanctuary? The sanctuary is often something very small. Not a grandiose gesture, but a small gesture toward alleviating human suffering and preventing humiliation. The sanctuary is a human being. Sanctuary is a dream. And that is why you are here and that is why I am here. We are here because of one another. We are in truth each other’s shelter.”
~ Elie Wiesel
“So if someone tells you that she or he knows pain, loneliness, loss, fear, and dismay, but does not know the feeling of being sustained by a love that is wider, deeper, and infinitely vaster than the sorrows, hear those words as a commission. Hear your commission to love, to create community, and to heal. One at a time in personal relationships, ten at a time in covenant groups, hundreds at a time in our congregations, hundreds of thousands at a time in our religious movement, millions at a time as we take our commission deeper and deeper into humanity’s heart as a justice-loving people who will transform the world. This is the Good News of our faith.”
“Ours is a saving church, and by that I mean that lives are saved within it. People say that. They use that old vocabulary. They say: “I never knew there was a place like this, where I could be accepted.” They say: "I never knew there could be a congregation that believed as I do.” They say: “I walked out of the church as soon as I was old enough, but until I came here, I had no idea how deeply I was longing for connection, to other people and also to the sacred.” They say: “I was a spiritual shipwreck, and I’m still drifting, but at least, at last, I have a home.” For me, it was astonishing to discover this tradition: I was a young adult flailing around at large out there, and when I accidentally stumbled upon the works of William Ellery Channing one rainy afternoon, a door opened to me. Here was someone in print, someone who wrote in 1819, asking the unspeakable questions I’d been asking, doubting the “truths” that I’d been doubting, clearly defining the moral ideas, the theological ideas that I had harbored all along as crazy. Here was a religion welcoming science and reason, while honoring mystery and wonder. Here was a religion concerned more with deeds than creeds; a church that in its Sunday Schools, apparently, taught children to think and act and feel—to know their hearts—instead of to recite. I felt not as if my soul were saved, but as if my self were somehow integrated—my integrity restored, as mind and heart and soul were reunited, as if after a long, strange, unnatural parting of the ways.”
~ Victoria Safford, from her sermon All That’s Past Is Prologue
“In my opinion the first and seventh principles articulate the genius of Unitarian Universalism as a spiritual path, as a way of life. We acknowledge the uniqueness and preciousness of the individual, while noting our individuality births out of, is sustained by, and finds its ultimate source within some mysterious, radical and complete interdependence. Those and the fourth principle, which calls us to a free and responsible search for truth and meaning, and which, I believe, hints at the methodology of free religion, give us a sense of a real spiritual path. If you will, as I said: a way of life . . .
. . . I think it calls us to something we know deep within us as who we are and what it is we’re about. Whether we are Humanist, Christian or Jewish, Buddhist or Pagan, our major self-identities, or whatever miscellaneous other, and there are a lot of those, as well; we’re for the most part all of us tied together by an intuition of deep interconnection.”
~ James Ford, in his 4/3/11 Monkey Mind blog post
“Ever since we crawled out of that primordial slime, that's been our unifying cry, “More light.” Sunlight. Torchlight. Candlelight. Neon, incandescent lights that banish the darkness from our caves to illuminate our roads, the insides of our refrigerators. Big floods for the night games at Soldier's Field. Little tiny flashlights for those books we read under the covers when we're supposed to be asleep. Light is more than watts and footcandles. Light is metaphor. Light is knowledge, light is life, light is light.”
~ Diane Frolov and Andrew Schneider
“In the beginning there was nothing. God said, “Let there be light!” And there was light. There was still nothing, but you could see it a whole lot better.”
~ Ellen DeGeneres
“The sun shines and warms and lights us and we have no curiosity to know why this is so; but we ask the reason of all evil, of pain, and hunger, and mosquitoes and silly people.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Come now, noble souls, and take a look at the splendor you are carrying
within yourselves! But if you do not let go of yourself completely,
if you do not drown yourself in this bottomless sea of the Godhead,
you cannot get to know this divine light.”
~ Meister Eckhart
“In my work, when I can let go of my worries about how I’m coming across or how good a job I’m doing or how much emotional energy or time something is taking, it also feels like flying. You know that feeling—when you’re one with the thing you’re doing, time melts away and there’s an extraordinary feeling of freedom. You get in touch with a wild generosity of spirit inside yourself. It’s exhilarating.
I think those flying moments come when there is true ministry, deep listening, going on between people—during the hush at Joys and Sorrows, the hubbub in a children’s religious education class, during deep sharing in an adult RE workshop, a group conversation at a circle supper, a moment of hilarity during a board meeting. When we forget ourselves and enter totally into the moment, the fellowship, the conversation. That’s where the holy dwells.”
~ Excerpt from a sermon titled Learn to Fly by Amanda Aikman
“Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack in everything,
That's how the light gets in.”
~ Leonard Cohen
“How is one to live a moral and compassionate existence when one finds darkness not only in one's culture but within oneself? There are simply no answers to some of the great pressing questions. You continue to live them out, making your life a worthy expression of leaning into the light.”
~ Barry Lopez, Arctic Dreams
“Imagine knowing from the ground up, that you are tied to the whole, that you are undefeatable, that below the surface undefinable discoveries are taking place. Don’t you think there are things worth holding on to with a thousand arms, ten thousand gripping toes? Aren’t the undaunted particularly blessed?”
~ Lynn Adair Ungar
“We look forward to the time when the power to love will replace the love of power. Then will our world know the blessings of peace.”
~ William Ellery Channing
A Time to Be Silent
There must be a time when we cease speaking
to be fully present with ourselves.
There must be a time when we exclude clamor
by listening to nothing whatsoever.
There must be a time when we forgo our plans
as if we had no plans at all.
There must be a time when we abandon conceits
and tap into a deeper wisdom.
There must be a time when we stop striving
and find the peace within.
~ David O. Rankin
“We believe in the never-ending search for Truth. If the mind and heart are truly free and open, the revelations that appear to the human spirit are infinitely numerous, eternally fruitful, and wondrously exciting.”
~ David O. Rankin
Excerpt from UUA pamphlet What Do Unitarian Universalists Believe