Seven UU Principles
1st Principle: The inherent worth and dignity of every person
The UU version of the Golden Rule, this principle states our commitment to respect ourselves and all other people. Everyone is welcome in our church, regardless of who they are or who they love. We come from every socio-economic stream, race, ethnicity, age, ability, gender identity, and sexual orientation. All Souls actively works to make sure everyone feels there is a space for them. Our church is a committed ally of the LGBTQIA community and is recognized as a Welcoming Congregation by the Unitarian Universalist Association.
2nd Principle: Justice, equity and compassion in human relations
The UU faith has a long tradition of advocacy for marginalized and oppressed populations. All Souls and its members have been active participants in numerous social justice campaigns, including voicing our opposition to Colorado’s Amendment 2, encouraging the women’s rights and #MeToo movements, supporting the Black Lives Matter campaign, and siding against the forced separation and deportation of families. Find out more about upcoming opportunities to fight for a better world on our social justice page.
3rd Principle: Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations
The UU religion draws from many sources: Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Pagan, Theist, Atheist, and Humanist, to name a few. Individuals in our church find meaning and guidance from the sacred sources that speak to them, and learning about other faith traditions is embraced by our members as a lifelong endeavor. Our Religious Exploration classes are offered for children and youth, as well as adults.
4th Principle: A free and responsible search for truth and meaning
The UU tradition does not incorporate any religious dogma; there are no accepted truths to life’s toughest questions. Instead, each member is encouraged to take their own journey to seek understanding and fulfillment through individual reflection and group participation. Our covenant groups are a popular way for members to build connections with each other while exploring the great philosophical and theological mysteries of our lives.
5th Principle: The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large
The UU leadership style comes from the ground up. We have congregational polity, which means the congregation is responsible for making its own decisions about how we will live out our values. Unlike many mainstream Protestant churches, we have no denominational hierarchy of authority. Instead, each congregation calls its own minister, sets its own budget and determines the mission priorities for the local congregation. Members of the congregation vote on these issues as they come up (such as calling a minister) and at annual congregational meetings. We believe strongly in the voice of the people and encourage our congregants to take that power into the broader realm by voting in local, state, and national elections.
6th Principle: The goal of world community with peace, liberty and justice for all
The UU heritage has its roots in standing up for what is right, even when right is not popular. We strive to include and protect the marginalized. Historically, this included working on the causes of abolition, prison reform, women’s suffrage, and civil rights. Today, we uphold this principle by advocating for humane immigration policies, racial justice, sustainable environmental policies, and women’s rights.
7th Principle: Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part
The UU experience is inextricably intertwined with that of nature, and we work to acknowledge the existence of these ties in our everyday lives. While this includes commonplace actions such as recycling or participating in local Earth Day celebrations, our members also look for connections on more sacred levels. These include studying the earth-centered traditions of our world, celebrating the unifying power of the elements with our Water and Fire Communions, and celebrating the unique connections humans share with our pets at the Blessing of the Animals service.
Six UU Sources
- Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and uphold life;
- Words and deeds of prophetic people which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love;
- Wisdom from the world’s religions which inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life;
- Jewish and Christian teachings which call us to respond to God’s love by loving our neighbors as ourselves;
[Editor’s Note: In an effort to be more inclusive of the monotheistic traditions, the UUA has recently begun the process of adding Muslim teachings, as well.]
- Humanist teachings which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science, and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit;
- Spiritual teachings of Earth-centered traditions which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature.