Unitarian Universalist Principles and Sources
Unitarian Universalism is a liberal religious faith grounded in the principle of covenant. UU communities come together in covenant of our shared principles. Our beliefs are diverse, and we walk our paths to spiritual discovery and truth together.
Unitarians are united by values rather than belief in one set of creed or dogma. Our values include acceptance of one another, compassion, and a commitment to justice and equity. We believe in exploring the mysteries of life, we believe in ethical living, we believe in living out our spirituality in this world by working for peace, justice, equality, democracy, and respect—for one another, as well as for the interdependent web of life, of which we are all a part.
We believe that it is not who or what you believe in that is important, but rather, how you live your life.
Unitarians draw inspiration from many religious, theological, philosophical and ethical sources, and as individuals and member congregations, we are bound together by our affirmation of our 7 principles:
We, the member congregations of the Canadian Unitarian Council covenant to affirm and promote:
- The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
- Justice, equity, and compassion in human relations;
- Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
- A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
- The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
- The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
- Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.
The living tradition which we share draws from many 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 women and men 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 neighbours as ourselves;
- 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-centred traditions which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature.
Grateful for the religious pluralism which enriches and ennobles our faith, we are inspired to deepen our understanding and expand our vision. As free congregations we enter into this covenant, promising to one another our mutual trust and support.
The Canadian Unitarian Council (CUC)
The CUC is the national organization for Unitarians, Unitarian Universalists, and Universalist Unitarians in Canada. The CUC is made up of member congregations to which it is accountable. It is a voice for our vibrant, liberal faith community, within the interfaith community in Canada, and within the international UU community. The CUC, through its small but dedicated staff, provides support for UUs and congregations across the country, fostering growth and outreach, particularly in the areas of lifespan religious education, spiritual growth, and social responsibility.
The CUC board of trustees is elected by delegates from member congregations at the Annual General Meeting, hosted by a Canadian congregation each year.