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UU History Summary (from Facebook)

 
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uufreespirit
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 4:15 pm    Post subject: UU History Summary (from Facebook) If a post contains some illegal issues you may abuse on it - just click Abuse and fill the form Reply with quote

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IN THE FIRST CENTURIES OF THE CHRISTIAN ERA, Christians held a variety of beliefs concerning the nature of Jesus. In 325 CE, however, the Council of Nicea promulgated the doctrine of the Trinity--God as Father, Son, and Holy Ghost--and denounced all those who believed differently as heretics. Among them were the historic Unitarians who believed in the moral distinction, but not the deity, of Jesus, and rejected the concept of the trinity. From the 18th Century onward, Unitarians also increasingly came to be characterized as free thinkers and spiritual reformers, who saw the "Reformation process" as incomplete and still ongoing. They viewed all people as sharing the same common (sacred) origins, and therefore deserving to be treated with inherent dignity and worth, and the utmost freedom to think and choose for themselves.

From the early days of Christianity, "Universalists" were also vilified and persecuted as heretics for their refusal to accept that a truly loving and compassionate God would condemn any of "his own children" to eternal punishment, no matter what their "sin" or their personal religious beliefs. Like the Unitarians, their "gospel" of love, brotherhood and inclusion held that all of us-- as "children of a common creation" -- are born with inherent worth but are also universally connected, all sharing a common destiny as well.

In North America the two churches merged in 1961, recognizing their common faith-commitments to human liberation, to inescapable connection and radical inclusion, in an ever-shrinking, deeply divided world. True to our "Radical Reformation" roots, and an "Age of Enlightenment" spirit of critical thinking and questioning, today's Unitarian Universalists continue to insist that the religious quest is both intensely personal and still unfolding. We feel that, even in matters of faith, people should be free to think for themselves, to ask their own questions...to even express their honest doubts without fear of condemnation. We walk together, not in "conformity to the letter" of an unquestionable dogma, but in a "unity of spirit" -- of shared ethical commitment, grounded in humility, respect and freedom. Together we share an approach to religion that is "enabled by freedom," and in that freedom we earnestly strive to be more loving, more compassionate, justice-seeking, life-celebrating, boldly questioning...and (of course) never-settled.

-- ALTHOUGH DELIBERATELY LACKING an official creed, our congregations typically honor the Principles and Purposes of the Unitarian Universalist Association:

1. The inherent worth and dignity of every person
2. Justice, equity and compassion in human relations
3. Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations
4. A free and responsible search for truth and meaning
5. The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large
6. The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all
7. Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

-- OUR PATHS ARE MANY, and our truth-sources as wide as the universe...from the sacred literature of the worlds many religions, the discoveries of science, the first-hand witness of our life-experiences, and the deepest promptings of the inner voice of conscience. The Unitarian Universalist Association describes this rich diversity of "sources" which have come to inform and inspire our liberal faith as follows...

1. 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;

2. 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;

3. Wisdom from the world's religions which inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life;

4. Jewish and Christian teachings which call us to respond to God's love by loving our neighbors as ourselves;

5. 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;

6. 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.

-- 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."

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(This group is not affiliated with the Unitarian Universalist Association or any other organization or institution.)

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"Beyond the ideas of right-doing and wrong-doing there is a field. I'll meet you there." -- Rumi
"The Reformation Must Continue!" --- Friedrich Schleiermacher

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