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Guilt is anger directed at ourselves.

— Peter McWilliams

The second of four sessions concerned with the Unitarian Universalist denomination, this one focuses on its Unitarian strand.

The session begins with a basic tenet of early Unitarianism, the oneness of God and considers some historical consequences of holding that belief and of human actions in general. Then the session explores the consequences of wrong actions, paving the way for discussing Universalism's ideas about salvation in Session 7.

The session plan suggests using fifteen minutes for a Faith in Action talk with a visitor who is involved with your congregation's social-justice programs. If you will not be doing that, consider using the alternate Ethics Play activity and tying it to the session's themes.


This session will:

  • Explore the Unitarian strand of Unitarian Universalism through a story about famous Unitarians and background on Unitarian beliefs
  • Consider intended and unintended consequences of human actions
  • Examine the nature of guilt
  • Explore the concept of punishment
  • Optional: Hear from a guest speaker about the congregation's justice work
  • Optional: Debate capital punishment.

Learning Objectives

Participants will:

  • Understand a core idea of early Unitarianism
  • Hear of two outstanding Unitarians and the consequences of their actions
  • Discuss the consequences of human actions, especially wrong acts
  • Consider appropriate punishments for doing wrong
  • Optional: Learn of their congregation's efforts to right wrongs
  • Optional: Examine opposing views of a controversial ethical issue.

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