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Sources of Our Living Tradition

People of many backgrounds and beliefs worship together in Unitarian Universalism.

Unitarian Universalist congregations affirm and promote seven Principles, which we hold as strong values and moral guides. We live out these Principles within a “living tradition” of wisdom and spirituality, drawn from sources as diverse as science, poetry, scripture, and personal experience. These are the six sources our congregations affirm and promote:

  • 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;
  • 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.

Rev. Kathleen Rolenz said, “Throughout history, we have moved to the rhythms of mystery and wonder, prophecy, wisdom, teachings from ancient and modern sources, and nature herself.” 

Sources of Our Faith Inspirational Readings

By Kathleen Rolenz

From Skinner House Books

This collection of inspirational readings from many cultures and times provides a felt sense of the six Sources of Unitarian Universalism.

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A candle is lit

Words from Buddhism's Metta Sutra are set to music in our Singing the Journey songbook.

Two children walk in front of the large rock wall of a canyon.

Many Unitarian Universalists find inspiration in nature and science.

An open Bible with a red ribbon bookmark

As a tradition with radical Christian roots and many members from Jewish and Christian backgrounds, our liberal interpretations of the Bible bring inspiration and solace.