Theological Perspective

Our UUA congregations across the continent, and the individuals within them, have a variety of theological foundations. Some are strongly anchored in our Humanist roots, others achieve meaning through a study of our Christian history, while still others have grown in recent years from concerns for our ecology and earth-centered spirituality. With this diversity across the continent, how is our conception of religious community enhanced by our governance through congregational polity?

  1. "The idea of absolute or total independence, congregation by congregation, is impossible insofar as the principle of congregational polity must itself be agreed on by a collectivity of congregations." [That is, "congregational polity" is a covenant. See also point 3.]
  2. "We need a new or renewed doctrine of the church—a conception of religious community that is integral, not incidental, to our total theological understanding."
  3. "The essential function of the congregation (the locally gathered, self-governing religious community) is to link the person to the universal religious community."


  • Is the concept of a religious community beyond the congregation one that is understood in your congregation?
  • How is it made present?
  • Do you think that there is such a thing as a universal religious community?
  • What is it that such a community would share?