695 Elmwood Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14222
(716) 885-2136

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Our Faith Tradition

 

Seven Principles

There are seven principles which Unitarian Universalist congregations 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.

 

Our Sources

Unitarian Universalism (UU) 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 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.

  

Our UU History

Unitarian Universalism is a liberal religious tradition that was formed from the consolidation of two different religions: Unitarianism and Universalism. Both began in Europe hundreds of years ago. In America, the Universalist Church of America was founded in 1793, and the American Unitarian Association in 1825. After consolidating in 1961, these faiths became the new religion of Unitarian Universalism through the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA).
 
Both religions have long histories and have contributed important theological concepts that remain central to Unitarian Universalism. Originally, all Unitarians were Christians who didn't believe in the Holy Trinity of God (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost), but in the unity, or single aspect, of God. Later, Unitarian beliefs stressed the importance of rational thinking, a direct relationship with God, and the humanity of Jesus. Universalism emerged as a Christian denomination with a central belief in universal salvation; that is, that all people will eventually be reconciled with God.  Since the merger of the two denominations in 1961, Unitarian Universalism has nurtured its Unitarian and Universalist heritages to provide a strong voice for social justice and liberal religion.

 

To learn more about Unitarian Universalism, please see the pamphlet, "Unitarian Universalist Origins: Our Historic Faith."

 

 

The Flaming Chalice

At the opening of Unitarian Universalist worship services, many congregations light a flame inside a chalice. This flaming chalice has become a well-known symbol of our denomination. It unites our members in worship and symbolizes the spirit of our work   For more information click on:  Our Symbol: The Flaming Chalice UUA

 

The people of our church together have chosen to be: 

  • A Liberal Religious Community

  • A Welcoming Congregation

  • A Nuclear-Free Zone

  • A Smoke-Free Environment

  • A Supporter of Choice

Liberal Religion is a spiritual term (our members have very diverse political views) representing the historical trend in liberal Christianity, Judaism, and other faiths that celebrates a reverence for the interdependent web of all life and our obligations within it, a respect for the inherent dignity and worth of each person, and a belief in human potential and responsibility to cherish the earth and to work to make it better. Our traditions call us to shape our beliefs with the use of reason in the quest for truth, and in the search for understanding and acceptance of one another. Truth must be sought in community, as this helps to develop tolerance and understanding in us and respect for the unexpected insights that come from non-traditional sources.

As a Welcoming Congregation, we ask our state and nation to give equal rights to everyone, and so, for example, we have called upon our elected officials to enact laws providing equal access to marriage for all couples, both straight and gay, rather than the current legal structure which gives special rights to religious conservatives.

As a Nuclear-Free Zone, our congregation has taken a stand against the use of war and violence as a political tool. During the Vietnam War, our church provided Sanctuary to draft-resisters.

As a Smoke-free environment, our congregation encourages behaviors that keep our bodies healthy and our minds clear and curious. Our ethical principles call us to leave our world and environment in better shape than we recieved it.

As a Supporter of a Woman's Right to choose birth control or abortion, our congregation believes that human reproductive choices do not belong to our neighbors or to clergymen who will never be pregnant.