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UNITARIAN UNIVERSALISM

UU groups and Internet resources


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Groups associated with the UUA:

  • Buddhist Fellowship: The Unitarian Universalist Buddhist Fellowship is a group within the UUA for Buddhists. "Since the introduction of the first Buddhist texts to American in the mid-19th century, Buddhism has been an extremely influential force among Unitarians..." 1
  • Christian Fellowship:

"The Unitarian Universalist Christian Fellowship is a group within the UUA for Christians. The purpose of the Fellowship (UUCF) is to serve Christian Unitarians and Universalists according to their expressed religious needs; to uphold and promote the Christian witness within the Unitarian Universalist Association; and to uphold and promote the historic Unitarian and Universalist witness and conscience within the church universal." 2

  • Church of the Larger Fellowship: The CLF is an outreach of the UUA which supports Unitarian Universalists throughout the US and Canada who do not have a Unitarian congregation or fellowship nearby. They publish a newsletter Quest.
  • "CUUPS": The Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans was formed in 1985 to promote the "practice of contemporary Pagan and Earth [-centered] and nature-centered spirituality". They help UU's who are also Neopagans to network together. They develop material to inform and facilitate Neo-Pagan services at individual UU churches. They promote communications among religions etc. They have a quarterly newsletter Pagan NUUS and an annual journal The UU Pagan. 3
  • Green Sanctuary Program: This program was originally part of the Seventh Principle Project. The latter has since been renamed the Unitarian Universalist Ministry for Earth (UUMFE). Since 2008-JUL-01,  the program has become a part of the Congregational Stewardship Services office of the UUA. Individual congregations can earn the designation of"Green Sanctuary" by fulfilling at least 12 activities or projects spread over four focus areas––worship, environmental justice, religious education, and sustainable living. 8
  • Interweave: This is an organization affiliated with the UUA and composed of Unitarian Universalists who promote lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender concerns. The UU Association was the first significant religious organization in North America to open an office for the support of equal rights for (and acceptance of) gays and lesbians. This has expanded in recent years to include both bisexual and transgender people.
  • Unitarian Universalist Service Committee: This was formed in 1939 to help people escape from fascism in Europe. A parallel group in Canada is the USC, formed after World War II by Lotta Hitchminova. Each has since evolved into an agency no longer affiliated with the UU movement. However, they still gain much financial and other support from UUs. Both groups are active around the world, in the areas of: health care (including family planning), the status of children and women, poverty reduction, human rights, the environment, etc.
  • Other Groups: There are Unitarian interest groups for Judaism, and for the ethical treatment of animals. Beacon House is its publishing arm.

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Theism/Humanism division in the UUA:

There is great diversity of religious belief within the UUA, within each of its congregations, and even within individual UUA families. Many members identify themselves either as Humanists, or as followers of a theistic tradition. In most religious organizations, this would cause great difficulty; the range of beliefs among the membership would make it impossible to establish a common set of shared beliefs -- a denominational dogma and creed. However, the UUA bypasses this problem; they do not require its members to hold any specific religious beliefs.

Rev. William R. Murry, is the president of Chicago's Meadville/Lombard Theological School, -- one of two which are affiliated with the UUA. He noted in early 2001 that there is great diversity in the denomination; UUA membership "leaves room for just about everyone." He estimated that half the UUA's 1,055 congregations have a theistic orientation. This is matched by half of the students at his school. 4

By and large, UUA congregations share a number of common interests: social justice, study of diverse religions and spiritual traditions, the search for a personal spirituality, democracy, tolerance, ethics, etc. The UUA has many affinity groups, representing UUA members who are Buddhists, Christians, Humanists, followers of Neopaganism, etc.  It is through these shared interests and affinity groups that congregations find unity, in spite of their great diversity of religious beliefs among its members. 


Unitarian resources on the Internet:

  1. links to over 35 minister blogs, sermon podcasts, and UU news at: http://www.discoveruu.com/ .
  2. Unitarian-Universalist Buddhist Fellowship at http://www.uua.org/uubf/
  3. Unitarian Universalist Christian Fellowship at http://www.uua.org/uucf/
  4. The Web Home for Unitarian Universalist Pagans (WHUUPS) is at http://www.notelrac.com/
  5. The Canadian Unitarian Council is at: http://www.cuc.ca
  6. The International Council of Unitarians and Universalists is at: www.icuu.net
  7. The forum of the National Unitarian Fellowship, a UK group, is at: http://nufonline.org.uk/
  8. Donald Skinner, "UUA to administer Green Sanctuary program UUA to take over environmental program from UU Ministry for Earth," UUWorld, 2008-JUN-02, at: http://www.uuworld.org/

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Copyright © 1996 to 2008, by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2008-AUG-10
Author: B.A. Robinson

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