Beliefs and Values

The mission of Orange Coast Unitarian Universalist Church is to transform our lives and communities by living our Principles.

Unitarian Universalism is a theologically diverse religion in which members support one another in the search for truth and meaning. As members of a non-creedal religious tradition, Unitarian Universalists are free to discern their beliefs about theological and ethical issues.

  • We put religious insights to the test of our hearts and minds. Individual Unitarian Universalists may also identify as Atheist, Agnostic, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Humanist, Jewish, Muslim, Pagan, or with other philosophical or religious traditions.
  • We uphold the free search for truth.
  • We are not bound by any one statement of belief or creed. Rather, we celebrate the continually unfolding truths known to teachers, prophets, and sages throughout the ages.
  • We believe that religious wisdom is ever-changing. Human understanding of life and death and the world and its mysteries is never final. Revelation is continuous.
  • We affirm the worth of all people.
  • We believe people should be encouraged to think for themselves in order to find a deeper sense of meaning and purpose to their lives.
  • We seek to act as a moral force in the world, believing that ethical living is the supreme witness of religion. The here and now and the effects our actions will have on future generations deeply concern us.
  • We understand that our relationships with each other, our wider community, and with the natural world should be governed by justice, equity, and compassion.

Our Seven Principles

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.

As Rev. Barbara Wells ten Hove explains, “The Principles are not dogma or doctrine, but rather a guide for those of us who choose to join and participate in Unitarian Universalist religious communities.”

  • 1st Principle: The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
  • 2nd Principle: Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
  • 3rd Principle: Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
  • 4th Principle: A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
  • 5th Principle: The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
  • 6th Principle: The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
  • 7th Principle: Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

Our Six Sources

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 we 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 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.

The seven Seven Principles and six Sources of the Unitarian Universalist Association grew out of the grassroots of our communities, were affirmed democratically, and are part of who we are.

For more information about the history and beliefs of UUs, visit the website for the Unitarian Universalist Association.

Ten Good Reasons for for Joining a Unitarian Universalist Congregation

  1. Because here we join with open hearts and minds to worship together, seeking what is sacred among us.
  2. Because here we are part of a long, liberal tradition of reason and tolerance, of hope and liberation.
  3. Because here we honor our Jewish and Christian roots, and also reach out to know the great truths found in other religious expressions
  4. Because here we acknowledge that revelation is never sealed and we empower ourselves to search for new truths.
  5. Because here we nurture our children's enthusiasm and encourage their questions.
  6. Because here we welcome diverse people and views.
  7. Because here we join our strength with others to create a more just society.
  8. Because here we respect the whole self--mind, body and spirit working together.
  9. Because here we encourage each other to be true to ourselves.
  10. Because here we build a supportive community that eases our loneliness and opens our hearts.

Written by Bill and Barbara Hamilton-Holway and Mark Harris ©1995 Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations

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