UUF Mendocino Home > Spirituality Essays > UU Theology

Click for home page

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of the Mendocino Coast

Spirituality Essay:

Unitarian Universalist Theology    ( October 2006 )

Home | Beliefs | FAQ | Links | Rick Childs Biography | Spirituality Essays

In our September service, "UU Theology: Springboard to Spiritual Growth," my goal was to create a more thorough examination of what we UUs believe and stand for - our primary UU theology. As we more fully understand what beliefs we UUs have in common - and, more importantly, allow those ideas to seep from our general consciousness into our lives -- our spiritual growth gets a major boost. For it can help us feel our identity more fully, open our spirituality with deeper and richer connections to life, help us in our problem-solving, and enable more love in our lives.

Here is a brief summary of some of the key ideas that were presented, in hopes this longer-than-usual offering will help you to understand our religion better, and have it become a more integral, valuable part of your life. If you'd like a tape of the entire sermon, please let me know.

Although our religion doesn't, generally, have "creeds," and we believe only each person can best determine what is true for him or herself, we tend to therefore believe we don't have a theology. But we do . . . and knowing it, as the foundation of all we are, not only makes us more appreciative of how unique our religion is, but can help open new doors to a better life as well.

Our first UU theological belief is that The Spirit of Life permeates all. We believe there is a core essence of the sacred in everything, where we find beauty, spirit, substance, and meaningfulness. The words to our hymn, "Spirit of Life, come unto me . . . roots hold me close, wings set me free," symbolizes and opens for us the pathway to closer, deeper, and richer connections to everything in us and around us.

Deeply experiencing and holding that connection to that blessed core spirit-essence of all is the "heaven on earth" to which we point our lives. Much of this is shared with other religions, but our focus is that the sacred is inherent in everything . . . and there for us to directly connect with and enjoy; we don't require a deity-loop to get there.

Our second theological belief is that "truth" is not static and fixed, but ever-evolving and growing. As we see that, and are able to say - and embrace - "This I believe; tomorrow I may not," we start a powerful vibration deep within us that, as it pushes up to the surface, opens us to whole new inputs of exciting, alive, meaningful encounters, experiences, and resources we'd likely otherwise miss.

Our stance is dynamic: questioning-emphasis rather than answers, truth that is ongoingly changing and emerging (and which we decide for ourselves), uncertainty that is accepted, perhaps even welcomed . . . all these facets shift our perspective and approach to life, subtly, but significantly. We're likely to find ourselves much more likely to:

No doubt, this is a much harder lifestyle - sooo much easier accepting what's told or given to us, living in the comfortable "known"; but the payoff is a much more alive, dynamic, and ultimately satisfying richer life.

Our third UU theological belief is that we, inherently, at our core are good, naturally loving beings. This means you, me, George Bush, Osama binLaden . . . we all have a core human essence that's loving, beautiful, and good. {The dysfunctional behaviors we commonly see in humanity, UUs largely believe, arise from reactions to the negative encounters in our lives . . . .and a larger subject beyond this.}

Our belief in our natural goodness comes directly from our religious heritage (the Universalists) and, an essential corollary, leads to our emphasis of building a life that continually strives to create more love (both giving and receiving) as one of our primary life goals - if not the primary goal.

The Universalists broke from traditional religions (in the 1700's), believing that God was loving and that everyone would be welcomed into heaven (a radical concept then). We honor and feel that as a helping boost in our own desires to generate more love in our lives. Like a "tailwind" someone said . . . our ancestors feeling the importance of love and passing it down to us, so our lives would be the more blessed.

With that gentle assist, our loving and caring selves more naturally grow. We may find we're more likely inclined to:

Doesn't that help make you feel a little warmer and stronger about being a UU?

This is one in a series of essays on spirituality by Rick Childs, lay leader of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of the Mendocino Coast. You may want to:
Read more Spirituality Essays
Read more about Rick Childs or send e-mail to:
Read more about the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of the Mendocino Coast.

Questions about Unitarian Universalism? Ask Rick Childs,

Questions about our web site? Ask Ted Pack: