Most Unitarian Universalists are more than familiar with the seven principles that serve as our covenant. The seven principles are a guide for all Unitarian Universalists to live their lives in a manner that fully embraces “the free and responsible search for truth and meaning.” What many Unitarian Universalists do not have strong familiarity with are the six sources that our seven principles are drawn from. These are the six sources our congregations 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.
For the next six months, I will use this space to delve in to each of our six sources. The sources are our “living tradition”; the foundation of our faith. All the sources are important. No source is more important than the other. None of the sources support the misguided thought that Unitarian Universalism is a religion in which you can believe whatever you want. Our faith has a direction and a purpose. My hope is that we can utilize this exercise in exploration to identify the direction and purpose of our church internally and in the greater community.
Vanessa Birchell, BBUUC Board President