Why Our Family Practices Unitarian Universalism
I think one of the most difficult things to have a conversation about is our beliefs. Especially in these times of exclusion and discrimination, bringing up what we think about a higher power and a divine grand plan brings with it a lot of anxiety. But I believe we are called to be vocal about our faith- that part of our mission as human beings is to help others find peace.
So, I'm beginning to write and share my thoughts about what I believe to be true and how these beliefs have been formed. I share not to impose or persuade, simply to scatter seeds and let them fall where they will.
Taking what I learned as a child about God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, combined with how my faith has evolved through joy and challenge as I've grown, I've arrived at what feels like a solid foundation of what that all means to me. And the beliefs and practices of Unitarian Universalism align most closely with what makes sense in my mind.
We started attending services about a year ago, as I was working on staying mentally and emotionally healthy, trying to escape the grip of postpartum depression after little brother's birth. I was needing community, and the grounding calmness of ritual. I had tried services at a couple different churches that just weren't the right fit. Then I remembered the little bit of what I knew about Unitarian Universalism, that it had intrigued me a few years ago, and decided to try our local First Unitarian Society.
As much as I wanted to stay secluded in my quiet house with my thoughts and my kids, I knew I had to go. As I set foot in the remarkably crafted Frank Lloyd Wright building I instantly felt at home. The rhythm of the service, the warmth and encouragement of music and words, reassured me I was meant to be there.
To feel validated in what we believe by sharing it with others, is so empowering. When we feel empowered we are able to do the most good with our lives. So, I'm on a path to understand and live the principles that support my religion.
I'm sharing those basic principles in hopes of providing direction if you're in a phase of life that feels confusing (parenthood, perhaps?). If they touch your spirit somehow, reach out and let me know!
Our church's website clarifies that the UU principles are not to be considered as doctrine, rather, as statements of aspiration we strive to live up to.
Unitarian Universalist Principles
1. The inherent worth and dignity of every person.
2. Justice, equity, and compassion in human relations.
3. Accept one another and encourage spiritual growth.
4. Search freely and responsibly for truth and meaning.
5. Support democracy.
6. Improve the global community.
7. Respect our interdependent web of existence.
What I love most about these principles is they are more so about ethics and morals as they are about religion. As such, I'm sure we strive to uphold many of these as teachings for our children.
What do you think? I'd love to hear if these principles resonate with you and how you might represent them in your family. Comment and let me know or connect on Facebook!