What We Believe
We are Thinkers and Doers
We are brave, curious, and compassionate thinkers and doers. We are diverse in faith, ethnicity, history and spirituality, but aligned in our desire to make a difference for the good. We have a track record of standing on the side of love, justice, and peace.
We are Self-Motivated and Spiritual
We have radical roots and a history as self-motivated spiritual people: we think for ourselves and recognize that life experience influences our beliefs more than anything.
We need not think alike to love alike. We are people of many beliefs and backgrounds: people with a religious background, people with none, people who believe in a God, people who don’t, and people who let the mystery be.
We are Accepting
We are Unitarian Universalists and Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Humanist, Jewish, Muslim, Pagan, atheist and agnostic, believers in God, and all others.
On the forefront of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer inclusion for more than 40 years, we are people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. We seek to welcome you: your whole self, with all your truths and your doubts, your hopes and your worries. Join us on this extraordinary adventure of faith.
In Unitarian Universalism, you can bring your whole self: your full identity, your questioning mind, your expansive heart.Together, we create a force more powerful than one person or one belief system. As Unitarian Universalists, we do not have to check our personal background and beliefs at the door: we join together on a journey that honors everywhere we’ve been before.
We have no shared creed. Our covenant (our seven Principles) supports “the free and responsible search for truth and meaning.” This search has led us to embrace diverse teachings from Eastern and Western religions and philosophies. All Unitarians Universalists endorse the Seven Principles, and the 8th Principle has been adopted by TVUUC as well.
Unitarian Universalists believe more than one thing. We think for ourselves and reflect together about important questions:
- The existence of a Higher Power
- Life and Death
- Sacred Texts
- Inspiration and Guidance
- Prayer and Spiritual Practices
We are united in shared experience: our work for social justice, our quest to include the marginalized, and our expressions of love
We create change: in ourselves, in the world.
Seven days a week, Unitarian Universalists (UUs) live their faith by doing. Whether in community with others or as an individual, we know that active, tangible expressions of love, justice, and peace are what make a difference. By embracing these ideals that go beyond individual belief systems, we are creators of positive change in people and in the world.
These are the ways in which we practice:
- Worship & inspiration—Sunday mornings and beyond.
- Action & service—volunteering and work for justice.
- Connection & care—caring outreach, mutual support, and small groups for adults, youth, families, and children.
- Celebrations & rites of passage—weddings, memorials/funerals, baby blessings, coming-of-age, and child dedications.
While we do not share a common creed or doctrine, one of the ways we hold ourselves together in community is through our covenant – a set of promises we make to about how we will be together and treat each other. Each Unitarian Universalist congregation develops their own covenant. Ours reads like this:
“We covenant with each other, promising our goodwill and honest effort, pledging our care and support to one another and to our church community, challenging one another to live in accord with our Unitarian Universalist principles.”
With this common purpose as our source, we covenant:
- to welcome all who come to us with acceptance and respect for the differences among us, and to remain open to the richness and discomforts of diversity;
- to listen with sincerity and love;
- to foster trust, practice patience and speak one’s truth directly and with compassion;
- to reflect carefully about the potential results of our words and actions before we speak or act;
- to assume the positive intent of others and keep our discussions to topics and issues rather than personalities;
- to acknowledge that we may not always agree with the group decisions, but we will support and participate in decision-making processes that are collaborative and democratic; and be open to compromise;
- to pursue a mutually satisfying resolution when there is disagreement, and seek help when needed;
- to speak directly to those with whom we have disagreements and encourage others to do the same;
- to speak out with loving kindness when we witness disrespectful interactions, acknowledging our fallibility and practicing forgiveness;
- to act with loving kindness, seeking to promote justice, equity, and compassion;
- to understand that building our beloved community requires ongoing learning and practice of courageous acts of love an d reconciliation.