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Unitarian Universalism

Discussion in 'Seekers Circle' started by Galateasdream, Jan 19, 2020.

  1. Galateasdream

    Galateasdream Active Member

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    It's just come to my attention after reading the wiki entry for Unitarian Universalism that my personal brand of progressive, universalist Christianity seems pretty close to a form of Unitarian Universalism (albeit with a Christian flavour).

    Gotta admit, I'm curious to find out more.

    UU doesn't seem to have a big presence in the UK, and it isnt something I've really explored - I've investigated to some degree a few faiths, but not UU (which I guess isn't so much a faith as a philosophical/spiritual approach which permits a wide range of individual faiths under its umbrella). So I can't say I know much about it at all.

    I'm curious about the good, the bad, the practical and everything.

    Anyone with experiences, positive or negative, of UUism care to tell me more? :)
     
  2. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium Sākṣī
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    I’ve attended a few UU services, but didn’t continue for a couple of reasons.

    The first is all me and not them. I don’t feel the need for community when it comes to my views.

    The second is that, in my experience, they are ultra-liberal and have allowed politics to spill into their services. It was sort of a turn-off for me.
     
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  3. Galateasdream

    Galateasdream Active Member

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    That would certainly turn me off a fair bit too.

    It's one thing for individual members to chat politcs etc if they want, but if I wanted politics I'd join a political society not a religious/philosophical community. I would want the focus to be on spirituality, ethics, charity, support and personal growth - not on politics.
     
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  4. Kirran

    Kirran
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    In the UK it's just Unitarians, which cleave a little more closely to the Christian roots. They are worth a try. I used to go to their services in Cambridge. Google 'unitarian church [your area]'.

    There are Unitarian churches in Torquay, Cullompton and Plymouth.
     
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  5. columbus

    columbus yawn <ignore> yawn

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    I was a solid member of a UU congregation for around 15 years.

    One of many things I can say about UU is this.
    There's no dominating hierarchy. Each congregation is it's own community, it's rather an anarchic religious ideology.

    If you appreciate an ethical community, that doesn't require theological submission to "your betters", and generally celebrates diversity of opinions (while still being humans with all the flaws that entails), you might find UU a good community.
    Perhaps not.
    Tom
     
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  6. Left Coast

    Left Coast Plant-Based Plebeian
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    Unitarians

    Here's the UK Unitarians website with a search function to find a congregation near you. :)
     
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  7. Galateasdream

    Galateasdream Active Member

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    Sounds pretty good to me :)
     
  8. sun rise

    sun rise "This is the Hour of God"
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  9. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon shunyadragon
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    I have been close to the UU since I was a teenager, and yes they are pretty much on a diverse liberal side and independent thinkers, but calling them extreme liberal is a stretch unless you are from the right side of the conservative perspective.

    There are UUs in the United Kingdom, and you can find them through the internet.

    I am a Baha'i, which I consider the Theist equivalent to the dominantly humanist UU. I sort of have a UU side and Baha'i side of my philosophy and theology.
     
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  10. Galateasdream

    Galateasdream Active Member

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    It seems there isn't one near where I am at present, but there is one fairly close to where I'm hoping to move to within the year. I'll probably check it out then.
     
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  11. columbus

    columbus yawn <ignore> yawn

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    My knowledge of UU specifics is quite dated, so I'm not sure. But there used to be a program called "Church of the Larger Fellowship". It was designed for folks who, for whatever reason, were unable to attend a local congregation. That's a common problem, due to the small size of the denomination.

    Perhaps joining that, whatever it's called these days, would be a good way to sorta join and get familiar and connected with UU. When I was familiar there was no internet, it was all done by post. I'm sure it's vastly improved by now.
    Tom
     
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  12. amatuerscholar

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    I used to be the educational director at a UU Church in the Midwest United States. The further west you go in the US, the less they are associated with Christianity, while further east you get more of the historical root Christian denominations that made it up, which were the Universalist Church of America and the American Unitarian Association. With that said, the church I went to was more philosophically oriented than theological orientated. The congregation was made up of everyone from atheists, to pagans (which they identified as), to Christians and Jews.

    Having a family, the big problem for me was that the church simply didn't have a viable children's service. And honestly, the services were often boring, so my young children weren't going to pay attention. Another problem was that we simply didn't have a minister, so a lot of the sermons were either given by people in the community, or we'd get a few UU pastors from around the country. Some of the sermons were great; others were terrible.

    One of my favorite aspects of the church though was that it allowed for a lot of growth. We'd do weekly classes on different religions, as well as comparative theology. We also set up a skeptic group which was quite popular.

    In the end, what tied the church together was a more liberal view point and the want to learn more. However, not all UU churches will be like that. You do get more of the traditional church in the east where the UU began.
     
  13. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Veteran Member

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    I go to a Unitarian Universalist Church. The belief/christian part depends on the area. Both Unitarian and Universalist were christian denominations. With the exception of one without eternal punishment and the other rejection of the trinity. So, you'll find a lot of christian elements in UU. I assume in Britain (if I got my places correct) is very christian whereas in the states, since UU became even more political, it is more inclusive to all people.

    The thing is, many people feel UU welcomes all belief systems etc. That's an overstatement. It would be odd if you're a protestant christian, believe homosexuality is a sin, and worship with the rest of us. So, there are principles the church rejects the dogma (this case protestant dogma).

    Unitarian Universalist Association
    Transcendentalism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
    Ralph Waldo Emerson and the Transcendentalism Movement
    Emerson's Moral Dilemma

    Positive experiences? I like how we are a covenant church rather than a creedal church. We join because of our differences not our similarities. It's like being in humanity, really. With a promise to serve regardless our beliefs.

    I really don't have much negatives. What threw me off guard is that UU churches are predominately white given the history. So, if you watch a lot of the services in the states, you may hear "white/black" references. The idea is to become more inclusive to people of other nationalities that didn't happen in the past. So, depending on the size of the church depends on ethnical differences. But, in general, it may be a bit uncomfortable if you're in a "race focused" environment as America is.

    I think that's it. It's not really a negative. It took me awhile to get comfortable but people just don't care. One person did mention that we now have people of color here. Some things slip but outside the racial thing, it's pretty much cool.

    I don't know about the UK. America is pretty secular these days so you'll see a lot of negative references to dogmatic religions. Which, for me, throws me off guard. But if that's not an issue, I think you'd like it. I consider it a "get out of your comfort zone" environment. I've been there for a year so far; and, never had any issues.
     
  14. Shadow Wolf

    Shadow Wolf Rival's Wife

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    I thought it felt like a Protestant sermon under different management. My experience though, and the Southern Baptist Church did leave some emotional scars on me.
     
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