Reflection on Our Seven Principles

Michael E. Sallwasser

We, the member congregation of the Unitarian Universalist Association, covenant to affirm and promote:

  1. The inherent worth and dignity of every person.
    We promote the first and most honored principle of our Association by opening our pulpit to all. We affirm the dignity of every person when we value their thoughtful and heartfelt opinions enough to provide a forum to express them.
  2. Justice, equity, and compassion in human relations.
    When our speech challenges the injustice and inequity we see and experience in the world, we are called to do so with compassion for the oppressor as well as the oppressed.
  3. Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations.
    It is often through words that we demonstrate acceptance or rejection of someone else's spiritual journey. By choosing our words carefully when expressing our individual beliefs, we can encourage others on their chosen path by intentionally acknowledging the multiplicity of spokes to the spiritual center.
  4. A free and responsible search for truth and meaning.
    How better to affirm and promote a free and responsible search than to provide a marketplace for those who are searching to share the fruits of their quest?
  5. The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large.
    Free speech is the cornerstone of democracy. When repressive regimes seize power, speech is the first freedom they crush. When people rise up, it is because they are emboldened by speech that is free.
  6. The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all.
    This is our challenge: to broaden the sphere of our influence, to build a community of those outside these walls. If today strengthens our convictions, then we have done well.
  7. Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.
    We are intimately connected and profoundly dependent on one another. Not the least of what we need from one another is the infusion of new ideas, new ways of thinking, that help us to better understand each other and ourselves.