Unitarian Universalist Ministers of Canada
The Canadian chapter of the
Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association
What is a Unitarian Universalist?
This is a perplexing question to some people! There are just over 5,000 members of Unitarian and Universalist congregations in Canada, but the census lists nearly 19,000! In the States there are over 100,000 Unitairan Universalists (UU's) and worldwide another 100,000 in India, England, Central Europe, the Philippines, South America, Australia, and many more places.
While many people ask about a creed - it would be hard to define UU's by a creed as most do not have one. In North America there is a set of Principles and Sources which generally describe their beliefs - but this is not a creed, it does not define beliefs. There is always some disagreement about the words used in the Principles and Sources. In addition many congregation have a mission statement.
Others may ask about God, Jesus, and other figures as the focus of belief. The beliefs of Unitarian Universalists run the gamut from core UU's who have never been anything else to those who bring Christan, Jewish, Buddhist, Pagan, Islamic, Hindu and other religious beliefs and ceremonies to UUism. We are eclectic, yet there is a store of shared beliefs that hold us together - the Principles and Sources. Even so, there are hundereds of questions to ask about us.
Some will look to our history for answers as to who we are. The history of Unitarianism and of Universalism follow separate streams until the mid to late 1800's when their Sunday School Societies merged and children in their Church Schools were taught from the same curriculum. Their separate histories are fascinating and colour the congregations viesw even today. The Candaian Unitairian and Universalist history is a microcosm of the worldwide history of the two groups.
Most UU's agree that beliefs are a guide to living. We strive to live out or beliefs - thus some UU's have strong spiritual and meditative practices, others believe that dignity and worth are important and live their religion out in more socially active ways, while others simply accept some form of service to others into their lives. We live out our beliefs! Some ask about symbols. Many groups around the world have their own design, but generally we use the symbol of a flaming chalice. Read the history of the chalice symbol here.
In addition, the links below will give you more information - but do not forget to look at the other links at the top right of this page - there is a lot of information on this site.