For the Media
Contacts for the press
Here are recent Chicago area news articles featuring Unitarian Universalism
"Church Names Community Minister: Pastor with HIV has a new role in the community"
Second Unitarian Church is pleased to strengthen their role in their diverse community of Chicago by naming a community minister to its staff. Rev. Dundzila founded the first HIV/AIDS ministry in Madison, Wisconsin, and was instrumental in forming the AIDS Pastoral Care Network in Chicago.
"Opening Eyes to Needy"
Unitarian fundraising project sets up 'cardboard cities' for participants to experience homelessness for a night.
by Robert Channick / The Chicago Tribune / March 25, 2009
"I don't think anybody really knows what it's like to be homeless unless you have been."
Access nation-wide archive of articles featuring Unitarian Universalism at the "Press Room" of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations.
About Unitarian Universalism
To Unitarian Universalists, the marks of true religion are freedom to choose one’s spiritual journey, enlightened reason, broad and tolerant compassion, upright character, and unselfish service. We find the essence of religion in character, conduct, and community, rather than in doctrines, creeds, dogmas, and catechisms.
-Unitarian Universalist minister Rev. Jack Mendelsohn
Unitarian Universalism is a liberal religious tradition: our people are free to choose their own spiritual path and shape their own beliefs, in dialogue and community with each other, with the faiths of the world, and with their own conscience. Unitarian Universalists, however, do subscribe to an ethic of behavior, a way of being together that promotes peace, justice, and compassion. Within this framework, we encourage individuals to articulate their own beliefs and to follow their own spiritual journeys. Our congregations offer communities with whom you may share your journey.
Beliefs Within Our FaithUnitarian Universalism is a liberal religion that encompasses many faith traditions. Unitarian Universalists include people who identify as Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, Pagans, Atheists, Agnostics, Humanists, and others. As there is no official Unitarian Universalist creed, Unitarian Universalists are free to search for truth on many paths.
To quote the Rev. Marta Flanagan, "We uphold the free search for truth. We will not be bound by a statement of belief. We do not ask anyone to subscribe to a creed. We say ours is a non-creedal religion. Ours is a free faith."
Although we uphold shared principles, individual Unitarian Universalists have varied beliefs about everything from scripture to rituals to God.
With the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations (UUA),
(1) we affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every individual;
(2) we promote justice, equity, and compassion in human relations;
(3) we practice acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
(4) we promote a free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
(5) we affirm the right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
(6) we cherish the goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for every person; and
(7) we respect the interdependent web of all existence, of which we are a part.
Sources of Wisdom
Unitarian Universalists draw wisdom from many sources, most especially
(1) our individual direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to an openness to the forces that create and uphold life;
(2) words and deeds of prophetic women and men, who challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love;
(3) wisdom from the world’s religions, which inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life;
(4) the teachings of Judaism. Christianity, and others, which call us to love our neighbors as ourselves;
(5) humanist teachings which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the findings of science, and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit; and
(6) spiritual teachings of earth-centered traditions, which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature.
Unitarian Universalists Share this World View
Although we Unitarian Universalists have many beliefs about the core elements of theology, we nevertheless have common ground. Our communities today share these convictions:
We are a grounded faith. We are a faith with roots, however lightly held, that go back two thousand years and more. Ours is solidly grounded in both the realm of history and the realm of ideas.
We are an ecological faith. The “interdependent web” concept of our Seventh Principle has captured our fancy. We have placed the web squarely at the center of our shared worldview and ourselves somewhere in it, but not at the center.
We are a profoundly human faith. Whether we see our charge as loving our neighbor or ending the suffering of all sentient beings, whether a transcendent dimension is part of our worldview or not, our primary focus for religious action is the well-being of this world.
We are a responsible faith. At our best, we are able to respond to our deep sense of interconnectedness with both the natural and human worlds. Whatever our source of religious inspiration, we understand that humanity must take its responsibility for the state of the world seriously
We are an experiential faith. We are focused more on experience than beliefs. We do not hold with beliefs that contradict our experience, although we recognize that there are realities that can draw us beyond the present limits of our knowledge.
We are a free faith. We are free both as individuals and as congregations. We recognize the authenticity and integrity of each individual’s life journey. Concepts such as “building your own theology” and “composing a faith” resonate with us. We are a faith of heretics (from the Greek hairesis, “to choose”).
We are a reasonable faith. We do not ask people to check their rationality at the door, and we encourage the practice of disciplined inquiry toward personal and societal assumptions. We are positive toward the findings of science, every mindful that human values must inform choices in that area, as in every other.
We are a covenantal faith. We create community by our commitment to each other rather than by creed, ecclesiastical authority, or revealed truth. We are a dialogical faith, we build community through conversation made sacred by our commitment to each other. We know that “We need not think alike to love alike.”
We are a curious faith. By nature we are open to each other and our ideas, endeavoring however imperfectly to be tolerant, accepting, respectful, and, yes, embracing and celebratory of each other.
We are an imaginative faith. We engage in image and story, garnering wisdom from many traditions, many creation stories, many images and visions of what could be. We make a place for creativity to flourish.
We are a hopeful faith. We are a faith of possibilities, aspiring to be a transformative faith, a justice-seeking faith. We would create a space for the realization of possibility, whether we call it the “Kingdom of God” or the ”Beloved Community.”
We are a prophetic faith. Liberation theologies call us to a more risk-taking faith, daring to name what is broken, to take actions requiring discomfort and sacrifice, that we might contribute more effectively to the repair and transformation of our world.
-Text taken from "Engaging Our Theological Diversity," a report from the UUA Commission on Appraisal, 2005