Unitarian Universalism

UU World

Weekly web magazine of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations.

Joy, Reverend Charles (1885-1978)

Executive Director of the Unitarian Service Committee, a rescue and relief organization that helped Jews, Unitarians, and others escape the Nazis. Joy is credited with commissioning Hans Deutsch to design a logo to represent the spirit of their work, which resulted in the image of flaming chalice.


a belief in one God that rejects the three persons of the Trinity that has much in common with the belief in the early Christian church about the superiority of God over Jesus and the Anti-Trinitarian writing that emerged during the Protestant Reformation. The first Unitarian church was founded in Transylvania by Francis David in 1567. In the United States, Unitarianism has ties to the Transcendentalist movement and to Humanism. As a denomination, the Unitarians merged with the Universalists to form Unitarian Universalism in 1961.

David, Francis (c. 1510–1579)

Founder of the first Unitarian church and court preacher to King John Sigismund, who convinced the latter not to establish a state religion but to instead declare religious freedom throughout the realm.


Universalism is a belief in universal salvation, that is, that all people are eventually reconciled with God and united in heaven. Universalists began organizing as a denomination around this core belief in 1793. They merged with the Unitarians to form the Unitarian Universalist Association in 1961.

Seven Principles

In 1985, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association adopted seven principles as a covenantal agreement, binding them to one another as a statement of belief. The Seven Principles that Unitarian Universalist congregations affirm and promote are: 1. The inherent worth and dignity of every person; 2. Justice, equity and compassion in human relations; 3. Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations; 4. A free and responsible search for truth and meaning; 5. The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our... Read more about Seven Principles

Flower Communion

The Flower Communion is a ritual during which each person brings a flower and leaves with another as a reminder of our interconnectedness. It was developed in 1923 by Norbert Capek, a Unitarian minister from Prague, who wanted to create a new form of communion that could bring together Catholics, Protestants, and Jews. After Capek’s death in a concentration camp during the Second World War, the Flower Communion was brought to the United States by Capek’s wife and today it is observed in Unitarian Universalist congregations across America.

Starr King, Thomas (1824–1864)

A Universalist and Unitarian minister, abolitionist, and zealous orator. He is credited by Abraham Lincoln as keeping California (along with its gold) in the Union during the Civil War.