The flaming chalice is the symbol of Unitarian Universalism. Typically, a candle within the chalice is lit before worship and extinguished at the end. Each chalice is unique; it may appear more like a goblet or cup with a stem and foot and be made of any number of materials.
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.
Austrian artist and refugee who, when commissioned by Rev. Charles Joy to design a logo for the Unitarian Service Committee’s work during World War II, created the image of the flaming chalice to represent Unitarianism.
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.
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.
Our Whole Lives is a comprehensive sexuality education curriculum for children, teenagers, young adults, and adults developed by the Unitarian Universalist Association and the United Church of Christ for use in congregations and secular settings. The curriculum strives to provide complete and unbiased information about human sexuality so participants can make informed and healthy decisions.
Secular humanism is the belief that ultimate values reside within the human individual and possess no supernatural origin; it has been shaped by Enlightenment rationalism, Darwinian science, and later by Freudian and post-Freudian psychology. The humanist movement gained currency in the United States during the late nineteenth century and was expressed through the programs of the Ethical Culture Society and the nontheistic wing of Unitarianism; was popular among the intelligentsia. In the twentieth and 21st century, the Humanist movement has produced three “Humanist Manifestos” which were issued in 1933, 1973, and 2003.
A Spanish theologian who rejected the notion of the Trinity, arguing that the life and teachings of Jesus had been embellished well beyond what the Bible actually said. He advocated that Christianity return to a well-reasoned interpretation of the Bible. In 1553 Servetus was burned at the stake for promoting Unitarian ideas.
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 congregations and in society at large; 6. The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all; 7. Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.
King of Transylvania, a convert to Unitarianism, who issued in 1568 the first declaration of religious freedom.
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.
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.
The Unitarian Service Committee is the original name for the Unitarian organization established in 1940 as a rescue and relief organization to assist refugees of World War II. Today, this group is known as the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee and continues to advance human rights and social justice causes.
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.