Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Erie

Frequently Asked Questions


What is Unitarian Universalism?

Unitarian Universalism is a result of the 1961 merger of two denominations, the Unitarians and the Universalists, which both have their roots in the Christian tradition. The Unitarians, who emerged from the left wing of the Protestant Reformation in the 1500's, have long held a belief in the unity of God and the importance of reason and scholarship. The Universalists, forming a distinct religious movement in the 1700's, have given us the belief in universal salvation and stressed the importance of compassion and service to one another.

How is the UU faith different from traditional religions?

Unitarian Universalists have no religious creed (particular formulation of an understanding of who/what God is) that one must ascribe to in order to become a member of our congregations. Rather, we believe that there are many valid ways of understanding the Holy and we leave that for each individual personally to discover and affirm. We organize ourselves around an ethical basis (how we should live out our faith), rather than a theological basis (how we know God). We are free to believe what we must about the sacred and are challenged to make the world a better place for all by our acts of compassion and work for justice.

What can I expect to find at a UU Sunday Service?

Our services vary in subject and approach. Generally, they are led by our minister and include inclusive hymns, readings and a sermon. At least once a month we have a guest speaker, and in the summer- mid-June through August- some services are lay-led. Dress is casual. Nursery care is provided and religious education classes (Sunday school) are held for school-age children.

Who is welcome at UU functions?

People of all ethnic, economic and religious backgrounds- women, men, straight, gay, lesbian- are all welcome to attend our Sunday services and congregational classes, support groups and events. Our monthly newsletter lists such gatherings and you may receive a copy by calling or emailing us. Membership is open to all who find themselves in harmony with our purposes and who would like to share in the life and work of our religious community.

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