The Seven Rules

Unitarian Universalist congregations affirm and promote seven Rules, which we maintain as sturdy values and ethical guides. We stay out these Rules inside a “dwelling custom” of knowledge and spirituality, drawn from sources as numerous as science, poetry, scripture, and private expertise.

As Rev. Barbara Wells ten Hove explains, “The Rules should not dogma or doctrine, however somewhat a information for these of us who select to hitch and take part in Unitarian Universalist spiritual communities.”

  1. The inherent price and dignity of each particular person;
  2. Justice, fairness and compassion in human relations;
  3. Acceptance of each other and encouragement to non secular development in our congregations;
  4. A free and accountable seek for reality and that means;
  5. The suitable of conscience and the usage of the democratic course of inside our congregations and in society at giant;
  6. The aim of world group with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
  7. Respect for the interdependent internet of all existence of which we’re a component.

Reflection on the First Precept: The inherent price and dignity of each particular person

“Reverence and respect for human nature is on the core of Unitarian Universalist (UU) religion. We consider that every one the scale of our being carry the potential to do good. We rejoice the presents of being human: our intelligence and capability for statement and purpose, our senses and skill to understand magnificence, our creativity, our emotions and feelings. We cherish our our bodies in addition to our souls. We are able to use our presents to supply love, to work for justice, to heal harm, to create pleasure for ourselves and others.

“‘Simply to be is a blessing. Simply to stay is holy,’ the good twentieth-century Rabbi Abraham Heschel wrote. Unitarian Universalists affirm the inherent price and dignity of every particular person as a given of religion—an unshakeable conviction calling us to self-respect and respect for others.,”

—Rev. Dr. Rebecca Ann Parker, minister, theologian, and writer. This reflection is one among many in The Common Universalist Pocket Information, accessible from inSpirit: The UU E-book and Present Store.

Reflection on the Second Precept: Justice, fairness and compassion in human relations

“Justice, fairness, and compassion in human relations factors us towards one thing past inherent price and dignity. It factors us to the bigger group. It will get at collective duty. It reminds us that treating folks as human beings will not be merely one thing we do one-on-one, however one thing that has systemic implications and may inform our whole cultural manner of being.

“Compassion is one thing that we will simply act on individually. We are able to exhibit openness, give folks respect, and deal with folks with kindness on our personal. However we’d like each other to realize fairness and justice.

“Justice, fairness, and compassion are all a part of the identical package deal. Simply because the Second Precept overlaps with the First, so it’s associated to the Seventh Precept—the interdependent internet of all existence.”

—Rev. Emily Gage, Unity Temple, Chicago, IL (Learn extra from Emily in The Seven Rules in Phrase and Worship, ed. Ellen Brandenburg.)

Reflection on the Third Precept: Acceptance of each other and encouragement to non secular development in our congregations

“Religious development isn’t a few vertical ascent to heaven however about development in each dimension without delay. It’s spirituality in 3-D. Progress in spirit doesn’t measure one’s proximity to a God above, however somewhat the spaciousness of 1’s personal soul—its quantity, its capability, its measurement.

“We’d like souls that may take on the earth in all its complexity and variety, but nonetheless keep our integrity. And we’d like souls that may love and be in relationship with all of this complexity. As a substitute of battle or flight, we’d like a non secular posture of embrace.”

—Rev. Rob Hardies, All Souls Church Unitarian, Washington, DC (Learn extra from Rob in The Seven Rules in Phrase and Worship, ed. Ellen Brandenburg.)

Reflection on the Fourth Precept: A free and accountable seek for reality and that means

“As accountable spiritual seekers, we acknowledge that we’re privileged to be free, to have sources to pursue life past mere survival, to repeatedly seek for reality and that means, to exist past bonds of dogma and oppression, and to wrestle freely with reality and that means as they evolve.

“This privilege calls us to not be remoted and self-centered, believing that our single perspective trumps all others, however somewhat to be humble, to be open to the good mysteries of reality and that means that life presents. And people mysteries might converse to us by way of our personal instinct and expertise—but in addition by way of custom, group, battle, nature, and relationships.

“As a religion custom, Unitarian Universalism makes sacred the correct and duty to interact on this free and accountable quest as an act of spiritual devotion. Institutionally, we now have left open the questions of what reality and that means are, acknowledging that conscious folks will, in all ages, uncover new insights.”

—Rev. Paige Getty, UU Congregation of Columbia, Maryland (Learn extra from Paige in The Seven Rules in Phrase and Worship, ed. Ellen Brandenburg.)

Reflection on the Fifth Precept: The suitable of conscience and the usage of the democratic course of inside our congregations and in society at giant

“In our spiritual lives, the democratic course of requires belief within the improvement of every particular person conscience—a perception that such improvement is feasible for every of us, in addition to a dedication to domesticate our personal conscience. We might name it a dedication to the worth of every particular person. Within the phrases of Theodore Parker, ‘Democracy means not “I’m nearly as good as you’re,” however “You might be nearly as good as I’m.”’ My reference to the sacred is just as treasured as my willingness to acknowledge the identical connection in others.”

—Rev. Parisa Parsa, govt director of the Public Conversations Undertaking (Learn extra from Parisa in The Seven Rules in Phrase and Worship, ed. Ellen Brandenburg.)

Reflection on the Sixth Precept: The aim of world group with peace, liberty, and justice for all

“The sixth Precept appears extravagant in its hopefulness and unbelievable in its prospects. Can we proceed to say we would like ‘world group’? ‘Peace, liberty, and justice for all’? The world is filled with genocide, abuse, terror, and conflict. What have we gotten ourselves into?

“As naïve or unimaginable because the sixth Precept could seem, I’m not keen to surrender on it. Within the face of our tradition’s apathy and worry, I wish to think about and assist create a strong imaginative and prescient of peace by peaceable means, liberty by liberatory means, justice by simply means. I would like us to consider—and to stay as if we consider—{that a} world group with peace, liberty, and justice for all is feasible. There isn’t a assure that we are going to succeed, however I can guarantee you that we are going to enhance ourselves and enhance the world by making an attempt.”

—Rev. Sean Parker Dennison, Tree of Life Congregation, McHenry, IL (Learn extra from Sean in The Seven Rules in Phrase and Worship, ed. Ellen Brandenburg.)

Reflection on the Seventh Precept: Respect for the interdependent internet of all existence of which we’re a component

“Our seventh Precept, respect for the interdependent internet of all existence, is a wonderful assertion. But we make a profound mistake after we restrict it to merely an environmental thought. It’s so way more. It’s our response to the good risks of each individualism and oppression. It’s our resolution to the seeming battle between the person and the group.

“Our seventh Precept could also be our Unitarian Universalist manner of coming to totally embrace one thing higher than ourselves. The interdependent internet—expressed because the spirit of life, the bottom of all being, the oneness of all existence, the community-forming energy, the method of life, the artistic power, even God—will help us develop that social understanding of ourselves that we and our tradition so desperately want. It’s a supply of that means to which we will dedicate our lives.”

—Rev. Forrest Gilmore, Government Director of Shalom Neighborhood Heart, Bloomington, IN (Learn extra from Forrest in The Seven Rules in Phrase and Worship, ed. Ellen Brandenburg.)

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