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Freedom of Belief
The original UU chalice in double circles represents inclusiveness and the two denominations which merged in 1963.
The flame is the spirit of life.
This new UU chalice was adopted in 2007. For me, the radials denote both our radiant energy, and the multiple tracks that UU's may take within our ranks.
The UUSC emblem is similar -- the stylized chalice in a single circle.
The UU-CLF emblem places the stylized chalice on a globe.
I have been a
Unitarian Universalist and UU church member since I discovered they existed in 1965, when my kids were pre-schoolers.
UU principles guide my spiritual self and life, and give it meaning.
(My online identity at YahooGroups is "UU7thPrinciple".) My oldest son now owns an English-tutoring business in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - a very UU kind of thing.
If Unitarian Universalism is not familiar to you, one essential concept is expressed at the beginning of our worship services at The Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship:
"All who come in the spirit of good-will are welcome here."
In BUF, my current congregation, I have held many positions, including a term on the Board of Trustees. I met my life-partner, Ruth Ashworth, here - and we were a loving couple since 1995, until she died of lung cancer in 2008. If you use the Earth.Google imagery program, this KMZ automatic link will take you to the location of our church. One of the very nice members is Rev. Barbara Gilday who was wonderful in preparing the memorial service.
UU's call themselves "The Uncommon Denomination", as we accept a broad set of spiritual and religious beliefs, derived from many world sources. Each individual defines the beliefs she or he holds, within a framework of inclusiveness and action for the benefit of the community. If you feel that way, then "R U UU 2?". The more important thing is how you act in the community - whether you walk the talk. What you do is more important that what you believe.
The national organization of our church is the UUA - The Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations. We have a national meeting each year, and in June 2007 I attended since it was near me in Portland, Oregon.
Affiliated with the UUA is the UUSC - The UU Service Committee. It works in social good projects worldwide, putting our Principles into practice. It was founded by the Unitarians, before the merger. In April 1941, the USC adopted as its seal a flaming chalice symbol, designed by Hans Deutsch, a refugee from Paris who had been a noted painter and musician, while he worked in the Lisbon office. This was the first use of the flaming chalice symbol by the denomination.
I have also joined the CLF - The "Church of the Larger Fellowship", an online congregation especially for folks in any place, who do not usually participate in a "housed" congregation (though, like me, some also do.)