Intellect… spirit… intimacy… memory… history…
These are all part of our faith. So are the common actions we practice that give us a strong and effective voice in our culture. Our faith is an attitude, more than a set of beliefs. It is a way of being in the world, balanced, open, strong and yet vulnerable. At Neighbourhood we often use the words “friendship” and “depth” to describe us. Our minister points out that the word “spirit” when used in the biblical texts is almost always linguistically related to the word “breath” or “wind.” So we like think about what “breathes” life into us. Whatever that is helps us “go deeper,” to get beneath the surface of things. That, for us, is the work of UU spirituality.
In the spirit of knowing it when you see it, we offer you a number of pictures of UU spirituality below. These sermons, personal statements and general principles will give you a feel for “the spirit” that moves in and graces our lives.
Our UU Principles
Don’t mistake these for our creed. This is a list of the more common perspectives amoung all UUs. It does not capture all we believe or necessarily what UUs each believe most strongly. They are simply—and powerfully—the core items we share. Click here
There are many faith traditions within humanity. We do not believe that truth is the sole possession of one religion, but that it is spread throughout all faiths, as well as the secular traditions of science, Shakespeare, movies and Barnes & Noble books! Click here
The Flaming Chalice: Our Unitarian Universalist Symbol
At the opening of Unitarian Universalist Sunday Services, most congregations light a flame inside a chalice. The lighting of the chalice is usually accompanied by a brief reading or song.
At Neighbourhood, we sing “We light this fire to remember to light the fire within our own hearts.”
Hans Deutsch, an Austrian artist, first brought together the chalice and the flame as a Unitarian symbol during his work with the Unitarian Service Committee during World War II. To Deutsch, the image had connotations of sacrifice and love because of the martyrdom of Jan Hus in Prague in 1415. This recognizable symbol enabled the Unitarian relief packages to be more easily delivered to those in need.
Congregations use many different interpretations of the image. We include the flame with our name. We sometimes use the logo for Unitarian Congregations of Greater Toronto (UCGT):