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Unitarian Universalist Church in Eugene (UUCE)
The Unitarian Universalist Church in Eugene has 100 years of history in Eugene! Begun in a church downtown, with 42 founding members, our continuing growth is a testament to attracting a strong community of spiritual seekers, ethical humanists, and believers in social justice, grounded in strong principles.
We are a part of a world-wide liberal religious organization, with over 200,000 members in the US, according to membership data collected by the UUA in 2012. The total number of US congregations is approximately 1,054.
This religion does not have a creed or doctrine. Rather, we believe that religious and spiritual experience and beliefs are uniquely personal, and evolve as we engage our inner search on our life journey.
We find our quest is enriched and empowered in community
-- a community that embraces and welcomes all persons.
What is the history of Unitarian Universalism?
Unitarian Universalism has a long history. Based in ancient Christianity, inspired by the Protestant Reformation, and heavily influenced by the Enlightenment thinkers of the 18th century. During the founding of America, the Unitarian and Universalist churches were established, and the theology embraced by many American leaders such as John and Abigail Adams, Louisa May Alcott, P.T. Barnum, Ray Bradbury, Clara Barton, e.e. cummings, Charles Dickens...
Universalism is founded in the doctrine of universal salvation; not only salvation for the "saved" or "true believer" of one doctrine or another, and no one is eternally damned. There is no hell with eternal, infinite suffering for finite sins. It developed in Germany and England in the 17th and 18th centuries. The first Universalist church in America was founded in Gloucester, Massachusetts, in 1796.
Unitarianism, argued about at the Council of Nicea and gaining importance in Eastern Europe in the 1500s, was concerned with the natures of Jesus and God (exactly the same substance or different begotten or created, there at the beginning, or only later?) and the rejection of the doctrine of the Trinity ("Father, Son, and Holy Ghost"). "Unitarian" refers to the "unity" of one God. The tradition developed along especially tolerant and humanist lines after being brought to America in the late 18th century. It grew into a liberal religion welcoming people of diverse beliefs, coming together around shared values, seeking to lead lives of meaning while working to make the world a better place. Regardless of our individual beliefs about theology, we can agree on human rights, justice, how we should treat one another, and more. Influential people in our more recent history include Ralph Waldo Emerson, Michael Learned, John Milton, James Madison, Isaac Newton, H.W. Longfellow, William Ellery Channing, Theodore Parker, Linus Pauling, William Howard Taft, Adlai Stevenson, Kurt Vonnegut, Frank Lloyd Wright, Paul Newman, Pete Seeger, Carl Sandberg...
The contemporary UU religion was formed from the consolidation of Unitarianism and Universalism. Both began in Europe during the Reformation. In America, the Universalist Church of America was founded in 1793, and the American Unitarian Association in 1825. After consolidating in 1961, these faiths became the new religion of Unitarian Universalism through the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA).
This is an interesting timeline of Unitarian and Universalist historical development (with further links) for those of an historical bent.
Today, Unitarian Universalism is referred to as a living tradition. Our principles and purposes continue to evolve, with infusions from humanism, feminism, and the ethical movement, scientific discovery, earth-based religions, and eastern religions. Congregations choose a variety of names, "churches", "societies", "fellowships".
The members and friends of Unitarian Universalist churches and fellowships come from a variety of religious, or non-religious backgrounds. We desire to share with each other the spiritual, humanist, religious, and ethical perspectives that enrich our lives and inspire our service to others. Worship services, hymns, and religious education embrace the wisdom of the philosophies, practices and traditions of many of the world's religions. In addition to holding different beliefs on spiritual topics, individual Unitarian Universalists may also identify with and draw inspiration from Atheism and Agnosticism, Buddhism, Christianity, Humanism, Judaism, Paganism, and other religious or philosophical traditions.