First Parish of Watertown

UU Principles and Sources

The Seven Principles


Unitarian Universalism is a faith without a creed. This means that Unitarian Universalists are encouraged to question and explore their own truths. Unitarian Universalists hold different beliefs about religious subjects such as God, creation, Jesus, the Bible, death, and prayer and are free to do so. However, Unitarian Universalists are united in their beliefs that all people are inherently worthy and should be treated fairly, that we should work for a peaceful and free world, and that we should respect the Earth and all living beings. These beliefs are consistent with the seven principles that Unitarian Universalist congregations have covenanted to affirm and promote.

Our UU principles are a guide for the stories and activities we plan to share in our RE program. We don’t want our children to memorize and recite these words. We want our children to experience the loving spirit of their messages.

The carefully-wrought language of the UU Principles is sometimes difficult for children (and adults!) to remember or even to fully understand.  Congregations often provide revised language to help children access these important concepts at an entry level.  Here are a couple that we use with different age groups in our program:


Seven Principles Image.001

The Six Sources of Unitarian Universalism

The UUA lists six sources that have inspired our history and heritage.

Source 1: Source of Wonder and Mystery

UUA version: Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and uphold life.

Children’s version: The sense of wonder we all share.

Source 2: Source of Inspiring People

UUA version: Words and deeds of prophetic women and men which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love.

Children’s version: Women and men whose lives remind us to be courageously loving.

Source 3: Source of World Regions

UUA version: Wisdom from the world’s religions which inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life.

Children’s version: Ethical and spiritual wisdom of the world’s religions.

Source 4: Source of Judeo-Christian Traditions

UUA version: Jewish and Christian teachings which call us to respond to God’s love by loving our neighbors as ourselves.

Children’s version: Jewish and Christian teachings which tell us to love all others as we love ourselves.

Source 5: Source of Reason and Science

UUA version: Humanist teachings which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science, and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit.

Children’s version: The use of reason and the discoveries of science.

Source 6: Source of Our Sacred Earth

UUA version: Spiritual teachings of Earth-centered traditions which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature.

Children’s version: The harmony of nature and the sacred circle of life.


Image Credit for Arch Rainbow Principles: Jay Bibel and Laura Evonne Steinman