Unitarians and Service

Unitarian Universalists often say theirs is a religion of deeds more than creeds. Or, as Albert Schweitzer said, “My life is my argument.”

To acknowledge the wondrous, bestowed gift of being alive, UUs respond with overflowing gratitude and compassionate service. They live as religious beings not so much when or where they worship as the situations in which they practice caring.

UUs know that none of us is self-sufficient.  Instead, we are all fundamentally interdependent. Therefore, their calling is to treat as tenderly and justly as they can the entire universe, and all forms of life therein.

They affirm with Martin Luther King, Jr., that “the religion which ends with the individual ends.”

Their religious community supports opportunities to serve. Some UUs choose to work in the area of food security.  Others focus on contributing to peace, reproductive choice, and environmental or economic justice movements.

They acknowledge that hundreds of worthy causes exist that deserve their talents and resources. UUs try to pinpoint ways of serving that match their particular gifts, claim their enthusiasm, and permit them to “win some victories for humanity,” to use Unitarian Horace Mann’s evocative phrase.

As members of a community of service, they aspire to pursue self-fulfillment without falling prey to vanity or narcissism and to embody compassion without succumbing to sentimental do-goodism.

They recognize, as the universal common ground of spiritual traditions, the Biblical injunction to “love thy neighbor as thyself.”  Thus, they believe people serve others best when they simultaneously know themselves, follow their heart, and do what fits their unique situation in life.

[published July 28, 2023]