Who we are and what we do...
Thoreau Woods Unitarian Universalist Church was created in more than 30 years by a handful of people who met It is a part of an international spiritual movement that was created when Unitarians and Universalists found common ground and merged.
So, who are we?
We are people of all ages, people of many backgrounds, and people of many beliefs. We are brave, curious and compassionate thinkers and doers. We create spirituality and community beyond boundaries, working for more justice and more love in our own lives and in the world.
Unitarian Universalism affirms and promotes seven Principles, grounded in the humanistic teachings of the world’s religions. Those principles are elsewhere on this site.
Our spirituality is unbounded, drawing from scripture and science, nature and philosophy, personal experience and ancient tradition.
If you ask 100 UUs to define “who we are,” you might get 100 different answers and in a way, that is who we are. But the answer created over the years that sums it up is:
“We are brave, curious, and compassionate thinkers and doers.We are diverse in faith, ethnicity, history and spirituality, but aligned in our desire to make a difference for the good. We have a track record of standing on the side of love, justice, and peace.
We have radical roots and a history as self-motivated spiritual people: we think for ourselves and recognize that life experience influences our beliefs more than anything.
“We need not think alike to love alike. We are people of many beliefs and backgrounds: people with a religious background, people with none, people who believe in a God, people who don’t, and people who let the mystery be.
“We are Unitarian Universalists, but we also are Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Humanist, Jewish, Muslim, Pagan, atheist, agnostic, believers in God and so much more.
“On the forefront of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer inclusion for more than 40 years, we are people of all sexual orientations and gender identities.
“We seek to welcome you: your whole self, with all your truths and your doubts, your worries and your hopes and welcome you to join us on this extraordinary adventure of faith.”
How We Live Our Beliefs
We create change: in ourselves, in the world.
Seven days a week, Unitarian Universalists (UUs) live their faith by doing. Whether in community with others or as an individual, we know that active, tangible expressions of love, justice, and peace are what make a difference. Embracing peace, love, and understanding that goes beyond individual belief systems, we are creators of positive change in people and in the world.
The ways we do it:
We gather together in spiritual community because we need constant reminders of what matters most in life. In a world of heartbreak and dehumanization, our congregations and communities call us to our better selves. We learn to live with more wisdom, more connection, and more compassion.
Our Worship Services are weekly reflections that weave together our own thoughts and experiences with music, beauty, poetry, and words that both comfort and challenge. Our programs for all ages inspire us, and awaken us to our capacities to make a difference in our own lives and in the world.
We are inspired not just by religious sources but by the people with whom we journey: the diverse and spirited Unitarian Universalists.
“Our faith is not interested in saving your soul. We’re here to help you unfold the awesome soul you already have.” —Andrea Lerner
Our Actions and Service
We have a legacy of “deeds not creeds.”
Our work for a better world calls us to unexpected places as we harness love’s power to stop oppression. From grassroots community organizing to interfaith state, national, and corporate advocacy; in protest marches, prayer vigils, and press conferences; in homeless shelters and in prisons, Unitarian Universalists put our faith into action.
Our justice efforts are grounded in our congregationally-driven social justice statements and our call to break down divisions, heal isolation, and honor the interconnectedness of all life and all justice issues. We model these commitments by creating just, welcoming, and inclusive congregations. We act in partnership with groups and communities most impacted by injustice on local, state, national, and international levels.
Our ministry focuses on organizing and includes service, education, advocacy, and public witness (the spiritual practice of taking a public position in support of justice). Our UUA Organizing Strategy Team drives strategy, strengthens the capacity of UUs to organize for justice, and to mobilize people and power for liberation. Our Side With Love campaign harnesses the power of love to end oppression. Our Love Resists campaign—a joint effort with the UUSC—activates people of faith and conscience to resist the harm inflicted by criminalization.