Unitarian Universalism is a religion based on freedom of religious thought. As such, we do not subscribe to any creed. What unites us in covenant is a commitment to affirm and promote a set of seven principles and six spiritual sources of our religious faith.
Source: “The Principles and Sources of Our Religious Faith,” Canadian Unitarian Council.
The Unitarian Congregation of Guelph follows the tenets of Unitarian Universalism—a liberal religion that combines two religious movements: Unitarianism and Universalism.
Unitarianism, which dates back to 16th century in Transylvania, began as a religious movement of people who opposed the idea of the Holy Trinity, and believed in the oneness of God, free human will, and the loving benevolence of God.
Universalism, which developed in North America in the 1800s, was a reaction against strict Calvinist doctrines of eternal punishment. Universalists believed that dignity and worth is innate in all people regardless of sex, color, race, or class.
Both Unitarians and Universalists believed in an inclusive theology, and by the 1890’s had abolished their official creeds. They often acted together in many social justice movements in the 19th and 20th centuries. In 1961, the two movements merged and formed the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) for congregations in North America. This was seen as a first step in the development of a new religion inclusive of all spiritual beliefs.
Canadian Unitarianism was much more deeply influenced by the Humanist movement of the early 20th century than most congregations in the USA. By 2000, the Canadian Unitarian Council (CUC) decided that it needed to focus on specific Canadian needs. In 2002, the CUC became the main governing body for Unitarians and Universalists in Canada.