Unitarian Universalist Meeting House

A Place for All in Central Maine

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What Do Unitarian Universalists Believe?

Unitarian Universalism affirms and promotes seven Principles, grounded in the humanistic teachings of the world's religions. Our spirituality draws from scripture and science, nature and philosophy, personal experience and ancient tradition as described in our six sources

The Seven Principles are:

  1. The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
  2. Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
  3. Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
  4. A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
  5. The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
  6. The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
  7. Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.


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Testing Our Faith (with a nod to Madeleine L'Engle)

The onslaught of tragic events both in world news and in our own Central Maine communities could paralyze a person with fear and anger — understandable emotional reactions that, when experienced in isolation, fuel a mentality of divide and conquer, encourage a hysteria for increased militarization, or bolster support for extremist positions that might otherwise remain marginal. One need only examine the dynamics of personal relationship to know that this can be true.

    In times like these, the basic tenets of our faith are tested. How we choose to respond to any particular event might well be the clearest indication of who we are both as individuals self-reflective enough to scrutinize our own instinctual reactions, but also as members of a community struggling toward a more perfect union, a more peaceful tomorrow. 

    I recently began reading the Madelaine L’Engle series that begins with A Wrinkle in Time to my 6-year-old. (The1962 book has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity with production of a major motion picture out in March.) In A Wind in the Door, we enter the fictional world of farandolae that exist within mitochondria, the very real, but microscopic organelles referred to as the powerhouses of eukaryotic cells. Tiny things. Things that require a light microscope to be seen. 

    And in this beautiful story, it is the farandolae within one mitochondrion in one cell of one very ill little boy on which the balance of the entire universe rests. 

    Reading these inspiring books raised the hairs on my neck; concepts affected my dreams. Madeleine L’Engle, RIP, posits that if something microscopic affects the whole of a system, then, the individual act — one’s response and culminating action — affects the system in which that individual lives: the community. If what our mitochondria do within our bodies matters to human health, if what the network of mycorrhizal fungi do within the soil matters to the plants, then the way I treat my neighbor, or the language with which I choose to communicate, or my livelihood, or my willingness to engage in the hard work of social justice — all of these things matter. Their relative size or impact is not what makes the difference; rather, the spirit with which they are performed does.

    This book of science fiction reminds me of the “faith” we have in even the smallest acts of agape love. Hope comes from the recognition that what you or I do matters. What our mitochondria do matters. And our responses to the events of our lives and the wider world matter. We must use our minds before we act. We must be courageous and humble. We must act with love as the guiding force, using all our resources — physical, economic, mental, and moral — to alleviate the pain and suffering that seems to characterize too much of our current circumstances.

    And if we do that, perhaps we will come up with the answers to the most troubling questions of our time and perhaps even rediscover hope, the foundation to creating a better tomorrow.


Holly Zadra

Council Moderator

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