The Fellowship is a creedless liberal religious community and member of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations. Here at the Fellowship you find people who claim a wide variety of spiritual and philosophical identities including atheism, humanism, liberal Christianity, Buddhism, and Paganism. We seek to provide an atmosphere of warm companionship and respect for free and inquiring minds, searching together for finer religious, ethical, and social truths, and we work to apply the best we know in our lives, in the lives of our children, and in the service of our fellow humans. What holds our community together is not a common creed, but a covenant of how we will live in spiritual community together. The Fellowship’s Covenant is:
The Members and Friends of the Fellowship covenant to:
- Respect one another and support one another in our free and responsible search for truth and meaning.
- Be radically welcoming and accept people as they are.
- Support the Fellowship by donating our time, talent, and treasure.
- Actively participate in creating a more vibrant, welcoming, and compassionate community.
The 5 Smooth Stones of Religious Liberalism
Although we may have different beliefs, there are some commonalities to our approach to the spiritual life. Unitarian theologian James Luther Adams called these ideas “Principles for a Free Faith” and we commonly refer to them as the five smooth stones of liberal religion:
- “Religious liberalism depends on the principle that ‘revelation’ is continuous.” Our religious tradition is a living tradition because we are always learning new truths.
- “All relations between persons ought ideally to rest on mutual, free consent and not on coercion.” We freely choose to enter into relationship with one another.
- “Religious liberalism affirms the moral obligation to direct one’s effort toward the establishment of a just and loving community. It is this which makes the role of the prophet central and indispensable in liberalism.” Justice.
- “… [W]e deny the immaculate conception of virtue and affirm the necessity of social incarnation.” Agency: Good things don’t just happen, people make them happen.
- “[L]iberalism holds that the resources (divine and human) that are available for the achievement of meaningful change justify an attitude of ultimate optimism.”
Adams’ five smooth stones are explained in the essay “Guiding Principles for a Free Faith” in On Being Human Religiously: Selected Essays in Religion and Society, Max Stackhouse, ed. Beacon Press, 1976, pp. 12—20. You can download a PDF of the entire essay by clicking here: Guiding Principles for a Free Faith.
The 7 Principles of Unitarian Universalism
We also covenant with the Unitarian Universalist Association around Seven Principles:
Our seven guiding principles:
- The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
- Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
- Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
- A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
- The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
- The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
- Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.
The Fellowship has been a beacon of our liberal religion in the Spring Branch area for fifty years. We are members of the The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), which is headquartered in Boston.