SUUP: The Soup – Unitarian Universalism – Parallel

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There is no one right way to be a Unitarian Universalist. There is no standard of belief or behavior that one must follow or even strive for. As long as you agree with the process, our hope is for you to be your own, unique, best self.

It is like making soup:

There are guidelines for what is a soup, as opposed to a casserole, a cake, or a stir fry. There are also things that are not safe to put in soup, because they are not food and are dangerous in some way. This is like our commitment to a responsible search for truth and meaning; there are some beliefs which seem incompatible with the Principles of Unitarian Universalism.

While soups are generally savory, they can be sweet; they can be hot or cold. Your soup can have things in it other people dislike or are even allergic to, and it can still be a soup that satisfies you and makes you happy. It can even be soup if you burned something and it doesn’t taste all that great, and we allow you to start over at any time. This is because we are free to have the relationship with the divine that suits us personally, within the bounds of what is responsible.

Season to Taste:

The biggest obstacle for many is that you have to get in and make your own. You can copy someone else’s recipe, but you will be expected to make adjustments and make it your own. The requirement that you really consider your theology, that it is truly yours, is hard for a lot of people who would prefer to be handed answers to big questions.

This is Unitarian Universalist theology: your relationship with the universe is personal. It is different for everyone in how they came to it and what it means to them. There are Principles, and there are guidelines for what is responsible in your search for truth and meaning, but as long as there isn’t anything harmful to you, and it respects the right of others to their own theology, you can be a UU, even if you occasionally fail to live up to your own standards. We all do. Being committed to learning and growth and doing better is all we really require.


The I Am UU project is a lay-led Community Ministry with a goal of making Unitarian Universalism easier to understand and live up to. We hope that, as a side effect, it is also easier to share liberal religion with others, inviting them to sample the soups of others and see if they wouldn’t be happier cooking up their own.

This ministry is crowd-funded, and we need your support to power it through the next year. Please consider whether you can afford just a few dollars towards our Faithify campaign. Your support will allow us to create more writing and art so that Unitarian Universalism is well represented on the Internet and throughout the week.

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