Unitarianism and Universalism

Our name is the result of a merger between the Unitarian and Universalist churches. The Unitarian tradition emerged during the European reformation. In 325 AD, at the council of Nicea, the Roman Emperor Constantine declared that God was divided into three parts. The statement that God is a trinity of beings is often referred to as the Nicean creed. The name Unitarian was derived from the theological assertion of the unity of God, as opposed to the trinity. Thus, the early Unitarians distinguished themselves by declaring that God is one, and that Jesus was a teacher and revealer of spiritual truth, but not a God. Throughout the years since then, Unitarianism has always been a faith of freedom, reason, and tolerance.

Universalism came to America through the preaching of John Murray and Hosea Ballou. Many religions teach that if you don’t go to the right church, or recite the proper creed that when you die, you will face eternal punishment in Hell. The Universalists felt that a loving God would not be so cruel as to create Hell. The name Universalist was derived from the theological assertion of Universal salvation for all. For the Universalists there has always been a strong notion that we should respond to God’s love by loving our neighbors as well as the planet we live on.

Both of these faiths have sought to uplift the mind and spirit, and affirm the spiritual solidarity of humankind. Although the two religious movements were distinct in many ways, due to their progressive nature they had grown closer down through the years. In 1961 the two American denominations merged into what is now called the Unitarian Universalist Association. Every one of our congregations is autonomous, and therefore each one lives out its mission in a unique way. Here at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Corpus Christi we share a ministry to liberate and cultivate the human spirit, and we welcome all people, no matter what your religious background might be, to join us in that ministry.