Thursday, February 21, 2008

I'm a UU -- Unitarian Universalist!

We are now more than forty years past the merger that formed the Unitarian Universalist Association. Merger occurred way back in 1961 -- before I was even born! But many UUs have not caught up to this yet, referring to themselves as "Unitarians." Yes, Unitarian Universalism is long name, but UU is much shorter and easier to say than "Unitarian." More importantly, the term UU proclaims to everyone that we are aware of our Universalist heritage and its importance. Universalism boldly proclaimed that God is Love and that salvation comes to every person. We can be proud that one of the first women to become an ordained minister in this country was Universalist minister Olympia Brown.

Many folks say that they don't like acronyms, but acronyms abound in our language, especially when it comes to religion. United Church of Christ, for example. Do they refer to themselves as "United"? No. They use the term UCC.

How about African Methodist Episcopal, the first Christian denomination in this country to be founded by African-Americans for African-Americans? Do they use "African" when referring to their religion? No. They are AME. "African Methodist Episcopal" has the same number of syllables as "Unitarian Universalist."

Lutherans use acronyms, too. When liberal Lutherans want to make sure that others know that they're not Missouri Synod, they call themselves ELCA, short for the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. ELCA, not "Evangelical"!

When I'm asked what religion I am, my answer is "I'm a UU -- Unitarian Universalist." I wish more of us did that.



Anonymous said...

no to pick on the post - but for accuracy's sake I would like to point a misnomer...

"The first female ordained minister in this country was Universalist minister Olympia Brown"

Actually the first female ordained in the U.S. was Antoinette Brown in 1853 - she was a Congregationalist minister and her ordination came 10 years before Olympia Brown's (no relation btw)

Elizabeth J. Barrett said...

Oh no! I'm disappointed, but will change my post. Thanks for letting me know.