There are seven principles which Unitarian Universalist congregations affirm and promote:
Any exposition of Unitarian History is likely to include the name of Michael Servetus, an early (1509-1553) dissenter who was burned at the stake for proclaiming that there was only one God and not three (the Trinity). It's good to have roots, but Servetus' unitary claim has little relevance to modern Unitarian Universalism.
We also like to invoke our famous fellow UUs and it is an impressive list that includes several Presidents (Jefferson and the Adamses, W. H. Taft and Millard Fillmore), social reformers like Susan B. Anthony and Clarence Darrow, P.T. Barnum and many other people you've heard of. Folks you might actually have seen include Paul Newman, Kurt Vonnegut, Christopher Reeve, Whitney Young and Michael Learned. You can link to the UUA page and read all about them. Famous UU's are relevant to the present moment primarily because they found a way to make a difference. We are the "little denomination that could," having a much larger impact than our numbers would suggest. Our historical difference-makers inspire us to find ways to make our world a better place. Our link to the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee will enable you to glimpse some of our good works. However, we are a "congregational" religion that embodies the concept of thinking globally and acting locally. So, with a tip of the hat to our world-wide humanitarian efforts, we must confront our most important challenges right here at home. Our "Ministries" section describes some of our community efforts.
"Unitarian Universalism"is the combination of two separate denominations, a merger that took place in 1961. Unitarians and Universalists shared many (though not all) beliefs, and the combination has worked well. Unitarian Universalists marched with Dr. King in Selma in 1965, and two of them were killed. We have been active proponents of women's suffrage, civil rights and gay and lesbian rights. We have been strong advocates for peace, justice and religious tolerance. That passion continues to energize us today and will, we expect, in the future.