Who We Are | Planning Your Visit
Who We Are:
- What do Unitarian Universalists believe?
- Every individual should be encouraged to develop a personal philosophy of life.
- Everyone is capable of reasoning.
- We do not need any other person, official or organization to tell us what to believe.
- We should be able to present religious opinions openly, without fear of censure or reprisal.
- All people should be tolerant of the religious ideas of others.
- Truth is not absolute; it changes over time.
- Everyone should continue to search for the truth.
- Everyone has an equal claim to life, liberty and justice.
- People should govern themselves by democratic processes.
- Ideas should be open to criticism.
- Good works are the natural product of a good faith.
- Which values do you hold highest? We regard the highest values to be integrity, caring, compassion, social justice, truth, personal peace and harmony. Advancing these values is a major purpose of our congregations.
- Do you have a creed? No. Although the bylaws of the association do contain a section on purposes and principles, it is not a statement of a religious creed.
- Do you believe in God? We do not have a defined doctrine of God. Members are free to develop individual concepts of God that are meaningful to them. They are also free to reject the term and concept altogether. Most of us do not believe in a supernatural, supreme being who can directly intervene in and alter human life or the mechanism of the natural world. Many believe in a spirit of life or a power within themselves, which some choose to call God.
- How do you regard the Bible? We regard the Bible as one of many important religious texts but do not consider it unique or exclusive in any way. We do not interpret it literally. We think some parts of it offer more truth and relevance than other parts. Although UUs respect the Bible and regard some of its content as great literature, it is not a central document in our religion.
- What is your stance on evolutionary theory? We affirm the validity of the scientific theory that life on earth has evolved throughout many millions of years.
- What are the bonds that unify UUs? While there are no written or verbal doctrines designed for that purpose, we have both stated and unstated bonds which unify us. The stated bonds are the Principles and Purposes of the Unitarian Universalist Association, which we support individually and collectively. Among the unstated bonds are our mutual respect for each other and our appreciation of the many religious, philosophical and spiritual paths our members pursue. We are bound together in our mutual concern for one another’s well-being, and our willingness to aid each other in time of need.
Planning Your Visit:
- Where are you located? First UU is located at 4700 Grover, Austin, TX 78756. Please see our Location page for driving directions.
- When and where are services held? Services are held at in our sanctuary on Sunday mornings, at 9:15 am and 10:45 am. The Public Affairs forum meets in the Sanctuary at 12 noon on most Sundays from September through June.
- Does the church accommodate those with disabilities? Our location has handicap accessible parking on both the north and south sides of the building. Wheelchair accessible bathrooms are located near the sanctuary in the foyer. Ushers at the church services can also provide hearing assistive devices and braille assistance for visually-impaired upon request.
- Are children welcome? First UU offers child care for ages 5 and under. After attending the first part of the worship service, we invite children over age 5 to attend age-appropriate Religious Education classes. Please see the Religious Education page for current schedules of classes and activities for children and youth. If you would prefer to have your child remain in the worship service, the ushers have activities available to help keep children occupied. We also provide a “cry room” with a window and audio feed of the service, and the nursery has a video feed of the worship services. Please do not hesitate to ask ushers for assistance in finding the location of the cry room or any other ways to facilitate your attendance at services.
- What should I wear? Dress is casual, but some people choose to dress more formally. Feel free to wear what is comfortable for you. Please be sure to obtain a nametag in the foyer of the sanctuary to let others know you are visiting and help them get to know you.
- What can I expect when I visit your service? A typical service includes thoughtful readings, a story for all ages, eclectic music (from classical to contemporary), singing together, and a stimulating sermon by our minister. The upcoming sermon topic is described in the weekly announcements and on the web site home page.
- Will someone try to “sell me” on your church? I don’t like to be pressured. We want to make every visitor feel welcomed and comfortable. Rest assured you will not be pressured or given a “sales pitch,” but you will be greeted warmly.
- What’s going on before and after the service? Before and after both services (all morning, in fact) we have a coffee hour in Howson Hall. We invite you to engage in lively discussion and fellowship with other visitors and church members alike. Near the refreshments table you will find our welcome table where friendly folks will meet you and answer your questions eagerly. On most Sundays at 11:45 following our second service, we hold a Public Affairs Forum to hear interesting speakers on current topics, followed by questions for the speaker.
- Can I be involved in activities, if I’m not a member? Membership is not a requirement for most church activities. Our wide array of fellowship activities is open to all comers.
- How do I become a member? Please see our Membership page for more information about becoming a member at First UU.
- Who can I talk to if I have questions? On Sundays, First UU has members who are designated greeters available to welcome visitors and answer questions. Almost anyone you approach will be willing to talk and answer questions, though, so if you can’t find a greeter feel free to ask the nearest person. If you would prefer to ask a question via email, please send your query to .