Our Mission & Covenant

Our Mission

We are First Parish of Sudbury, a diverse and welcoming community of spiritual seekers; we strive to learn together and support one another as we celebrate life’s important moments and serve the larger community.

Our Covenant

We, the people of First Parish of Sudbury, pledge that we will come together with open minds and open hearts, always seeking to learn, to share, to respect and forgive, and to help each other grow towards our best selves.

One community, first and foremost, compassionate, respectful, and generous, we pledge to listen to each other, express our views openly, handle disagreement with honesty, humility, and humor, and nurture our sense of belonging together.

We pledge to participate in the work of the congregation to the best of our abilities, to practice and encourage leadership, and to support our ministry materially, emotionally, and spiritually.

Our Faith

Unitarian Universalism is a faith that embraces people varied of beliefs and backgrounds. At First Parish of Sudbury, you will encounter Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Humanists, Taoists, Pagans, and people who resist categorizing but who appreciate the freedom to seek their own answers in a setting that not only tolerates differences of opinion but celebrates religious diversity.

Yet despite our variety, there is much we share. Moments of wonder, gratitude, and compassion. A need to belong and feel connected to something larger than ourselves. The desire to make a difference in the world. These commonalities unite us with all people everywhere and draw us into community with one another: to cultivate inner peace, moral clarity, and the resolve to live meaningful lives in a society that can often feel cynical and de-humanizing.

Unitarian Universalists believe that each person is on a unique journey and that while we all ask the same existential questions (for example, Why do bad things happen? and Where do we find strength and comfort in the face of loss?) our answers naturally differ. So we have no single creed, nor any final authority that tells us what to think. We are a people more comfortable with ambiguity than with absolutes, relying on goodwill and tolerance rather than doctrinal uniformity as the basis of our fellowship with one another.

Thus learning to live together respectfully, arriving at mutual decisions cooperatively and democratically, and honoring the  conscience of each person are the essential arts we practice as religious liberals. We are self-governing, organizationally, just as we aspire to be responsible and independent thinkers personally.

We invite you to join us wherever you find yourself on the spiritual path, regardless of your race, age, nationality, sexual orientation, or political philosophy. You have a story and gifts we can learn from.

First Parish of Sudbury is one of over 1,000 Unitarian Universalist (UU) congregations in North America. Lighting the “flaming chalice” each week, shown here surrounded by symbols of the world’s religions, is a common ritual in our worship. The link to UU Principles and Sources below will lead you to a statement of the ideals we agree to practice and uphold.

The UU Principles and Sources

The Principles

We the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, covenant to affirm and promote:

  1. The inherent worth and dignity of every person
  2. Justice, equity, and compassion in human relations
  3. Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth
  4. A free and responsible search for truth and meaning
  5. The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process
  6. The goal of world community with peace, liberty and justice for all
  7. Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

More on the Principles on the UUA website.

The Sources

The living tradition we share draws from many sources:

  1. Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and uphold life
  2. Words and deeds of prophetic women and men which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love
  3. Wisdom of the world’s religions which inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life
  4. Jewish and Christian teachings which call us to respond to God’s love by loving our neighbors as ourselves
  5. Humanist teachings which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit
  6. Spiritual teachings of Earth-centered traditions which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature.

More on the Sources on the UUA website.