Our Beliefs

In Unitarian Universalism, you can bring your whole self: your full identity, your questioning mind, your expansive heart.  Together, we create a force more powerful than one person or one belief system. As Unitarian Universalists, we do not have to check our personal background and beliefs at the door: we join together on a journey that honors everywhere we’ve been before.

Our beliefs are diverse and inclusive. We have no shared creed. Our shared covenant supports “the free and responsible search for truth and meaning.” Though Unitarianism and Universalism were both liberal Christian traditions, this responsible search has led us to embrace diverse teachings from Eastern and Western religions and philosophies.

This expresses our beliefs, which are based on the Seven Principles of Unitarian Universalism.

You can learn more about Unitarian Universalism and its practices.  And if your are interested in UUs in Massachusetts who are putting our faith into action, the UU Mass Action organization may have some information that is important for you.

The Petersham Unitarian Church has called some thoughtful and socially active ministers to the pulpit over the years.

Reverend Waitstill Sharp and his wife Martha, as part of the Unitarian Service Committee, played an important role in saving refugees from the Holocaust in Europe during the Second World War.

Reverend C. Leon Hopper came to the First Parish Petersham as a ministerial intern and remained for several years before moving on to continue his service to the Unitarian Universalist faith.  He was ordained to the ministry in 1954 by our congregation and served here until 1957.  During that time he was instrumental in having the stable next to the church building converted into the Davis Memorial building that housed a Sunday School and offices.  In 1976, after serving as a parish minister in Colorado, he returned to Boston and served as the second Ministerial Education Director of the Unitarian Universalist Associate (UUA).  He was the Chair of the Meadville Lombard Theological School Board of Trustees and continued to serve the UUA in a variety of capacities, receiving the Association’s Distinguished Service Award in 1998.

Here is a quote from a document created by another one of the former ministers of the church, Reverend Earl Davis, who wrote in The Thirst for a Living God:

The living God, the God that is Life, that is Human Life, that dwells in the individual men and women, with all their noble hopes, all their achievements, all their defeats and their limitations, all their mistakes, and selfish, cruel sins, the God that all this and more, infinitely more, that is the totality of life, that God grips our souls. When we look at life that way, we no longer feel the haunting fear of vacuum, of absence. Every being, every thing, every life, every shrub, is pulsating with such tremendous vitality, such wonderful hope, insuppressible purpose, that we are fairly carried off our feet, by the infinite sweep of life, which like a mighty river carries us past the present of today towards the infinite possibilities of tomorrow.