Unitarian Universalism has its roots in progressive Western religions, but today the faith honors all traditions that seek the sacred through compassion and tolerance. We believe that truth is organic. Truth changes with time as we do. And it’s the journey that we find so exciting!
Eight principles comprise the core of Unitarian Universalism:
The inherent worth and dignity of every person
Justice, equity and compassion in human relations
Acceptance of one another and encouragement of spiritual growth within our congregations
A free and responsible search for truth and meaning
The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large
The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all
Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part
Basically, what this means is that you won’t find one unifying creed among Unitarian Universalists except for freedom, tolerance, reason and compassion. These are far more important to us than any dogma. We affirm the right of every individual to choose their own path of faith. And we acknowledge that this journey will likely look a little different for each of us. We look to the arts, science, and personal experience for worship inspiration and to draw closer to each other.
Neighborhood Church is a vibrant, modern, inclusive, liberal religious community with deep roots in Pasadena. The church’s presence dates back to 1885, when Presbyterian and Congregationalist settlers attended one service together in a chapel on the south side of Colorado Street near Orange Grove Ave.
The church went through several reinventions until in 1923 the West Side Congregational Church merged with the Unitarian Church to become the Union Liberal Church of Pasadena. It developed a reputation as a haven for intellectuals and scientific minds and earned the moniker “Neighborhood Church” because of its proximity to three different neighborhoods in the area.
In the 1960s, Neighborhood veered away from its Congregationalist leanings as teachings became less literally Christian and more philosophically open. The church’s senior minister at the time, Rev. John Baker, paved the way for most of these changes. A true reformer, Baker took part in the Selma Freedom Marches in 1964. In that same year, the church publicly took a political stand for the first time. The church opposed Proposition 14, a ballot measure intended to repeal existing legislation that prohibited racial discrimination in housing.
In 1972, Neighborhood Church officially dropped its affiliation with the Congregational Church, instead joining the Unitarian Universalist Association, where it has remained ever since.