How to Tell People Why You’re a Unitarian Universalist

A UUCLC Short Talk

Most Unitarian Universalists have difficulty describing their concept of religion. The “Short Talk” is a way to tell our story. It is not an elevator speech, where people talk about the Principles or lay down a 20-second spiel then think they’ve done their job. It’s about being a spokesperson, or ambassador, for the church and the faith. People need to speak about the community with passion, energy, and confidence in order to convey this is a place that others should come to for spiritual growth and community.

Every speaker can tailor the short talk to fit their individual journey. It’s important to make it authentic and real. We have a great religious community that people need to know about.

Unitarian Universalism is not a civic organization such as Toastmasters, Lions, Elks, etc. We need to emphasize the spiritual and religious part of the church. Yes, we are a service organization: we feed the hungry, help refugees, and so much more. However, we help people to develop their spirituality, love for the world and all of its inhabitants, and an understanding of the interconnectedness of all life.

The short talk is a way to get the Unitarian Universalist story known.

Here are some suggested topics you may want to include in your short talk:

About our church:

The Unitarian Universalist Church of Las Cruces is a mid-sized faith community with about 200 members. We’re located at 2000 S. Solano in Las Cruces, not too far from the university. Services and other activities are published in our website, The church houses the Tombaugh Gallery, a well-known art gallery.

Ours is a very friendly church. Our members are active in the community in a lot of ways. There are many ministries and programs, to include religious education for children, The Roundtable (a Sunday morning discussion program), choir, quilters, sewing bee, bridge, hospitality, social justice, pastoral care, greeters, Tai Chi, Covenant Groups, which are small group ministries, and a lot of other stuff.

Why you should join us:

We’ll help you grow spiritually in a way that feeds your soul and you can help us build a loving and just community here in Las Cruces. We really need people like you to bring your passion, energy, and talents to the church for two reasons:

–We believe that you and your family will find a spiritual home at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Las Cruces.

–You’ll meet many great people, have a lot of fun, and grow your spirit at the same time.

Faith orientation:

Most Unitarian Universalists will tell you about the 8 Principles, which describe our orientation to religious belief and practice. They are broad statements that express our love for the world, people, the earth, and appreciation democracy and freedom.

We also have Sources of faith. These include the Bible, sacred writings from other religions, human-inspired teachings, science, arts, culture, and other forms of wisdom.

The people:

This is what I know about Unitarian Universalists. Many middle- to senior-aged folks who have been engaged in church and community activism for many years. We are very service-oriented. Many of us work for non-profits.

We tend to be open-minded or freethinkers and less inclined to belief systems associated with many organized religions. For this reason, our doctrine-free worship services and inclusive style of community appeals to the “spiritual but not religious” group.

We to expand our membership we think that our message appeals to younger people and especially free-thinking millennials and young couples with children.

What do we practice:

Unitarian Universalism is about the quest for truth and meaning. It begins with our personal experience and converges on community. We are less concerned with right belief than with right action in the world. Emphasis is on how to make life better in the here and now instead of in the afterlife.

Our ministers and lay leaders have a free pulpit and preach from a variety of texts, both sacred and secular, on topics such as love, hope, climate justice, human rights, and ways to master your own life.

What do we do:

We gather to worship every Sunday, and sometimes, during the week. We’re quite spiritual people, but if you ask a group of us to define spirituality, you are likely to get a variety of responses.

In many of our churches, the people are quite visible leading social actions and participating in justice work. We want to change our world. But, to be honest, we need you to help us.