The First Principle Project

Vision, Mission, Objectives

Vision:  By understanding the inherent worth and dignity of every being, Unitarian Universalists live deeply in joy and compassion, nourishing themselves as they nurture, care for, and protect the many others in a multispecies world.

Mission:  Unitarian Universalists and their congregations develop and institute programs and processes to facilitate ongoing transformation within individuals, within Unitarian Universalist congregations, organizations, ministries, and within greater community, bringing healing, wholeness, belonging, justice and flourishing as they alleviate the interlocking oppressions that arise from seeing and treating others as lacking inherent worth and dignity.

The Goals:

1.  The Conversation:  Invite as many Unitarian Universalists as possible into a conversation about the religious, spiritual, and ethical aspects of living in a multispecies world.  One question we ask:  How do we understand reality and what is our response to this? 

2.  Changing Ourselves:  Guide Unitarian Universalists as they seek to improve their ability to participant in and sustain these discussions, reflect more deeply and broadly about what it means to be compassionate in a multispecies world, and in so doing, augment their faith development[1], deepen their spiritual lives, and empower their compassionate behavior at the individual and collective level. 

3.  Changing the Principle:  Change the First Principle to “the inherent worth and dignity of every being.”  Seeking to change the First Principle contributes to the accomplishment of goals 1 & 2, and goals 1 and 2 contribute to goal #3..  If there is an actual change to this principle or to any others in regards to multispecies living, then the changed principle(s) will continue to contribute to goals 1 and 2.

4.  Changing the First Principle Project: This is an ever changing project, seeking to reflect the wisdom of those who gather around this vision and mission.  As such, this document will change periodically, as might the goals.  You and your congregation's input is most welcome, including feedback on this document and on any of the other materials and online resources available.  To comment, please contact Rev. LoraKim Joyner at

For the complete description of this project and available resources, please go here.

[1]    "Faith," as Karen Armstrong points out, in the New Testament, is the Gerek word psistis, which means trust, loyalty, engagement, commitment. When Jesus calls for greater faith, he's not calling for people to cling harder to a set of propositional beliefs. He's calling for engagement and commitment, which is also the goal of the First Principle Project.