Terminology

Compiled by Jim and Beth Casebolt

We Uus (Unitarian Universalists) have the unfortunate habit of speaking in letters. Lots of UU groups and organizations have long names which are often abbreviated, and some of us who have been around for a while may forget that everyone doesn’t always understand this gibberish! Here is a list of common UU acronyms that you may hear people say, or that you may read in UU publications. Many of the organizations have their own websites, which you can find links to at the UUA website.

Can’t find the acronym or term that’s got you puzzled? Email it to us and we will give you an answer and add it to the list!

  • AIW (Action of Immediate Witness) – A policy statement approved by the General Assembly (see “GA” below) concerning a timely event or emergency
  • APIC – Asian Pacific Islander Caucus of DRUUMM (see below)
  • Bridging – The ceremony of when a youth “crosses over” to young adulthood. The recognition of a significant transition in life. This rite of passage is celebrated at a national ceremony at General Assembly each year, at many District Assemblies and in local congregations.
  • APF (Annual Program Fund) – An important source of income for the UUA; this is where the “UUA dues” the Congregation pays on your behalf go.
  • CLF (Church of the Larger Fellowship) – The “mail-order/online” church housed in Boston, for UUs who don’t live near a local congregation.
  • COA (Commission on Appraisal) – The national body that studies and evaluates the operations of the UUA.
  • COA (Coming of Age) – A rite of passage or program for children becoming youth (usually grades 6-9) and sometimes for youth becoming adults.
  • CSW (Commission on Social Witness) – The elected body of the UUA that brings social justice issues to the attention of the General Assembly
  • CUC (Canadian Unitarian Council) – The organization of Canadian Unitarian and Universalist churches.
  • CUUPS (Covenant of UU Pagans) – An organization for UUs who are interested in or practice pagan or Earth-centered faiths.
  • C*UUYAN (Continental Unitarian Universalist Young Adult Network) – The organization for UU Young Adults (aged 18-35).
  • CYF (Church of the Younger Fellowship) – a new division of CLF for young adults aged 18-35, includes online communities, worship and resources for this age group.
  • District – The regional subdivisions of the UUA – there are 20 districts.
  • DRE (Director of Religious Education) – An individual employed by a local congregation to administer the religious education program.
  • DRUUMM (Diverse and Revolutionary Unitarian Universalist Multi-cultural Ministries) – An affiliate organization of the UUA for People of Color.
  • GA (General Assembly) – The annual business meeting of the UUA, to which congregations send delegates.
  • GAYT (Guest At Your Table) – An annual fundraising program of the UUSC (see below).
  • Green Sanctuary – One that is participating in the Green Sanctuary program to help recognize environmental concerns and make our congregations more eco-friendly.
  • Heartland District – The district to our west and south west including Indiana, Michigan, southwest Ohio and Kentucky.
  • IARF (International Association for Religious Freedom) – An organization made up of groups from 20 different nations, of which the UUA is a member.
  • ICUU (International Council of Unitarians and Universalists) – An organization of Unitarian and Universalist societies from around the world.
  • JPD (Joseph Priestly District) – Our neighboring district to the east, which includes eastern Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and D.C.
  • JTW (Journey Toward Wholeness) – The UUA effort to find and eliminate institutional racism in our denomination and congregations.
  • LFD (Lifespan Faith Development) – The term used for lifespan religious education programs and committees and professionals who work with them. The name of the UUA Department responsible for religious education.
  • LREDA (Liberal Religious Educators Association) – The professional organization of religious educators. The OMD has a chapter of this organization for it’s religious educators.
  • LUUNA (Latina/o UU Networking Association) – An organization that connects UUs of Hispanic descent and promotes UUism in the Latino community.
  • MFC (Ministerial Fellowship Committee) – The body of ministers and laypeople that evaluates candidates for the UU ministry.
  • MFE (Ministry for the Earth) – A group dedicated to fulfilling the seventh principle.
  • MRE (Minister of Religious Education) – A minister who specializes in Religious Education.
  • NRG Co-op – Northeast Regional Group Co-op. A cooperative effort between the OMD, JPD, SLD and Metro New York Districts.
  • OBGLTC (Office of Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Concerns) – The UUA department organized to help educate people and establish local groups regarding issues of sexual orientation and gender identity.
  • OMD (Ohio-Meadville District) – Our district of 48 congregations in West Virginia, western Pennsylvania, and most of Ohio.
  • OMDUUYAN (Ohio-Meadville UU Young Adult Network) – The OMD organization for young adults (ages 18-35).
  • OWL (Our Whole Lives) – A life-span sexuality curriculum created by the UUA and United Church of Christ
  • PCC (Partner Church Council) – A group that works to connect North American UU congregations with churches in the rest of the world, especially in Eastern Europe.
  • RE (Religious Education) – Education regarding religious issues. Lifespan Faith Development is the current term commonly used for this.
  • SAI (Study-Action Issue) – A topic selected by the General Assembly for long-term study by UU congregations; may develop into a SOC (see below)
  • SLD (Saint Lawrence District) – The district to our north that includes all of New York state except New York City.
  • SOC (Statement of Conscience) – A major policy statement and philosophical “stand” taken by the General Assembly, usually related to a social justice issue, which guides the work of the UUA Administration.
  • TJ (Thomas Jefferson District) – The district to our southeast including southern Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.
  • UUA (Unitarian Universalist Association) – The association of all the Unitarian Universalist congregations in the US; also used to refer to the UUA headquarters in Boston.
  • UUADP (UUs for Alternatives to the Death Penalty) – An organization of people who are concerned about the death penalty
  • UUBF (UU Buddhist Fellowship) – A group of UUs who are interested in Buddhism and Buddhist practice.
  • UUCF (UU Christian Fellowship) – A group for UUs who identify themselves as Christians.
  • UUDPR (UUs for Drug Policy Reform) – A new group for UUs who are concerned about the “war on drugs.”
  • UUETA (UUs for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) – The UU version of PETA.
  • UUJA (UUs for Jewish Awareness) – An organization for UUs who are interested in Judaism or are of Jewish descent.
  • UUJEC (UUs for a Just Economic Community) – A group for UUs who are concerned about economic justice, racism, and discrimination.
  • UULTI – (UU Leadership Training Institute) – A project of the NRG Co-op, this is a leadership school to train congregational leaders that occurs each summer.
  • UUMA (UU Ministers Association) – An organization for UU ministers. The OMD has a chapter of this organization for it’s ministers.
  • UUMeN (UU Men’s Network) – An organization of UUs interested in men’s issues, and of congregational men’s groups.
  • UUMN (UU Musicians’ Network) – A group for UU musicians and composers.
  • UUNIA (UU Network on Indigenous Affairs) – A group of UUs working for greater justice for Native Americans.
  • UUPCC (UU Poets’ Cooperative) – An organization and publishing concern for UU poets.
  • UUSC (UU Service Committee) – An organization, independent of the UUA, that works for social justice around the globe.
  • UU-UNO (UU-United Nations Office) – An associate organization for the purpose of representing the UUA to the UN and keeping UU’s informed about the UN.
  • UUWF (UU Women’s Federation) – An organization which represents women’s concerns within the UUA.
  • UUWO (Unitarian Universalist Washington Office) – The office of the UUA’s lobbying office in Washington D.C.
  • YA (Youth Advisor) – An adult who works with youth in a youth group at a congregation.
  • YAC (Youth Adult Committee) – The body of youth and adults that administers youth activities in our district.
  • YRUU (Young Religious Unitarian Universalists) – An organization for UU youth (ages 14-20).