Northbrae has a long history of affirming religious diversity and the free conscience when coming to terms with spirituality. Early in its one hundred year history, Northbrae was an independent and progressive church, not affiliated with any particular Christian denomination. We continue to follow this path today. Although Northbrae is independent, we share some basic values with many other progressive faith communities. A traditional statement of purpose used by Northbrae since its early history was adopted from historic Unitarian beliefs. Relative to its time period it espoused open and inclusive language that reads, We join ourselves together as a church in the interest of morality and religion as interpreted by the growing thought and purest lives of humanity, hoping thereby to bear one another's burden's and promote truth, righteousness, and love in the world (ca. 1898).
This statement affirms that we are guided by the wisdom of many different exemplary lives, or Torchbearers, from diverse cultures and traditions around the world - from Jesus and Buddha to Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. The "Torchbearer" concept expresses an evolving understanding of Truth as it matures in our global human development. Those called Torchbearers pass on illumination for succeeding generations to nurture and deepen. The torchbearer ideal promotes an interfaith or multi-faith experience including the use of multiple sacred writings and historic philosophies in our services. Northbrae is rooted in the Christian tradition, but does not endorse a specific creed or expect all persons to agree upon the same beliefs. We hold in common, basic values of inclusiveness, diversity, intellectual integrity, respect for human dignity and the planet, and an appreciation for the countless varieties of religion.
Today then, Northbrae is an open and welcoming church where all are invited to freely explore spirituality and engage in stimulating religious dialogue. We affirm the dignity of our diverse humanity. We welcome people who have a passion for spirituality and activism. We are invested in the evolving notion of the faith community, and we strive for deeper understandings of justice, peace, and compassion.