#139 | Janet Leavens | Re-Affirm the UUA in its Tradtional Role

Submission 139
Janet Leavens
University UU Fellowship, Inc. (Orlando, FL) 2920

What is your suggestion or idea?

I am suggesting an amendment to: Section C-2.1. Purposes. The text to be deleted is struck through and suggested replacement text is bolded.

“The Unitarian Universalist Association will devote its resources to and use its organizational powers for religious, educational, and humanitarian purposes. Its primary purposes are to assist congregations in their vital ministries, support and train leaders both lay and professional, to foster lifelong faith formation, to heal historic injustices, serve the needs of its member congregations, organize new congregations, extend and strengthen Unitarian Universalist institutions and advance our Unitarian Universalist values in the world.”

The purpose of the Unitarian Universalist Association is to actively engage support its members in their transformation of the world through work of liberating Love."

What is the reason for your amendment idea?

This proposed amendment re-affirms the UUA in its traditional role as a service organization providing ministerial, educational, and financial support for its member congregations. Explicitly designating the UUA as such will go a long way to preserving the autonomy of member congregations not just on paper, but in practice as well. I have heard quite a few pro-revisions UUs (e.g. Rev. Marcus Folgiano) reassure me that congregational autonomy is not changing. If this is true, why change the language to make it look like the UUA is taking a more directive role?

All UU congregations include mature adults who care about making the world a better place. Although congregations and their individual members certainly benefit from the UUA’s education resources, it is ultimately each congregation that best understands its unique situation and can best decide for itself which programs of social action to prioritize.

Have you discussed this idea with your congregation or other UUs?

Our church held three meetings where the Article II revisions were discussed. The meetings were attended by approximately 35 members (out of a total membership of approximately 85). While some members were happy to see more of an emphasis on action in the revisions, or the centering of love, or the more explicitly multicultural, anti-racist orientation, few to none were eager to see the UUA take on a more controlling, prescriptive role, no matter how soft-pedaled the approach.

This amendment has taken their concerns into consideration.


I agree with this suggestion. I cherish congregational polity, and the individuality of each community. Beyond holding core principles in common I am not sure why member congregations would benefit from efforts to create greater uniformity.