UU Church of Bloomington, Indiana (Bloomington, IN) 3433
Delete the entire proposed draft. Keep the current bylaws until an improved
proposal is widely accepted.
There are improvements in the proposed draft, and parts that aren’t improvements. An open-ended discussion should be invited where more proposals can be considered integrating both versions. The initial vote should be delayed until GA 2024, to allow discussions not limited to section-by-section deletions and additions. I point to two particularly serious problems.1. The Charge to the Commission states:“The Commission is instructed to include in its considerations and deliberations the clear call at GA 2017 for the inclusion of another principle, explicitly calling us to be committed to active anti-racism (see attachments about the 8th Principle Project).”The 8th Principle was not explicitly included. Instead, a diluted version is spread out in various paragraphs. 2. The Charge to the Commission states:“… the revised [Article II] listing from the 2010 proposal and its explicit inclusion of Unitarianism and Universalism as our Sources seems timely to us.”Unitarianism and Universalism are not included as sources.I could not find the 2010 proposal. My suggestion:We honor our Unitarian heritage, which recognizes Jesus of Nazareth as a great prophet, but not divine, thereby distinguishing Unitarianism from the Trinitarian tradition. We honor our Universalist heritage, which promotes the doctrine of Universal Salvation: everybody goes to Heaven; nobody goes to Hell. I note that that the Charge specifies being brief. The Proposal is longer than the current version.Finally, a process concern. The Commission was charged with being “open and transparent in its work.” I made repeated efforts to keep up with the Article II process following GA 2021 and 2022, at which I was a delegate. The only response: “Thanks for your interest.”
I have discussed my ideas with many members of our congregation and our ministers and RE staff. I helped organize two spirited open ended congregational discussions, each of which was attended by about 50 people, in person and online. I facilitated a discussion of Article II concerns at MUUSA in 2022. I have corresponded with UUA President Susan Frederick-Gray and other members of the UUA staff.