#170 | Joseph Catenaci | Deeply Concerned

Submission 170
Joseph Catenaci
UU Congregation of the South Jersey Shore (Pomona, NJ) 6027

What is your suggestion or idea?

I am deeply concerned with the prospect of removing the original 7 Principles and 6 Sources, as I fear that the language outlined in the new Article II overtly focuses the mission of The UU into a political entity as opposed to a spiritual entity. I am genuinely concerned that the mission of The Unitarian Universalist Church will have changed from a place where seekers of truth come to discuss their religious and spiritual journeys with one another into a meeting house for progressive politics. There is nothing wrong with those politics, but I do not like when right wing, evangelical churches rally their congregants to turn out to vote for The Republican Party, and I dislike it equally that The UU Article II revision seems to try and turn us into the left wing equivalent. We presently exist in a state of heightened tension along political lines in this country, and I think we should endeavor to be peacemakers and meeting places of those seeking refuge from the crashing and calamity that is modern American society.

What is the reason for your amendment idea?

I am deeply concerned that the only place where I feel I belong is going to be removed in favor of the desires of certain congregations who wish to wield the broader church as a cudgel in favor of their own personal ambitions and goals. Unitarian Universalism IS liberalism as a religion. Progressive politics and it’s adherents have countless places to go to practice, including countless chapters of The Democratic Socialists of America or other entities that provide them with safe spaces, and they also presently are members of our congregations and are welcome. I just am concerned that we are throwing out the few principles that we hold dear in favor of providing special privileges for this political faction within the church.

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

I have had to work on Sundays in recent time, so I have only had digital services for a long time.


While I do want UU to be prominently involved in social justice work, we do get together theoretically because we have a spiritual impetus. A community, and a ritual container to hold our joys and our sorrows for the world, expressed in a diversity of ways, but still in a reverent way, is part of what UU should be.