The Community Church of Chapel Hill UU (Chapel Hill, NC) 6626
What is your suggestion or idea?
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, and to advance our Unitarian Universalist values in the world.
The purpose of the Unitarian Universalist Association is to actively engage its members in the transformation of the world through liberating Love.
I think this section would be more acceptable if the sentence in bold came at the beginning of the section, and was more explicit about the pastoral as well as the prophetic purposes of the UUA. Maybe something like: The Unitarian Universalist Association seeks to actively engage its members is growing their souls and transforming the world through liberating Love. It’s primary purposes are…
What is the reason for your amendment idea?
This section really bothers me, and I feel badly about that because on the whole I think it’s time for a revision and I really want to love this one, or at least not be turned off by it. The section in red seems to contradict or at least constrict the previous statement and is oddly silent about the pastoral purposes of our congregations. This, and other sections, seem to imply that any person or congregation not actively engaged in social justice reform is somehow failing to be truly UU. Yet in the years of my ministry I have seen many persons for whom just getting to church with both shoes on, was all they could do and they did it it because church offered them a bit of beauty, comfort, peace or hope, that they believed would help them get through another week. Transforming the world is an important part of our work and out heritage, but I don’t think it is or ought to be the only purpose of a UU congregation or association of congregations. Part of our work is also to help people to understand, love and live in the world as it is because we cannot push the moral arc of the universe towards justice if we don’t have a grounded grip on reality.
Have you discussed this idea with your congregation or other UUs?
I’ve participated in a discussion of the proposed revision with a study group at community church, following a three-session course on the history and future of the ““Purposes and Principles.”” I’ve also had several informal conversations with church members, several of whom shared my discomfort, and sense of something missing, some even more strongly. The wording of my proposal is has grown out of those conversations, but I haven’t shared it anywhere else yet .