#229 | Kara Stebbins | Tie to Values and Covenant

Submission 229
Kara Stebbins
UU Fellowship of Madison County (Richmond, KY) 3726

What is your suggestion or idea?

“We are inspired more by direct experience than by religion”

C-2.3. Inspirations. As Unitarian Universalists, we use, and are inspired draw inspiration for our Values and Covenants from many by, sacred and secular sources. understandings that help us to live into our values. We and our Living Tradition are inspired by a diversity of respect the histories, contexts, and cultures, individuals, and direct experiences in which they were created and are currently practiced. These sources ground us and sustain us in ordinary, difficult, and joyous times. Grateful for Aware of the religious ancestries we inherit and the diversity which enriches our faith association of congregations, we are called to ever deepen and expand our wisdom.

What is the reason for your amendment idea?

Our Fellowship wanted (1) to tie this section back to our Values and Covenant, (2) to include mention of the “Living Tradition,” (3) to honor specific individuals and the influence they have had on our spiritual lives, (4) to not lose “direct experience” as one of our sources, (5) to remove objection to the idea that we might be grateful to patriarchal religion, and (6) to reduce religious references or at least balance them with secular references.

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

Our Fellowship had a democratic approach to the Amendment process. While a straw poll indicated a slim majority would prefer to keep Article II as it is, the other votes indicated we should try to come up with Amendments that could conceivably change some ““no”” votes to ““yes.”” We began writing this Amendment in response to input from the Fellowship during two Sunday Services. We later word-smithed a suggested Amendment with our weekly zoom group. Finally, the full Fellowship had an opportunity to review this written Amendment. No objections were voiced.


I like the addition of the living tradition and trying to tie things more explicitly back to the values. What do you think about the way we have included the living tradition and values in this post? #290 | Jennifer Courtwright | Proposal is too Generic to be Meaningful - #2 by courtwrightj01

Hi Jennifer @courtwrightj01. Even though my Fellowship does prefer a listing of Sources, there are ways we would like the current list to change. I posted it in #486. We dropped the specifics of “Judeo Christian” and “Humanist,” and we added the phrase “including but not limited to.” We added direct experience not just of transcending mystery but also of LIFE. The most important change for me was to add a Source: “Listening deeply to each other’s experiences and how we draw upon a wide variety of sources to live our Principles and Covenants.”

Section C-2.3 Inspirations. Grateful for the religious pluralism which enriches and ennobles our faith, we are inspired to deepen our understanding and expand our vision. The living tradition which we share draws from many sources, including but not limited to:

  • Direct experience of life and that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and uphold life;
  • Words and deeds of people which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love;
  • Wisdom from the world’s religions and spiritual teachings which inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life, including calls to love ourselves and our neighbors, and to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature;
  • Teachings which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science, and warn us that there can be both idolatries of the mind and spirit;
  • Listening deeply to each other’s experiences and how we draw upon a wide variety of sources to live our Principles and Covenants.