#243 | Richard Nida | Delete "who share our values"

Submission 243
Richard Nida
The Community Church of Chapel Hill UU (Chapel Hill, NC) 6626

What is your suggestion or idea?

Article II Idea Submission

“We strive to be an association of congregations that truly welcome all persons
who share our values.“” From Section
C-2.4 Inclusion, Article II Study Report. This statement seems oddly out of place in a Section entitled,
“Inclusion,” since it clearly provides a basis for excluding people and perhaps
entire congregations. The statement
raises a number of questions about the extent to which congregates and entire congregations must adhere to this rule in order to pass muster.:From the dictionary, inclusion is the act of including, or the state of being
included, or something that is included, or the practice or policy of including and integrating all
people and groups in activities and organizations. On the other hand, exclusion sets up
barriers, hurdles, or rules that keep some from fully participating. Should UUs values be used to exclude
participation as the current verbiage would imply?

Let us be reminded and guided by the phrase found on the home page of the
Website of All Souls Unitarian NYC and, no doubt, repeated on many other UU Websites
and similar statements recited at the beginning of numerous UU services:

“No matter who you are, who you love, or what brings you to us, you are welcome
at All Souls.”

Proposal: Delete “who share our values”
from the third quoted sentence above.

What is the reason for your amendment idea?

The Proposed Revision incorporates the statements, ““We strive to be an association of congregations that truly welcome all persons who share our values.”” This statement on its face appears to be at odds with the concept of being an open and welcoming group of congregations. It appears to establish ““rules”” by which an individual member or an entire congregation could be prevented from joining or could be banished for not ““sharing”” the new values. This appears to be more exclusionary than inclusive.

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

I have had discussions at four learning session led by my minister and approximately 20 congregates, at a formal discussion group with eight congregates, at several lunch meetings with members from multiple UU congregations, and with my daughter who is a lifelong UU.


I’m a science-minded liberal, and i was told that I have “the opposite values” of my congregation’s racial justice team. If this change passes, do I get squeezed out?

Thank you. I was just going to propose the same amendment for exactly the same reasons. It makes no sense for a statement of inclusion to define who we intend to exclude.

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It also runs into other parts of the proposed revisions that are under debate, since we are also defining what are those “values” that we “share.”

Our congregation (The UU Fellowship of the Peninsula) welcomes all of good will.

I mean do we really mean to say that we will welcome the so-called “pro-life” (anti-abortionist) folk, or anti-trans folk? I am sorry to say that I agree with the “who share our values” as an important caveat. It simply is not true that ALL are welcome. Just like it is not true that “UUs can believe anything” – we won’t affirm anti-black, anti-trans, etc, etc. I will support RETAINING “who share our values”

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Hi Bek,

Would you support something I have suggested elsewhere: “all who seek to learn about our values” or “all who want to share beloved community”?

Or do you have another idea?

Kara, thank you for asking. First I answer and then I share a couple other thoughts. Yes, I would support either of your other suggested words: “all who seek to learn about our values” or “all who seek to share Beloved Community.” Or another phrasing… “all who seek to live our values.” or as I say below, “all those of good will.”

My real fear is violent extremists of some sort. For example, Virginia is an open carry state. Do we really welcome someone to come wearing a firearm – hand gun or semi automatic to church? If I saw such a thing, I would be out the door and possibly never to return.

Or we have in the past had one or two individuals who decided that we were running our church wrong and they were going to publicly correct aspects (Ican not go into detail). This led to speakers dissolving into tears and people being frightened to be around that person. What emerged was we invoked our “Disruptive Behavior Policy” and that person was given the opportunity to talk with our Committee on Ministry to reconcile. They chose not to.

I live in Virginia. Recently the Fredericksburg UU church was defaced and some property damaged and an anti-trans manifesto left tacked up on the church door. Do we really welcome anti-trans demonstrators into our midst? No, we do not welcome anti-trans people into our midst.

That issue was handled by the police. And by community vigil later.

I suspect the things I’m concerned about would be covered by various Disruptive Behavior Policies, and by our congregational covenants. And by the UUA covenant of values or principles, either one.

Do we really welcome everyone? No we do not. And to say we do is disingenuous.

I would support either of your phrasings. I also support my fellowship’s wording every Sunday, “We welcome all people of good will.”

Thanks for the reply.

I’ve been reading other posts, and so far my favorite is “respect our values.” Or if we end up retaining our Principles, it could say “respect our principles.”

I also like “respect our values”…. Or “respect our principles…’


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I am one of the many people who had suggested “respect our values.” Note re amendments that weren’t prioritized or presented: This forum is closing for comment tomorrow, but our lay-led public Facebook group, Blue Boat Passengers, will remain open for another few weeks for commenting (and still be viewable after that).

People who want to find others to coordinate with about the 15-congregation amendment process may use the group to do so while it is open. There’s now a specific post for this in the group (“A post for those wishing to do the 15-congregation amendment process to coordinate”). Please read both the rules and the pinned post about the grup being suspended before posting or commenting there.

Blue Boat Passengers: Info & Constructive Discussion re Article II, etc. | Announcement: This group will soon be suspended | Facebook