#247 | Kara Stebbins | Embrace, Then Learn from Diversity

Submission 247
Kara Stebbins
UU Fellowship of Madison County (Richmond, KY) 3726

What is your suggestion or idea?


Current Proposed Revision (with suggested strike-throughs):

Pluralism. We celebrate that we are all sacred beings diverse in culture, experience, and theology. We covenant to learn from one another in our free and responsible search for truth and meaning. We embrace our differences and commonalities with Love , curiosity, and respect.

Suggested Amendment (with new language in bold, and also re-ordered sentences):

Diversity. We celebrate the diversity of life – including human diversity in personalities, cultures, experiences, and beliefs. We embrace our differences and commonalities with compassion , curiosity, and respect. We learn from one another in our free and responsible search for truth and meaning.

What is the reason for your amendment idea?

The name of
this Value “fell flat” for some of us, so we suggest it be changed from “Pluralism”
to “Diversity.” To us it sounds more
poetic. We celebrate the diversity of ALL
life, so that naturally flows into celebrating the diversity of HUMAN life,
including our personalities, cultures (plural), experiences (plural), and
beliefs (plural). “Celebrating the
diversity of life” continues concepts from the Value of Interdependence and has echoes of a word used in an earlier Draft: “evolution”. It can include the familiar use of diversity
in human resource term of race, gender, etc., but it also allows for additional
meanings in terms of diversity of how our minds work – our personalities and our
beliefs. The word “Pluralism” cannot do all of these things.

We also suggest
switching the order of the last two sentences, because FIRST we embrace our
differences, THEN we can learn from them.

Throughout, we
suggest reducing religious language by deleting “sacred,” “theology,” and
“covenant,” and reducing the ill-defined use of the word “love.”

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.


We also have a proposed revision of the Pluralism Value. It is limited to removing the words “sacred beings” Many in our congregation wanted to change the name, and perhaps more, as you had wanted to but some delegates and others I’ve met online say no to that. In any case, this little change is a big one to us.
The first sentence of the mendment reads: We celebrate that we are diverse in culture, experience, and theology.
This is a clearer more concise opening sentence which also makes it clear that we celebrate our diversity, and not that we are sacred beings.
I believe this applies to many more of us who may not believe in or find meaningful the phrase sacred beings. I hope it resonates with you.

It has been submitted by a delegate. Has yours?
If you or any delgate you know, can support this I hope you will sign-on with us.