#261 | Jim Davis | Principles for Non-Members

Submission 261
Jim Davis
First Unitarian Church of Wilmington Del. (Wilmington, DE) 2823

What is your suggestion or idea?

Updated Principles for
Non-members 2023 April

I do not think the charge to the
Article II Study Commission anticipated how the revised values might
be presented to non-members. The “elevator speech” needs to be
focused, meaningful (no code words), and short. A sample of an
updated principles format (values) could be:

As Unitarian Universalist members, we
affirm and promote our values:

The inherent Worth and Dignity of
every person.

Peace and Justice for all

Recognition of our part in a
diverse world.

Participation and Support of our
congregations according to democratic principles.
Freedom of Thought and Expression
in our individual Search for Truth and Meaning.
Acceptance of knowledge from many

Endeavoring to put our words into

Consider a phrase or sentence that
conveys the most important of our values. Currently we might say “we
value the inherent worth and dignity of every person”. Under the
proposed format we might say “we value love”. This is not
informative in general because “love” is overused to the point of
Within our congregations there is a
foundation of love with which to charge the commission with updating
our principles But to non-members the proposed changes offers 5
different words given by different members that need to be remembered
and decoded, each with a wordy description. I do admire the
commissions investigations to identify under represented values that
have evolved over time. I would hope updating our values would not be
quickly outdated by contemporary concerns.

What is the reason for your amendment idea?

Current proposal not meaningful to non-members (elevator speech).

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