Several people in our congregation who are working collaboratively on amendment ideas prefer the term “Growth” to “Transformation.” Transformation isn’t really a value and it’s not always positive. Growth is a positive value. Adding reason and science to Inspirations also has some proponents in our congregation, especially among those who lean towards humanism. The overlap between Pluralism, Equity and Justice was also noted.
I agree with the substitution of “growth” for “transformation.” Transformation not only is not always positive but it is a grandiose word that often connotes something that is not possible, even if it is desirable. I have objected, quietly to myself, about its increasing use within UU for some time now.
I would prefer “Stability & Change” instead of either “Transformation” or “Growth.” For me, “Growth” has a connotation of “economic growth,” and it brings up issues of what is “sustainable growth” vs. what is “malignant growth.”
I’ve asked myself what it is that I actually VALUE.
I value a balance of “Stability & Change.” I value “accepting (each other as we are) & encouraging each other to spiritual growth … and to search for truth and meaning.” I value our “Tradition” & the fact that it is a “Living” Tradition. I acknowledge that in order to reach “a goal of world peace,” there will have to be significant change.
One message of Buddhism is that everything is always changing. But humans also need stability - that’s one reason why it’s so hard for us to imagine Article II without the 7 principles. We need stability - that’s one reason why humans are struggling so much right now with the frantic pace of change - technology, the pandemic and its social & economic impacts, climate change and resulting migrations, etc. One answer is to turn to authoritarian leaders to solve these problems - by denying them, or trying to go back in time, or by promising a new vision (that may or may not be clear-sighted). Another answer is to nurture our own individual growth and to challenge ourselves to “transform” our individual beliefs into loving actions.
I much prefer growth to transformation. Transformation has no direction and is as likely to be negative as it is positive. For example, our continued use of fossil fuels is transforming our climate. That’s not what most of us would consider to be a good thing. We can clarify what we mean by growth (e.g., not economic growth) in the statement that follows. Something like “We celebrate the transcendent power of love to foster spiritual growth and healing.” or more simply “We commit to spiritual growth.”
I agree; stability and change are both important, and I think of the unrestrained growth of a cancer cell, or less dramatically, an urban sprawl.
Planned growth, with occasional positive surprises, can be positive; transformation seems magical or overly ambitious.
FWIW, the group from the workshop came to this current draft:
Transformation. We embrace possibilities in an always changing world. We covenant to grow spiritually and ethically, accept ourselves and one another, and collectively advance transformations that embody Love. Openness to change is fundamental to our Unitarian and Universalist heritages, never complete and never perfect.