#305 | Rick Holmgren | Pulling Together a Few Threads

Submission 305
Rick Holmgren
UU Church of Meadville (Meadville, PA) 7313

What is your suggestion or idea?

This suggestions pulls together a few threads from earlier comments. Amend Section C-2.5. Freedom of Belief to read:

Congregational freedom, the individual’s right of conscience, and the individual’s freedom of belief are central to our Unitarian Universalist heritage and practice.

Congregations, this Association, and its affiliates may establish statements of purpose, covenants, and bonds of union so long as they do not require members to adhere to a particular creed or belief.

What is the reason for your amendment idea?

This pulls together and adds to a few earlier suggestions:

  • In the comments for this section, there is some debate about whether to use “right of conscience” or “freedom of belief.” These are different and both are valuable. Let’s keep them both.

  • From the comments, by adding “and practice” we clarify that this is not just a historical fact but current practice.

  • I have suggested language to be clear that this stricture against faith tests applies to all organizations affiliated with our denomination, not just our congregations. Something similar was suggested by earlier comments.

  • To forestall any legalistic parsing of language, I urge us to specify that it applies not only to formal creeds or statements of faith but any policy or practice that requires members of our congregations and affiliated organizations to adhere to any particular belief.

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

We have had two meetings after Church to discuss the proposed Article II revisions. Each was attended by about 20 people, a significant portion of our regular attendees. This proposal get enough discussion for me to be able to accurately described the sense of the meeting, but it does seem to align what others are suggesting in this forum.

1 Like

I like this synthesis of earlier comments.

1 Like

Yes, this part of Article II is key, and it deserves the extra treatment mentioned here