#325 | Nancy LaPelle | Add "Kindness" and "are in Sympathy With"

Submission 325
Nancy LaPelle
Unitarian Universalist Society of Grafton & Upton (Grafton, MA) 4522

What is your suggestion or idea?

Section C-2.4. Inclusion. Systems of power, privilege, and oppression have traditionally created barriers for persons and groups with particular identities, ages, abilities, and histories. We pledge to replace such barriers with ever-widening circles of solidarity, mutual respect and kindness. We strive to be an association of congregations that truly welcome all persons who are in sympathy with our values. We commit to being an association of congregations that empowers and enhances everyone’s participation, especially those with historically marginalized identities.

What is the reason for your amendment idea?

We suggest adding “kindness” to the end of the first sentence because we felt it belonged in the statement about inclusion. We also changed “who share our values” to “who are in sympathy with our values” since the former sounded more exclusionary.

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

30 members of our congregation made themselves available on short notice to discuss the revision (more than 1/3 of our congregation). Our Board also reviewed our suggested edits and voted to submit them. Given the short time frame after we realized the UUA was seeking input (only during the month of April), we were not able to arrive at total consensus during these few weeks, but we did arrive at a consensus to submit 2 different proposals which were about equally endorsed by participating congregants and the board. They hold together better in the entire text of Article 2 but since we have to submit them section by section, this will probably involve about 6-7 submissions (of which this is the 5th)


I love the “feel” of this.

But still the word “sympathy” has some connotations that don’t work for me.

Unfortunately, I can’t think of a word to replace it.