#327 | Nancy LaPelle | Move Inclusion Section

Submission 327
Nancy LaPelle
Unitarian Universalist Society of Grafton & Upton (Grafton, MA) 4522

What is your suggestion or idea?

Section C-2.2. Inclusion. [moved to much earlier spot]
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 welcomes all persons who sympathize with our values. We commit to being an association of congregations that empowers and enhances everyone’s participation, especially those with historically marginalized identities.

Section C-2.3. Principles.
Drawing from our heritages of freedom, reason, hope, and courage, and building on the foundation of transformative love, we, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, covenant, congregation-to-congregation and through our association, to affirm and promote

  • Love as the doctrine and foundation of our spiritual practice;

  • The inherent worth and dignity of every person;

  • Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;

  • Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;

  • A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;

  • The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;

  • Building a diverse multicultural Beloved Community by our actions that accountably work to dismantle racism and other oppressions in ourselves and our institutions;

  • The goal of world community with peace, liberty and justice for all;

  • Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

What is the reason for your amendment idea?

C-2.4 Inclusion Section

Move this section so that it occurs immediately after the Purposes Section and puts more emphasis on inclusion and provides a great backdrop for the Principles.

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.

C-2.2 Principles

Many thought a better approach to revising article 2 would be to build on the existing 7 principles rather than starting anew with “Values”. Many suggested changing this section back to “Principles” and adding to the 7 principles to capture the notions of transformative love and working to end racism and oppression, resulting in 9 principles. We also used language from the proposed values section to introduce these revised principles. A new first and 7th principles were added.

We suggest eliminating the covenanting statements since action statements have always been included in the 6 sources statements which we will propose keeping and amending in the next submission.

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

Thirty people from UUSGU attended our three cottage meetings on April 16, 18 and 20 that informed and provided input into the revision process of the UUA By-laws Article II. We then wrestled the changes, suggestions and edits into two versions: one version keeps our current 7 Prinicples with 2 additional principles and other changes and additions; the second version responds in detail with our UUSGU suggestions and edits to the Revised Article II wording from UUA. As there was no time to get a consensus from the congregation prior to the April 30 deadline, the UUSGU Board approved submission of these two versions to UUA. Submitting our suggestions has required multiple submission forms. Five submissions were required for the 2nd version based entirely on the UUA Article 2 revisions task force. The 9 principles version uses the same changes we submitted for the Purposes, inclusion, and Freedom of Belief sections; however, it moves the Inclusion section after Purposes and before Principles. This is submission #6 of 7.