#339 | Tim Hirsch | Start Over

Submission 339
Tim Hirsch
UU Congregation of Eau Claire WIsconsin

What is your suggestion or idea?

Start Over!

What is the reason for your amendment idea?

As a lay member of a UU congregation, I am disappointed that the Article !! Commission does not identify individual UU members among the “Stakeholders” from whom they intended to seek suggestions. Members of every congregation should be the FIRST stakeholders identified. Members of the Commission clearly reveal their assumptions and biases in their skewed list of stakeholders.

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

I am one of very few in a congregation of 260 who has even heard about the potential of Article II revisions. Our Minister is attempting to alert and inform us and encourage feedback, but for many ordinary UU’s, it is too late in the process to begin now. I hope we start over, this time with members as the first and primary stakeholders.


The proposal has MANY components that I am not interested in embracing. Overall it is too wordy and lofty to be fully understood, feels like a step toward organized religion, and feels much too exclusionary.

1 Like

Agree that the review of Article 2 should be started over from the very beginning with active participation of the congregational members. This is too important to do otherwise.
My experience is that many many congregants have no idea what the Article 2 changes entail and / or do not believe their congregation will be affected. Really ?

I agree. My fellow members that I have discussed this with fully agree and support starting over and doing it correctly.

I am trying hard to engage and follow the multiple discussions on each of the individual components of the revised Article II but I am overwhelmed. I attended the first UUA listening session on the Inspirations session (and was surprised that was the topic - there was no notice about that - apparently it was noted in the UUA facebook page, but I don’t use Facebook).

I was impressed during that session with the wide ranging discussion and input of the attendees, but the very wide range makes it hard to pick a thread and follow it. And that is just Inspirations! There is so much more to dissect and consider, that there is no way to digest all this before the GA. As a delegate and as a UU member I am unsettled by the runaway train of this revision.

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I agree they should start over. I didn’t hear about this until late last year. I was extremely surprised they did a complete rewrite. It was uncalled for. I’ve grown to like what we have now over the last 20 some years. It was on my refrigerator, and it made me think.

I hope it gets voted down so we can have a pause and a do-over.

I agree that most UU’s aren’t following this, and many of us who have, didn’t have sufficient information until too late in the process. Aside from the value in delving into our values and purpose, I don’t see a need for a complete overhaul. It’s not clear that the UUA is skilled at representing a range of voices. With the ease of soliciting direction via online communication, why didn’t they poll congregations at different steps along the way? E.g: What is important in defining UU’s purpose? What do you think needs to change in article two? What values make UU distinct? or posing two or three alternative directions with pros & cons…etc. Collecting and synthesizing our views would provide a foundation for the changes if we really believe in the democratic process.

What the commission is presenting is often a word salad of vague and ill-defined terms;, while it should provide us with a shared vision. Many people here have made a good effort at improving their work and finding common ground.

In my opinion, these seven values don’t define my faith. I personally consider peace and reason more important to my identity as a UU than transformation or generosity; plus I consider diversity to be a more appropriate term than plurality. If the process had been more inclusive from the beginning, it would be easier to embrace changes that don’t reflect my own views. But since this was a top down process, if the proposal passes without substantial amendments, it will be alienating to me. Of course our congregation could do our own revision of the principles and maintain different values from the UUA.

The chosen seven values are hard to remember much less articulate in coherent way. In terms of clarifying what inspries us as UU’s, I would narrow them down to three or four. Then in poetic language describe not just three more, but a wide range of additional values which underpin, are connected to, and result from the central values. As an example, I think justice is based on recognizing diversity and requires love, respect and compassion while leading to equity and transformation. And a writer could come up with language that affirms why we chose to become UUs and motivates us to put those values into action.