#351 | Evelyn Chiland | We must maintain the solidity of our Principles!

Submission 351
Evelyn Chiland
University Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Orlando Fl.

What is your suggestion or idea?

An ““Amendment”” is added to a document that has been confirmed to change / correct.
These proposals are not confirmed. Amendment in this case is not correct.

We must maintain the solidity of our Principles! ““Upon this Rock I will form my church”” was referring to ““words”” as the Rock. This statement was made by a religious leader who formed a still, very much accepted, Faith. Unitarian Universalists must keep their own Rock. Our Principles are our Foundation. Make some small appropriate changes but do not destroy that which has held strongly for many years. Other Faith leaders have frequently expressed admiration for these Principles . The committee has ““Thrown the baby out with the bath water””. They claim it is appropriate for a ““Living Tradition”” of our faith. Tradition"" is misused here if we have none! Change is always a part of life. Change is usually gradual. When change is too sudden or drastic, it frequently produces Trauma. Trauma is not easily comforted. Is our Faith not to be a comfort? Will we still reach for it as our old Teddy Bear or will it be put aside or discarded? Teddy may need a bit of repair but he is still our comfort, no ?
The following are my personal suggestions for possible changes.

#1 … person, (regardless of color or sex)?

#2 … in Human (and all that is living) relations?

#3 …another and (loving the living spirit in each member as an example and practice for bettering our world.)

#4 fine.

#5 … and the use of (loving and caring processes)
in making decisions within our congregations and society at large.

#6 Fine

#7 Respect for the Universe, (with knowledge of the interdependence of all that we experience, especially on our Earth at our time on it.)

What is the reason for your amendment idea?

These are my personal ideas. While I am quite open to further discussion on small changes, I am thoroughly opposed to drastically changing our foundational Principles.
I do admire the love diagram produced and would be most open to it as a symbol but not as a replacement for or to our Principles.

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

Yes. Both with members separately and at meetings. Most have been receptive to at least consider my ideas but wanted more time to do so. Only one of 30 or more at one meeting disagreed totally. He simply embraces any change as positive. He also admitted that he has not been a member of our Faith for very long so had no long or strong feelings for our Principles.

Wait, are you equating Unitarian Universalism with an old Teddy Bear that’s here for our comfort?

Caring for others, and for ourselves as well, is part of UU faith and practice. When I give my toddler granddaughter her toy cat and bunny to hug as she goes to bed, that’s comfort and ritual for both of us. And growth and challenge too: How do we communicate with each other, how do I understand and support her in what she seeks be it rest, sleep, routine, something of her own to comfort herself, independence.

I agree with Evelyn and with you. There is so much emphasis in these revisions on what at our responsibilities are — on what we should “freely” give, on “sacrifice,” on what we should be “actively engaged” in doing, on our duties to each other (covenants), on the spiritual “discipline” of Love, etc. — that they come across as harsh (paradoxically in spite of all the love and inclusion language).

In order to love others we need to first love ourselves. In order to be communities that spread love, we need to be first and foremost communities that actively support all current members and their needs, And comfort is definitely one of these needs.

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