#382 | Annette Skellenger | Abandon New Values

Submission 382
Annette Skellenger
Granite Peak UU Congregation (Prescott, AZ) 2026

What is your suggestion or idea?

With sincere gratitude to the committee for the extensive time
and effort they have put into this document, I strongly request that the “New Values”
proposal be abandoned and Article II remain as currently written.

What is the reason for your amendment idea?

I have 3 overriding reasons
for requesting that the “New Values” proposal be abandoned. Due to the word limit, that I was not aware of when writing my response, I will post in 3 messages.

  1. The wordiness
    requires analysis to produce understanding, seems to focus on uniform beliefs
    rather than supporting individual philosophy, and begins to feel too much like
    organized religion. LeLess is more. The simplicity
    of the current Principles allows for individuality and diversity. The proposed Values seem to try to pinpoint

It is impossible to find the
right combination of words to provide for universal understanding of something
as enigmatic and boundless as one’s beliefs. Clarity is lost exponentially the
more words that are pieced together. The
possibility for debate increases as there are more words for different sides to
champion. Ambiguity
has always been a cornerstone of UU Philosophy.
The joy and comfort I find in UU comes from the fact that UU’s don’t try
to hold me to something predetermined by someone else. The Values give me the
feeling of being boxed into only the words and concepts specified. It is impossible for words, no matter how
perfectly crafted, to encompass individual spirituality and allow for ever-changing
philosophies. The beliefs that are of value are those that are hammered out by
each person individually. The more words are proscribed by others and the
greater complexity of those words, the more I envision movement toward the need
for a Learned One(s) to interpret meanings.
I fear a path may be begun toward a more organized religion.

Simple words such as, “Do unto
others as you would have them do unto you” seem wonderfully adequate to me.

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

I have talked informally with approximately 10 congregants who agree with my points but are concerned that supporting a return to the current Principles will be considered too divisive. No time has been scheduled for the congregation as a whole to discuss the proposal.


I agree with abandoning the changes. It has been too fast, too forced, and not widely engaged with.

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