#401 | Kathryn Converse | Table discussion

Submission 401
Kathryn Converse
Prairie Unitarian Universalist, Madison, WI

What is your suggestion or idea?

I suggest that the Article 2 Commission Proposal be tabled until another opportunity for study, discussion and comment takes place at all member UU congregations. I have read all the discussion entries and there is just too much confusion and opposition.

What is the reason for your amendment idea?

Despite the UUA’s apparent efforts, these changes are happening without widespread knowledge, input and a great deal of opposition. I think it is too soon to force a vote on these very important principles that are our foundation. I think it could cause irreparable and long term damage.

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

Within our society, we have had Sunday services and two study groups with multiple sessions. There is still confusion, no consensus, and not enough time to reach any reasonable recommendations. We have caused actual and potential loss of members.

Many members question if the time and energy being sent on word choices in this process could be better directed to action items that could result in greater inclusiveness within our societies


I agree that this whole process could cause irrepairable damage.


I agree congregations need more time to process the proposed changes before they go to GA for a first vote. See also #299 | Cheryll Paull | Give the Process More Time to Simmer and Ponder which calls for more time.

As I stated in that thread,

it seems that many people are still catching up, and we are a long way from a consensus. Pushing through these changes on the current timetable may result in its acceptance, but I suspect the votes will be close and the wounds will be deep. Or, it may result in a narrow loss for the proposal. Again, the wounds will be deep. Taking a year to more fully discuss and refine the proposal seems the more prudent approach.


I think 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.

Even though I value the work many have made to draft amendments, I wholeheartedly agree that such a significant overhaul needs more time and a better process. Nothing about the proposal makes me proud to be a UU nor would it draw newcomers in. It’s lacking in power and neeeds some poetry.

Perhaps more importantly the seven values seem like a bit of a hodge podge. If they could now go back and find out if these seven are, in fact, the values that UU’s would most likely want to uplift, I could get on board if I knew there was widespread support. But I believe it would make more sense to narrow them down to easily definable values–Love, Justice, Freedom, and Interdependence–which even our children will remember. Then separately (and if we need the graphic, they could be leaves growing from three branches which Love as the trunk) explain in compelling, lucid language the many values we all share that help move us to action and which are related to, interwoven with, and lead to these four: compassion, equity, reason, diversity, peace, humility, integrity, kindness, transformation, gratitude, respect, generosity, plurality, faith, hope, courage, inclusivity.

I am also concerned that congregations need a chance to discuss whether the change in purpose and the accountability language in a move in the right direction.