Westside UU Congregation (Seattle, WA) 8232
What is your suggestion or idea?
Replace, edit and combine Section C-2.3, Inspirations with edited and expanded Sources, as follows:Section C-2.3.Sustaining Sources.
As Unitarian Universalists, we are inspired by sacred and
secular history, understanding, and knowledge. We honor the pluralism of our
lineage, and we discern and build upon the sources of our faith as we move
forward. These sources include:
Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder,
affirmed in all cultures, which renews our spirit;
Spiritual teachings from our Judeo-Christian origins,
earth-centered traditions, and other world religions and leaders, which inspire
us in our ethical and spiritual life and which center justice and love for one
another and for nature;
Humanist teachings, which counsel us to heed the guidance of
reason and such fields of verifiable knowledge as the sciences and mathematics;
The creative arts, which reveal to us the face of life’s
beauty and joy and its enduring truth and meaning, and which open our hearts to
emotions of joy and gratitude.
These sources ground us and sustain us in ordinary,
difficult, and joyous times. Grateful for the religious and cultural ancestries
we inherit and the diversity that enriches our faith, we are called to ever
deepen and expand our wisdom.
What is the reason for your amendment idea?
This amendment retains some language from the proposed revision but restores, as well as edits, specific Sources that many have found missing from the Commission’s proposed version. Many UUs find this language still needed and relevant to describe distinctive and important elements of Unitarian Universalism, key to our living tradition, our diversity of belief and practice, and our welcome.
This amendment condenses the Sources and tries to address some of the thorny issues about referencing specific religious traditions, which may include some but exclude others and may not acknowledge that we welcome all beliefs but also use discernment. We do not honor troubling ways in which religions have also been used.
Also, it expands secular humanist sources to include mathematics, denotes the verifiable nature of these fields without setting this kind of ““truth”” over others, and adds ““the Arts,”” previously proposed by Rev. Rick Davis (see p. 62 of Theology Ablaze: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Unitarian Universalism, by Tom Owen-Toole, p. 62.) This proposal apparently gained much enthusiastic support previously. Note that I changed one word, from ““feelings”” to ““emotions.””
I shortened the Sources to make room for these additions and to allow combining this language with the current proposed revisions, while still maintaining a flow. Edited and moved around language seeks to address some of the competing considerations mentioned above.
Have you discussed this idea with your congregation or other UUs?
Yes, this idea has been floated and discussed with fellow congregants and other UUs since late last year, starting in feedback sessions on Article II, and continued in a public Facebook group I founded, Blue Boat Passengers, to continue these conversations. Additionally, I have participated in and monitored many other online UU groups and discussions to try to understand the full breadth of opinion on these issues.
I am on my congregation’s Ad Hoc Article II Team, started when we were without a minister and now continued with our new minister’s participation. We held two information sessions about Article II last year, and three sessions related specifically to GA, the amendments process, and delegates recently. We created public resources and discussion spaces. I have sought to address, reconcile, and incorporate all feedback I have received, and I encourage further comment. One person likes the Inspirations section as is. Others responded favorably to my amendment, saying it feels alive, science is important (but not more than other sources), humanism is needed, etc. I also proposed adding only the ““Secular Sources,”” if needed to combine with other proposals, but wanted to show full idea and flow first.