#467 | Gary Joaquin | Make the proposal a separate document

Submission 467
Gary Joaquin
West Hills Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (Portland, OR) 7132

What is your suggestion or idea?

Remove the proposed Article II covenant language from the By Laws and place it into a document that can be revised annually through General Assembly business session votes.

What is the reason for your amendment idea?

For two years, I have facilitated Chalice Circle groups within my congregation. Whenever we start a new series of sessions with new participants, we revisit and revise our covenant. There are always new insights and needs to accommodate. Covenants for the proposed Article II values are no different.

The proposed Article II covenants align closely with social justice activity, the practical application of the values expressed. Social justice approaches and language change very rapidly. Just look at the history of the Actions of Immediate Witness voted on at GA over the years.

To ensure accountability among members, staff, and to the causes that we champion, our covenants need to be subject to revision more frequently than the 15-year cycle required for Article II. By expressing our covenant in a separate document that can be revised annually during GA business sessions, similar to the policies and procedures manuals that many congregations maintain separately from their By Laws, we ensure that our covenants remain nimble, adapting to the latest best practices, concepts, and language.

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

Yes, in a small focus group of members. We unanimously agreed that this would be a constructive recommendation.


Question: What would you do with the existing principles/sources, etc that are currently in Article II. I suspect you would remove them from Article II, and then work from the proposed revision that would then be outside our bylaws. Yes? or?