#471 | Mary Jo Ebert | Shorten each Value and Covenant

Submission 471
Mary Jo Ebert
Birmingham Unitarian Church (Bloomfield Hills, MI) 5311

What is your suggestion or idea?

Section C-2.2. Values and Covenant.
Consider situations in which the proposed Values & Covenants will get shortened; e.g. on posters, pamphlets, websites, etc. If shortened to one-word values and their “short sentence of explication,” this is what you’d have:

  • Interdependence. We honor the interdependent web of all existence.
  • Pluralism. We celebrate that we are all sacred beings diverse in culture, experience, and theology.
  • Justice. We work to be diverse multicultural Beloved Communities where all thrive.
  • Transformation. We adapt to the changing world.
  • Generosity. We cultivate a spirit of gratitude and hope.
  • Equity. We declare that every person has the right to flourish with inherent dignity and worthiness.

The proposed change is to revise the sentence of explication for each Value to reflect the greatest strength of each, and potentially to add Value(s) to capture points from covenants that warrant their own Value.

What is the reason for your amendment idea?

It is inevitable that the proposed Values & Covenants will get shortened for posters and other uses. This shortened version leaves out some foundational characteristics of UUism and misses the essence of several proposed Values.

  • Free and responsible search for truth and meaning is not visible. The active and responsible search for both truth and meaning distinguishes UUism from many other religions and from other nonprofit organizations. It should be moved to a “top line” position.
  • Use of inclusive democratic processes is not visible.
  • “We adapt to the changing world” doesn’t say much and misses the fuller essence of Transformation.
  • “We cultivate a spirit of gratitude and hope” misses the fuller essence of Generosity.

This is not asking to hold onto the principles exactly as we’ve known them, without change. Rather, it is urging that Article II for the future should reflect an expansion of Unitarian Universalism through the union of principles that have served well and the emerging values that are essential for this religion to thrive for the next 15 years and beyond.

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

Yes. Over the course of five workshops attended by our congregants, this point was raised in a variety of ways.

1 Like

This heading does not reflect the point of our amendment idea. We show what is likely to be displayed if the Values get shortened for posters, etc. We suggest that the key points of each value/covenant are visible in the value statement, as this is what’s most likely to appear in shortened publications. A better title would be, “Consider shortened publications of Values.” Thank you.