#6 | Laurie Riley | Concise Edits

Submission 6
Laurie Riley
Quimper UUF

What is your suggestion or idea?

Section C-2.1. Purposes. The purpose of the Unitarian Universalist Association is to actively engage its members in the transformation of the world through Love. The Unitarian Universalist Association will devote its resources and powers for religious, educational, and humanitarian purposes, and shall assist congregations in their vital ministries,
support and train leaders both lay and professional, foster lifelong faith, heal historic injustices, and advance Unitarian Universalist
values in the world.

Section C-2.2. Values and Covenant. Love is the center of our shared values. As Unitarian Universalists, we covenant, congregation-to-congregation and
through the UUA, to be accountable to one another in living our values and ministries through the spiritual discipline of Love.

Pluralism. We celebrate that we are all sacred beings diverse in culture,
experience, and theology.
We covenant to learn from one another in our free and responsible search for
truth and meaning, and to do no harm to others in that search. We embrace our differences and commonalities with Love,
curiosity, deep listening, and respect.

Transformation. We covenant to collectively transform and grow spiritually and ethically in our changing world.
Openness to positive change is fundamental to our Unitarian Universalist
values, never complete and never perfect.

Generosity. We cultivate a spirit of gratitude and hope.
We covenant to compassionately share our faith and
resources, thereby connecting us through interdependence and mutuality.

Section C-2.3. Inspirations.
As Unitarian Universalists we respect and are inspired by sacred and secular
ideologies that represent our values and which deepen and expand our wisdom.

Section C-2.4. Inclusion. We pledge to replace with ever-widening circles of solidarity the systems of power, privilege, and oppression that traditionally create barriers
for those with particular identities, ages, abilities, and histories. We strive to be an association that welcomes all who share our values, icluding those with historically marginalized identities.

What is the reason for your amendment idea?

The article was too wordy and redundant. As a professional editor, I have made suggestions to make it more understandable and concise, while retaining the meaning in each section. The biggest objections I’ve heard to the proposed article is that it is not concise and is hard to understand, which mean that people thought the principles were being replaced rather than enhanced.

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

This subject has been discussed often and at length in our congregation, both formally and informally.


I really like your suggested text, Laurie. As a fellow professional editor, I too think the article as proposed is too wordy and redundant.


Clear, concise writing is good. I’m not sure how the text ended up being wordy when the charge to the commission was to develop text that was brief and poetic.


Thank you! I hope as this proceeds, the folks guiding this process will turn to you or other professional editors to create a final product that is this concise.

I strongly agree with Laurie that the proposed changes to Article II are waaaaaay too wordy, vague, ambiguous, and – frankly – not very inspiring.


although this is better-edited, I still have too many problems with the original proposal to consider this sufficient

Even though the Commission’s version truly has all the hallmarks of being formulated by a committee, and I agree that the values needs to be pared down, not just for clarity but to make it memorable, instead of shortening article II in its entirety, it might instead be useful to describe how a few main values lead to and are supported by a broader range of values.

The values should resonate and be clear to newcomers, old timers should unhesitatingly embrace–even recite–them, and they should be understandable to children with deeper layers of meaning as they grow. I like the idea of focusing on four (including love) values, but am not sure why these three are most representative of UU or perhaps the highest to aspire to. I think there would need to be a vote first to determine which ones UU’s consider central (personally, I’d go for Love, Freedom, Justice, and Interdependence).

The commission should then rework the remaining values (which in the proposal often are more than one combined under a heading), making sure to include peace, reason, diversity, kindness, inclusive democracy, integrity, humility, ompassion, respect, and gratitude in an inspiring narrative that provides insight into what we cherish. In my view freedom is based on our right on conscience and the respnosible search for meaning which in turn uses reason; while justice requires the embrace of pluralism and leads to equity and transformation. A good example of defining love in a way that’s both inviting and lucid is defining love in #405.

Love is the beating heart of our faith, welcoming all. It shows up in the ways we care for and about each other, in sorrow and in joy. It shows up in the ways we make our values real in the world, holding ourselves and each other accountable for living our values with compassion and respect. The love of our communities gives us a deep sense of belonging, of being recognized, valued, and cherished

Using “we” draws readers in, and the real world language is compelling, touching on why my faith is important to me, not the word salad that’s vague and ill defined in the Comission’s work.

Sorry to be so long in a post about concision.

I do agree that the proposed language is too wordy, but in your revision, you have left our equity and the language of our current first principle – “Inherent worth and dignity of every person.” So important and basic to my understanting of the UU faith.

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