#62 | Dick Burkhart | Changes to Purposes

Submission 62
Dick Burkhart
Saltwater Unitarian Universalist Church (Des Moines, WA) 98135

What is your suggestion or idea?

Replace the wording of Section C-2.1. Purposes,

“The broad
purposes of the Unitarian Universalist Association are religious, educational,
and social;
welcoming spiritual diversity, inspired by sources both sacred and
secular, and governed by democratic principles. Particular purposes are to
serve the needs of the member congregations, to strengthen affiliated
organizations, and to extend Unitarian Universalism to nurture a more
sustainable, peaceable, and equitable world.”

What is the reason for your amendment idea?

The A2SC proposal uses the outdated word “humanitarian”,
which I have replaced by the word “social”, which better reflects the reality
of congregational life. However, note that “social” would include humanitarian
assistance as a common function for religious organizations. Then I’ve added several “broad purposes” to
get beyond the legalese – give readers the flavor of Unitarian Universalism as
a religion, picking a few highlights from the principles, values, and
inspirations: “welcoming
spiritual diversity, inspired by sources both sacred and secular, and governed by
democratic principles”. Next
I proceed to the all-important “particular purposes”- serving member organizations,
where the word “serve” reflects congregational polity far better than the word “assist”.

I finish with highlights from our forward
looking secular goals – “to nurture a more sustainable, peaceable, and equitable
world”. This is meant as an improvement over the backward looking and secondary
purpose “healing historical injustices” and the forward looking but nebulous “liberating

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

Strong positive responses from UUs for a Just Economic Community and some other UU email lists


Strongly agree that the purpose of the UUA should be to serve the member congregations, not to “assist” them.


I agree. The UUA is primarily a service organization, there to respond to the needs of the congregations.


I agree with the wording of this proposed Amendment. The purpose of the UUA should continue to be to serve the member congregations of the Association.
Allan Lindrup, Delegate from UU Community Church, Park Forest, IL


Good suggestions Dick! I have no idea what “liberating love” means and it has become like a joke in my community. and the UUA should be “SERVING” MEMBER CONGREGATIONS! How about brining letters to the editor back in the UU world? a balance is needed in what is perceived by some as UUA propaganda.

1 Like

Yes, the UUA is a service organization for the congregations. It does not exist to serve human need or fight oppression. That’s the job of the congregations, not the UUA.


and 4 issues instead of 2—I was actually thinking about a budget resolution on that; they said it was only $150,000 that they saved by cutting 2 issues a year; hardly seems worth it.

Glad yoiu added “governed by democratic principles”, would you consider adding language from post #59 which also adds serve, while clarifying that there is no one path to live our values: The Association fosters freedom of belief and actively supports its members to transform their beliefs into loving actions. to encourage the right of conscience.