Saltwater Unitarian Universalist Church (Des Moines, WA) 8135
Replace the name of Section C-2.2, by “Principles
and Values”, and its wording by
“(a) Principles. We, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association,
covenant to affirm and promote, in the spirit of love:
(1) (1) The inherent worth
and dignity of every person;
Justice, equity, and compassion in human relations;
Nurturing spiritual growth and
A free and responsible
search for truth and meaning;
governance and ethical due
establishing a world community;
interdependent and evolving web of all existence.
Our values flow from our principles and vice versa.
Our historic values feature the liberal values of the Enlightenment - freedom,
reason, and tolerance – values that continue to be challenged. Our developing
values embrace loving communities drawing from diverse cultural and religious
traditions. A key challenge is to ground these communities in values of
justice, equity, fairness, generosity, and learning.
Another historic value is citizenship, now expanded
from local and national to global. Our challenge is a rapidly changing world in
conflict, facing both existential ecological crises and wondrous new
technologies and scientific discoveries. We value responsibility, as citizens,
to future generations and to the Earth itself.
As such we value a new ethics of interdependence, both
with humanity and Earth ecosystems. We value practices that limit excessive
consumption and damaging impacts, mindful of both limits to natural resources
and the unintended consequences of escalating waste.”
Most in my congregation and other UU groups
have expressed very strong support for retaining the 7 principles as a separate
list from the values. However several people have noted that small improvements
would be helpful, so I’ve written changes to principles 3, 5, 6, and 7 to both
shorten and broaden them.
Note that the value “transformation” has
been added into principle 7 as the word “evolving” and that the value “pluralism”
has been added to principle 6 as “diverse cultures”, along with the “multicultural”
aspect of the value of “justice”. Also ethics (from the value “transformation”)
and due process have been added to principle 5 and “mutual respect” (from the
value “pluralism”) to principle 3.
Wording that was removed is implied, such
as that actual world community could not exist without substantial peace and
justice, or it may be covered elsewhere, such as the “right of conscience”
which is covered by “freedom of belief”.
In addition I’ve numbered the principles
to reflect common usage and I’ve highlighted a word or phrase from each
principle to make it easier to remember and reference.
I’ve made the values into the second part of
this section but in much abbreviated form since most people have said that this
section is far too wordy. In addition, “covenanting” can be helpful for right
relations in organizations, but it has a bad historical record at the
denominational level, being used to impose dogma and justify purges or inquisitions.
At the UUA level many of us have already seen false claims that “you’re out of
covenant” over ideological disagreements, fueling cancel culture. Therefore
I’ve removed the covenantal wording from the values.
I’ve organized the values by historical context, including values which are only hinted
at in the A2SC proposal.
The proposal to make the principles a separate entity has been discussed with my congregation and strong support. This support includes several other UU groups, such as the UUs for a Just Economic Community.