C-2.1. Purposes. The Unitarian Universalist Association will devote its resources to and use its organizational powers for religious, educational, and humanitarian purposes. Its primary purposes are to assistserve congregations in their vital ministries, support and train leaders both lay and professional, to foster lifelong faith formation, to heal historic injustices, and to advance our Unitarian Universalist values in the world. The purpose of the Unitarian Universalist Association is to actively engage its members in the transformation of the world through liberating Love.
What is the reason for your amendment idea?
The reason for the existence of the UUA is to serve member congregations, so including this reference to servant leadership in the purpose statement brings this concept of working to benefit others into any interpretations of specific values that follow this opening declaration of purpose.
Have you discussed this idea with your congregation or other UUs?
I have not.
Am proposing this on my own at the moment.
David, I agree with your key observation that the main purpose of the Association is to “serve congregations.” Why this simple and rather straightforward concept was removed by the Article II Study Commission is a bit mystifying.
I recommend that we strike the last sentence (“The purpose of the Unitarian Universalist Association is to actively engage its members in the transformation of the world through liberating Love.”).
This “purpose” is admirable but not realistic. Nor is it clear what “liberating love” is.
More importantly, the Association does not engage members (if that is meant to mean individual UUs). Engaging individual members is the domain of self-governing, autonomous congregations. If it is meant to be the independent congregations that form the Association, then the Association is acting beyond its authority. Individual congregations set their direction.
The very fact that the phrase “its members” can have different interpretations is worthy some.
I think all UUs have high level aspirations. Those aspirations should be supported and not directed by the Association.
I have not had an opinion about “serve” vs. “assist” until this moment. It just occurred to me one reason the word “assist” might have been proposed instead of “serve.” Could it be that “serve” has the sound of oppression to some? Vs. “assist” sounds a little more voluntary?