Agree on language of “nurturing,” also “evolving” as well as historic. How about:
“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 purpose is to support its congregations and other affiliated organizations as they seek to fulfill their freely chosen individual and collective paths toward nurturing our Unitarian Universalist values in the world.”
This might be too succinct; here’s a longer, more complete version:
"“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 purpose is to support congregations in their freely chosen paths towards fulfilling their vital ministries, developing leadership both lay and professional, fostering lifelong faith formation, healing historic and evolving injustices, and nurturing our Unitarian Universalist values in the world.”
Hi Tim, I see from our posts that we are thinking along the same lines of COMPROMISE, but we may have slightly different strategies. Or maybe we are just working at it from two different directions. I’m hoping you will reply so we can keep the conversation going.
It seems you are trying to keep as much as possible of the Proposed Revision, while I prefer to start from the CHARGE of the Commission and then apply it to the Current Article II. I wonder whether looking at it from both directions may help us come to a more unified outcome.
I feel like the more words there are, the more words there are to argue about! And I feel like the more words that are different from the Current, the more likely my Fellowship is to balk. But I personally WANT to meet the CHARGE.
Unfortunately before the April 30 deadline I didn’t have time to take the final step of showing the editing marks for how my COMPROMISE is different from the Proposed Revision. But I will start working on that now.
Here it is for the Purpose Section:
Compromise with Editing Marks: 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 assist 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 primary purpose of the Association is to serve the needs of its member congregations, organize new congregations, extend and strengthen Unitarian Universalist institutions and implement its principles.The purpose of the Unitarian Universalist Association is to actively engage its members in the transformation of the world through liberating Love. **The Association fosters freedom of belief and actively supports its members to transform their beliefs into loving actions.**I
In summary, I kept a few small edits of the Proposed Revision, I honored our historic roots by keeping most of the Current, and I added a sentence to address the CHARGE to include the value of love. But as you can see, it’s very brief!
To repeat myself for emphasis, I feel like the more words there are, the more words there are to argue about! And I feel like the more words that are different from the Current, the more likely my Fellowship is to balk. But I personally WANT to meet the CHARGE.
I like the re-insertment of supporting congregations in their freely chosen paths, fostering lifelong faith formation and our values in the world. The insertion of EVOLVING injustices is a necessary insertion. Rather than using the word “historic” with PAST injustices would correct the problem of why some congregants equate historic injustices to slavery and indigenous alone forgetting the injustices to other marginalized persons in America in the past and currently.
Section C-2.1 Purposes ( My Proposed Amalgamated Revision)
strong textstrong textstrong text****strong textThe Unitarian Unversalist Association shall devote its resources to exercise its corporate powers for religious, education and humanitarian purposes. The primary purposes of the Association is to serve the needs of its member congregations, extend and strengthen Unitarian Universalist institutions by supporting congregation’s spiritual growth following their freely formed path**s, , assist congregations in supporting and training leaders both lay and professional, to to heal PAST injustices and prevent current harms to marginalized persons and communities and to advance our Unitarian Universalist democratic values in the world.
I think that some of the proposed revisions are so fundamental to our faith that the issues i.e. changing the role and purpose of the UUA, needs to be studied carefully and should be delayed until the UUA is assured congregational consent. The role of training leaders, in lieu of strengthening and restoring our seminaries, may limit our ministers from full and thoughtful understanding of issues in faith formation and spiritual growth for our diverse multicultural American population.
As Democracies are threatened by authoritarian tendencies, here at home, in America, and abroad, we must be vigilant and reminded of a fundamental value of our democratic faith.
The revised revision limits the role of the UUA to healing some historic injustices, forgetting that our history has harmed each wave of new immigrants brought to America as cheap labor when slavery ended in 1854 ie. Chinese workers brought to build the trans American railroad, Japanese-Americans brought as cheap farm laborers who were later incarcerated during World War II and the current need of new immigrants to rebuild our industrial capabilities.
IMO the idea that our faith will continue its tradition to encourage congregants to follow their freely formed paths will encourage multicultural inclusion, and to encourage congregants to keep their valued cultural values while seeking new truths.
I had written in “spiritual growth” (which is what I really mean) but was warned that some atheist and humanist objected. I suspect that some would think lifelong religious educattion means adult education. What do you think?
I am an atheist, and prefer RE to Faith Formation, but then again, just one person. I see “lifelong RE” as including both children and adults; we are constantly learning, formally and informally. I am O.K. with spiritual growth, or religious/spiritual development.
I combined Tim’s and Klara’s Purposes amendment thusly:
"The Unitarian Universalist Association will use its resources and powers for religious, educational, and humanitarian purposes. Its primary purposes are to serve the needs of its member congregations, to organize new congregations, to support and train leaders both lay and professional, to foster lifelong faith formation, and to extend and strengthen Unitarian Universalist institutions.
The Association fosters freedom of belief and actively supports its congregations’ and other affiliated organizations’ efforts to help their members transform their beliefs into loving actions."
My congregation is currently voting to decide which two (of eight possible) amendments our two delegates will submit and this amendment is currently in 2nd place (within voting closing June 1st). So, we will probably wind up submitting it (Tim and Klara, you will both be credited of course).
I was unable to attend the May21st Zoom discussion meeting, so I don’t know if there has been any progress made on a Purposes amendment that hasn’t been discussed here. If there has been, can someone add me to the email addressee list?
Just to be specific, I was responding to Janet’s rewrite. I think this captures what I was aiming at: to make it clear that the purpose of the UUA is to support congregations, and in turn congregations support members in their freely chosen beliefs, which in turn lead to action. The originallly proposed rewrite by the Article II Commission, in my view, was too top-down in the envisioned role for the UUA, and the goal here was to instead emphasize how the UUA’s role was to support congregations and their members. I have no quarrel with the notion that in the end beliefs need to be reflected in actions, but the question is: who decides on the beliefs and the actions?
I don’t care about credit either.
But I have 2 questions:
Is “faith formation” preferred by you over “spiritual growth” for any particular reason? “Spiritual growth” is the term used in the current Principles.
Are all of the details necessary in the last sentence? Can it be simplified? Here’s one way to take out quite a few words: “The Association fosters freedom of belief and supports its congregations to help members transform their beliefs into loving actions.”
I’ll have to think about #2 and will probably have an answer tomorrow (I’m currently ending a vacation and am looking forward to a long productive layover at O’Hare tomorrow.)
As far as #1 goes, I like neither “faith formation” nor “spiritual growth” and had simply chosen to leave that phrase out entirely. However, at the denominal affairs meeting where we discussed the possible amendments I selected, drafted or, in your case combined & slightly reworked, others objected and wanted “faith formation” put back in, so I conceded and back in it went …
I think spiritual growth refers to personal development, while faith formation (what we formerly called religious education) includes both personal development and congregational work where groups learn and change and move forward together. It’s not an alternative term for spiritual growht, it’s a broader term that includes spiritual growth.
I also like the idea that faith formation isn’t always growth; sometimes its can simply be an ongoing feeling of belonging and acceptance, especially for infants and very young children. Growth implies “improvement”, while formation implies “emergence”. And I think that’s lovely.
OK, yes, I do like your rewording of the last sentence in general. I would just add the word “efforts:” "The Association fosters freedom of belief and supports its congregations’ efforts to help members transform their beliefs into loving actions.”
It just works better grammatically/stylistically. I think, with “efforts” in there.
The small sample of atheists I spoke with from my congregation dislike “spiritual growth” but would bristle more at any use of the word “faith.” I’m more neutral, but prefer “spiritual growth” because I think defaulting to the current principles is useful for familiarity, and because it sounds stronger and more active/engaged than “faith formation.”
Anyone who wishes to use the Blue Boat Passengers group for finding each other and coordinating to do the 15-congregation amendment process may do so while the group remains open (must follow group rules).
Here are some comments about the 15-congregation amendment process, from Donald Wilson, who used to be on the GA Planning Committee:
"“Unlike how the amendment process was run for this GA (ie at the discretion of the moderators and board), the process you’ve mentioned is bylaw and subject to little to no interpretation. I wouldn’t wait however. You need to get the petition from the UUA Board Secretary in the next couple weeks, and you have to have it turned Into the Board before February 1st.”
“You don’t even have to have a congregational vote. You just have to get their board to sign off.” ETA: You must check this–rules vary by congregation. Also, look for the UU Governance Lab group on Facebook to connect with Donald Wilson directly.
Also, a comment from another member who was participating on Discuss:
“Some of us are connecting on Slack, mainly to remain in contact with others interested in specific amendments or the amendment process in general at GA 2024.”