Amendment 11 to Article II - Proposed by John Gubbings

Bold underlining indicate insertion ; [brackets indicate deletion.]

8 The highest purpose of the Unitarian Universalist Association is to actively engage its members in the
9 transformation of the world through liberating Love.


I disagree completely.

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Absolutely not. I actually feel that this would be dangerous. Moving into cult territory here.

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The application does not like my message, as I have been posting it on a number of amendments to alert folks which ones the board considers important. Maybe this explanation will make it different enough to go through.

This is one of the amendments that the board has indicated is a priority.

I get nervous when we start ranking things, which assigning “highest purpose” does.



I disagree strongly, but I’m so flummoxed by the UUA making this a priority Amendment (despite very little support expressed at least on these pages), that I need to think more about how to respond constructively.

First I’d like to thank UUA for attempting to include a wide range of Amendments. I’m sure that was a difficult task. Amendment 11 certainly captures an important end of the spectrum of feelings about the last sentence of the Purpose Section.

However, from my reading of it, there was a lot of discussion about DELETING the last sentence of the Purpose Section, or if not that, then MODIFYING it.

Surely one of those Amendments should be added as an option at the other end of the spectrum?

Of course, I suggest something along the lines of my congregation’s wording in Amendment #22: “The Unitarian Universalist Association fosters freedom of belief and supports its members to transform their beliefs into loving actions.” I think it’s BOTH/AND, not EITHER/OR. I don’t care whether or not we label this more BALANCED purpose as our highest, but it is for me.

I certainly invite others to think about this and propose a different BALANCED purpose for the last sentence that might be more poetic.


I hate to think this, and almost don’t want to type it, but could it be a sign of the board’s movement away from participatory democracy, toward nominally representative democracy? Perhaps they want to be able themselves to work on transforming the world rather than serving/supporting congregations/fellowships/societies? I like your version, Kara.


Disagree both with “highest purpose” and the last sentence. I don’t think that is or should be the Purpose of the UUA of Congregations.


This wording will decrease instead of increasing membership. It is as if love is being spoken of as if it is our god. I am very discouraged that this is a priority amendment.


I like Kara’s wording. It needs to be prioritized. It clearly has support.


I would support your wording, Klara.


First, we need to lose “highest”; I don’t want a hierarchy of purposes stated.

Second, if anyone is transforming the world, it may or may not be achievable through liberating love (and is liberating a verb or adjective in the sentence)—and note lower-case L in love.

Third, the transformers would be the congregations and their members, not the bureaucracy that is the Association, which is clearly needed by those congregations for both direct support and organizing mutual support.

So, my suggestion is this:
The purpose of the Unitarian Universalist Association is to serve its member congregations as they actively support* their members and engage their surrounding communities in building the better world that we all know is possible.

*there may be a better word for this—nurture is not quite right, either; any suggestions?


My view is:

The last sentence of the Purpose Section should be ommitted/deleted.

For one, it is confusing at a basic structural writing level in that the previous sentence lists four primary purposes for the UUA, and this sentence turns right around and lists a single, different purpose of the UUA. Adding the adjective “highest” helps a little but doesn’t fully resolve that issue.

Secondly, the idea that I think this last sentence is trying to express is already captured quite well, and in a better context, in the first two paragraphs of Section C-2.2. Values and Covenant. And so it is unnecessary because it is redundant.

Uncomfortable with this style, and ranking. What is higher vs highest, or just high? Murky and unnecessary. Thank you.


I agree with Kara Stebbins.

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How about this reworking?
“The UUA supports its member congregations to serve their communities as sources of transforming love in our interdependent world.”
focuses on UUA supporting congregations, eliminates unnecessary ranking (“highest”), aims to be succinct if not poetic, retains transforming (aspirational) and love (central value) and deletes liberating (confusing, as Sally G notes)


I like that; maybe something to bring up in miniassembly?

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I propose removing Amendment 11 as a prioritized priority amendment. Other amendments have more support and deserve the highly restricted time for discussion during the mini=assembly.


I think it’s an improvement in some ways. But it sounds to my ears like we’re saying we’re superior, sort of missionaries, addressing something that our communities otherwise lack.

Kara, “serving as sources” means to me that we don’t see ourselves as sole sources but rather as one among many that communities have.