Amendment 13 to Article II - Proposed by Kathi Bayne

Bold underlining indicate insertion ; [brackets indicate deletion.]

32 We covenant to dismantle racism and all forms of systemic oppression. We support the use of
33 inclusive democratic processes to make decisions WITHIN OUR CONGREGATION AND THE SOCIETY AT LARGE.


I support this change.

I also would like to suggest taking out the phrase “to make decisions,” since there are other uses of democratic processes than decision-making. Plus, since your Amendment adds a few words, it might be nice to remove a few words?


Thank you. I would agree with this. I was trying to make a few changes as possible to get the point across. Of course, you are right. “Democratic processes” would be fine.


The idea is to show we are concerned with more than ourselves and support everyone’s rights and autonomy.


I agree with this change. It will make it explicit that the work we do in the outside community is part of what we do as a denomination.

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I included your language, from a workshop I attended with you, in my amendment #56 which makes additional amendment to recognize the current brokenness of the “democratic process”.

Friendly amendment: “within our congregations”, plural


I support this amendment. It indicates clearly that the work we do outside our congregations is a key part of what we do inside.

I fully support this amendment. One of my concerns about Widening the Circle and the 8th principle were how inward-looking they seemed to be. I understand the need to get our own house in order. But we need to be looking inward and outward at the same time with neither taking precedence over the other.


I support the Amendment - we must show up in the larger world as part of our faith. These words support that principle. Thank you Kathi.

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This amendment retains what needs to be retained and adds what is needed to be added. thank you. I support the amendment and the friendly gramatical amendments. I would discourage
additonal language.

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Is there a good alternative to the word covenant? With the changes recommended above and a commonly used word in place of “covenant”, I would support this proposed amendment. I very much like the last words of this one.

In another amendment discussion, the word pledge was suggested.

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I also support this amendment.

I would suggest adding *Within our congregation, OUR DENOMINATION, and society at large.

I feel it is not healthy to covenant to “dismantle racism and all forms of systemic oppression”, because it is a thing that cannot actually be done, but can only be aspired to and worked towards.

I would also suggest adding the words “work to” before dismantle: ** We covenant to WORK TO dismantle racism and all forms of systemic oppression.**

Or even better, change COVENANT to STRIVE. We STRIVE to dismantle racism and all forms of systemic oppression.


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

I like these suggestions; will you be at the miniassembly to propose them?

Recently, some of my groups have noted that our principles call for democracy in congregations and society at large, leaving out the denomination or association—with the removal of districts and some other actions, there is concern that we are losing some democracy at the association/democracy level.

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Kathi, I know you said it was okay with you to take out “to make decisions.”

I had made the argument that the original wording left out some democratic processes that are not “making the decision.”

But now that I read it again without those words, I’m concerned that it could be misconstrued as being about just VOTING.

Now I suggest we either keep the phrase “to make decisions” or find a way to make it clearer what “inclusive democratic processes” are.

It’s probably too many words, but maybe something like:
32 We covenant to dismantle racism and all forms of systemic oppression. We support the use of
33 inclusive democratic processes IN EVERY STEP OF DECISION MAKING within our congregations and the society at large.

I like it Kara. My thought is that we only allow members to vote in elections and yet we have friends who are active participants in our Fellowship. Are we being inclusive in every step of decision making? Our Board makes decisions and only members can serve on the Board.

It is not only in decision-making that I value democracy; I see it as also relating to hierarchy (or lack thereof), to working by consensus or some sort of voting (ranked-choice where appropriate, open voting or secret ballot depending on the issue, etc.). Inclusivity and transparency (if not complete, then almost so) are really important in every aspect of an organization’s work.

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I will be at GA. I don’t know if I will be allowed to propose this but will do my best. Thank you!

I am open to including all the language of the original 5th Principle if preferred.

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