Amendment 24 to Article II - Proposed by Kara Stebbins

Bold underlining indicate insertion ; [brackets indicate deletion.]

This Amendment leaves in “love” but changes how it is framed – because love is NOT
everyone’s foundation, and love is NOT at everyone’s center. It also leaves in “accountability” but changes how it is framed - because to the degree we are accountable, it is via our connection to each other THROUGH our currently articulated shared values. The image is deleted because an image does not belong in the bylaws. This Amendment leaves in the initial word “covenant,” but takes out repetitions of that word, leaving the other verbs to speak more loudly and sound less like we are reciting and intoning a creed. The value that was changed the most was “Justice,” in part because of the ways in which the original version seemed to be repetitive or overlapping with other values, and also in order to put “inclusive democratic processes” in a primary position, and to focus on ALL systemic oppressions. We believe the value “Equity” needs to be listed before and right next to “Justice.” We prefer the value “Diversity” in place of “Pluralism,” and “Change” in place of “Transformation.”

10 Section C-2.2. Values and Covenant.
11 As Unitarian Universalists, we covenant, congregation-to-congregation and through our
12 association, to support and assist one another in our ministries. We draw from our heritages of
13 freedom, reason, hope, [and] courage, [building on the foundation of] and love.
14 [Love is the power that holds us together and is at the center of our shared values. We are
15 accountable to one another for doing the work of living our shared values through the spiritual
16 discipline of Love]. Love connects us to each other, and it keeps us accountable to our values.
17 Inseparable from one another, [these] our currently articulated shared values are:
18 [Image Description: This image is of a chalice with an overlay of the word love over the flame,
19 with six outstretched arms that create a circle around each of the core values and form a six
20 petal flower shape. Each arm is a different color and clockwise they are: Interdependence
21 (Orange), Equity (Red), Transformation (Purple), Pluralism Dark Blue), Generosity (Teal), and
22 Justice (Yellow).]
23 Interdependence. We [honor] acknowledge the interdependent web of all existence.
24 We [covenant to] cherish Earth and all beings by creating and nurturing relationships of care
25 and respect. With humility and reverence, we [acknowledge] recognize our place in the great web of life,
26 and we work to protect all beings and to repair harm [and damaged relationships].
27 [Pluralism] Diversity. We celebrate [that we are all sacred beings diverse in culture, experience, and
28 theology] the diversity of life – including human diversity in cultures, experiences, personalities and beliefs.
29 [We covenant to learn from one another in our free and responsible search for truth and
30 meaning.] We embrace our differences and commonalities with [L]love, curiosity, and respect. We learn from one another in our free and responsible search for truth and meaning.
[40] 31 Equity. We declare that every person has [the right to flourish with] inherent dignity and
[41] 32 worthiness. We respect every individual’s freedom of belief and right of conscience.
[42] 33 We [covenant to use our time, wisdom, attention, and money to] build and sustain fully
[43] 34 accessible and inclusive communities that support every person to express who they are.
[31] 35 Justice. [We work to be diverse multicultural Beloved Communities where all thrive.] We seek to build and re-build the foundation of justice for all communities.
[32] 36 [We covenant to dismantle racism and all forms of systemic oppression.] We support the use of
[33] 37 inclusive democratic processes [to make decisions]. We work to increase awareness of all forms of systemic oppression, and to learn how to replace them through love and fairness.
[34] 38 [Transformation]. Change. We need stability, but we also creatively adapt with [We adapt to] the changing world.
[35] 39 [We covenant to collectively transform and] We both accept each other as we are and encourage each other to grow spiritually and ethically. Openness to change
[36] 40 is fundamental to our [Unitarian and Universalist heritages] Living Tradition, never complete and never perfect.
[37] 41 Generosity. We cultivate a spirit of gratitude, [and] hope, and giving.
[38] 42 We [covenant to] freely and compassionately share our [faith] values, presence, and resources. Our
[39] 43 generosity connects us to one another in relationships of interdependence and mutuality.


In the Justice section I’d like to see “support” replaced with “promote”. “Support” is too wishy-washy.

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Thanks Gary, I agree!

I like most of these changes. I agree that removing the repetitive “convent” makes it flow better and takes away the appearance of a creed. I especially like the Justice section which never made any sense to me in the original version. There is so much of “Justice” that does not focus on the make up of our congregations. I wish we would put the “democratic processes” somewhere else though. It would better fit under “Equity” if we use your wording for that.


I like this; it incorporates pieces that I have appreciated in other amendments and includes both community and individuals.

I also like the word promote. Kara, you have done excellent work. You followed the directions. It would be easier to read if presented as one would like to see it in its final form.

This is the first amendment I’ve read that comes the closest to how I feel about the revision to Article II. I appreciate that accountability has been added into the language here, because I believe that no matter how careful we are, we are going to do harm, and need to have a way to address it. The flip side to accountability that is not included here is forgiveness. We need to have forgiveness, not purely in the sense of reparations but in the deeper sense of listening to injured parties to repair damaged bonds, so that we can strengthen them and build new ones moving forward.

I also agree that Love should not be a the center of everyone’s belief system. I found it interesting that the Article II revision asked us to view everything through lens of transformational love and then also has transformation as one of the six values. To me, this indicates that transformation is far more important than the idea of love on its own. It is my opinion that transformation is the key to understanding ALL of the proposed values in the sense that all six values have the power to transform us as well as for us to transform the world.

I like this amendment and am likely to support it at GA. Thanks!

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Kara, this is excellent. A real dedicated effort on your part. Thank you for all the time and work.

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Thank you for your eloquent statement at the Con mic today! Bravo!


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