Amendment 68 to Article II - Proposed by Edward Wilson

Bold underlining indicate insertion ; [brackets indicate deletion.]

50 Section C-2.4. Inclusion.
51 Systems of power, privilege, and oppression have traditionally created barriers for persons
52 and groups with particular identities, ages, abilities, and histories. We pledge to replace
53 such barriers with ever-widening circles of solidarity and mutual respect. We strive to be
54 an association of congregations that truly welcome all persons who will embrace UU[share our] values in their own search for truth and meaning. We
55 commit to being an association of congregations that empowers and enhances everyone’s
56 participation, especially those with historically marginalized identities.

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I think it’s important to offer an amendment to “share our”. “will embrace” for reasons offered before.

It is certainly an improvement, but I still prefer “welcome all”.

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I feel the above satisfies that some/many who arrive at UU, or want to associate with UU, don’t know if they are in accord with our values (goes for existing members too).

The inclusion of “in their own search for truth and meaning” recognizes the individual and their freedom to hear, interpret and act on those values. The word “will” is to look at the future of the bond between individuals, congregations and the UUA. That we covenant to grow together and embrace our values and that not doing so, for the congregation, is then a question for that congregation as to what they want to be.

The amendment recognizes that to not embrace UU values does put someone on a different path - association or community - and at the same time the amendment provides ample room for differences while people/associations work it out for themselves.

There is a demarcation that occurs at some point on the journey as to what it means to be UU. Ours is an arduous journey, we don’t call on the energies of unknowable rewards and we don’t rely on the authority of antiquity. We do rely on our present essence to know ourselves fully and I feel we deserve to be reliant on each other to live out our values. We don’t claim people, people claim us and if they don’t - they don’t. What “they don’t” means is up to the congregations and individuals to decide. Inclusion does not make this distinction, but it points out that a distinction is necessary for the UU community.

“welcome all” needs to be followed by “who”… and this amendment serves to provide the answer to who. who will embrace.

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I support this amendment because it replaces unacceptable language, but still does not get at the heart of the unacceptability.

While the revised Article II document offers a set of values to represent a liberal religious tradition, its use of covenants employs a routine conservative Christian approach that requires true believers to attest to a standard set of beliefs in a regimented way.

The phrase we “truly welcome all persons who share our values” sets up requirements for inclusion. This wording, in effect, stablishes a mechanism for excluding people, which is neither liberal nor democratic. The slight changes offered are an improvement, but need strengthening as was offered in Amendment 9 that was not listed as a priority.

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I’d rather strike the entire sentence in 53-55 than codify exclusion.

We can’t be a religion that claims transformation as a value ("Openness to change is fundamental to our Unitarian and Universalist heritages, never complete and never perfect ") and also doesn’t allow people in our space without a specific guaranteed end result.

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I initially thought I would support this Amendment. I was so relieved to see “in their own search for truth and meaning,” that I didn’t notice that first we would ask visits to “embrace” OUR values!

Can we change the words “who will embrace” to “who want to explore”?

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That would be dramatically better.

I let the “who want to explore” soak in and I do agree with the free will and freedom to explore. At some point in that journey is association with “us”, the community. That is a commitment to take action for the values we share. The word “will ” is to look at the future of the bond between individuals, congregations and the UUA. That we covenant to grow together and embrace our values. Otherwise we are on forever hermatiges and not able to perform what our values name as our association’s calling.

Hi Scott, I’ve quoted you below for reference. Would you consider this perspective:

I agree that at “some point,” welcoming a person means that they “will” explore, however when they first come through our doors, it is only that they “want” to explore.

I think a first-timer should be welcomed without presuming what they “will” do.

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Good point; maybe replace “will embrace” with “are willing to explore” or “are interested in exploring”?

I think “want to explore” is simpler.

sure, that works for me!

The existing article II/7 principles also uses the word “covenant” multiple times. I have heard that UUism is a covenantal religion since I started attending 20+ years ago.

Including everyone is not possible. If you are welcoming to someone who doesn’t embrace the UU value of equity because they are anti-LGBTQ+, for example, then you are necessarily UNwelcoming to LGBTQ people. (This is related to the paradox of tolerance). That is a much different situation than someone who believes in equity but executes it imperfectly for whatever reason/is still learning how to live by that value.

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I’ll go back and consider what has been said. I think we begin to recycle the comments made in the submission phase going back pre-April 30. I don’t know if the author would consider “who want to explore” from “who will embrace” from the point of departer from “who share.”

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My congregation had a great discussion about the phrase that we welcome all persons who share our values. A few people like the phrase, because they do not wish to welcome those with opposing values, e.g., anti LGBTQ attitudes, racist beliefs, the right to bear arms into services, etc.). BUT more people felt that the phrase is exclusionary and would be alienating to newcomers who do not yet know our values. Do we really want to keep out thise folks? Ledt’s in stead welcome ALL, and if newcomers do not find a fit with our values, so be it.
Proposal,: eliminate the phrase: who embrace/share our values.

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Yes, I agree - much better to just eliminate the phrase.

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I, too, agree. Eliminate the phrase and “…truly welcome all persons.” Full stop.

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FYI, this is the draft UUFMC Statement about Amendment 68:

We believe that it is stifling to only welcome people who share – or embrace - UU’s values. Both the Proposed Revision and the Amendment negate the concept of inclusion in line 54. We suggest that one of the following phrases could replace the description of who is welcome:

“welcome all persons and support their own search for truth and meaning” OR

“welcome all persons to explore Unitarian Universalist values in their own search for truth and meaning

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I like either of those much better than embrace or even share. I don’t like the original text and don’t like the wording of the original proposed amendment here but I like either of the ones you proposed.

This was my original feedback before this last A2 draft on this section. I gave feedback along the way in the A2SC listening feedback sessions in writing after each. **Inclusion: I dislike that it’s saying we’re truly welcome to folks with “share our values” - I feel that we should be welcoming and express dignity, generosity and respect to ALL, not just folks who think like us. I dislike the abilities expression that should be “bodies” (because centering it on abilities) - centers abilities.

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