This amendment combines a few common themes from our discourse and is meant to be compatible with other possible amendments. Feedback taken from compiled data from informal amendments on UUA Discuss forum, congregation and board of UU church of Riverside, interest groups from DuPage UU Church, and UU Church of Nevada Las Vegas.
The principles (or values) define what it means to be a UU and what we think makes us good persons and people. This amendment addresses four aspects: a focus on action and actionability, the need to be specifically and uniquely UU, the special role of love, and inclusive and inspirational language which speaks to both our heart and mind.
- Lead each value with an imperative verb [line 18, 23, 27, 31, 34, 37, 40]
- We covenant to do the right thing, not just think the right thoughts. Leading each value statement with an actionable verb allows it to be read as an agreement or an instruction (e.g. build a beloved community…"; “respect the interdependent web…”)
- Make names of the values more descriptive and unique [line 18, 23, 27, 31, 34, 37, 40]
- A good name should be both memorable and unique, and no single word will accurately encompass all the ideas we want to represent.
- Adding an adjective (e.g. “Personal Transformation”) is more distinct and still short
- Elaborate on the UU vision of love (interpersonal, communal, and self) in opening paragraph [line 14-16] and consider moving the word “Love” from the center of the graphic [graphic]
- Love is a process: the actions taken to realize our values are a manifestation of love, and it should be the UU version of love.
- Love is woven within the values, but it should not symbolically be the hierarchal Godhead from which all values flow.
- Include language focused on being inspiring rather than generic, and rephrase certain controversial language
- Being inspiring is as important as being accurate, and the poetic use of balance and meter will improve flow and memorability.
- We wish to emphasize systems of oppression more broadly, beyond just racism [line 32]
- “Use of democracy” should be more prominent as the method of achieving these values [line 33]
- Accepting that which is unchangeable and being accepted as we are should be balanced with transformation [line 35]
- “Use of time, wisdom, attention, and money” applies to all values [line 42]
EXAMPLE TEXT (suggestion only)
Inherent worth (alt: Inherent Equity)
Respect the inherent worth of every being, and uphold our common right to respect, love, and dignity
Religious truth (alt: Spiritual Freedom)
Explore the spiritual and religious possibilities in a free and open search for personal truth and meaning, and embrace the diversity of cultures, experiences, and theologies
Beloved community (alt: World Community)
Build a beloved community of peace, liberty, and freedom from oppression by employing democracy, accessible and inclusive to all peoples, and give generously in loving cooperation
Natural Connection (alt: global interdependence)
Respect the interdependent web of all existence, heal our ties to the great tree of life, and honor the natural world
Empathic Justice (alt: Universal Compassion)
Promote peace and justice for all peoples, empathy and compassion for all persons, and affirm and share in the diversity of the human experience
Personal Transformation (alt: Spiritual Growth)
Grow ethically and spiritually through acceptance of one another, an openness and encouragement to change, and respond with love to a changing world, never complete and never perfect.