Amendment 9 to Article II - Proposed by Merridy McDaniel

Bold underlining indicate insertion ; [brackets indicate deletion.]

Amendment to the Proposed Revision of Article II, Section C-2

1 [Purposes and Covenant
2 Section C-2.1. Purposes.
3 The Unitarian Universalist Association will devote its resources to and use its organizational
4 powers for religious, educational, and humanitarian purposes. Its primary purposes are
5 to assist congregations in their vital ministries, support and train leaders both lay and
6 professional, to foster lifelong faith formation, to heal historic injustices, and to advance our
7 Unitarian Universalist values in the world.
8 The purpose of the Unitarian Universalist Association is to actively engage its members in the
9 transformation of the world through liberating Love.
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 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.
17 Inseparable from one another, these 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 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 our place in the great web of life,
26 and we work to repair harm and damaged relationships.
27 Pluralism. We celebrate that we are all sacred beings diverse in culture, experience, and
28 theology.
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 Love, curiosity, and respect.
31 Justice. We work to be diverse multicultural Beloved Communities where all thrive.
32 We covenant to dismantle racism and all forms of systemic oppression. We support the use of
33 inclusive democratic processes to make decisions.
34 Transformation. We adapt to the changing world.
35 We covenant to collectively transform and grow spiritually and ethically. Openness to change
36 is fundamental to our Unitarian and Universalist heritages, never complete and never perfect.
37 Generosity. We cultivate a spirit of gratitude and hope.
38 We covenant to freely and compassionately share our faith, presence, and resources. Our
39 generosity connects us to one another in relationships of interdependence and mutuality.
40 Equity. We declare that every person has the right to flourish with inherent dignity and
41 worthiness.
42 We covenant to use our time, wisdom, attention, and money to build and sustain fully
43 accessible and inclusive communities.
44 Section C-2.3. Inspirations.
45 As Unitarian Universalists, we use, and are inspired by, sacred and secular understandings
46 that help us to live into our values. We respect the histories, contexts and cultures in which
47 they were created and are currently practiced. These sources ground us and sustain us in
48 ordinary, difficult, and joyous times. Grateful for the religious ancestries we inherit and the
49 diversity which enriches our faith, we are called to ever deepen and expand our wisdom.
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 share our values. We
55 commit to being an association of congregations that empowers and enhances everyone’s
56 participation, especially those with historically marginalized identities.
57 Section C-2.5. Freedom of belief.
58 Congregational freedom and the individual’s right of conscience are central to our Unitarian
59 Universalist heritage.
60 Congregations may establish statements of purpose, covenants, and bonds of union so long
61 as they do not require that members adhere to a particular creed.]

End of deleted text of Proposed Revision to Article II, Section C-2.

***Insert the following underlined text:

Principles and Purposes

C-2.1. Principles.

We, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, do affirm we will strive to conform our actions to promote these foundational values:

The inherent worth and dignity of every person;

Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;

Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;

A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;

The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations, the UUA and in society at large;

The goal of world community with peace, liberty and justice for all;

Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

The living tradition which we share draws from many sources:

Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and uphold life;

Words and deeds of prophetic people which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion and the transforming power of love;

Wisdom from the world’s religions which inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life;

Jewish, Christian and Muslim teachings which call us to have love for our neighbors as we do for ourselves;

Humanist teachings which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science, and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit;

Spiritual teachings of Earth-centered traditions which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature;

Buddhist teachings and practices of mindfulness and compassion

Grateful for the religious pluralism which enriches and ennobles our faith, we are
inspired to deepen our understanding and expand our vision. As free
congregations we promise to one another our mutual trust and support.

Section C-2.2. Purposes.

The Unitarian Universalist Association shall devote its resources to and exercise
its corporate powers for religious, educational and humanitarian purposes. The
primary purpose of the Association is to serve the needs of its member congregations, organize new congregations, extend and strengthen Unitarian Universalist institutions and implement its principles.

Section C-2.3. Inclusion.

Systems of power, privilege, and oppression have traditionally created barriers for many people. We pledge to replace such barriers with ever-widening circles of
solidarity and mutual respect. We strive to be an association of congregations
that truly welcome all persons and commit to structuring congregational and
associational life in ways that empower and enhance everyone’s participation.

Section C-2.4. Freedom of Belief.

Nothing herein shall be deemed to infringe upon the individual freedom of belief which is inherent in the Universalist and Unitarian heritages or to conflict with any
statement of purpose, covenant, or bond of union used by any congregation
unless such is used as a creedal test.

1 Like

I am saddened to think that after decades nothing has changed … that there is no need (nor insight) that might propel us to think of new expressions of our being. This presents us with an “either/or choice,” while I would prefer more of an “and” choice. How do we keep what has been so deeply meaningful to many while also include the newer perspectives and insights of others who look into the future wanting a map for exploration and inclusion more than a creed for remembrance.


I agree about preferring a “both/and” approach. See Amendment 79 proposed by Chris Stotler, which inserts the principles - plus a version of the 8th - and a lightly edited version of the sources as context before the values section. I would reword their version of the 8th principle because it doesn’t align grammatically, but am inclined to vote for #79 with the assumption that the grammatical issues would be corrected if it passes. I also appreciate some other amendments that propose helpful language that frames the relationship between the principles and sources and the new values section.

It might be possible to bring up grammatical concerns as potential friendly amendments in the miniassembly, as was done in the business-resolution mini. Maybe you can contact the proposer first to make that go more smoothly? I used to submit a flurry of grammatical amendments that the CSW would be able to integrate—or choose not to—without discussion, just so that someone could review them, but they limited the number of amendments this year, making that impossible. (I do understand the rationale for this particular item, but assume that they will revert to standard practice in the future.)

And I am saddened that there are those who believe in change for the sake of change.

I’ve served in several congregations and participated in quite a number of “New UU” orientations. Without exception, it was our foundational values, expressed as principles, that the newcomers pointed to as the reason why they chose to come to our fellowships and not to another more main-stream protestant denomination. And the people with young children to whom I have shown the Proposed Revision, took one look at it and just laughed at how absurd it sounded. “What’s with the snowflake”? “Why is the word love in flames”? The idea that the Proposed Revision will be more popular with young people is perhaps just a myth.

1 Like

The following fifteen amendments also seek to add the current Article II, Section C-2.1 “Principles” (with some modifications) to the Proposed Revision:
#2 - Kenneth Button
#3 - Eric Burch
#29 Jim Hall
#41 Dick Burckhart
#44 Nancy Henley
#49 Kara Stebbins
#58 Patrick Deak
#59 Lurine DeVos
#61 Jan Radoslovich
#66 Pablo deVos-Deak
#78 Marsha Bates
#79 Chris Stotler
#83 Linda Richardson
#84 Becky Sandman

The idea of both principles and values/covenant statement is reasonable, but gets complicated by the now overlapping language of the two. That is he in my amendment #10 I omitted the new Values/covenant statement although I included an 8th principle and statement about centrality of love given wide support for both in my congregation and online discussion groups.

I support this amendment, and want to specifically address Sections C3-2.4 Inclusion and C2-5 Freedom of Belief in the revised document because the language offered is directly at odds with each other

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 revised Inclusion section includes the phrase we “truly welcome all persons who share our values.” By setting up requirements for inclusion, the wording establishes a mechanism for excluding people, which is neither liberal nor democratic.

The revised Freedom of Religion section does not make it clear explicitly how much leeway is allowed in the degree to which a member is forced to share in the designated values or perhaps allowed to hold some others.

Your amended C-2-3 Inclusion serves as a prophylactic to the misuse of the one stated in the revised document. Your amended C-2-4 Freedom of Belief removes the dichotomy between the two. Of course, the safest way forward is simply to vote down the revised Article II and start fresh in two years.


Thank you! I very much appreciate your careful analysis.

Thank you for noticing. Does UUA have elders? If so, where are they? This document was ill conceived, poorly executed and is unnecessarily divisive. It really does need to be euthanized before it does serious damage to the denomination.


Note re amendments that weren’t prioritized or presented: This forum is closing for comment tomorrow, but our lay-led public Facebook group, Blue Boat Passengers, will remain open for another few weeks for commenting (and still be viewable after that).

People who want to find others to coordinate about the 15-congregation amendment process may use the group to do so while it is open. There’s now a specific post for this in the group (“A post for those wishing to do the 15-congregation amendment process to coordinate”). Please read both the rules and the pinned post before posting or commenting there.

Thank you.