Proposed Revision to Article II

1 Article II 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.


The Values Flower Graphic is the fall 2022 version. If that can be corrected.


The administrative purposes are called “primary”. Then the liberation purpose which is beyond administration just says “purpose”. I believe that the liberating purpose is our “highest” purpose and we should say so.

I would tend to agree with gubknap. The current proposed version first lists “primary purposes” and then goes on to declare “The purpose of the UUA …” is something entirely different. I like your clarification of “administrative purposes” and our “highest” purpose. Really, I see the list of actionable things as things the UUA does to achieve the higher purpose. The current wording is confusing to me and rather than try to add ‘highest’, remove the word “primary”. I think we should list most general (highest purpose) to the more specific actions. Here’s my edit:

The purpose of the Unitarian Universalist Association is to actively engage its members in the transformation of the world through liberating Love. The Association will devote its resources to and use its organizational powers for religious, educational, and humanitarian purposes that assist congregations in their vital ministries; support and train leaders both lay and professional; foster lifelong faith formation; heal historic injustices; and advance our Unitarian Universalist values in the world.


I like your edit. I was trying to minimize my revision. I think you unintentionally dropped the word “through” before liberating love.
John Gubbings

Thanks for catching that. I have made the correction by editting my post above to add “through”.

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I like your changes. The current version uses the word “purpose” too many times in my opinion.

I like this version. It flows better and is much more understandable to me than the proposed writing.

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Image has been updated.

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I’m confused. I don’t see any brackets or underlines, suggesting that no changes are being proposed. Can someone help me understand what I am missing?

I think the posting is simply the A2SC version with line numbers. I think it’s the version all of us are commenting on and potentially seeking to amend…


I couldn’t figure out what all the comments were referring to in that case.


I disagree; the purpose of the association is to serve its member groups and support their efforts; the purpose of UUism as a whole is to put its religious and spiritual beliefs into action and build a better world. The problem is when the UUA staff wants to do more than the needed administrative and support work and make all the decisions.
just my 2¢


What is the difference between values and principles?

I value dessert because it tastes good. However, dessert is not my principle. Changing the principles of our religion to values weakens the statement.

Why “inclusive” democratic processes? What other kind is there?

This may be the highest purpose of a congregation, but the highest purpose of the national association is to support the congregations.

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The association is not the UUA staff. It is us as a whole. Our governance is an expression of our whole. When that ceases to be true, we are no longer a faith.

Hi Laura, you used ‘value’ as a verb in your example. Value in the amendment is a noun. One of the noun definitions of ‘values’ provided by Oxford Languages is “a person’s principles or standards of behavior, one’s judgement of what is important in life”
I disagree that calling them ‘values’ weakens the statement or their importance.


Please define liberating Love.

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I use the term inclusive democratic process. One example of why I do that has to do with widespread use of voter suppression for one thing. Some of the proponents of making it difficult for certain groups of people to vote say they are supporting democracy. They are following some of the rules arrived at within our democracy, but they are working to exclude the ability of some people to vote and supporting the ability of other groups to vote. I would say the support democracy limited to those they deign to be deserving.