Proposed Revision to Article II

I like that term; I would argue that inclusion should be inherent in “democratic process”, but agree that it is often not and making it explicit is important.

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FWIW I made a list of all the amendments. The ones I am supporting are bolded. I made a few comments and judgments but tried to keep it neutral.

Here is the list of what each amendment does:

1: Adds 6 sources to inspirations

2: adds 7 principles back in, after values

3: add 7 principles back in, before values

4: changes “through the spiritual discipline of Love” to “resting on the foundation of transformative love” and makes a large number of other changes

5: My amendment to inspirations: puts “direct experience” back in.

6: adds “and we remain committed to individual and congregational freedom of belief and individual right of conscience” in the freedom section.

7: adds “wonder” as a value.

8. amendments to Pluralism value, mostly to elevate the free and responsible search language – my amendment

  1. restores current sources in total, but adds Buddhist and Muslim language.

  2. same as #3, but adds language about “manifesting love”

  3. Adds “highest” to the “purpose of the UUA is to actively engage its members in the transformation of the world through liberating love."

  4. In freedom section, replaces “central to” with “essential to and inseparable from” and adds “and practice” after heritage.

  5. adds “within our congregation and the society at large” to our support of inclusive democratic practice in the Justice value.

  6. Redoes purposes to make “serve congregations” as central, with the rest as sub-points.

  7. Adds “No covenants or pledges expressed in Article II of these bylaws may, by themselves, be used as the basis for the Association or its member organizations to take punitive action against a congregation, organization, or person.” to the freedom section.

  8. In the Justice value: changes “racism and all forms of systemic oppression.” to all forms of cultural and systemic oppression, including but not limited to racial, ethnic, religious, sexual orientation, gender, etc.

  9. changes “dismantle racism and all forms of systemic oppression" to “affirm and promote justice, equity, and compassion in human relations**.”**

  10. Moves the “covenants” in all the values to their own section.

19. Moves sentences around in the equity section, so it would read: Equity. We affirm the inherent worth and dignity of each person. We covenant to defend, build, and sustain fully accessible and inclusive communities. We work to create a just and peaceful world in which all can flourish. I helped make this amendment.

  1. removes “racism” and adds “worth and dignity of all” to the Justice value.

  2. Keeps existing principals and sources, and adds an “action” section that uses some but not all of the values language.

  3. Weakens purpose section and removes liberating Love sentence.

23. Amends Transformation value – changes “adapt” to “embrace possibilities” and adds language about accepting ourselves and one another as well as transforming. My amendment.

  1. Makes a ton of changes to the values – including making Pluralism into Diversity, removing “multicultural Beloved Community”, making Transformation into Change, and uncapitalizing Love throughout. And more.

  2. Removes the discipline of love sentence and replaces it with the Blake covenant.

26. Adds “support and encourage the creation of new UU community” to the purposes. From me and David Schwartz.

  1. Makes the graphic into a flower with leaves and a sun and writes about the meaning of this metaphor. Adds paragraphs about wonder, wisdom, and grounding to the inspirations section.

  2. Changes assist to serve congregations, and other small changes to purposes.

  3. Functionally the same as #3 with some other conforming changes.

  4. Adds “and spiritual development” after “lifelong faith formation” in the purposes.

  5. Adds value of Reason.

  6. Adds value of Peace

  7. Changes colors of pedals.

  8. Adds “We draw upon our experience of creation, nature, wonder and the inherent wisdom of each and all.” to inspirations.

  9. In purposes, changes “faith formation” to “religious exploration” and changes “heal historic injustices” to “work for social justice.” Deletes Liberating Love sentence.

  10. Changes “covenant” to “pledge” throughout the document.

  11. Non-specific call for “wonder” as value.

  12. In Equity value, changes “flourish” to “live”, worthiness to worth, and “money” to “financial and other”

  13. Adds a new section at the end about “earth solidarity”

  14. Agrees with #19.

  15. Removes values, puts in shortened/changed principles.

  16. Non-specific call for sources to be added.

  17. Removes “all sacred beings” from pluralism value.

  18. Same as #3

  19. Removes liberating love sentence from purposes.

  20. Changes Love to Compassion.

47. Duplicate to #23.

  1. Adds “We heed the findings of science and resist the temptations of dogma” to pluralism.

  2. Similar to #3, but amends principle language with more active verbs and has a version of the 8th principle and puts them in a different order.

  3. Adds Wisdom as a value.

  4. Adds edited version of sources back into the inspirations section, with additions of science and creative arts.

52. Strengthens Interdependence amendment, – from “cherish” to “protect” and “care” to “repair mutuality and justice.” From John Gibb Millspaugh and UU Animal Ministry. I support this.

  1. Adds to inspiration section – naming indigenous knowledge, humanism, science, arts, and direct experience.

  2. Adds **“**aimed at the equitable distribution of power and wealth” after democratic process. Kinda kick-ass when you think about it. I like it.

  3. Replaces democratic process line with “We support democracy and aspire to trust in democratic decision-making processes within our congregations and in society at large.”

  4. Replaces Love is the power and Liberating Love lines with “Love is the beating heart of our faith, welcoming all. It shows up in the ways we care for and about each other, in sorrow and in joy. It shows up in the ways we make our values real in the world, holding ourselves and each other accountable for living our values with compassion and respect. The love of our communities gives us a deep sense of belonging, of being recognized, valued, and cherished.”

  5. Changes purposes in a few small ways and adds “Democratic” [sic] before UU values.

  6. Same as #3.

  7. Same as #3, with a sentence introducing values.

  8. Adds to inspirations, similar to #53.

  9. Similar as #3, naming them as “remain important” and that the values expand them.

  10. Adds science to values intro paragraph.

  11. Non-specific call to add specificity to inspirations.

  12. Same as #16.

  13. condenses values (including love) to single sentence each.

  14. Same as #59

  15. Changes “generosity” to “service” with related changes.

  16. changes inclusion line from “all who share our values” to “who will embrace UU values in their own search for truth and meaning.”

  17. Amends Interdependence value – changing “beings” to “living things” and adds “to live sustainability in the future.”

  18. Adds value of Gratitude

  19. Adds “by opening exploring the depth and breadth of many wisdoms” to Pluralism value.

  20. Freedom section: changes “freedom” to “polity” and adds line about responsibility to align to our values.

  21. Non-specific requests for more powerful language in values section.

  22. Changes to Interdependence – makes our “dependent” place in the great web, and says damaged relationships “we have caused.”

  23. Same as #1.

  24. Equity section: Removes inherent and worthiness (so just dignity) and adds “Prioritizing the leadership of the marginalized, we work for a redistribution of power and wealth that creates a more equitable, just, and peaceful world.”

  25. changes “liberating love” to “building Beloved Community through universal love”

  26. Similar to #49

  27. Adds both principles and sources before values.

  28. Adds examples in inspirations section – various theologies and world religions.

  29. changes liberating love sentence – though keeps concepts. Just in a different order.

  30. change “discipline” to “practice.”

  31. Similar to #49

  32. Same as #61

  33. Adds principals explicitly to each value, with conforming changes.

  34. changes purposes languages in a variety of modest ways, inserting Beloved Community and removing “discipline of love.”

I agree; these are the by-laws of the UUA, the legal organizational document of the association, and not primarily a religious document. Because we are a religious organization, some of that is definitely appropriate, but it is basically where the board, staff, etc., look to find the rules by which we operate.

It hardly qualifies as an amendment, but I hope someone notices that parallel grammar requires the word “to” after the comma on line 5.

I had hoped to speak in favor of voting yes, to continue moving forward with this revision. I serve the UU Fellowship in Beaufort, South Carolina.

While our principles are aspirational; they are too often cast as belief statements. As such, they are in danger of becoming a creed, and holding our faith in one place. We’re not losing our principles. We’re making a new way forward.

Forward, for our children and our grandchildren, and beyond. As the hymn says, we are a prophetic faith that reveres the past but trusts the dawning future more.

The statement I was prepared to offer from the Pro mic:
I am the Reverend Jan Taddeo serving our congregation in Gwinnett County, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta, on the historical lands of the Creek and Muscovee. I am a short, white, 62 year old cisgender, bisexual woman with graying hair and bluish green highlights wearing blue-framed glasses. My pronouns are she/her/hers. I’m wearing a blue cap that says Fear Less, Love More, and wearing a gray t-shirt with an image of the trans colors flag that says my faith is love.

I encourage our delegates to vote to move the Article II proposal forward. The question of what is the core of our faith has been alive for many years, and I am grateful for the three years and thousands of conversations that the Article II Study Commission engaged to create this proposal. I am especially pleased they heard the need to put transformative love at the center of our faith.

I am a fifth generation Universalist Unitarian and I am so glad that the many generations that came before me continued to envision the purpose, values and articulation of our faith. My four older siblings and I grew up in a UU faith that taught the other religions they could explore, and taught them nothing about Unitarian Universalism. We lost them… (thankfully one returned during the pandemic!).

Our current language is 47 years old. We live in a very different world. Ours is an evolving faith and we owe our newcomers and the next generation language that increases our commitment to inclusivity, transformation, and possibilities for growing our circles of influence during this time of rising fascism and climate chaos.

Change is hard. And constant. Let’s treasure the past as we keep on moving forward towards a more just and loving world with greater clarity for the future of our faith. The time is now.


Having talked to a few members of my society, we are split, so I will be voting No. I am personally conflicted; if I knew more about what the UUA leadership had planned for the next year, I might have chosen to go with it, but I have heard enough valid concerns to express them with my vote.