From the UUA: Changes to the 7 Principles

What Every UU Needs to Know About Changes to the 7 Principles

Maybe you have little interest in by-laws. Or maybe you are a governance geek. Either way, as staff of the New England Region UUA we wanted to be sure to get the word out about the proposed changes to Article II of the UUA by-laws. This is the article that currently includes:

  • a list of the seven Principles of the Association of UU congregations,
  • a list of the six Sources of the Association,
  • the Purposes of the Association,
  • statements of inclusion and of freedom of belief.

Article II articulates the covenant at the heart of the Association of Unitarian Universalist Congregations.

Before a final revised draft of this Article is presented to the UUA Board in January, the Article II Study Commission is inviting all to participate in a feedback process. Now is the time to pay attention, to listen, to learn, to check in with yourself and the values you hold dearest, to engage in conversation with others about what’s at the heart of this faith, to offer your feedback, and to participate as you are able in this collective discernment and decision-making process.

To that end, the Commission invites YOU to:

  • read the new version of Article II — observing how it makes you feel, what it makes you think, and what responses or suggestions you have for the Commission
  • participate in Zoom feedback sessions hosted by the Commission to be held
    • Wednesday, 11/09 at 8 p.m. Eastern (register)
    • Thursday, 11/10 at 7 p.m. Eastern (register)
    • Saturday, 11/12 at 3 p.m. Eastern (register)
    • Sunday, 11/13 at 2 p.m. Eastern (register)
    • Monday, 11/14 at 9 p.m Eastern (register)

Share your feedback with the Commission through this online Google form.

The UUA by-laws mandate that Article II be reviewed and possibly revised every so many years. To that end, the Board of Trustees appointed the most recent Article II Study Commission and charged it:

…to review Article II of the UUA Bylaws, and propose any revisions that will enable our UUA, our member congregations, and our covenanted communities to be a relevant and powerful force for spiritual and moral growth, healing, and justice. Proposed changes should articulate core UU theological values…

…the Commission is free to revise, replace, or restructure [the sections] as needed to meet the objectives stated above. There is nothing sacred about the number of principles or sources, nor their specific wordings, nor in the way that Article II is laid out. [source]

Assuming approval by the UUA Board of Trustees in January, the new Article II will be the subject of mini-Assemblies before an initial vote at General Assembly 2023. If it passes that delegate vote by a majority, it will require a 2/3 majority vote at General Assembly 2024 to become the new Article II of the Bylaws.

Whether by-laws bore you or enliven you, please share this information with people in your congregation, join conversations about the proposed changes, and take an active part in this historic process.

In faith,

Your New England Region Team