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, changes are coming to Article II of the Unitarian Universalist Association’s by-laws. Article II articulates the covenant at the heart of our Unitarian Universalist faith. It currently includes:

  • Unitarian Universalism’s seven Principles.
  • The six Sources of our living UU tradition.
  • The Purposes of the Unitarian Universalist Association.
  • Statements regarding inclusionand of freedom of belief.

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:

  1. 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
  2. Participate in Zoom feedback sessions hosted by the Commission to be held
  • Saturday, 11/05 at 3 p.m. Eastern (register)
  • Sunday, 11/06 at 2 p.m. Eastern (register)
  • Tuesday, 11/08 at 10 p.m. Eastern (register)
  • 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.