New Article II Congregational Resources from the Field For a Year of Study 2023-2024

In an effort to support congregations to continue to engage with the proposed Article II revision, UUA staff have collected and commissioned some resources from the field to supplement the original Article II Study Commission resources. Review the main commission webpage to learn more about the Article II revision process.

New Children’s Curriculum Has Love, and LEGO®, at the Center

A plush owl is pictured behind rainbow LEGO bricks in the shape of the word "LOVE"

Download LEGO ValUUes (PDF, 102 pgs) for 17 weeks of Article II learning for grades 1-5.

The 17 sessions in this curriculum introduce the Article II values (pluralism, interdependence, generosity, equity, justice, transformation, and love, plus kindness) through storybooks, discussion, and play activities. Each session includes an opening circle with an opening question and centering exercise, a story with discussion prompts, and a choice of play activities that carry out the theme of the day (including at least one simple LEGO build). Three appendices include a list of the centering exercises used in the curriculum, a crowd-sourced list of books for each value, and a list of materials needed to implement the curriculum. This curriculum is intended for elementary grades (1st-5th).

The author, Kathy E. Smith, CRE, (she/her) has been a professional religious educator since 2006. She currently serves as Director of Family Ministries for the Unitarian Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She previously served as religious educator for congregations in Fort Worth and Plano, Texas, and as Coordinator of Youth Activities for the Joseph Priestley District. She frequently writes curricula for her congregation and is delighted to share this LEGO® ValUUes curriculum with the broader denomination.

Amplifying the Charge

This resource is a multi-layered tool that blends small group ministry and worship resources for congregations as our Association moves into the next stage of the bylaws adoption process. Congregations are encouraged to use Amplifying the Charge for shared learning, reflection, and worship this spring, in anticipation of the vote at this year’s General Assembly.

Created by QuianaDenae Perkins, Learning Resident in the UUA Mid-America Region and a third-year seminarian at Starr King School for the Ministry, Amplifying the Charge provides four themed sections: Who Am I? How Did We Get Here? What Keeps Us Here? and Where Are We Going? It guides congregants to explore each section of Amplifying the Charge together as participants engage in covenanted, small group ministry conversations, collective worship, or both.

Download Amplifying the Charge (PDF, 33 pages). Engage religious professionals, worship team, lay leaders, and others to integrate four weeks of worship resources and four weeks of small group ministry into your spring congregational calendar!

Songbook

21 Songs Exploring A2 Values, by Rev. Kimberley Debus.

We sing our theology... In other words, singing is faith formation for everyone of every age.

As we consider the work of the Article II Commission and the proposal to organize the affirmation of our living faith into seven values, we can turn to our hymns to see how those are reflected in the songs we already sing together. It is true that some of the songs in Singing the Living Tradition (STLT) and Singing the Journey (STJ) may feel out of date or antiquated. Many new songs have been written since STJ was published in 2005, and many more will be written to reflect the faith we are growing and living into. Yet many of the hymns collected in those two hymnals are still fresh, alive, and reflective of the core values of our faith.

How to Use This Resource

  • Use in worship services that reflect on the values outlined by the commission
  • Use as musical breaks/a time of meditation in Article II discussion groups
  • Use as “hymn of the month”
  • Use in discussion groups about our hymns and how they reflect our theology
  • Use in faith formation/lifespan faith development classes
  • Add them to playlists that you listen to in the car, in your home, etc.

Sermons

  • "Article Two, What Does It Do" (YouTube video) by Minister Rev. Jami A. Yandle & DRE Corinna Whiteaker-Lewis @ San Gabriel Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. See video "Proposed Changes, Article II" and story "I Am Love" below, for additional resources to consider (suggested or written by same religious professional).
  • "The Cusp of a Moment: Discerning What it Means to be Unitarian Universalist" (YouTube) by Rebecca ("Bek") Wheeler, President, UU Fellowship of the Peninsula (Newport News, VA). This worshipful but fully interactive talk seeks to invoke curiosity about the proposed A2, inviting listeners to see the proposal as a natural and logical embodiment of our long-term commitment to re-see UU for today and the next generation. Thus, the proposed A2 does not "throw out" the 7 principles, but extends and deepens how we articulate what it means to be UU. Service Description: As Unitarian Universalists, we honor the change of our earthly seasons. Now, we recognize a different turning — a fresh season within Unitarian Universalism itself. For only the second time since our Association formed in 1961, we are re-seeing, re-appraising, and re-writing the statements of what it means to be UU. Bek Wheeler will introduce and share the UUA proposal to move from Principles and Sources to Values and Inspirations. As you contemplate these new envisionings, what speaks to you? What resonates? What perplexes? What inspires or invites you? Come, come, whoever you are! Share in this new season of discerning and owning Unitarian Universalism. See accompanying A2 Amendment Process slideshow, also linked below.
  • Prophecy and Change (YouTube video) by Rob Spirko, Article II Study Commission. A sermon preached at First UU Nashville which covers some info about A2 and our process, as well as the nature of prophecy, change, and what I see the values as able to do for us.
  • "What's Love Got to Do With It?" by Elaine Gallagher Gehrmann. One of our central Unitarian Universalist values is love. The recent report by the UUA’s Article II Study Commission reaffirms this, putting love literally in the center of our shared values, and saying, “We are accountable to one another for doing the work of living our shared values through the spiritual discipline of Love.” This morning we will explore the spiritual discipline of love.

Full Worship Services

  • Flower Communion by Katie Resendiz de Perez. For flower communion, I adapted "A Crown for Corina," to be both desert and article 2 centric. I am linking the story adaptation, the worship service script, and the slides we used in the comments. Use as you will. It's wildflower season here in the desert. So, this is our chalkboard for the month. I'll add things in the background as the month goes on; a butterfly for transformation, a spider web for interdependence, etc.
  • Hold Space for Vulnerability: Youth Service on Article 2 Values (YouTube video) by Rev. Kimberlee Tomczak Carlson. Credit youth: Max Larson, Myles Pointer-Mac, Jasper Murray-Benz, Kailey Thieme, Nolan Watters, Ryan Bruch, Liam Bruch, Thomas Pahl, Vera LeFort. Our Youth Service this Sunday centered the Article 2 values, with youth exploring each value through images & stories from their lives. Grateful to Jil Novenski for the inspirational idea. Service Description: Change is uncomfortable and hard; it makes us feel vulnerable. Yet, Brené Brown tells us “Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity.” Last month, Rev. Jennifer spoke about our living tradition turning more towards love, and our opportunity to embrace upcoming changes in our stated core UU theological values. Join our Youth as they “try on” the newly stated UU theological values in a service that explores the Article II proposed changes.
  • "The Future of Our Living Tradition" (YouTube video) by Rev. Monica Dobbins. Part one of series, "Breaks the News".
  • "Love at the Center" (YouTube video) by Rev. Monica Dobbins. Part two of series, focuses on Love through the work of bell hooks.

Slideshows

  • "Proposed changes, Article II" 20-min. video by Minister Rev. Jami A. Yandle & DRE Corinna Whiteaker-Lewis @ San Gabriel Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. See sermon "Article 2, What Does It Do" and story "I Am Love" below for an additional resource to consider (suggested or written by same religious professional).
  • A2 Amendment Process by Rebecca ("Bek") Wheeler, President, UU Fellowship of the Peninsula (Newport News, VA). PowerPoint slides explaining the amendment process for Article 2 -- see sermon "Cusp of a Moment (YouTube)" by the same author, for an additional resource to consider. This works best when downloaded and shown in PowerPoint.
  • Slides on current and proposed Article II and their relationship by Rev. Dr. Cynthia Landrum. Please use attribution if using the slide with the word cloud or the slide with my personal graphic at the end.

Stories

  • "I Am Love: A Book of Compassion" illustrated children's book by Susan Verde, art by Peter H Reynolds, read aloud. Submitted by Corinna Whiteaker-Lewis. This picture book captures much of what the proposed change is trying to express, esp. as it shows all the different ways love is embodied through our actions. The child depicted is non-gender specific and is dressed in trans flag colors.
  • Time for All Ages: Article II and Our UU "Technology": Change Can Be Uncomfortable! by Rev. Jaimie Dingus. Rev. Jaimie Dingus gives and credit to Carey Nieuwhof. In his article, "10 Predictions About the Future Church and Shifting Attendance Patterns," he writes, “Churches that love their model more than the mission will die.” The idea of model vs. mission that he lays out is the inspiration for this time for all ages.

Discussion Guides

  • Group Processing guide and powerpoint, submitted by Sarah C. Oglesby-Dunegan; Created by Janice Miller and VUU Committee on Shared Ministry @ Valley UU (Chandler, AZ). I am sharing a document that shows how we conducted a conversation with 40 participants last weekend. I hope it's useful to some of you. We have 300 members. We are doing an online version next week and a group with diverse views is organizing to create some ideas for amendments. It was better than anticipated--the container held a wide range of view in a safe container and folks left feeling like they learned from each other and were listened to. My Committee on Shared Ministry ran the meeting and I was mostly an observer/listener. I thought some of you might find our slides also helpful. As always, use and adapt dear ones. If we can save each other time, we can save each other in other ways, too!
  • Reimagining Core Values and Identity by UUA New England Region; Meck Groot and Joe Sullivan. This is an adapted offering from the New England Region (NER). While focusing on the work and proposed changes of Article II, it utilizes the Spiritual Leadership framework that is core to all regional offerings. Additional links, context, and references are included in the main link.

Lesson Plans / Activities

  • Article II Lesson Plan for Grades 2-5 by Chrissy Bushyager, CRE.
  • Illustration of Article 2 concepts represented as Pokemon characters by Regina McConaghy and Rev. Cindy Landrum. Showed elementary kids Article 2 graphic, then this graphic, Eevee The Pokemon (in her many iterations). I asked, "does this look kind of similar?" Eevee is always Eevee, even when she's Leafeon or Jolteon. Love is always love, but we can see Transformation and Generosity as kinds of Love; connected to each other, b/c love is the base form from which they evolve. One kid: "Oh, I get it! Love is at the middle: the other words are things we do to make the love real!"

TikTok Videos

Graphics

  • Word Clouds from Hymnals by Rev. Dan Schatz. I’ve seen a lot of discussion about love being at the center, with some finding it particularly meaningful and some finding it particularly meaningless. Recently Rev-Dan Schatz created word clouds by putting the whole hymnals’ texts into a generator. The heart-shaped one is the gray hymnal and the pentagon is the teal. And you see what emerged at the center?
  • Article II Coloring Book for All Ages by Tony Bianca (religious educator). I created this for our Lifespan Program at 1st UUSD (San Diego). I print on 11x17 and magazine fold, but could be double-sided on 8.5x11 and stapled on the left.

Spiritual Practices

Essays

Other