The revisions to Article II of the UUA Bylaws have stimulated deep and passionate discussion among Unitarian Universalists about the core of our UU (Unitarian Universalist) faith. The Article II Study Commission engaged thousands of us through forums, surveys, as well as presentations and breakout groups at the past two General Assemblies. The Commission provided study materials for congregations to engage in their own reflections and encouraged them to do so. Ministers preached on the topic and Religious Educators helped facilitate discussions among adults and our children and youth. The core values proposed by the Commission come not from the Commission members, but from the many UUs who participated in the process. The Commission work was a widely publicized, democratic and collaborative approach to generating our core values.
Building on our existing principles and sources, the Commission’s proposal identifies core values that UUs hold in common. Their proposal strengthens the covenant among our member congregations and challenges us to live into our core values. Many UUs have expressed appreciation for both the process and the proposal itself.
Since the Commission delivered its report to the UUA Board in January, conversations have continued. It comes as no surprise to any of us that UUs have varied opinions on the proposal. We are well into a process by which UUs can propose amendments to the Commission’s proposal. We appreciate the heartfelt suggestions and comments we have received. We encourage continued participation in these discussions, in the workshops that will be held in May, and during General Assembly itself.
The process for amending Article II is a two-step process. If the proposal (as amended or not) receives support from a majority of our delegates this year, the changes do not take effect immediately. We have a full year for further conversations about the values we share. This will include the Article II Study Commission creating another draft which incorporates any adopted amendments. Final adoption will require a 2/3 majority at GA 2024 to take effect.
We, your UUA Board, ask delegates to vote to give preliminary approval to continue the conversation on the Article II proposal.