Article II Study Commission

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Introduction to the Article II Study Commission

Article II of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Bylaws, Principles and Purposes, is the foundation for all of the work of our UUA and its member congregations and covenanted communities. It is the covenant to which all of our congregations and covenanted communities pledge themselves when they become members of our UUA.

Our current Principles and Purposes were last revised in 1987. At General Assembly (GA) 2017, there was discussion of amending the Principles to add an 8th Principle, addressing racism, and an amended 1st Principle, addressing non-human life. The 5th Principle was the subject of a report in 2009, which dealt with the ways in which GA and other Unitarian Universalist (UU) gatherings do and don’t embody an inclusive democratic process. The 7th Principle has also been the subject of discussions about possible amendments.

There have been many projects, resolutions, task forces and other strategies that have come from the Board, Commission on Appraisal and grassroots groups which encourage us to take a look at our principles, purposes, bylaws and rules. It is time for us to do a review and make changes so that we are living into the Unitarian Universalism of the future, a Unitarian Universalism that holds us in times of great need and ethical, moral and spiritual crises. We are in one of those times now.

In response to those discussions, the UUA Board committed to establishing this Article II Study Commission to consider possible amendments to this Article.

Summarizing two years of work with UU individuals, groups and leaders, this report offers a proposed new draft of Article II of the UUA Bylaws.

Read the report (PDF 26 pages)

Article II Study Commission Report

The Article II Study Commission has completed its two year study. They submitted their report (PDF 26 pages) to the UUA Board of Trustees at their meeting held on January 20, 2023. The report includes the Study Commission's recommended revisions to Article II.

    Article II Study Process and Adoption Timeline

    The Article II Study Commission convened in the fall of 2020, developing a shared understanding of its charge developed by the Board of Trustees in consultation with the 2018 and 2019 General Assemblies, the history of Article II, and the study process. In the Spring of 2021, the Study Commission began hosting theological panel discussions with surveys to gain an understanding of the values and sources of inspiration shared amongst Unitarian Universalists. At General Assembly 2021, the Commissioners introduced the Article II study process in a General Session, and engaged attendees in focus groups.

    Congregational resources for small group ministry and group discussion were developed and shared in the fall of 2021. Focus groups, individual interviews, and surveys continued through the winter and spring of 2022. Draft language was prepared and shared during General Sessions at the 2022 General Assembly. Focus groups and surveys were used to collect feedback on these drafts.

    In the fall of 2022, the Article II Study Commission, via their Outreach Team, held feedback sessions and surveys on different drafts of Article II, each draft informed by previous feedback sessions and surveys. At the end of this feedback cycle, the Article II Study Commission will submit its recommendation for a new Article II to the Board of Trustees in January 2023.

    Over the course of its work, the Commission engaged in 45 feedback sessions, with 4,611 total participants. Their videos reached 7,765 viewers, and their 29 surveys generated a total of 10,925 responses.

    After the Board of Trustees receives the recommendation, Article II Forums will be held, so people can learn more and talk about the proposal. Congregations are encouraged to have conversations to gather input from their members to inform their GA delegates. There will be opportunities for delegates to recommend amendments to the proposal including at a mini-assembly at General Assembly. The Board will also be able to recommend amendments. Amendments to the proposal from delegates and the Board of Trustees will be prioritized and placed on the General Assembly agenda for consideration.

    The final version of Article II, as amended by the Board of Trustees and/or the 2023 General Assembly, must receive a simple majority vote to move forward for a final vote at the 2024 General Assembly. It will take a 2/3rd majority vote at the 2024 General Assembly to be adopted as the new Article II of the UUA bylaws. If either vote fails, a similar proposal cannot be considered for two years.

    About Article II: The Principles and Purposes of the UUA

    UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST ASSOCIATION BYLAWS AND RULES ARTICLE II Principles and Purposes Section C-2.1. Principles....

    About Article II

    Charge to the Article II Study Commission

    Article II of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Bylaws, Principles and Purposes, is the foundation for all of the work of our UUA and its member congregations and covenanted communities. The Board of Trustees presents this charge to the Study Commission for Article II's periodic review.

    Article II Study Commission Charge

    Article II Study Resources

    The Article II Study Commission invites you into this study. Find below resources for personal and community reflection and discussion. Reading Materials The following documents will be reviewed by the Commission in the course of its work. Some of these discuss specific amendment language; others...

    Article II Study Resources

    Reports and Reflections of the Article II Study Commission

    From Article II Study Commission

    Periodic communications from the Article II Study Commission, providing reports and reflections on the status of the Commissioners' charge to review Article II, Principles and Purposes, of the Unitarian Universalist Association bylaws.

    Article II Study Reports and Reflections