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.

Article II Outreach Team

The Article II Study Commission has been working through the feedback from General Assembly, and are engaging in our next round of drafting. Once again, we’d like your feedback on different sections to help us as we work.

In September 2022, with the assistance of our new Outreach Team, the Article II Study Commission scheduled ten Zoom sessions at various times for people to look at draft language and discuss it. The feedback collected aided the Study Commission if crafting a full draft of Article II (PDF, 3 Pages).

With this draft completed more eight general feedback sessions, an online Google form and feedback sessions with key stakeholder groups will be held in November. After we let this new round of feedback simmer over the holidays, we will put together our proposal in early 2023 to send to the board. The proposal will be considered in mini-assemblies before the vote at General Assembly 2023.

You'll need to register to attend a session. When you do, you'll get the draft via email. We look forward to hearing from you as we help chart the future of our faith together!

Zoom Session Registration

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, 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 Session 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 held feedback sessions and surveys on diffrent 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.

After the Board of Trustees receives the recommendation, Article II Forums will be held at the regional level to get people talking about the proposal. There will be a mini-assembly in May 2023, for congregational delegates to offer amendments to the proposal. Amendments to the proposal, approved by the mini-assembly, may be added to the proposal by the Board of Trustees or placed on the General Assembly agenda for consideration.

The final version of Article II, as amended by the by 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 3/4th 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 can not be considered for two years.

About Article II: The Principles and Purposes of the UUA


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