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 complete this study and offer a revised Article II.
Article II Study Report
The Article II Study Commission has completed its two year study. They submitted their Article II Study 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.
The Unitarian Universalists Association's Article II Study Commission, Board of Trustees, and Administration and Staff have received a lot of questions regarding the Article II study and proposed revisions. We have curated this list of answers to some of the frequently asked questions.
Following the presentation of the Article II Study Proposal (YouTube) in January, the Board of Trustees began developing a congregational engagement and amendment process. Requests for edits to the proposal have already begun to pour in, indicating the likelihood of many, many amendments at General Assembly. The UUA’s goal is to maximize discussion and engagement with this proposal, which addresses the foundational values and purposes of our faith community. Therefore the Board of Trustees has developed a four phase process which will begin in April, to support the Co-Moderators in prioritizing amendments on the General Assembly agenda.
Suggesting Amendment Ideas - April
Until April 30, 2023, any Unitarian Universalist may submit suggestions and ideas through an online form for ways they recommend modifying the Article II Study Commission proposal (PDF). Each suggestion or idea should describe specific language changes to the proposal, explain the reason, and be limited to a single section of the proposal. Individuals may submit multiple suggestions and ideas.
All qualifying suggestions will be posted for public chat discussion at discuss.uua.org, starting after April 15. Suggestions must be received by April 30 in order to be posted. Additionally, the UUA Board of Trustees will host public discussion workshops on May 11, 18 and 21, 2023, to review suggestions and ideas. These rounds of public discussion will inform the way amendments are prioritized for discussion and voting at General Assembly.
Submit your suggestions and ideas on the Article II proposal now!
NOTE: Submitting suggestions and ideas through this form is for the purpose of public discussion, and does NOT submit an amendment which could be voted on at General Assembly. Amendments eligible for voting must be separately submitted by delegates through the online delegate platform, which will be available when the GA final agenda is published. Delegate amendments which are based on suggestions or ideas which had been previously discussed through this process are more likely to be prioritized for discussion and voting at General Assembly.
Discussing Amendment Ideas - May
The Board (ModSquad) will host three amendment discussion workshops. These are open to anyone, and may include A2SC members. Workshops will discuss areas where multiple amendments have been submitted, to help proposers align with each other. People can also self-organize based on posted amendments. Dates of these amendment discussion workshops will be posted to the Article II Study site April 1st.
The following workshops are open to all Unitarian Universalists. Whether or not you submit a suggestion or idea, we encourage you to join us for one or more of these workshops. Register below.
- Amendment Discussion Workshop #1 - Focus on Inspirations and Sources
Thursday, May 11, 2023
7pm ET / 6pm CT / 5pm MT / 4pm PT
Slides from Amendment Discussion Workshop #1 (PDF, 26 pages)
- Amendment Discussion Workshop #2 - Focus on Values and Covenant
Thursday, May 18, 2023
7pm ET / 6pm CT / 5pm MT / 4pm PT
Register now for the May 18th workshop.
- Amendment Discussion Workshop #3 - Focus on Purpose, Inclusion, Freedom of Belief, and Anything Else that Remains
Sunday, May 21, 2023
4pm ET / 3pm CT / 2pm MT / 1pm PT
Register now for the May 21st workshop.
Formally Submitting Amendments and Mini-Assembly - June
After the final agenda is published and the delegate platform is open, delegates may submit amendments (limit 1 per delegate). The amendment submission form will clarify whether the amendment is based on an amendment idea which was previously suggested and discussed; this would be required for priority consideration by the Moderator. Proposed deadline for formally submitting amendments to be considered for priority – June 5
Per the UUA Bylaws, the business mini-assembly for the proposed changes to Article II will take place during GA. Delegates may submit amendments up through the General Assembly mini-assembly, but last-minute amendments may not be considered for priority. The mini-assembly will discuss possible amendments, but will not include a straw poll or other vote. Zoom information for this mini-assembly will be found in the delegate platform.
- Article II mini-assembly
Thursday, June 22, 2023
12:30pm ET / 11:30am CT / 10:30am MT / 9:30am PT
The Co-Moderators, Co-Chairs of the Article II Study Commission and General Assembly Parliamentarian, will review and prioritize amendments made by the delegates and the Board of Trustees and place them on the General Assembly agenda for discussion and balloting.
Article II Revision Votes
The final version of Article II, as amended by 2023 General Assembly, must receive a simple majority vote to move forward. The Article II Study Commission will have six months following the 2023 General Assembly to incorporate and clean up any amendments passed by the delegates, and send it back to the Board of Trustees to be placed on the General Assembly 2024 agenda for a final vote.
The Article II proposal is subject to amendment in 2024 only by a three-fourths vote in favor of an amendment submitted to the General Assembly in writing by the Board of Trustees or a minimum of fifteen (15) certified congregations by action of their governing boards or their congregations; such proposed amendments must be received by the Board of Trustees by February 1, 2024.
Final approval of the Article II proposal requires a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the 2024 General Assembly to adopted the revision as the new Article II of the UUA bylaws. If either 2023 or 2024 General Assembly votes fails, the process ends and a similar proposal cannot be considered for two years.
- April 30, 2023
- Last day to share your Article II proposal suggestions and ideas via the submission form.
- May 22, 2023
- Final business agenda posted (30 days beforehand).
- May 26, 2023
- Proposed amendments to the rules of procedure and business resolution are due to the Board.
- June 5, 2023
- Deadline for formally submitting Article II amendments to be considered a priority.
- June 14, 2023
- Board posts final text of rules of procedure and business resolution with incorporated amendments.
Article II Study and Amendment Process
The timeline and amendment process of the Article II Study, including the adoption process for the proposed revisions of Article II.
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...
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....
Members of the Article II Study Commission
list of members of the Article II Study Commission, established June 2020
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.
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.