History of Article II and the 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) 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.
2023 General Assembly Amendment Process
Following the presentation of the Article II Study Proposal (YouTube) in January 2023, the Board of Trustees developed a congregational engagement and amendment process. The UUA’s goal was to maximize discussion and engagement with the initial Article II Study Commission proposal (PDF), which addresses the foundational values and purposes of our faith community.
The Board of Trustees established a four phase process to support the Co-Moderators in prioritizing amendments on the General Assembly agenda.
- April 2023, Unitarian Universalists were invited to submit suggestions and ideas on how to modifying the proposed Article II, through an online form. All qualifying suggestions were posted on an online forum for public discussion at discuss.uua.org.
- May 2023, the Board's General Assembly Moderation Team, the ModSquad, hosted three amendment discussion workshops. Workshops were open to anyone and focused on areas where multiple amendment ideas had been submitted, to help proposers connect with each other to develop formal amendments where their ideas align.
- June 2023: After the final General Assembly Agenda was published and the delegate platform was open, delegates could submit one (1) amendment per delegate. Amendments were accepted through the Article II mini-assembly at the General Assembly.
- 2023 General Assembly: The ModSquad and Article II Study Commission reviewed the over ninety (90) submitted amendments and prioritized fifteen (15) on the General Assembly agenda as directed by the bylaws. Amendments selected went through the collaborative process and represented repeated themes in the formally submitted amendments. The General Assembly adopted and referred five (5) amendments (PDF) to the Article II Study Commission for consideration and incorporation into the final proposal.
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
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.