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.
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 the board meeting held on January 20, 2023. The report includes the Study Commission's recommended revisions to Article II.
Following the presentation of the Article II Study Proposal 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. Therefore the Board of Trustees has developed a four phase process that 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.
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.