We want to make everyone aware of possible major changes to our denomination. As some of you may know, the Article II Study Commission (A2SC) was appointed at the 2020 General Assembly to review/modify the Principles and Purposes of the Unitarian Universalist Association. This process is outlined by the UUA bylaws and is required every 15 years.

Read the charge to the A2SC.

For reference, the 7th Principle was adopted in 1984 (along with gender neutral language),and a 6th Source (earth-centered religions) was added in 1995. An attempt was made to update the Principles again in the late 2000s but the attempt was voted down at the 2009 General Assembly.

Proposed A2SC draft of Principles and Purposes 

The Study Commission released in late October their proposed rewrite of the Principles and Purposes, now called Values and Covenant. To see how the draft compares to the current Article, please go to the document that shows them side-by-side. You can tell at a glance that the new language is oriented around social justice/dismantling oppression—but lacks language regarding use of the democratic process, a free and responsible search for truth and meaning, the use of reason, etc. It is not clear how this rewrite will affect congregational governance, intercongregational relationships and the UUA-congregation relationship, but the emphasis on accountability implies a new top-down relationship. The UUA will no longer “serve” congregations.

Your requested feedback

Feedback form: In addition to the feedback sessions that have finished up, the A2SC just added a feedback form that you can use to register comments about the draft directly by email.  This form must be completed by November 28th.

The UUA has requested that a draft be submitted in January of 2023. However, please bear in mind that the process that led to this draft has been underway for many months and already includes some feedback from UUs. It appears to be the direction that the A2SC/UUA is heading.

Requirements for denominational acceptance 

To be accepted by our denomination, the  revised Article II must pass a majority vote at General Assembly 2023 and then pass a stricter 2/3 majority vote at GA 2024.

Future UUCC discussions

The Denominational Connections Committee will organize more discussions at the UUCC about Article II in the near future. Until then, if you have comments or questions for us, you may contact us at DenomConn@uucolumbia.org

Pat Mohr & Linda Brennison
Co-chairs, Denominational Connections Committee