Article II of UUA Bylaws

 

 

 

 

Contents

 

 

Present Article II

 

 

Proposed Article II

 

 

Present Article II and Proposed Article II Compared

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PRESENT ARTICLE II IN UUA BYLAWS

ARTICLE II Principles and Purposes

Section C-2.1. Principles.

We, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, covenant to affirm and promote

The living tradition which we share draws from many sources:

Grateful for the religious pluralism which enriches and ennobles our faith, we are inspired to deepen our understanding and expand our vision. As free congregations we enter into this covenant, promising to one another our mutual trust and support.

Section C-2.2. Purposes.

The Unitarian Universalist Association shall devote its resources to and exercise its corporate powers for religious, educational and humanitarian purposes. The primary purpose of the Association is to serve the needs of its member congregations, organize new congregations, extend and strengthen Unitarian Universalist institutions and implement its principles.

Section C-2.3. Non-Discrimination.

The Association declares and affirms its special responsibility, and that of its member congregations and organizations, to promote the full participation of persons in all of its and their activities and in the full range of human endeavor without regard to race, ethnicity, gender, disability, affectional or sexual orientation, age, language, citizenship status, economic status, or national origin and without requiring adherence to any particular interpretation of religion or to any particular religious belief or creed.

Section C-2.4. Freedom of Belief.

Nothing herein shall be deemed to infringe upon the individual freedom of belief which is inherent in the Universalist and Unitarian heritages or to conflict with any statement of purpose, covenant, or bond of union used by any congregation unless such is used as a creedal test.

 


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COMMISSION ON APPRAISAL'S PROPOSAL
FOR NEW ARTICLE II FOR UUA BYLAWS

 

·        This proposal is taken from “On the Review of ARTICLE II OF THE UUA BYLAWS,” Report of The UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST COMMISSION ON APPRAISAL, May 1, 2009.  The members of the Commission on Appraisal were Orlanda Brugnola, Barbara Child, Megan Dowdell, Pete Fontneau, Bev Harrison, Donald Mohr, Michael Ohlrogge, Tom Owen-Towle, and Jacqui C. Williams.

·        The Commission on Appraisal’s proposal to revise Article II of the UUA Bylaws (the “Principles and Purposes”) was drafted after a three-year review that generated more than 3,000 comments about the merits and weaknesses of the present Principles and Purposes.

·        The final sentence of C-2.2, in bold, was modified by the Board of Trustees.

·        The proposal to amend Article II was defeated by 13 votes, 573 to 586, on Saturday, June 27, 2009.

·        The UUA’s Board of Trustees had urged delegates to vote for the proposal in order to get congregations talking about the proposed revision before a final vote next year.  The new version of Article II would have to have been approved by two consecutive General Assemblies for adoption.  The second (final) approval would have to be by a two-thirds vote.

·        Because the proposal to amend Article II was defeated, a new proposal to amend Article II cannot be brought to the General Assembly for two years.  UUA Moderator Gini Courter confirmed that the Commission on Appraisal has finished its work on revising Article II and won’t pursue further revisions at this time.

·        Coverage of the GA debate and vote on the proposal to amend Article II can be found in UU World, Vol. XXIII No. 3, Fall 2009, pages 39-40.

·        Extensive coverage of General Assembly is available online, including expanded reports on the election and  GA business, a photo gallery, links to the full texts of all resolutions, and links to video of major speeches and worship services.  Visit http://www.uuworld.org/, click “Current Issue,” then select “General Assembly Online.”

 

2.  Proposed Revision of Article II placed on the Agenda of GA 2009

[The final sentence of C-2.2, in bold, is the one modified by the Board of Trustees.]

 

ARTICLE II: Covenant

 

Section C-2.1 Purposes.

This association of free yet interdependent congregations devotes its resources to and exercises its corporate powers for religious, educational, and humanitarian purposes. It supports the creation, vitality, and growth of congregations that aspire to live out the Unitarian Universalist Principles. Through public witness and advocacy, it advances the Principles in the world.

 

Section C-2.2 Sources.

Unitarian Universalism is rooted in two religious heritages. Both are grounded on thousands of years of Jewish and Christian teachings, traditions, and experiences. The Unitarian heritage has affirmed that we need not think alike to love alike and that God is one. The Universalist heritage has preached not hell but hope and courage, and the kindness and love of God. Contemporary Unitarian Universalists have reaped the benefits of a legacy of prophetic words and deeds.

 

Unitarian Universalism is not contained in any single book or creed. Its religious authority lies in the individual, nurtured and tested in the congregation and the wider world. As an evolving religion, it draws from the teachings, practices, and wisdom of the world’s religions. Humanism, earth-centered spiritual traditions, and Eastern religions have served as vital sources. Unitarian Universalism has been influenced by mysticism, theism, skepticism, naturalism, and process thought as well as feminist and liberation theologies. It is informed by direct experiences of mystery and wonder, beauty and joy. It is enriched by the creative power of the arts, the guidance of reason, and the lessons of the sciences.

 

Grateful for the traditions that have strengthened our own, we seek to engage cultural and religious practices in ways that call us into right relationship with all.

 

Section C-2.3 Principles.

Grateful for the gift of life, we commit ourselves as member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association to embody together the transforming power of love as we covenant to honor and uphold:

 

The inherent worth and dignity of every person;

Justice, equity, and compassion in human relations;

Acceptance of one another and encouragement of spiritual growth;

A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;

The right of conscience and the use of democratic processes;

The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;

Reverence for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.


As free yet interdependent congregations, we enter into this covenant, pledging to one another our mutual trust and support. Capable of both good and evil, at times we are in need of forgiveness and reconciliation. When we fall short of living up to this covenant, we will begin again in love, repair the relationship, and recommit to the promises we have made.

 

Section C-2.4 Inclusion.

Systems of power, privilege, and oppression have traditionally created barriers for persons and groups with particular identities, ages, abilities, and histories. We pledge to do all we can to replace such barriers with ever-widening circles of solidarity and mutual respect. We strive to be an association of congregations that truly welcome all persons and commit to structuring congregational and associational life in ways that empower and enhance everyone’s participation.

 

Section C-2.5 Freedom of Belief.

Congregational freedom is central to the Unitarian Universalist heritage.

Congregations may establish statements of purpose, covenants, and bonds of union so long as they do not require a statement of belief as a creedal test for membership; nor may the Association employ such a test for congregational affiliation.

 


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PRESENT ARTICLE II AND PROPOSED ARTICLE II COMPARED

 

 

Red = proposed changes and additions.
Blue = as it stands in present UUA bylaws

(Strikethrough [as such] indicates words in present Article II proposed for deletion in new Article II.)

 

 

ARTICLE II Principles and Purposes ARTICLE II: Covenant

 

 

 

Section C-2.2. Purposes Section C-2.1 Purposes.

The Unitarian Universalist Association shall This association of free yet interdependent congregations devotes its resources to and exercises its corporate powers for religious, educational and humanitarian purposes. The primary purpose of the Association is to serve the needs of its member congregations, organize new congregations, extend and strengthen Unitarian Universalist institutions and implement its principles. It supports the creation, vitality, and growth of congregations that aspire to live out the Unitarian Universalist Principles. Through public witness and advocacy, it advances the Principles in the world.

Section C 2.2 Sources.

The living tradition which we share draws from many sources:

Grateful for the religious pluralism which enriches and ennobles our faith, we are inspired to deepen our understanding and expand our vision. As free congregations we enter into this covenant, promising to one another our mutual trust and support.

Unitarian Universalism is rooted in two religious heritages. Both are grounded on thousands of years of Jewish and Christian teachings, traditions, and experiences. The Unitarian heritage has affirmed that we need not think alike to love alike and that God is one. The Universalist heritage has preached not hell but hope and courage, and the kindness and love of God. Contemporary Unitarian Universalists have reaped the benefits of a legacy of prophetic words and deeds.

Unitarian Universalism is not contained in any single book or creed. Its religious authority lies in the individual, nurtured and tested in the congregation and the wider world. As an evolving religion, it draws from the teachings, practices, and wisdom of the world’s religions. Humanism, earth-centered spiritual traditions, and Eastern religions have served as vital sources. Unitarian Universalism has been influenced by mysticism, theism, skepticism, naturalism, and process thought as well as feminist and liberation theologies. It is informed by direct experiences of mystery and wonder, beauty and joy. It is enriched by the creative power of the arts, the guidance of reason, and the lessons of the sciences.

Grateful for the traditions that have strengthened our own, we seek to engage cultural and religious practices in ways that call us into right relationship with all.

Section C-2.1. Principles Section C-2.3 Principles.

We, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, covenant to affirm and promote


Grateful for the gift of life, we commit ourselves as member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association to embody together the transforming power of love as we covenant to honor and uphold:

 

The inherent worth and dignity of every person;

Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;

Acceptance of one another and encouragement to of spiritual growth in our congregations;

A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;

The right of conscience and the use of the democratic processes within our congregations and in society at large;

The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;

Respect Reverence for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

 

As free yet interdependent congregations, we enter into this covenant, pledging to one another our mutual trust and support. Capable of both good and evil, at times we are in need of forgiveness and reconciliation. When we fall short of living up to this covenant, we will begin again in love, repair the relationship, and recommit to the promises we have made.

 

Section C-2.3. Non-Discrimination Section C-2.4 Inclusion.

The Association declares and affirms its special responsibility, and that of its member congregations and organizations, to promote the full participation of persons in all of its and their activities and in the full range of human endeavor without regard to race, ethnicity, gender, disability, affectional or sexual orientation, age, language, citizenship status, economic status, or national origin and without requiring adherence to any particular interpretation of religion or to any particular religious belief or creed.

Systems of power, privilege, and oppression have traditionally created barriers for persons and groups with particular identities, ages, abilities, and histories. We pledge to do all we can to replace such barriers with ever-widening circles of solidarity and mutual respect. We strive to be an association of congregations that truly welcome all persons and commit to structuring congregational and associational life in ways that empower and enhance everyone’s participation.

 

Section C-2.4. Freedom of Belief Section C-2.5 Freedom of Belief.

Nothing herein shall be deemed to infringe upon the individual freedom of belief which is inherent in the Universalist and Unitarian heritages or to conflict with any statement of purpose, covenant, or bond of union used by any congregation unless such is used as a creedal test.

Congregational freedom is central to the Unitarian Universalist heritage.  Congregations may establish statements of purpose, covenants, and bonds of union so long as they do not require a statement of belief as a creedal test for membership; nor may the Association employ such a test for congregational affiliation.

 


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