I’d like to give you an update on our congregational discernment regarding congregational adoption of the 8th Principle of Unitarian Universalism, which would add to our Principles our commitment to dismantling racism and oppression.
This winter our Board of Trustees charged me with leading our congregation in discussion and education regarding the 8th Principle. Our youth group also expressed their desire to help lead us in this work. Throughout the month of March, we held four discussion groups with identical content, two online and two in person, which were attended by a total of 37 members of the congregation (about 15% of our members).
In these groups we have learned about:
- The origins of the 8th Principle Project, which has been adopted so far by 156 UU Congregations across the country – https://www.8thprincipleuu.org/background
- The history of Article II of the UUA bylaws that contain our principles – https://www.uua.org/uuagovernance/committees/article-ii-study-commission/about-article-2
- The current national-level process to revisit Article II – https://www.uua.org/uuagovernance/committees/article-ii-study-commission
- And the history of institutional racism (scroll down a bit for the slideshow) and related anti-racism efforts in our association – https://www.kuuf.org/blm-at-uu
We also discussed what we learned and our hopes for Unitarian Universalism, and we got a read on where folks are with the question. While not unanimous, we had a significant majority of support for the adoption of the 8th Principle among the 37 discussion group attendees.
What are our next steps?
On April 10 our Youth Group will offer us their beloved annual youth-led worship service, and their topic will be the 8th Principle Project. Directly after the service, we will hold another discussion group with a pizza lunch (including a gluten-free option) with childcare provided, and we encourage as many UU Churchers as possible to attend. Please RSVP by April 3 to help us with numbers for lunch and childcare, but do attend even if you forget to RSVP.
After that additional discussion group, we will do an online straw poll of members of the congregation to assess their level of support, their level of understanding, and their feeling about whether or not more process is needed. At its April 21 meeting, the Board of Trustees will decide whether to add a vote on the 8th Principle to our May Annual Meeting agenda or create more process and defer the vote until the fall.
Thanks for your attention to this important collective work and discernment.
– Rev. Molly