Minister’s Message for July, 2023

As I write this, our annual General Assembly (GA) of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) of Congregations has just come to a close. We thanked the Rev. Dr. Susan Frederick-Gray for her six years of leadership and elected the Rev. Dr. Sofia Betancourt as our new president. She is the first Black woman to be elected to this position. This is an exciting time for our association!

Hopefully you know (but if not, here’s your notice) that we are considering revising the section of the UUA bylaws where our seven principles have been articulated. This may initially feel alarming, as most of us have treasured our seven principles as a meaningful expression of the tenets of our faith. But I encourage you to consider the seven values articulated in the proposed revision:

As Unitarian Universalists, we covenant, congregation-to-congregation and through our association, to support and assist one another in our ministries. We draw from our heritages of freedom, reason, hope, and courage, building on the foundation of love.

Love is the power that holds us together and is at the center of our shared values. We are accountable to one another for doing the work of living our shared values through the spiritual discipline of Love.

Inseparable from one another, these shared values are:

Interdependence. We honor the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part. With humility and reverence, we covenant to protect Earth and all beings from exploitation, creating and nurturing sustainable relationships of repair, mutuality, and justice.

Pluralism. We celebrate that we are all sacred beings diverse in culture, experience, and theology. We covenant to learn from one another in our free and responsible search for truth and meaning. We embrace our differences and commonalities with Love, curiosity, and respect.

Justice. We work to be diverse multicultural Beloved Communities where all thrive. We covenant to dismantle racism and all forms of systemic oppression. We support the use of inclusive democratic processes to make decisions within our congregation and the society at large.

Transformation. We adapt to the changing world. We covenant to collectively transform and grow spiritually and ethically. Openness to change is fundamental to our Unitarian and Universalist heritages, never complete and never perfect.

Generosity. We cultivate a spirit of gratitude and hope. We covenant to freely and compassionately share our faith, presence, and resources. Our generosity connects us to one another in relationships of interdependence and mutuality.

Equity. We declare that every person has the right to flourish with inherent dignity and worthiness. We covenant to use our time, wisdom, attention, and money to build and sustain fully accessible and inclusive communities.

At General Assembly 2024, delegates will vote on whether to proceed with these changes or not. We have the year ahead to consider these, live with these, and try them on for size and fit. Let me know what you think!

Blessings and love to you,