If you had to name just a few values that are essential to Unitarian Universalism, what would you come up with? Here is one answer: Equity; Interdependence; Generosity; Justice; Growth; Diversity–and above all, Love.
This week I attended a feedback session, hosted by the committee that is working on revising the current statement of principles and sources. For 90 minutes I discussed this draft of UU values with about two dozen other UU’s from across the country. This feedback session was the latest step in a process that’s been going on for a couple of years now. Realizing that a revision to the 1987 version of the 7 principles and 6 sources document was long overdue, the Unitarian Universalist Association has had a group working on this revision for a while now. They have received feedback already; they have hosted sessions at General Assembly to discuss their work; they plan to have a final proposal ready for an initial vote next summer.
In doing this revision, the committee wisely decided to put everything on the table. The new statement of UU values might not be in the form of “principles and sources” that has become so familiar. The gathered voice of Unitarian Universalism, as expressed through voting at General Assembly, charged this committee with centering Love in their work. They have done just that.
In the feedback session I attended Sunday, the committee asked for our feedback on the expression of UU values as a simple diagram. The diagram had LOVE in the center. Then around that central value, like spokes in a wheel, were the other values: Equity; Interdependence; Generosity; Justice; Growth; Diversity. Many people in the feedback session responded favorably overall; some of us brought up things that might be missing: Democracy; Environmentalism; Spiritual Seeking.
One thing in the discussion struck me that I want to lift up: gratitude for the process itself. In our religion, Unitarian Universalism, the statement of our core values is revised, and discussed, and deliberated upon, by a committee with input from the larger body of Unitarian Universalists. We get a say in this. We get to respond to the draft and get our feedback to the committee…and ultimately we get to vote. It is a messy and deliberate and slow and imperfect process–because it is democratic. And because the task–how to sum up Unitarian Universalism in a few concise words or statements–is a challenging one. The process is very UU, and I think the ultimate outcome will be very UU.
In order to follow this process more closely, including upcoming chances to offer your own feedback, please look for “Article 2 Study Commission” on the UUA website:
God / Light Within / Deepest Human Wisdom / Infinite Sky / Mother Earth…
…May all seekers be blessed. May we be blessed in our stumbling, in our finding and doubting our way and finding again.
May the community of seekers be blessed, as we strive to understand together what is Good, what is Right, what is True, what is Worthy.
Amen. Blessed Be.
Rev. Andrew Frantz
Rev. Andrew Frantz
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