As Rev. Barbara Wells ten Hove explains, “The Principles are not dogma or doctrine, but rather a guide for those of us who choose to join and participate in Unitarian Universalist religious communities.”
They are:

  1. The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
  2. Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
  3. Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
  4. A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
  5. The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
  6. The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
  7. Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

We live out these Principles within a “living tradition” of wisdom and spirituality, drawn from sources as diverse as science, poetry, scripture, and personal experience:

  1. Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and uphold life;
  2. Words and deeds of prophetic women and men which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love;
  3. Wisdom from the world’s religions which inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life;
  4. Jewish and Christian teachings which call us to respond to God’s love by loving our neighbors as ourselves;
  5. Humanist teachings which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science, and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit;
  6. Spiritual teachings of earth-centered traditions which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature.


BELOVED COMMUNITY

Beloved Community happens when people of diverse racial, ethnic, educational, class, gender, abilities, sexual orientation backgrounds/identities come together in an interdependent relationship of love, mutual respect, and care that seeks to realize justice within the community and in the broader world. Working towards Beloved Community does not exclude, but includes, offering vital life saving connections to people of all walks of life, from every socio-economic background and ethnic group.  Focusing on anti-racism and other oppressions, reminds us to make room in our power structures for diversity, to practice radical welcome, and create deep justice filled relationships.  We can only grow a beloved community when our circle of influence is wide, deep and strong.

In 2017, our brothers and sisters, colleagues and friends in our Unitarian Universalist movement asked that we adopt a statement keeping the work of building beloved community in sharp focus, to remind us that the path that leads out of systemic racism includes deep listening, openness and humility, and that this work is ours to do now, and the future is always in draft form, never finished.   With that in mind, in June 2021,  the congregation adopted the draft version of a new principle being proposed to the UUA and working its way through the systems to get included officially in our national association bylaws.

We do not know if this will be its final version or even if it will be a bylaw, but until then, in solidarity, we’ll call it the 8th principle and as adopted it reads:

“We, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, covenant to affirm and promote: journeying toward spiritual wholeness by working to build a diverse multicultural Beloved Community by our actions that accountably dismantle racism and other oppressions in ourselves and our institutions.”  


ARTICLE II COMMISSION:  RENEWAL OF COVENANT 

There have been many projects, resolutions, task forces and other strategies that have come from the Board, Commission on Appraisal and grassroots groups which encourage us to take a look at our principles, purposes, bylaws and rules. It is time for us to do a review and make changes so that we are living into the Unitarian Universalism of the future, a Unitarian Universalism that holds us in times of great need and ethical, moral and spiritual crises. We are in one of those times now.

The final version of Article II, as amended by the Board of Trustees and/or the 2023 General Assembly, must receive a simple majority vote to move forward for a final vote at the 2024 General Assembly. It will take a 2/3rd majority vote at the 2024 General Assembly to be adopted as the new Article II of the UUA bylaws. If either vote fails, a similar proposal cannot be considered for two years.

The Article II Study Commission will submit its recommendation for a new Article II to the Board of Trustees in January 2023. 

Over the course of its work, the Commission engaged in 45 feedback sessions, with 4,611 total participants. Their videos reached 7,765 viewers, and their 29 surveys generated a total of 10,925 responses. You can see a summary of all their work here.

FULL January 2023 proposal here: a2sc_rpt_01172023
Excerpt starting page 19:

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.
We covenant to cherish Earth and all beings by creating and nurturing relationships of care and respect. With humility and reverence, we acknowledge our place in the great web of life, and we work to repair harm and damaged relationships.

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.

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.

As Unitarian Universalists, we use, and are inspired by, sacred and secular understandings that help us to live into our values. We respect the histories, contexts and cultures in which they were created and are currently practiced. These sources ground us and sustain us in ordinary, difficult, and joyous times. Grateful for the religious ancestries we inherit and the diversity which enriches our faith, we are called to ever deepen and expand our wisdom.

Systems of power, privilege, and oppression have traditionally created barriers for persons and groups with particular identities, ages, abilities, and histories. We pledge 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 who share our values. We commit to being an association of congregations that empowers and enhances everyone’s participation, especially those with historically marginalized identities.

Congregational freedom and the individual’s right of conscience are central to our Unitarian Universalist heritage. Congregations may establish statements of purpose, covenants, and bonds of union so long as they do not require that members adhere to a particular creed.