by Rev. Dave Dunn
Article II Study Commission
Although one mustn’t profess any particular creed to be a Unitarian Universalist, today, the foundational elements of the denomination, its purposes and professions, are found in Article II of the UUA Bylaws. For an aspiring congregation to be accepted into, make covenant with, the Association, they must agree to honor Article II.
Article II consists of the following:
SECTION C-2.1. PRINCIPLES - Seven Principles; Six Sources
SECTION C-2.2. PURPOSES - The UUA serves congregations; implements principles
SECTION C-2.3. INCLUSION - Welcome all by changing structures of oppression
SECTION C-2.4. FREEDOM OF BELIEF - No Unitarian Universalist creed
Outside of the Principles and Sources, which many are familiar with, the rest of Article II consists of less than 200 words.
The UUA Bylaws also state that “If no study process of Article II has occurred for a period of fifteen years, the Board of Trustees shall appoint a commission to study Article II for not more than two years and to recommend appropriate revisions, if any, thereto to the Board of Trustees for inclusion on the agenda of the next regular General Assembly (UUA Bylaws, Article XV, Section C-15.1).”
Although there have been some minor adjustments to Article II over the years, it has essentially been unchanged since 1987.
In the Fall of 2020, an Article II Study Commission was appointed by the UUA Board of Trustees to review Article II. In January 2023, the Commission completed its work and issued a report detailing recommendations. These recommendations, changes to Article II, were amended, voted upon and passed at UUA General Assembly in June 2023. To fully modify Article II however, a subsequent vote at GA 2024 will also need to take place.
I urge you all to read the report along with the proposed revision and become familiar with them (e.g. the history, the process, the recommendations, etc.). I’m sure you will all have your own opinions about the recommendations. I have my own, yet my personal opinions aside, I was struck by the spirit of humility and grace in which the report was written and the profound sense of responsibility and respect that the Commission has for Unitarian Universalism and for all of us Unitarian Universalists.
I will once again be talking about the details of the changes during an upcoming Sunday in January 2024.
Nurture our spirit. Strive for Justice. Transform the world.