Article II change recommended by miniassembly

Participants in a miniassembly to consider changes to Article II—the Principles and Purposes—of the UUA bylaws, approved one proposed change Thursday afternoon and voted down two others.

Changes to Article II first came before General Assembly in 2009 when the UUA’s Commission on Appraisal proposed some revisions to the Principles and Purposes. The bylaws require that changes to Article II be sent to a study commission for several years of review. The proposed changes generated a great deal of interest when they were presented and have been widely reviewed by many UUs and at several different General Assemblies. Because of that publicity, the Board of Trustees wants to give preliminary approval this week to the changes without going through a study commission. If delegates approve by a four-fifths vote then the proposed changes will appear again on the agenda of the 2014 General Assembly for final approval.

The change, which was approved by the miniassembly Thursday, is to Section C 2.3 and primarily calls for a couple of sentences to be rearranged so that a paragraph about “inclusion” starts off on a positive rather than negative tone. That paragraph would read as follows:

We strive to be an association of congregations that truly welcome all persons and commit to structuring congregational and associational life in ways that empower and enhance everyone’s participation. 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.

The earlier version had the paragraph leading off with the second sentence. Some in the miniassembly felt that was too negative.

Another change recommended earlier is that Section C 2.3, initially titled Non-discrimination, would now be called Inclusion.

GA delegates will consider Article II changes Saturday afternoon.

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