Proposed 8th UU Principle: Endorsements from UUC Groups

Family Ministry Visioning Team

We, the Family Ministry Visioning Team, offer unfailing support for the adoption of the proposed 8th UU Principle by the University Unitarian Church. To build the Beloved Community free of racism and oppression—this is a calling we believe to be inherently worthy and essential to highlight for all, and in particular our children and youth. The racial reckoning of this past year has taught us that progress is not inevitable, but requires determination, articulation, and action. Our children and youth must know that the adults in their families and faith circles believe in this wholly, and are working for progress with this firm commitment. Their work will continue, and this base of support and explicit intention will serve and guide them in their learning and actions through the years.

Family Ministry Visioning Team:
Elizabeth Leber, Rachael Levy, Marcel Levy,
Melody Moberg, Katie Vos, Aria Curtis,
Jacob Lee, Megan Erickson

UUC Racial Justice Team

We, the members of the Racial Justice Team of University Unitarian Church, Seattle, Washington, strongly support UUC’s adoption of the 8th Principle.

We see adoption of the 8th Principle as a practical commitment to our church’s mission statement:

UUC is a community that covenants to awaken spirit, nurture hope and inspire action.

and to the final paragraph of UUC’s vision statement:

We will vocally and actively oppose injustice and stand in prophetic judgment of all that would diminish the equality and dignity of human beings or harm the web of life. We seek partnership with those who share our goals and creative dialogue with those who challenge us in our search for larger truths.

We aspire to a shared vision of faith, one of spiritual wholeness, in which our principles commit us to seeking justice for all, with particular attention to overcoming our country’s long and painful history of racial oppression.

In this vision we are creating a church community in which we individually and collectively:                   

  • Engage in spiritual practices that keep us grounded and centered.
  • Bring our best selves to working with each other and maintaining a trustworthy church community, with the help of our spiritual practices.
  • Do the difficult work of repair when we fall short, as we inevitably will.
  • Learn about the complex role of history in Unitarian Universalism and seek to engage in reparations, as needed, both inside our church and beyond.
  • Affirm shifts to conventional power dynamics, and strategically use our access to resources and power.
  • Engage outward from our church community and undertake the work of racial justice as we seek to end oppressive systems in our city, state, country, and the broader world.

We acknowledge that moving towards these lofty ideals will be messy. None of us knows just what the route to spiritual wholeness and diverse, multicultural Beloved Community will look like. It will require ongoing work that we do together, nurturing relationships along the way. It will require us to have open hearts, to seek positive results from our blunders, and to respond to challenge by transforming ourselves and our institutions with love.

UUC 2021–2022 Care Team

UUC’s 2021–2022 Care Team endorses the proposed 8th Principle as a call to our congregation. Living into the 8th Principle encourages members of the Care Team and the congregation to re-commit to our UU Principles as ethical guidelines for individual action and shared practices.

By our faithful promises
We hold space
For members and friends of UUC
To be seen
In the unceasing
Light of love

We strive to be compassionate companions
During times of sorrow, joy and change

Recognizing the vulnerability, strength and resilience
Evident in our encounters
Especially across differences
We seek to listen with open-hearted curiosity:
For understanding, for illumination, for healing

As part of spiritual care
Our team is committed to developing
Anti-racist awareness and skills
Acknowledging the interdependent human bond of diverse communities

While we dare to envision
A world where all are meant to thrive
We also know that socio-economic power and privilege
Come with a cost, individual and communal

We share resources and opportunities
Addressing concerns
Practical and transcendent
Where stigma and oppression may weigh heaviest

We anticipate that our Care Team processes
Will change as we grow into the unknown:
Searching for ways of embodying the 8th Principle

Holding faith with abiding love
We imagine
The possibility of collective liberation
Creating Beloved Community
Where I and Thou belong —

UUC 2021–2022 Care Team:
Chronister, Hartley, Hood, Hutcheson, Johnson, Kippes, Morgan, Ruha, Sutro

Horizon House members of UUC

We, Horizon House members of UUC, endorse adoption of the 8th Principle of Unitarian Universalism by our congregation. We do so for the following reasons:

  • The 8th Principle, unlike the other 7, calls us to action and accountability.
  • While the current 7 Principles implicitly deal with racism and other oppressions, the 8th explicitly names and rejects them.
  • The 8th Principle can be the catalyst that demands we examine our own personal and institutional complicity; and determine ways to take action to dismantle those structures within ourselves and our church community.
  • Embracing this commitment will set an example for our youth who so ably join us in this commitment.

We realize this will be a multi-generational process and that we will fail at times. But we must own our failures and move on in the search for becoming that Beloved Community.

Horizon House UUC Members:
Eliza Anderson, Bill Corriston, Jan Corriston,
Dick Ford, Nancy Ford, Alicia Gardner,
Dorothy Hopper, Craig McGee, Dorothy McGee,
Bill Roach, Carol Roach, Laura Weese, Jane Worthen

UUC Music Committee

On behalf of the participants in the three choirs that comprise the Music Program at UUC, the Music Committee offers its endorsement to adopt the 8th UU Principle.

The UUC Music Program includes three groups of adults and children in UUC’s Loft Choir, Intergenerational Choir and Handbell Choir and often has as many as one hundred active participants.

The Music Committee used a survey to seek feedback from Music Program participants about the Proposed 8th Principle.

UUC Board of Trustees

As a community that covenants to awaken spirit, nurture hope, and inspire action, the Board of Trustees of University Unitarian Church vigorously recommends the adoption of the 8th Principle. The proposed 8th Principle supports our church Vision to be a community that vocally and actively opposes injustice and stands in prophetic judgment of all that would diminish the equality and dignity of human beings. This 8th Principle affirms and makes explicit the critical importance of diversity, inclusion, and equity for our journey to spiritual wholeness found in our seven UU Principles. While racism and oppression remain insidious and unacceptably common, our work to address the harm inflicted must continue. Dismantling racist oppression fits our long faith tradition of working toward liberation, and is, at its center, rooted in love. Because our lives are connected and mutually dependent, we must not do this as individuals alone but as a collective, bound by faith and affection.

With open minds, full hearts, and strong resolve, we recommend that all members adopt this principle not only with our votes but with our lives and actions.

UUC Art Committee

We, the members of the UUC Art Committee support adoption of the proposed 8th Principle of Unitarian Universalism.

Art reflects and celebrates the beauty and diversity of humanity. Literature, music, and visual art give us a window into a world we might not have seen, allowing and encouraging us to see people and places in a different way. Art has the power to change lives, perspectives, and minds. We will strive as a committee to provide opportunities for marginalized populations to share their voices. We strongly support adoption of the proposed 8th Principle as we “journey 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.”

UUC Economic Justice Team

The Economic Justice Team voted at our September 26, 2021 meeting to support adding the proposed 8th Principle to those which we covenant to affirm and promote within our congregation.

We encourage the Board to move forward with additional meetings which allow all members of the congregation to explore its meaning and likely effect upon our congregation and its work. We look forward to a congregational vote in the upcoming months.

Members of the Economic Justice Team hope that once the principle is adopted, all members of the congregation may make their voices heard in suggesting ways that it may be put into action and ways that we may hold ourselves accountable.

UUC Immigrant Justice Team

UUC’s Immigrant Justice Team supports our congregation’s adoption of the 8th Principle. Our seven principles are positive and life affirming, and the 8th Principle calls us to action and accountability. Structures of racism, white supremacy, and oppression sustain immigration injustice in our nation and our institutions. Creating a truly Beloved Community that dismantles these structures makes it possible for justice to thrive. A tenet of our immigrant justice work is remembering that the liberation of everyone is inherently connected and that we make this journey together. Adoption of the 8th Principle invites us to radical possibility, where we remain open to new learning and understanding, and where we as a congregation choose to act intentionally and boldly, grounded in new ways of being that create spiritual wholeness within and outside our church.

Some may feel that the 8th Principle is superfluous because the first and second principle already speak to every person’s inherent worth and dignity, and to justice and equity. However, we feel it is critical through the 8th Principle to go a step beyond, explicitly naming and rejecting racism and structures that support it and calling us to accountable action toward this end. This is particularly relevant in the context of our nation’s historic and current immigration practices.

Caring Shawls Knitting & Crochet Circle

We would like to vote in favor of supporting the 8th Principal. Particularly during the pandemic, we have learned a great deal about our history. We believe it will require being proactive to repair the racist institutions and prejudices. It is not appropriate to expect the people who have suffered from these prejudices to repair, because the problem does not originate with them but with us, who perpetrate the damage by not seeing it. Now is the time to make it happen. We would be remiss to pretend it isn’t so.

UUC Caring Shawls Knit & Crochet Circle:
Sara Clark, Leah Evison, Izzie Wylde, Nancy Jordan,
Maylin Fisher Jane Blackwell and others…

UUC Stewardship Committee

We, the members of the Stewardship Committee of University Unitarian Church, strongly endorse the adoption of the 8th Principle.

  • We believe that adopting this principle will demonstrate UUC’s renewed commitment to becoming an antiracist organization, which will help us become better stewards of our own lives, our church community, and the greater world.
  • We believe that the 8th Principle will contribute to the Stewardship Committee’s vision that each member of UUC feels known, valued, and connected within our church, and that all are invited to build a diverse multicultural Beloved Community.
  • We believe that we have much to learn individually and collectively about how to approach this lifelong work accountably, so we begin with humility, openness, and appreciation that we have the support of this community for the journey.

We believe that this adoption will affirm that ours is a living tradition guided by principled action and will help us understand and dismantle racism and white supremacy culture and power in ourselves and our institutions.

UUC Equity Team:

We, the members of the University Unitarian Church Equity Team, whole-heartedly endorse our congregation’s adoption of the 8th Principle. As people actively seeking to engage Beloved Community at all levels of our congregation, this principle encourages us to take action to build a more equitable, multi-cultural, and anti-racist model for all decisions we make going forward. Further, we understand that adoption of this principle is one step in a multi-generational process and commit to doing the work over-time to reach this aspirational goal. We do not know how all of this will evolve because we know that anti-racism work, by its nature, is an ongoing learning process, requiring open inquiry, humility, and deep compassion for the suffering of others. As new information and feedback emerges, we trust in our ability to adapt and make needed changes to our processes in service of our higher aspirations. We look forward to this challenge and encourage others to join us in formalizing our commitment to becoming a truly Beloved Community.

UUC Social Justice Steering Committee:

Why we endorse the 8th Principle:

The Social Justice Steering Committee supports a multitude of activities, but one primary purpose is to serve as a catalyst. As we’ve followed along in the journey towards the adoption of the 8th principle, we’ve also witnessed the strong spiritual impact it has had on our Beloved Community. The 8th Principle activates not only each of us, but also our existing principles. They hold us all to be accountable and actively address systemic racism and other oppressions permeating our society. This committee’s actions and decisions will be guided, activated, and enriched by the addition of this principle firmly rooted in social justice to our existing principles.

UUC Social Justice Steering Committee:
Brooke Lather-McElligott, Chair,
Dave Mentz, David Kendall, Judy Oerkvitz,
Maddie Smith, Rich Brooks

UUC Interweave:

UUC Interweave supports the 8th Principle:

As members of a marginalized community, we have felt cultural discrimination. We know the consequences of not being able to be our authentic selves and the subsequent suffering. Therefore, we support the 8th Principle as a way to help us all stay focused on the changes that need to be incorporated into our daily lives.

Beloved community is the antithesis of discrimination. Racism divides communities. Beloved Community unites communities.

This is a journey we can take as individuals and collectively as a group that will lead us all towards wholeness. The 8th Principle offers an opportunity to open our hearts, re-examine our attitudes in our treatment and connection with others, and enliven our spirits. Through this opportunity, we will experience both personal and congregational growth, becoming an even stronger community.

UUC Wise Women Support Group:

The members of the Wise Women support group of the University Unitarian Church support the adoption of the 8th principle as an addition to the previous seven. We believe it is our responsibility to enlighten ourselves to the oppression inflicted on people of color, the earth, and genderism from the White Supremacy on which our country was founded.

UUC Antiracism Study Group:

Why We Endorse the 8th Principle:

The Antiracism Study Group, sponsored by the Racial Justice Team, proudly endorses the adoption of the 8th Principle. For four years, our Antiracism Study Group has made a commitment to learn about how we, as white women, participate in and benefit from white privilege. We have learned to constantly question the narrative of assumed white superiority within ourselves and in our culture. We are also committed to learning how systemic racism is at the root of historic and current white supremacy. We believe that:

  • Adopting the 8th Principle will help us, as a UUC group and as a congregation, move deeper in our commitment to learning about and dismantling these structures of oppression that exist in ourselves and in our institutions.
  • Adopting the 8th Principle sets us on a journey toward spiritual wholeness which is the foundation of creating a diverse and multicultural Beloved Community.
  • Adopting the 8th Principle strengthens our commitment to the first seven Principles, asks us to live our UU Principles with accountability, and makes the implied meaning of the other Principles explicit.
  • Adopting the 8th Principle commits us to a journey that will evolve over time as we move forward because antiracism work is a constant ongoing learning process.

UUC Antiracism Study Group:
Sharon Enga, Dinah Hartley, Pat Marks,
Jewels Mellen, Margaret Nolen

UUC Interfaith Justice Team:

We, the members of the University Unitarian Church Interfaith Justice Team, are in full support of adoption of the 8th Principle by our congregation. As UUC members who have engaged with the wider community in dialogues over Islamophobia and anti-Semitism, we have witnessed the synergy that comes to life when people of different faiths and cultures work together in a spirit of mutual respect, inquiry, and appreciation. Internalized biases give way to deeper understandings, in a process both enlightening and joyful. Our commitment to upholding the inherent worth and dignity of every individual when these values are under threat is strengthened.

We believe embarking on a parallel course to face and dismantle the toxic legacy of systemic racism is vital to our community’s and our country’s well-being. We recognize that the process is one of both individual and congregational self-examination, and that it will require tangible changes in the near term and ongoing commitment in a multi-generational arc. But we feel that this challenge is imperative and fundamental to our faith, and one that must begin here and now, with us.