The History of our Principles

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For the past year and a half I have been catching up on UU history and using that information as a guide or platform to learn about contemporary America. I grew up in a Universalist Church and remember the merger of the Universalists with the Unitarians.

I don’t remember the initial Six Principles that were incorporated in the merger documents of the Unitarians and the Universalists. The first thing that I knew about the Principles was the current Seven. Reverend William made an off hand comment one time that the current 7 were not the first ones. That was news to me. I wondered if it was news to anyone else?

And now we have the 8th Principle. I began wondering how the other Principles were developed and adopted. Is the current method of adoption by individual congregations and fellowships the usual and customary method or something new? What about the wording of the 8th? It is so long.

This is the first of three to five articles that I will write about the history and development of our principles. I will share with you the original 6, the familiar 7 and the new #8. I will share with you my curiosity about their history in their own time, how they represented their time as well as tried to be timeless, how well they guided the UUA through the past 50+ years, how and why they were revised in the 80s; how the 8th has developed; and why the develope