Where Would the 8th Principle Reside After We Adopt It?

Some churches, such as First Unitarian Church of Portland, Oregon, reference the seven principles in their bylaws, listing each one. So, they will amend their bylaws to speak to eight principles.

UUCT does not currently include the 7 UU Principles in our bylaws, nor do we mention them.

Other churches adopted the 8th Principle as a formal resolution. UUCT has a mechanism for adopting “resolutions on issues of importance,” but it is cumbersome and time consuming. And the adopted resolutions end up in Appendix 4 of our Manual of Policies and Procedures─ not a place most of us has ever been.

The first church to adopt the 8th Principle was the UU Church of the Restoration, now Unitarian Universalists of Mt. Airy, in Philadelphia. It is the congregation of Bruce Pollack-Johnson, who co-wrote the principle with Paula Cole Jones. Initially, that congregation incorporated it into their covenant. They subsequently added it to their principles, displayed on their website along with their mission and vision.

ARE is recommending that we adopt the 8th principle as an addition to the principles our congregation covenants to affirm and promote in our discourse and on our website, where we list the seven UU Principles under “Our Beliefs.”

We would add it to the principles listed on the poster displayed in our sanctuary. And we would add the children’s version to the poster in Room K: “Build the beloved community, free from racism and oppression.”

That’s a bit easier to digest than the adult version, but it doesn’t capture the notion of being accountable. An alternative distillation might be “Take responsibility for building beloved community, free from racism and other oppressions.”

No doubt some will say – “Let’s adopt that version.” I believe there are good reasons to adopt the 8th Principle now with the proposed wording, but that’s for another 8th Principle Moment…

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Bob Deyle
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