The 8th Principle begins with the words: We covenant to affirm and promote journeying toward spiritual wholeness…
Why evoke a journey? Doing what the 8th principle commits us to doing, working to build a diverse multicultural Beloved Community, is something that will take time and many steps to accomplish. As with any journey, there may be bumps in the road, roadblocks to navigate around, times to be cautious and slow down, and difficult uphill periods when energy wanes.
The journey is also one that we commit to and take together with these words: We covenant to affirm and promote. For UU Explorations last month, our topic was freedom and interdependence in Unitarian Universalism. Several of our readings talked about the competing pulls in UUism between individual freedom to follow our own conscience and spiritual path and the interdependence at the heart of covenantal community.
In a transcript from a 2015 General Assembly workshop, a UUA regional staff person noted that: The independence of individual UUs is often privileged over interdependent community in our congregations. Our people therefore tend to organize themselves around individual conscience, individual discernment, and direct democracy rather than mutually covenanted collective conscience, collective discernment, and collective action.
The 8th principle commits us to collective conscience, collective discernment, and collective and accountable action. We are capable of so much when we journey and work together!