The following are reflections shared by Westside UU Congregation members. Members were each allowed one submission. They were asked that their reflection relate directly to their 8th Principle discernment, and that they share their own opinions, not those of others.

If you wish to follow up with the members ask permission to discuss these reflections, do not assume that their post is an invitation for further dialogue.

To read the full reflection click the name of the author.

Liz Bucklew

04/08/2022
In favor of adoption
I’m in favor of the 8th principle and I’m ready to vote now. I worry that we will spend more time and energy discussing race amongst ourselves than we will in going after white supremacy. And it often seems like when we do go after each other, it’s with more personal ferocity than we reserve for the systems that are killing people of color. You need power to harm people and ...

Kerry Lusignan

04/03/2022
In favor of adoption
My vote is to approve the principle, but it is also fair to say “still in discernment,” as I am still reviewing material and listening to other people. I speak for myself but must envision the community context, as that is how this principle will take shape. The 8th principle seemed on first viewing a simple “yes,” but in view of conflicts the past few years, I agree some language ...

Marco Deppe

03/21/2022
In favor of adoption
Much has been said and written on this already, therefore, I will just briefly list my reasons for supporting the adoption of the 8th Principle at WSUU: 1. Unitarian Universalist communities of color asked us to do this. If that means speaking explicitly about racism and accountability in our principles, I’m on board with that. 2. The principles are what we make of them. Only if we work toward them and implement ...

Kathy Rawle

03/10/2022
Still in discernment
I’m deeply disheartened by the years of debate on this issue within the UUA and our congregation while reactionary extremists are attacking everything we stand for. Yes, our country must continue to face racism. Of course. We as UUs have been called to this work for decades, even centuries. It has therefore been shocking for many to discover racism in our own institutions and policies, even in ourselves. But lengthy ...

Jade Lowry

03/07/2022
In favor of adoption
I am whole-heartedly in favor of this principle – this initiative – this call to action. For me, it speaks of the love and connection so many of us deeply value in our beloved community. To demonstrate our caring of one another, it’s so important that we listen to understand, and that we grow our empathy for each other’s experiences. As I learn more and more intimately of the truth ...

Larry Brennan

03/06/2022
Opposed to adoption
I have several concerns about the 8th Principle, as well as the Article II project that will be the vehicle for the addition of the principle. I feel that the mission of the 8th Principle is already contained within the first and second principle, and we’d be better off refining those. I also feel that the proposed 8th is representative of an unfortunate and intolerant trend within the UUA. I strongly believe ...

Jim Schlough

02/28/2022
In favor of adoption
I support the adoption of the Eighth Principle. As much as I admire the tone and intentions of the Seven Principles, systemic racism is still enduring in our national culture. They are not sufficient in this day. Having come of age during the 50s and 60s, I was nourished in a time of both blatant discrimination and justice awakening. Am I immune from the ideological soup of that ...

Laura White

02/28/2022
In favor of adoption
As an independent UU congregation, we are being asked to deepen and expand our original principles, created decades ago, and include an active commitment to racial, social justice and equity as integral within a loving spiritual community. I see the 8th principle as a calling in, not a calling out. A calling in to use our UU strengths of respect, compassion and intellectual rigor to work together on solutions to ...

Larry Murphy

02/26/2022
Opposed to adoption
I am opposed to adoption of the 8th Principal because, as it is written, it is more of a manifesto than a principal. My understanding is that a principal is a moral standard by which we strive to form ethical plans of action. While few among us can deny the worthiness of the sentiment & goals contained within the proposal, I believe the standing 7 Principals are more ...

Tracy Burrows

02/23/2022
In favor of adoption
I support the 8th Principle because it calls us to the important work of building a diverse multicultural Beloved Community. The phrase “Beloved Community” in the 8th Principle was originally popularized by Dr. Martin Luther King, who used it to describe a spirit of love that is founded in goodwill, inclusion, and reconciliation. The Principle describes the building of a Beloved Community as a spiritual journey that will ...

Candy Sullivan

02/13/2022
Opposed to adoption
Speaking out will no doubt subject me to attacks of racism, white supremacy, and hostility to marginalized people. None of these charges are fair. I’ve had life-long, hands-on experience in attempting to dismantle institutional racism beginning with positions in the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and the Office of Economic Opportunity (poverty program). I see the UUA approach to be counterproductive. My late husband Jule Sugarman, best known for ...

Steve Bennett

02/12/2022
In favor of adoption
Having just reread the 8th principle, I’m wondering why some people find it to be such a big ask to get behind it. Maybe it’s easier for me because I grew up in the South around a more racially diverse community than I encounter in my current life. I had some wonderful and scary experiences with people of color but I definitely harbored some resentment from the bad encounters, feeling ...

Aimee Schiefelbein

02/12/2022
In favor of adoption
I support the adoption of the 8th Principle. Initially, the inner grammarian part of me noticed that this principle does not look like the others and I had some curiosities about the wording. I am in agreement with the content. Through self-reflection and education on the 8th Principle, I have come to realize what I love and appreciate about the wording. The existing principles should, in theory, cover compassion, dignity, ...

Roseanne Lorenzana

02/11/2022
Still in discernment
For those who don’t know me, I’m a decades long member of this congregation and raised my now-adult son here. I have served on the Board, the Ministerial Search Team, the Committee on Ministry and other leadership roles because I want Westside to be welcoming, inclusive, sustainable and relevant. I support adoption of the 8th Principle with the caveat that it become the lived Westside experience and not just a ...

Cynthia Townsend

02/11/2022
In favor of adoption
It’s a blessing for me to be able to fight racism with Westside, the community that I love. I am learning so much. 1 in 3 Black children in our country grow up in poverty. Babies without enough to eat. Children who drop out of high school to support their families. In our country the wealthiest nation in the world. For the sake of my soul, I have to do everything ...

Simon Knaphus

02/10/2022
In favor of adoption
Racism and white supremacy continue to be a pervasive problem, in the world at large, and sadly but honestly in our faith communities. Our previous efforts have made change (change worth celebrating), but have not made enough change. Frankly, we need to light a fire under ourselves. One of the reasons it took me so long to decide whether or not to join Westside was because I was reluctant to ...

Rick Taylor

02/10/2022
In favor of adoption
The proposed 8th principle is a call to unify in the struggle against racial and other oppressions. Personally, this language articulates my core beliefs, and the work we are asked to take on is essential for us as a community. I’m ready to (re)commit to this journey, which has been and will continue to be a labor of love. As a retired English professor, I can’t help mentioning the ungrammatical ...

Joan Whitley

02/10/2022
In favor of adoption
I am in favor of the 8th principle being added to our principle statements. It clarifies our position on racism and other oppressions. It seems to ask us, individually, to find ways to be comfortable with our own imperfections and look deeply into them. Although much of its position is in the first 7 principles, this one sets oppression and Beloved Community apart. ...

Amy Hance-Brancati

02/09/2022
In favor of adoption
To me, this is simple. The 8th principle affirms the belief that we have work to do in ourselves, in our congregations and churches, and beyond, to dismantle systemic racism, to learn to be anti-racists, and to keep this vital work going. As we learn and continue to be accountable to ourselves and each other, we will grow, expand our circle, and change for the good. I support the ...

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