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 racial injustice within our behavior and our community structures. A calling in to deeply listen, understand and act in fairness on behalf of the experiences of other UU’s who may feel left out of the original principles in some of our actions. A calling in to expand our racial, social justice and equity perspectives in practice. An opportunity to build stronger authentic connections between us and our communities with fairness, humility and curiosity.
From my perspective, we are being asked to refresh and rebalance our UU agreements to each other spiritually and as a committed social justice faith consistent with our evolving UU spiritual tradition. So what might hold us back from voting yes? Exact wording? Discussions of “Is this a real principle or not? “We already include these beliefs in our existing principles” “Why change any of our principles?” Fear that the UUA will dominate our congregation? Fear we won’t have a voice in a more inclusive structure? These perspectives, to me, may be sidestepping the heart of the issue. We all have a role to play, insights to add and a voice to be recognized in such important work. I, like many of us, have much to learn along this journey. However, as an independent UU congregation we have been asked to join others, shoulder to shoulder, to deepen and expand our original principles and walk our talk of racial justice and equity. This seems a straightforward request to me and I will embrace the 8th Principle as an act of love in action.