Let’s Take Some Time to Consider the 8th Principle of Unitarian Universalism
“We, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, covenant to affirm and promote: journeying toward spiritual wholeness by working to build a diverse multicultural Beloved Community by our actions that accountably dismantle racism and other oppressions in ourselves and our institutions.”
This proposed 8th Principle of Uniartian Universalism has been adopted by more than 40 congregations and another 40 in process. It was created in 2013 by Paula Cole Jones and Bruce Pollack-Johnson, out of the belief that after many decades of fighting racism in our congregations and in society, we needed something to renew our commitment to this work, to hold us accountable, and to fulfill the potential of our existing Seven Principles.
Having recently experienced the United States moving quickly and dangerously in the wrong direction, police violence against BIPOC, Supreme Court decisions on voting rights, and the resurgence of violent white supremacist groups, among other events, the Inclusivity Team felt that now was well past time to introduce the 8th Principle to AlbanyUU for consideration and adoption. The Inclusivity Team formed an 8th Principle subteam, members include Dick Dana, Linda Hunt, Lee Newberg, and Annika Pfluger.
The subteam began by contacting a number of congregations, from Virginia to Hawaii, who have already adopted the 8th Principle. We asked them about their experience of the process. All saw it as a major, positive step in their congregation’s anti-racism journey, serving as a guide while they continue to shape the life of their congregation both internally, in welcoming and including people of diverse backgrounds; and externally, in their relationships outside the congregation’s walls.
One stated flatly, “If you don’t deal with the 8th Principle, everything you tell me about the other 7 doesn’t ring true.” She mentioned it gives her congregation a framework to talk about the issue, and in a sense, it has given her a whole new congregation. One BIPOC member stated that adopting the 8th Principle was a tangible expression of her congregation’s love for her.
There is more to come. We will all have a chance to discuss the implications of adoption. Let’s all take some time to consider the 8th Principle of Unitarian Universalism. Feel free to text, email, or call any one of us on the subteam with any questions, comments, or concerns.