Please read the following article. It is important to our UU faith that you are aware of some possible upcoming
changes involving the Principles.
Revision as a Faithful Practice
by Erica Baron, Meck Groot & Joe Sullivan
In 2020 General Assembly delegates voted to begin a review of Article II of the UUA Bylaws. Article II is the
covenant between and among UU congregations. It currently contains our seven Principles and six Sources. It
also has language about inclusion and freedom of belief.
The review has been the project of the Article II Study Commission. They have proposed a draft of new language
(PDF) for Article II which makes some big changes. A version of this proposal will be coming to General
Assembly in June 2023.
You may be inspired by this draft, or concerned, or undecided. However you feel, we think it’s important that we
Unitarian Universalists make it a point to revisit our core tenets on a regular basis. We have collectively
committed to consider changing even this central part of our faith in the light of new understanding and
awareness of cultural shifts.
The American Unitarian Association and the Universalist Church of America joined to become the Unitarian
Universalist Association in 1961. The current Study Commission’s work is at least the third time we have
considered revisions to Article II since then.
The first major review was led by UU women. It began in the late 1970s and continued until 1984. That year, the
General Assembly adopted the current covenant, including the seven Principles. In 1984, the new language
included five of the six Sources. The sixth – earth-centered traditions – was added in 1995.
The Bylaws actually call for Article II to be reviewed every 15 years. In 2007, the UUA Board noticed that we had
passed the 15-year mark and asked a commission to study Article II. That commission brought proposed
changes to the 2009 General Assembly. Delegates narrowly voted the changes down.
Sometimes our review process makes big changes. Other times, it makes only small changes or none at all. Even
so, the practice of regular review of our core tenets has shaped the culture of our faith tradition. The Principles
and Sources from 1984 and 1995 have shaped identity and practice for generations of UUs.