The 8th Principle
In the winter of 2021, following a year of racial justice uprising in the US, the UCM Racial Justice Group decided to introduce our congregation to the proposed 8th Principle of Unitarian Universalism. The proposed principle reads:
“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.”
With approval from the UCM Board, the RJG presented the 8th Principle to the congregation at the 2021 Annual Meeting. That brief event kicked off a months-long opportunity for the congregation to discuss the 8th Principle – including its origin, purpose, meaning, and potential impact.
The first seven principles of Unitarian Universalism were adopted at the 1985 UUA General Assembly in Atlanta, after several years of denomination-wide consideration.
The 8th Principle, drafted in 2013, has been adopted by nearly 150 UU congregations as of February 2022. It is, therefore, a grassroots endeavor, gradually gaining steam in the denomination. It has been brought up at recent General Assemblies, and is likely to be acted on at the 2023 GA in Pittsburgh. The RJG believes that UCM is well positioned to join this growing grass-roots movement.
- VIDEO: Verdis and Liza explain the 8th Principle in “Our Principles as a House of Love“
- UCM RJG’s 8th Principle Resource Guide – a single place to go for links and information
- Official 8th Principle website
- RJG process and rationale for inviting UCM’s congregation to join the movement to pass the 8th Principle
- UCM’s Anti-racism Audit (documenting the collective work we have done as a congregation since 2016
- Resistance to the 8th Principle
In the Fall of 2021 and during the winter, the RJG, collaborating with other UCM groups, organized time and space (through worship services on September 19th and 26th, weekly e-newsletter announcements, outreach by RJG members to other groups, and through a survey), for our beloved UCM congregation to discuss the 8th Principle and why passing it would be an important step in our congregation’s journey toward anti-racist culture and practice. Thank you for joining us in this shared work of liberation.
UCM’s Board called a special congregational meeting, after the Worship Service on February 13, 2022, to discuss and vote on whether UCM members will adopt the 8th Principle. The vote to adopt the 8th Principle passed easily after meaningful discourse, including dissent. UCM became the 154th UU congregation to adopt the 8th Principle.
For more information about the Racial Justice Group and the 8th Principle, please contact Meredith Warner.