Many events over this past year have highlighted injustices addressed in the wording and spirit of the 8th Principle. A proposed addition to Unitarian Universalism’s seven faith principles, the 8th Principle calls for UUs across the country to join together to remove the systemic barriers and oppressions preventing the Beloved Community.
The 8th Principle text was revised by the ES Board of Trustees to include our name in the text:
We, the members of East Shore Unitarian Church in Bellevue, WA (ESUC) 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 forms of oppressions in ourselves and our institutions.
The original text was written by the Black Lives UU (BLUU) Organizing Collective within the UUA.
The 8th Principle was developed by BLUU to embed racial justice work into our core principles. Each congregation in the country has the opportunity to approve it as a statement of principled action toward dismantling white supremacy. With every affirmative vote, the 8th Principle moves closer to ratification as a national priority to be voted upon at General Assembly in 2022 (and again in 2023 to make any change final). As of the writing of this article, 47 congregations have already passed the 8th Principle.
Currently, East Shore is engaged in learning about the long history that lead to the ideals expressed in the 8th Principle, what it means personally and institutionally, and how it will intensify our commitment to anti-racism as well as other forms of oppression. We believe it vital that every East Shore member become educated about this principle and vote your support at our June 2021 Congregational meeting. In order to achieve this goal, the Pathways to the 8th Principle Ministry Team has been providing a variety of opportunities for congregants over the past months.
Ongoing opportunities that are available for review include:
- Paula Cole Jones speaks about The 8th Principle (YouTube)
- An informational webpage
- Sunday service videos featuring fellow congregants
- Testimonials by Pathways members
- Articles in the Beacon, such as the Board Buzz: The 8th Principle
- Widening the Circle of Concern Workshop
Ongoing Zoom Opportunities to attend that are not recorded:
- Community Circles
- Town Hall discussions
- Coffee Hour after Sunday Services
- Sermon, May 16th: Paula Cole Jones and Rev. Stephen Furrer
Final Opportunity before the June Congregational Meeting:
June 6 Town Hall right after church. If you haven’t had a chance to understand this Principle fully, or get your questions answered, this is the time! Join us right after church in the main zoom room to hear and share final thoughts about this commitment to racial justice and anti-oppression.
If you would like further information or have questions about these events and articles, please feel free to contact a member of the Pathways to the 8th Principle Ministry Team, listed below.
In addition to team members and many congregants who support the 8th Principle, the Rev. Steve Furrer supports the 8th Principle and its passage at East Shore. The Board of Trustees approved the 8th Principle unanimously as well as voting, again unanimously, to place a resolution adopting the 8th Principle on the agenda for our June 2021 Congregational meeting.
Thank you for your ongoing support of the 8th Principle as we take another step toward creating spiritually engaged practices that will reflect the values embedded in our Unitarian Universalist tradition. We are excited to be on this transformative journey with you!
The East Shore’s Pathways to the 8th Principle Ministry Team currently includes Paul Buehrens, Grace Colton, Maury Edwards, Ryam Hill, Marcy Langrock, Milly Mullarky, Lynn Roesch, and Louise Wilkinson, with Nicole Duff and amanda alice uluhan as staff.