Pitch to the East Shore Board of Trustees Regarding the 8th Principle

Apr 30, 2021 | Racial

We ask the Board to place the 8th Principle on the Annual Meeting ballot.

We ask the Board to endorse passage of the 8th Principle.

Over 40 congregations have done so in a national grassroots movement.  The principles adopted by the UUA are currently under review with a report expected at the 2022 GA, and a vote on revisions at the 2023 GA.  That is how the congregational adoptions will influence the final wording for the UUA.

We have all here at ESUC journeyed along in our own ways toward an antiracist posture in the last few years, in continuation of a long Unitarian Universalist tradition that goes back to the abolitionists.  The 8th Principle calls us forward and echoes back to encompass an anti-oppression principle that some say is implicit, but which here is made explicit.  Furthermore, our 7 principles do not mention love nor the beloved community we all see as a principal goal.

Many of us have engaged deeply with Beloved Racial Justice, Beloved Conversations, Meaningful Movies, books we’ve read, forums we’ve attended, courses we’ve taken, and all of us grappling with current events.

We believe the 8th Principle is THE next step in moving toward a Beloved Community, and the time has come to endorse and pass this next step in the evolution of UUism for our congregation.

We further believe that passage will have a very large impact on our ministerial search process, either positively if passed, or negatively if not.  This is a reality.  A new minister will want a forward-looking congregation that is among those moving forward, more than the challenge of trying to pull against the tide of inertia.

Our future lies with the young and with our own community, which is now majority minority.  Folks younger than I have difficulty understanding my generation’s failure to move further in antiracism.  Systemic racism is obvious to most of them, and less so to good liberal UUs who remember the Civil Rights Movement.  Our congregation has so far failed to grow despite our goals and intentions, and failed to change to reflect our community for a host of reasons, not unlike other UU congregations.  Passing the 8th Principle will change and embed a different way of doing business, and announce that change to our community and to those who seek social action and responsiveness as well as worship.  The largest denomination is the “nones”.  Let’s let them and those trying to find a spiritual home know they can have a home with us.

by Paul Buehrens