In 2017, the Black Lives of UU Organizing Collective urged UU congregations to adopt an 8th Principle in Unitarian Universalism and commit “to the dismantling of white supremacy, within the stated principles of our faith.”
At our 2020 Congregational Meeting, UUCSS committed to spend a year “in deep study and mindful reflection about what adopting the 8th Principle means for our Congregation… with the goal to bring the 8th Principle to a Congregational Vote in 2021.”
The 8th Principle is Love in Action.
The proposed 8th Principle states:
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.
UUCSS has an opportunity to adopt the 8th Principle as a spiritual guide for our own work and to officially urge the UUA to incorporate the spirit and wisdom of the 8th Principle into our UU Principles.
The UUCSS Board and the 8th Principle Task Force jointly present this “Resolution to Adopt the 8th Principle.” The Resolution will be put before the Congregation at our Congregational Meeting in June.
The Resolution reflects our desire to commit to the work of creating the Beloved Community. It acknowledges that there is no set roadmap in this work; rather it is incumbent on us to continually, mindfully, and lovingly forge our own path while holding ourselves accountable to the common good.
Can You Tell Me More About What the 8th Principle Means?
We’d love to. Please join the Racial Justice Task Force for coffee hour discussions, and take a look at these resources:
- 8thPrincipleUU: check out this website for the history, context, and meaning of the 8th Principle, as explained by Paula Cole Jones and Bruce Pollack-Johnson, the UUs who have been leading this effort.
- Frequently Asked Questions about the 8th Principle
- Join us for Coffee Hour and other Events to Discuss the 8th Principle.
Can you Tell Me More About What the UUCSS Vote Will Look Like?
Of course! The Congregational Meeting will follow a new structure developed by the Board. The meeting and the vote will be held virtually. The vote will be anonymous.
We encourage everyone to recognize the spiritual imperative of this vote and to reflect deeply on what this vote means to you individually and to the congregation.
If you do not wish to commit to the Principle or if you prefer not to be part of a Congregation that would center the goals identified in this Principle, vote no. If you believe this Principle is necessary and valuable as a guide for your personal, spiritual life and an important focus for our Congregation, vote yes.
Consider, also, that by adopting the 8th Principle, we embrace a new vision of democratic action and congregational life, where it’s not enough to imagine ourselves as a collection of individuals. The 8th Principle asks us to recognize how deeply our lives are intertwined with each other. The 8th Principle forces us to wrestle with the difficult and profound observation that our freedom to search for truth and meaning does not happen in a vacuum, and that our responsibilities are not only to ourselves but everyone in our community. As Fannie Lou Hamer said, “Nobody’s free until everybody’s free.” Building a new culture of shared, interdependent responsibility is part of the work of building a Beloved Community. Adopting the 8th Principle is a commitment to begin that work. [Paula Cole Jones “Community of Communities” Sophia Fahs Lecture]
For more information about the Congregational Meeting and the Voting Process see
Is the UUA as a denomination considering adopting the 8th Principle?
Yes, as part of a review of all our Principles.
The current Principles and Purposes of the UUA — “the covenant to which all of our congregations and covenanted communities pledge themselves when they become members of our UUA” –were last revised in 1987. The UUA Board has determined that they are due for review “so that we are living into the Unitarian Universalism of the future, a Unitarian Universalism that holds us in times of great need and ethical, moral and spiritual crises. We are in one of those times now.” :
The UUA Board established an “Article II Study Commission”; Article II is the section of the UUA Bylaws that states the principles and purposes. The Article II Commission will review the current 7 Principles and the proposed 8th Principle and present a report to the UUA Board in January 2022. This will be voted on in the General Assembly business meeting in 2022. Paula Cole Jones, one of the leaders of the 8th Principle movement, is on that Commission.
For more information, see:
- UUA information on the article II study commission.
- Interview with Paula Cole Jones about the history of the 8th Principle.
The 8th Principle Task Force: Phyllis Ryder, chair; Catherine Buckler; Susannah Leigh; Jane Jackson; Mary Beth Lerner, Al Nathan and Marsha Thrall