News November 3, 2023

Cover November 5, 2023
Dear Friends and Members,

This Sunday, I will be preaching about the proposed changes to Article II of the UUA Bylaws. My sermon on “Liberating Love” centers the new proposed purpose for our religious association. It “is to actively engage its members in the transformation of the world through liberating Love.”

The proposed changes are part of an every fifteen year process to examine the UUA’s purposes and covenant. This is a remarkable undertaking, perhaps unique amongst the world’s religious traditions, where the association’s member congregations decide how best to describe our shared values and the promises we make to each other. Presently, we articulate these as the Principles and Sources. At this year’s General Assembly, the association’s member congregations voted to consider substituting this language with the new proposed language. There is a widespread belief that it more clearly states our shared values.

Next year the General Assembly will vote on whether or not replace the old language with the new. First Unitarian Universalist Church of Houston typically has between 7 and 9 delegate votes at the assembly. Throughout the year, we will be discussing what we think of the new language and whether or not we want to support it. If we think that it needs modification, there is a process to do so. Our Board has to vote to propose an amendment or amendments and then we have to get 14 other congregations to agree that our proposed changes are worthy of consideration by the whole assembly (which represents some 1,000 congregations). The deadline for getting proposed amendments to UUA for consideration is February 1, 2024

This Sunday and next, after the second service, we will be hosting forums to discuss the proposed changes to Article II. Then, on November 15th, the Board will be taking time during its meeting to consider any amendments that members of the congregation would like to propose to Article II. If you have an amendment please send it to the Board President by no later than November 13th. If the Board votes to endorse a member of the congregation’s amendment, we will begin to strategize how to reach out to other congregations to get them to support it.

I hope that you will attend one of the forums and read up on Article II. This is an important moment in the life of our movement. It reflects our shared commitment to democracy as a religious practice.