Leadership does not mean “objectivity” or not taking a stance; leadership means defining yourself within the values of the organization and sharing that perspective and why you believe it. It also means listening. I am, as President, committed to doing both.
Full disclosure; I believe in the proposed 8th Principle and I am not going to pretend otherwise.
I know there is concern out there about recent events at the CUC. I would just like to add that my work on the UCV Board is to move us forward in a way that is truly inclusive and progressive, that furthers and deepens our stated collective vision.
That means we will be encouraging dialogue within our congregation, hosting an 8th Principle Forum, requesting everyone read the Dismantling Racism Study Group report and it’s recommendations which are attached below and on the website, and dedicating a service to the 8th Principle. In this way, more people can fully participate in discussion and understanding of the 8th Principle as a crucial next step.
The lack of inclusion of more voices, and the technicality that brought about the demise of this recent attempt to adopt the 8th Principle, will not exist, and we will all be able to walk forward together.
Moreover, we at UCV do not have to wait for the CUC to adopt the 8th Principle. After substantive discussion, we ourselves can put it to a vote, hopefully providing vision and leadership to our sister congregations.
Finally, Rev Lara shared some history with me that I would like to share with you all now.
There is some very interesting history around how the existing 7 principles were affirmed. There were only going to be 6 of them, as people felt that interdependence was implicit in them, but others felt it necessary to explicitly name our responsibility and connection to the planet and its inhabitants. Now the 7th principle is a covenant to action for the environment and all non-humans on our Blue Boat Home.
The proposed 8th principle may seem to be implicit in the wording of the other 7, but recent studies https://cuc.ca/dismantling-racism-study-group/ and decades of experience have proven otherwise, so the people who are most impacted are asking to have it spelled out.
We Unitarians dream of a future where all of the principles we affirm to promote no longer need to be written, because they are simply lived. But we are not there yet.
In active faith and hope,
UCV Board President