Letter from UU Church of Jacksonville, FL

UUCJ, The UU Church of Jacksonville, FL, sent this letter to all UUA congregations with 50 or more members plus all smaller Florida congregations. The letter is signed by the Minister, the Board President, and the Co-Chairs of the UUCJ Article II Review Task Force. This action was approved by the Board in light of the 80 to 4 vote against the proposed changes to Article II at our congregational meeting on April 21. Please follow the provided link.

 

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Carol Reich
Carol Reich
30 days ago

They are excellent writers, clear, succinct, and in my view, correct in their vote. Blessed be.

Stuart Hurlbert
Stuart Hurlbert
29 days ago
Reply to  Carol Reich

My thoughts exactly, Carol. And probably a good indicator of excellent overall leadership ability in the Jacksonville congregation. Hopefully the 5th Principle project leaders will, individually, find a way to give this even wider distribution around the country via “sensitive” spamming operations that go beyond their own friends, relatives, and personal colleagues. I suspect there are many congregations that, wisely led, are ripe to sign on to the “Jacksonville Statement.” In the interests of transparency, perhaps the Jacksonville congregation leaders might provide more information on their vote. This would include 1) the size of their congregation, 2) how the vote… Read more »

Terri
Terri
29 days ago

I am not a UUCJ leader, but I am a member of the UUCJ Article II Review Task Force. Our church has 139 members, and we had a called meeting for the vote for all who wanted to participate. Votes were made by secret ballot in the sanctuary, and were counted as soon as all had been handed in. The result – 80 against the rewrite, four in favor – was immediately read to the participants. I’d be happy to answer your third question, if you want to send it along – it seems to have escaped your original comment.

Terri
Terri
29 days ago
Reply to  Terri

Also, members unable to be present for the meeting were provided with the opportunity to pick up and complete a ballot early and have it counted at the meeting, or designate a proxy who could submit a vote for them. 

Munsell
Munsell
29 days ago

I am also a member of UUCJ’s Article II task force. Our Article II vote was announced months in advance and members could vote in person, on Zoom, by proxy or early if they wished. We sought our and welcomed all discussion pro or con. We used every avenue we could think of to make sure that every voice received a respectful hearing and that every member could express their wishes freely.

Frank Casper
Frank Casper
29 days ago
Reply to  Munsell

Thanks for the illuminating post. I think what yall did is precisely what the UUA fears the most.

Calvin Yost
Calvin Yost
30 days ago

Hello UU friends, I am a retired English teacher living overseas in the Philippines. The current UU divisions barely affects us, except that we may lose the needed UU support while the infighting plays out. Regarding some of the recent divisions in our church, my take is that Black Lives Matter, or any other issues a congregation wishes to pursue, should ultimately be decided on by the individual congregation. The UUA can coordinate global disaster relief and other efforts, however should never mandate the missions of any congregation. Additionally, the principles appear complete in my review. However, should any individual… Read more »

John Shea
John Shea
30 days ago

Wow. Are there any other congregations that have gone public with their intent to reject the Article II amendments?

They make a good point about the contrast in the opening language between the old Article II (“We the member congregations…”) versus the new proposed Article II (“The UUA…”). I didn’t catch that while reviewing the proposed changes, but this contrast is very revealing, perhaps even a Freudian slip.

David
David
30 days ago
Reply to  John Shea

In another forum, an indoctrinated minister was arguing that “We all are the UUA” and that you “can’t criticize the UUA because you are the UUA.” UUA is now The Borg.

Total reversal of the UUA being a service organization that serves independent and self-governing congregations.

Last edited 30 days ago by David
Mimi Gingold
Mimi Gingold
30 days ago
Reply to  David

We’re not uuA. We are uu’s.

Barbara Jean Walsh
Barbara Jean Walsh
29 days ago
Reply to  David

Thank you. I’m glad to know I’m not the only one seeing the hive mentality of the Borg in the revision.

Also, I realize I have been slow to understand that many people have not wanted to talk about Article II because they didn’t know what it is!

Maybe more people would perk up and listen if they thought they could help defeat the Borg.

Jim
Jim
29 days ago

From Star Trek TNG. Episode “I Borg” Captain Jean-Luc Picard: The sense of individuality which he has gained with us… might be transmitted through the entire Borg Collective – every one of the Borg being given the opportunity to experience the feeling of… of singularity. And perhaps that’s the most pernicious program of all. The knowledge of self being spread throughout the Collective, in that brief moment, might alter them forever…If we can get to the root command, we can introduce an invasive programming sequence through its biochip system, and then return it to the hive.Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge:… Read more »

Terri
Terri
14 days ago
Reply to  Jim

This is a very helpful post, Jim! It goes along with something I was pondering yesterday, at the UU Listserv: Are the anti-rewrite people types that care less about what others think of them, and so feel freer to protest what clearly goes against the interest of all UUs? Because it’s obvious that being called a “white supremacist” or a racist, when you and your fellow UUs are the opposite, is ridiculous. What is going on with those who are willing to be demeaned like that, because, it seems, of what others will think of them? I think the best… Read more »

Mimi Gingold
Mimi Gingold
30 days ago

Excellent. So well-explained. Hear!Hear! Thank you.

Jim
Jim
30 days ago

My congregation, 500+ member UUCC (Unitarian Universalist Community of Charlotte) has recently accepted a new settled minister after 2 years with an ineffectual interim minister who signed the “500 White Minister” letter against Todd Eckloff. Our new minister, Rev Amanda Weatherspoon is currently serving on the UUA BoT until 2026. During candidating week she specifically said the 7 Principles will always be the principles she will minister by and hold near and dear in her heart. This is also her first settled minister congregation. She knows we have a history of congregational disharmony, mainly due to a previous minister who… Read more »

David
David
30 days ago
Reply to  Jim

That’s a key issue. Whatever one’s position on these issues, the new UUA ideas and methods bring strife, division, and membership loss to congregations. One former member of my congregation said that, due to the strife, division and the alienating of would-be social justice allies, the new UUA ideology and methods have set back racial justice.

Dan Eacret
Dan Eacret
30 days ago
  1. This is a very well-written assessment of our Denomination’s status and current direction. Finally, some member churches are beginning to realize the narrow focus and authoritarian process that has been initiated by the UUA governing structure. Vote against the amendment.
Kim Cooper
Kim Cooper
21 days ago
Reply to  Dan Eacret

The whole of our country has been becoming more and more authoritarian. Indeed, the world has also. From what I read in this discussion, it appears the UUA has also been infected with the authoritarian virus. The opposite of authoritarian is egalitarian. That means those of us who think all people are inherently equal. Authoritarianism is hierarchical, not egalitarian. I have made a study of this for many years, so I am looking at the bigger picture. Authoritarianism is the more primitive of the two world views, which means it’s easier to fall into. It is also much more fear-based… Read more »

Bek Wheeler. in Virginia
Bek Wheeler. in Virginia
21 days ago
Reply to  Kim Cooper

Amend the first principle to mention racism?

But that is what the proposed 8th principle was supposed to address—putting aside the fact that congregation initiated or adopted “principles” does not a true national principle make.

And then there is the whole mess of once you specify one issue you have to specify others and then you inevitably omit from the list. Listing is inherently limiting.

Edith Mayfield
Edith Mayfield
29 days ago

As soon as I saw that the excellent letter came from the UU Church of Jacksonville, I thought to myself “Tessie Bond.” I remember talking with Jessie last year when she joined NAUA and was so impressed. Dynamite lady!

Ken Christiansen
29 days ago

The resources created and utilized in the UUCJ discernment process can be viewed and downloaded at https://uucj.org/article-ii-resources/.

K. Lusignan
K. Lusignan
26 days ago

The letter and resources have also been shared by Frank Casper on the Discuss board. I have follow-up questions, but I suggest that they be answered (by you or anyone else on the team–Terri Keller has already partly answered) on this website that will be more widely seen and especially seen by those planning to attend GA, hold votes on Article II Revisions, etc.

https://discuss.uua.org/t/final-proposed-revision-to-article-ii-as-completed-by-the-article-ii-study-commission-in-october-2023/1457/33

Craig Moro
Craig Moro
28 days ago

Many thanks to the UU Church of Jacksonville for sharing this timely letter. It underscores the deep negativity in the proposed new Article 2, the assumptions behind it, and the punitive policies planned to enforce its implementation. It points out how the “welcome table” that we sing of in one of our favorite hymns will now only seat you if you already agree with us. Otherwise—to draw from another hymn—do not enter, rejoice or even come in. There’s nothing here for you and you have nothing to share with us. How little hope, then, we must have for ourselves; how little trust in our… Read more »

Judy Robbins
Judy Robbins
27 days ago

The Unitarian Society of Hartford CT had our annual meeting today, 5/19/24. About half the congregation attended. We took a vote on Article II. There were 64 opposed and 1 in favor.

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