Editor Albany UU | May 13, 2021

What are other UU congregations doing and saying about the 8TH Principle of Unitarian Universalism?

“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.”
More than 40 congregations have formally adopted the 8TH Principle and there are at least 40 more in process. The Albany UU Inclusivity Team’s 8th Principle subteam has been talking with some of these congregations. What have been some of their experiences?
  • Evanston, Illinois congregation: More than the other 7, the 8th is about taking action, doing the work that needs to be done within our own congregation. It is a great way to show how much you care about the BIPOC community.
  • Washington Crossing, NJ congregation: The congregation has been more serious about tackling racism, though COVID has been slowing their progress.
  • Durham, NC congregation: The 8th Principle makes UU congregations more fully involved, willing to take risks, and put themselves fully on the line. I am a UU because I believe in the 7 + 1 principles.
  • Honolulu congregation: Having an 8th Principle framework is very helpful…. It’s the beginning of an ongoing commitment to engage in deeper antiracism work…. We don’t have to work around the edges, but can go to the heart of it. I just finished an ad spot for our church. The capper line is: “We welcome all who welcome all.”
  • Baltimore, MD congregation: We look at everything through the lens of the 8th Principle. Services have gotten better and more diverse.
  • Cambridge, MA congregant, who resigned when his congregation did not adopt the 8th Principle: It’s a lot of work to be in a [UU] congregation as a person of color.
  • Honolulu congregation: If you don’t deal with the 8th Principle, everything you tell me about the other 7 doesn’t ring true…. If I were looking for a new congregation, I’d be looking for one who had adopted the 8th Principle where I can be more comfortable around like-minded people.
  • Honolulu congregation: By adopting the 8th Principle, the spiritual and cultural fabric of our congregation has been transformed completely in its structure, operations, and interactions.
  • Portland, OR congregation: If not here, where? Who is going to do the work?… We struggle with a lot of people who feel they are there. But we know we are never done. The 8th Principle puts us back on the hook.
  • Delaware County, PA congregation: Don’t put off rolling out the 8th Principle to your congregation. It might be easier to roll it out later, but that’s not a reason to put it off. It is important to do it now. You take advantage of the moment if you do it now.
Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Contact the Inclusivity Team 8th Principal subteam at 8thPrinciple@AlbanyUU.org or any of the subteam members directly: Dick Dana, Linda Hunt, Lee Newberg, or Annika Pfluger.