The Unitarian Universalist tradition is comprised of people of many ages, backgrounds, and a variety of beliefs. We pride ourselves for being brave, compassionate, and intellectual thinkers and people of action. Along the way we have created a spirituality with no boundaries. We have a history of working for justice and siding on the side of love. To that account Unitarian Universalism embraces seven principles gathered from teachings of the world’s religions that guide the denomination. Our spirituality is derived from scriptures, science, nature, philosophy, personal experiences, and long-lasting tradition depicted in six sources. The Unitarians are called to recognize the “inherent good of all persons”, whereas the Universalists ask us to love and accept all people. UU’s welcome all regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, racial identity, or social position. Our principles beckon us to affirm the worth and dignity of all, accept one another, and uplift each other’s spiritual growth. There is a legacy of “deeds not creeds”. We are challenged to create a better world and prevent any oppression through the “power of love”.
It is these seven, implied, faith beliefs that have moved us forward to add a new principle, one of action and accountability – the 8th Principle. The UUA has been reviewing the 8th principle for adoption since 2017 when it was finalized by its co-authors and submitted. However, the hard work began in 2013, when co-authors of the 8th Principle, Paula Cole Jones and Bruce Pollack-Johnson began their journey at the forefront of the 8th Principle movement.
This month, on May 23rd, UUCLB, will be responding to the Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism’s (BLUU) request for UU churches to move forward with adopting the 8th principle, as written by Paula and Bruce and endorsed by BLUU. And to do this as soon as possible. The congregations that have already adopted the 8th Principle, or are in the process of adoption, are making history with their leadership in fulfilling the vision of a more inclusive future for Unitarian Universalists and for all. This is a very exciting moment in our UUCLB and UUA history! We are grateful for all the hard work, that Paula and Bruce, and BLUU have done to get us all here.
There is no better time than now, to take action in working together to build a diverse multicultural beloved community, where our collective actions and accountabilities work to dismantle racism and any oppressions in ourselves, in our beloved community and in our world. We are hoping that the 8th Principle, not only sets our seven principle into action, but it will also create better opportunities for us to learn, grow and celebrate our differences on the side of love. As Rev. Clarence Skinner said, “The beloved community is not an organization of individuals seeking private and selfish security for their souls. It is a new adventure, a spontaneous fellowship of consecrated people seeking a new world”.
We close with Bernard Shaw: “Now that we learned to fly like birds in the air, and swim like fish in the ocean, let’s hope to learn to be humans on the Earth “!
The Proposed 8th Principle for UUCLB:
[“We, the congregation of the Long Beach Unitarian Universalist Church, 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.”
* Please note that the phrasing “we covenant to affirm and promote” is commonly used as a precursor to any and all of the UU principles when listed individually or as a group