I consider myself very fortunate that I grew up in, and, later as an adult was involved in, very progressive, collaborative church communities.  These were active church communities that celebrated through contemporary worship, provided challenging faith formation experiences for adults and children, and were passionately involved in social justice.  Little did I know at the time that my formative liberal, progressive church experiences were actually quite rare within my denomination.  And when I tried to work for internal changes within the broader institutional church, I came face-to-face with the realization that there was no forum for my voice, and the voice of my local community, to be heard or appreciated.  Decisions were made by a select few who then handed them down to the rest of us who were expected to be be compliant.

Being introduced to Unitarian Universalism about 20 years ago, I was astonished by our collaborative, democratic decision-making processes at both local and national levels. Here was a faith community where all voices actually mattered and could impact the direction of our religious movement.  This is something I told myself that I would never take for granted.  Just as I take very seriously my duty as a US citizen to educate myself, express my opinions, and vote in local and national civic elections; likewise, I take very seriously my duty to also educate myself, express my opinions, and vote in congregational and national UU voting processes.  We know that our votes matter in the civic realm, and they also make a tremendous difference in our UU community.

As I write this, a large mainstream Christian denomination has just voted to expel two congregations with women pastors and also voted to amend their constitution to ban women from any type of Pastor roles.  This is an example of democratic denominational processes. When we gather next week for the annual UUA General Assembly, we won’t be voting on women ministers; yet, we will be considering initiatives important to our collective UU identity that could impact us for years to come..   We’ll be electing a new President of the UUA as well as new Board Members, and we’ll also be voting on whether to adopt the recommendations of the Article II Study Commission that could shift our focus from the 7 Principles to a new set of Values in 2024.  Rev. Jullan has preached on this and we, and the UUA, have hosted several feedback sessions to gather input.  These are the types of votes that could impact our UU way of being for years/decades to come.  Our voices, our votes count!  We literally have an opportunity to shape our UU future!  This is why I’m delighted to be a UUCW delegate to this year’s UUA General Assembly.  Our UUCW team of delegates also includes Joyce Cable, Eddee Daniel, Lynn Kapitan, and Karen and Rob Zimmerman.  I urge you to learn more about the Article II Study Commission Report by following this link, https://www.uua.org/uuagovernance/committees/article-ii-study-commission; and to reach out to Rev. Jullan and any of your GA delegates to share your thoughts. We look forward to sharing our GA experiences with you later in the year..

Regards,

Laurie Boddie