CUC Response to the Unitarian Universalist Association’s revised Article II

Date: June 24, 2024

The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), our US counterpart, after meaningful engagement with member congregations over the last few years, has just passed a new “Article II” – the section of their by-laws that previously outlined the Principles and Purposes of their organization. Information about this process can be found here.
If you’re new to this conversation, the UUA’s seven Principles are contained in their bylaws as Article II, which are reviewed periodically. The “Article II” conversation at the UUA over the past few years has been about a reimagined Article II which now focuses, instead of the Principles, on a theological message commonly referred to as “Love at the Center”.
At the recent June 22 UUA General Assembly session, delegates approved the revised Article II by 80.2%.
The full text of the updated Article II is here.

At the CUC, we’ve received queries asking:

“What does this mean for us as Canadian Unitarians and Universalists, and for the Canadian Unitarian Council as our national organization?”

Here’s our 3-part answer about what this means for Canadians:

● First, the Canadian Unitarian Council is an independent organization, with our own by-
laws. ‘Article II of the UUA’ has no legal or practical bearing on our CUC by-laws.

Technically, nothing has changed here.
We voted in November 2021 to add an 8th Principle, and this, together with our 6 Sources and 5 Aspirations, remain the primary guiding agreements for our national organization. We haven’t encoded these within our by-laws, so as a living tradition, we are able to continuously evolve our guiding values by keeping them separate from the by-laws.
So, if the question is “Do we still have 8 Principles here in Canada?”, the answer is yes!
● Second, when the CUC and UUA separated in 2002, the CUC became the primarymembership organization for our Canadian members. The CUC took over support of and engagement with congregations, while professional ministry and settlement services remained with the UUA, supported by the CUC’s Congregational Life staff.
Many resources are shared back and forth between the CUC and UUA, with staff of both organizations in relationship and communication with each other, but we are distinct organizations primarily serving two independent countries.
Some CUC congregations also retain a second membership with the UUA. If you’re not sure if your congregation is one of them, check here.
If your congregation is also a member of the UUA, you’ll likely be wondering how it works to have both the CUC’s Principles, Sources and Aspirations, and the UUA’s Article II’s ‘Love at the Center’ as your guiding agreements. This is a great opportunity for conversations at the congregational level, and individual personal discernment. We see no conflict between the two statements and look forward to meaningful conversations with you as you reflect on your dual memberships. Let us know if you have questions, or if we can be helpful in some way.
● Finally, the CUC and the UUA both have at the heart of our efforts a commitment to support Unitarian Universalism and our member congregations and communities with shared goals of well-being and a thriving future for all. The border is porous, and we are collaborative in nature. We share ideas, resources, events, and especially, wisdom. There is great meaning and value in both of our approaches. We are complementary!
We do expect to see a change in the UUA resources – prioritizing this new message of ‘Love at the Centre.’ Canadian ministers and leaders will continue to create and update Canadian resources and adapt other resources to a Canadian context, as we regularly share links to UUA tools and events. So, you will be seeing ‘Love at the Center’ crossing your browser. Please know that it does not diminish or disparage the 8 Principles we love. It incorporates and reimagines their essential messages. And it works beautifully alongside our CUC Vision: As Canadian Unitarian Universalists, we envision a world in which our interdependence calls us to love and justice.
Put simply … it’s a layered, but not troubling, situation.
The CUC and its congregations have 8 Principles, 6 Sources and 5 Aspirations. We govern ourselves in accordance with our CUC By-laws, which are different from the UUA’s. Some of our congregations may want to explore what holding dual membership means to them, and all of us can expect to be inspired and influenced by the work of our US neighbours.

We encourage you to check out the meaningful work the UUA is doing around ‘Love at the
Center.’ There is a great book now available online, helping people to explore this newly crafted
● Love at the Center – the eBook
● Article II study resources
From your CUC staff, in collaboration with the UU Ministers of Canada Executive and the CUC
Board of Trustees. Contact: or

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