On the one hand, I’m not a big fan of the proposed revision to Article II of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) bylaws. On the other hand, the current UUA “Seven Principles” sound old and fusty, like they were written forty years ago (oh wait, they were written forty years ago). I’m the opposite of the stupid old mule paralyzed between two bales of hay that appear equally appealing, I’m like the stupid old mule paralyzed between two bales of hay that smell equally unappealing.


It appears that some amount of controversy is emerging about the proposed Article II revision. Our congregation here in Cohasset received an email which says in part: “A group of concerned UUs from across the county have created a website ( to share our analysis of this proposal and why we oppose it.” This email had only twenty names signed to it, so I guess it’s not a large movement. Nevertheless, we definitely don’t have the kind of consensus in 2023 that we had for the 1983-5 revision.

I just hope the Article II revision doesn’t turn into an extended “discussion” at General Assembly. I’m probably going to be a delegate this year, and I find extended arguments incredibly frustrating. On the other hand, I dislike it even more when honest conversation gets cut short. Either way, I have a feeling this is going to be a testy and tiresome General Assembly.

General Assembly: to go, or not to go

I’ve gone back and forth about whether to attend General Assembly this year.

At first, I was planning to attend in person. I have enough money in my professional expenses budget. I was looking forward to those informal interpersonal interactions that happen at conferences. On the other hand, it looks like it’s going to be expensive; I’m estimating a low-end cost of $2500 for five days, and I’m not sure that’s the best use of my congregation’s limited financial resources. I also admit that I’m still COVID-scared, and the thought of being cooped up with a couple thousand other people doesn’t sound good to me.

Of course I could attend General Assembly online. But the agony of sitting for hours in front of my computer screen for what promises to be a fairly low-quality experience does not seem appealing. Especially since it will be almost impossible to have any of the informal interactions that make in-person conferences interesting.

I feel like I should attend, one way or the other, just to be part of the business meeting where we will vote on the proposed revision to Article II. But at this point, it looks to me as though those revisions are going to pass regardless of what I vote. And my congregation has shown little or no interest in the Article II revisions, so my vote would only represent my personal opinion, not their collective opinion.

Probably my strongest feeling around General Assembly this year is cynicism. Which surprises me. But I haven’t been feeling good about the Article II revision process. I felt uninspired by both the draft versions I saw; and my congregation is still focused on recovering from the pandemic, with no time to spare for denominational politics. I don’t want to feel cynical. So my decision on whether to attend General Assembly will probably come down to this: which course of action will make me feel least cynical? I’ll let you know how that turns out….

Update: The board of my congregation would like me to attend, in order to vote on the proposed Article II revisions. Now I have to decide if I attend in person, or online.