Justine UrbikasAs the UUA Board of Trustees moves closer and closer to implementing policy governance, we believe we have found the root of what the outermost and widest ideals of the UUA should be. We were asked to envision an experience with something holy, something that stood out to us as a spiritual moment. People told stories of giving birth to a child, profound conversations between kindred spirits, the most beautiful sound they had heard, or sight seen.

We then thought about the values that underlay these various experiences. What word would you use to describe an experience such as this? As Unitarian Universalists words that captured our innermost core values were: Connection. Transformation. Wonder. We then sat down and thought of what John Carver (father of Policy Governance) calls the Moral Owners. Moving away from slavery language the adopted term is our Sources of Authority and Accountability. Who is it that the UUA is accountable to? Here is what we came up with:
• Our member congregations
• Current and future generations of Unitarian Universalists
• The heritage, traditions, and ideals of Unitarian Universalism
• The vision of Beloved Community
• The Spirit of life, love, and the holy

Finally we considered the vision statement, the statement that would hopefully capture what Unitarian Universalists long for. Grounded in our covenantal tradition, the UUA will inspire people to lead lives of humility and purpose, connection and service, thereby transforming themselves and the world.

How do these three abstract things strike you? Are the values in line with your own spiritual values? Are the sources, the range of authority and accountability the UUA should have? Is the mission clear enough, yet broad enough to encompass the larger goal of the UUA? Do these things represent the Unitarian Universalist Association that you would like to see and be?

In the spirit of resisting the urge to wordsmith, please share with me anything you believe to be missing from these, not included in the other concepts. Take them to fellow leaders in your congregation and share with one another your spiritual experience. Then discuss how these values, sources, and vision relate (or doesn’t relate) to that.

Justine Urbikas
UUA Trustee