Monday, June 19, 2017

General Assembly Updates

1.  Short video explaining the vote on appointing a study commission to continue the conversation about changing our principles to reflect on this questions:  "What does it mean to be human in a multispecies world and what is our compassionate response to that understanding?" The study commission will be charged to engage our association of congregations with this question and then make a recommendation to how we might change any of our principles to reflect our shared understanding, experience, and conversation on this topic (the commission may or may not make recommendations to change the First Principle).

(Thanks to the photographers and the musician - Scott Holmes - "Reach for Success")
Please note that the mini-assembly is in room #210 (not #255 as in the video)

2.  First Principle Project teams meets Thursday, June 22nd, 7 a.m. at CC's Coffee house across from the Convention Center (901 Convention Center Blvd).

3.  Attend the mini-assembly Thursday, June 22nd, 5 p.m. in  room #210.

4. Vote to appoint a study commission, Friday, June 23rd, in the morning business meeting.

5. Visit the First Principle Project booth, #414, in the exhibit hall for resources, support, and conversation.

6.  Let us be mindful that this is a time of anxious change in UUA and in our society, and that conversations around worth and dignity can bring up wounding and pain for people, and can be uncomfortable and stressful. With this in mind, we offer some simple ideas on how to prepare for conversations:

  • Listen
  • Reflect back what you have heard, offering up what "needs" might be behind the words (lots of resources at the Center for Nonviolent Communication)
  • Offer support to others in the conversation, and seek support
  • Regarding conversations around antiracism and oppression, please visit the ARE and DRUUM booths and websites (we will have some resources at the FPP booth as well)
7.  Practice the conversations with others by signing up for a facilitated conversation about the topic and the process by going to the FPP booth.  Conversations are happening Wednesday 6 p.m., Thursday 1:30 p.m. and 3:15 p.m., and Friday 1:30 p.m.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

FPP: Interconnections

By Nikki J Hunt

The First Principle Project is more than a bylaw change. It is a deepening of faith and relationships through conversations with each other when we ask heart and mind challenging questions:
What does it mean to be human in a multispecies world? And what is our compassionate response to that understanding? How can we live more deeply connected to all of life? How can we love both human nature and all of nature? Exploring these and other questions together will help us grow stronger, flourishing communities.
The FPP challenges us to ask to go beyond this, to look deeper. There is so much suffering in the world. How do we fix this? It is easy to fall into ranking suffering and say we need to fix this oppression first before this other oppression. This way of thinking is both symptomatic and prescriptive of a worldview rooted in domination. When we rank suffering as part of our strategy of change, we will create solutions that have within them the seeds of domination.
Instead of using the tools of domination, the FPP asks us to use the tools of love--cooperation, compassion, individual and collective responsibility, and justice. We can help each other widen our caring and accountability so we can see, more and more, how everyone and everything is interconnected. When we each do the work of undoing oppression from this place of our interconnections, then we find solutions to suffering that do not rest upon or perpetuate the suffering of others. Instead we find solutions that heal deeply and transformatively. We find solutions that create flourishing for everyone and everything.
This is why the FPP’s goal is to foster, grow and deepen conversation around the idea of shifting from “every person” to “every being.” There are no simple answers and no simple fixes, and such conversations can be hard and even painful. Yet we are called to rise to engage these questions together, for this is how we create Beloved Community.

We hope you will vote yes at General Assembly to continue the conversation.