The 8th Principle

On Sunday, October 23, 2022, First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh overwhelming passed a clear statement committing to dismantling racism and other oppressions in ourselves and institutions.

Joining with over 225 Unitarian Universalist Congregations, First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh is adding an 8th Principle to the already existing seven Principles of Unitarian Universalism.

The 8th Principle reads:

We covenant to affirm and promote: Journeying toward spiritual wholeness by working to build a diverse multicultural Beloved Community by our actions that accountably dismantle racism and other oppressions in ourselves and our institutions.

The other seven Principles are contained in the bylaws of the Unitarian Universalist Association are:

· The inherent worth and dignity of every person; 

· Justice, equity, and compassion in human relations; 

· Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations; 

· A free and responsible search for truth and meaning; 

· The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large; 

· The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all; 

· Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part. 

Over the next two years, other Unitarian Universalist congregations across the country will be adopting the 8th Principle. In 2023 and 2024, the Unitarian Universalist Association will incorporate the new language into its bylaws at its annual conference in June. The language will likely be different than that adopted by the individual congregations, but each congregation is likely to shift to the new language as passed by at the annual conference.

The passage of the 8th Principle is in alignment with long held values of countering oppression, and many years of working toward racial justice. At First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh, a large Black Lives Matter banner was installed on the side of the building in 2017.