Involving Your Congregation

Steps to Involve the Congregation

The following are guidelines that generally apply to congregational organization and leadership. Please work closely with your congregational leadership and minister for specific guidance and wisdom.

1.  Meet in person with your minister(s) and leadership to determine how to proceed in your congregation. Specifically ask what it takes for the congregation to accept the proposed amendment to the UUA bylaws (governing board vote, congregational vote, etc).  Adapt the following suggestions accordingly.

2.  Contact the FPP Facilitator to let her know of your interest and to request materials, information, or response to questions and concerns.  Use the Principle Resource Guide to assist deepening and clarifying activities (Appendix 1).

3.  Use congregational media/publicity avenues to let people know of meetings and discussion groups, and to give out information.  The first communications, especially those in person, should solicit others to be on your First Principle Project team. 

4. Convene meetings where people can come learn about the FPP and see if they'd like to be on the FPP team.  Have handouts (this one) ready to give them, and resources where they can find out more and sign up for Facebook and the Google group.

5.  Convene discussion groups in a small group ministry format where deep listening occurs. You can use the specific one for the First Principle 
Project (

6.  Schedule a congregational or board meeting where the bylaw change can be voted upon.  The amendment that each congregation would approve reads as follows:  We, the (insert congregation name) hereby call on the General Assembly of the UUA to vote to omit "every person" and replace with "every being" in Article II Principles and Purposes, Section c-2.1 Principles, Line 12, UUA Bylaws.

7. Continue to talk to people one on one to listen to their thoughts on the bylaw change and to exchange understandings and information.

8. Hold the congregational meeting. Let the FPP facilitator know the outcome.  If the amendment is passed, have the congregational leadership draft a letter listing the date, the amendment, and congregational process to pass the amendment.  In this letter request that the bylaw change be placed on the next General Assembly agenda.

9.  If the amendment fails, ask those who voted against it to describe what it would take for them to change their mind.  Based on information gathered, consider further steps to bring it before the congregation again at a later date.

10.  If the amendment gets placed on the General Assembly agenda (15 congregations approve the change) network with other members of your congregation, cluster, district, and region so as to repeat the process in your congregation on a wider level so as to prepare for the vote at General Assembly.