Congregational Stands on Significant Issues

Policy #9
Approved 4/25/2010

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  1. Any member or staff person may submit a proposal for taking a public stand on an issue. The proposal must include:
    1. A written resolution that embodies the stand (e.g., "EUUC opposes the use of torture for any reason").
    2. An explanation of how taking this stand would further the church's mission and vision statements.
    3. An explanation of pros and cons of the issue and the benefits and adverse consequences for the Congregation for taking a stand.
    4. An education plan for how the sponsoring group will inform the congregation regarding all aspects of the issue at stake, including copies of information and educational materials that will be provided to church members (e.g., information from GA, UUA or other sources).
    5. A detailed plan for how the stand would be acted upon (e.g., carrying a banner in a protest march, publishing our position in a local newspaper, etc.). The plan would include limits on types of actions, if appropriate.
  2. The proposal must be sponsored by a church committee. A proposal can originate within this committee, or an individual member can ask the committee to sponsor it.
  3. It is recommended that the Minister be consulted regarding the proposed resolution, but this is not required.
  4. The sponsoring group will submit the proposal to the Board of Trustees.
  5. If the Board decides that taking a stand on this issue is not consistent with our principles, mission and vision, the sponsoring committee will be told that the proposal is denied.
  6. If the Board approves the proposal, the sponsoring committee will then: (a) provide the congregation with educational materials regarding the issue at the heart of the resolution, including at least one article in the EUUC newsletter; and (b) organize at least one live congregational discussion on the issue. The sponsoring committee will initiate these steps preferably at least 60 days but no less than 30 days before the Congregational Meeting at which a vote on the resolution will be taken. During the discussion session(s), the voting process, and the action implementation, the right of dissenting members to express their views will be respected. However, if the discussion session(s) prove to be too discordant, the Board may decide not to ask the congregation to vote on the resolution.
  7. A decision that EUUC will take a stand is a congregational issue and will be decided at a Congregational Meeting. A quorum of members must be present at this meeting, and a supermajority of 75% of those present must approve the proposal in a written vote.

Proposed policy for taking a stand on short notice
("emergency resolution")

If an issue of significant social justice arises that demands immediate action, the Board may call a Congregational Meeting to vote on a resolution to take a stand without providing advance access to educational materials and discussion sessions. However, written educational materials on all aspects of the issue must be provided at the Congregational Meeting at which the vote is to be taken (or earlier if possible). The emergency resolution must be consistent with our principles, mission and vision, and must include a plan for how the church will act upon the resolution. A quorum of members must be present at the Congregational Meeting, and a supermajority of 90% of those present must approve the proposal by a written vote.

Stands by Committees

A committee may take a stand in its own name, regardless of the outcome of the process described above.