What is the 8th principal?

Since the Unitarians and Universalists merged in 1961, we have had 7 Principles that guide our behavior and how we live and interact with each other and the world. These principles are reviewed periodically to ensure they reflect our current world. They were last revised in 1985 to eliminate sexist language.

An 8th Principle was created to acknowledge the work that needs to be done around white supremacy and other oppressions. It affirms the intention of the UUA and its congregations to live by and with anti-racist actions, to eliminate oppression in society.

The Unitarian community has begun the process for evaluating and formally adopting the 8th principle.

First Parish and the 8th Principle

The 5th Unitarian principle calls for the use of the democratic process within our congregations. Each congregation is independent, and is free to consider adopting the 8th Principle.

Our Religious Education and Social Justice committees held several events about adopting the 8th Principle at First Parish.

We began our discussion last fall with a pancake breakfast.

In January 2023, we had an online workshop with Paula Cole Jones, who co-authored the 8th principle and inspired many congregations to understand the importance of adopting this principle.

In May, we hosted a panel discussion with leaders from three other UU congregations sharing the journey their congregations took in order to adopt the 8th Principle. This Zoom meeting was attended by members of several congregations; we are hoping to continue this work together.

Learn More

We’re planning more events this church year, which will be shared on the events list.

If you’d like to be involved, contact Elisse Ghitelman or Pam Penton.