What is a Statement of Conscience?
Statements of Conscience are a Unitarian Universalist tradition. As an expression of our faith and values, the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) takes positions on relevant issues of social justice. Our positions are discerned via the social witness process, as shepherded by the Commission on Social Witness. Grounded in these social witness statements, the UUA will sign on to letters and amicus briefs, in coalition with other faith and social justice organizations, magnifying our impact in the larger world. SOCs are part of a long process, honoring democratic principles, determining where we wish to stand as a community while recognizing that not all of us will agree on all points.
Why are these SOCs being proposed?
The Social Justice Council feels it is important for the church to make a statement of where Mount Vernon Unitarian Church as a congregation stands on these issues. MVUC has not taken a position on either of these issues in recent history, and the Council feels it is important to express where we stand, for the benefit of our visitors and new comers who may not know us very well, for the benefit of our children who may be exposed to a variety of views on these topics and not know exactly where the church stands, and because these SOCs express a commitment to action. When the church adopts such SOCs, our minister can write to newspapers about these issues and challenge other denominations to support reasonable action. It can also join other Unitarian Universalist churches in our area in collective action. Church members can represent Mount Vernon Unitarian Church and advocate these issues by our legislators on Capitol Hill, and in Richmond, using the church banner, and speaking for “the church.”