VIUF was granted fellowship in the American Unitarian Association in 1956. The Unitarians and the Universalists merged five years later (1961) and formed the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA). Also in 1956, the word “fellowship” was used to denote smaller, lay-led congregations with little professional staff. Hence, VIUF.
The UUA has worked to remove gendered language from written materials to become more inclusive. VIUF is affiliated with the UUA and shares its principles. Many members think it is time to change our name to reflect our Unitarian Universalist identity and possibly remove/replace the word “fellowship.”
The VIUF Board met and approved the following Task Force Charge:
- Engage the congregation in a deep and enlivening conversation on today’s Unitarian Universalist faith and the significance of changing our name to reflect our UU identity by adding the word “Universalist.”
- Explore with the congregation whether it wishes to remove “fellowship” from our name. If so, determine what alternate designation is preferred (e.g. congregation, community, society, etc.)
- Determine the steps required to change our name and the associated costs (e.g. registering a name change with the state of Washington, the UUA, financial institutions, etc.)
- Report to the board by the first week of May, 2023 on the name preferred by the congregation and the required steps and costs to make this change.
- Assist the board in encouraging the congregation to participate in the May annual meeting where the bylaw change to change our name will be presented for a vote.
Our congregation will be engaged in this effort in the near future. Stay tuned!