CONGREGATIONAL VOTE
The 8th Principle /
Petra Thombs Ordination
SUN FEB 14, 2021
Please attend and exercise the privilege of your congregational vote
To learn more, attend our
8th Principle Discussion, Fri Feb 5, 7:00pm, Zoom Room 2210
or phone (audio only): 929-436-2866 · Meeting: 336 956 2210 · Passcode: 468468
We will hold a Congregational Vote on Sunday, February 14, 2021, following worship, to vote on the following two matters: (1) Adoption of the 8th Principle and (2) Approval of the Ordination of CUUC member Petra Thombs as a Unitarian Universalist minister.
The 8th Principle

The 8th Principle Committee team of Jeff Tomlinson, Tara James, Bice Wilson, and Petra Thombs has delivered a variety of congregational engagement activities and communications designed to inform and share feedback:

  • Congregational 8th Principle Forum held on Sun Oct 25;
  • Seven-week series of “The 8th Principle Minute” videos inserted into Sunday service; and
  • Sunday, December 13, live address by 8th Principle co-originator Paula Cole Jones, during service.
 
We will conduct a final online “8th Principle Discussion” on Fri Feb 5, 7:00pm, Zoom room 2210, for anyone wishing to learn more. The session will be moderated by Jeff Tomlinson, 8th Principle Committee Chair, and Joe Majsak, Board Chair.
 

 
Our By-Laws require that, “a position of CUUC on an Advocacy issue shall be taken only by the congregation in a duly-called congregational vote, according to the By-Laws, which shall require not less than an 80% voting majority to adopt an Advocacy issue by CUUC.”
Petra Thombs Ordination

Petra Thombs is a graduate of Union Theological Seminary with a Masters of Divinity degree, and is in Preliminary Fellowship with the UUA. She currently serves the indigenous sovereign Ramapough Lenape nation as Executive Director of the Ramapough Lenape Community Center. Petra is a CUUC member and has been a lay minister at our congregation. She has chaired our In the Spirit of Truth group, which addresses systems of oppression, particularly racism, and informs us on ways to promote social justice. She has brought the annual Kwanzaa celebration to White Plains, introduced Juneteenth services to the congregation, participated in Beloved Conversations workshops, and most recently served on the CUUC committee supporting the 8th Principle, which directly calls for us to work toward a Beloved Community and end white supremacy in ourselves and our institutions. She focuses on informing communities about the Doctrine of Discovery, supporting Indigenous rights, and healing Mother Earth.
 
Ordination, according to the UUA, “is one of the most important traditions of our faith. A congregation’s decision to ordain someone represents the congregation’s faith in, and support for, the ordinand’s ministry. This recognition of a person’s calling forth is also recognition of their setting apart, functioning as a rite of initiation, taking an ordinand from their status as layperson and initiating them into the community of clergy. In the Unitarian Universalist tradition, the ritual of ordination also allows the minister to use the title of Reverend.”
 
The UUA also tells us, “For many years ordinands were expected to wait until they were actually serving a congregation with which they were in covenant to have a ceremony. Today, it has become more common for a minister’s home congregation or intern congregation to ordain them. A congregation ordains a person into Unitarian Universalist ministry knowing that the minister may go on to serve any congregation, and will represent the denomination as a whole.”

Our CUUC By-Laws require, “the service of ordination must be authorized at a congregational meeting by a three-fourths vote of the qualified voters present, of a quorum of 25% of the congregation’s eligible voting members.”
Closing Comments

CUUC has, with courage and indefatigable faith, weathered one of the most challenging years in its 111-year history. We have made an involuntary transition to remote technology for every aspect of our ministry, both internal and external. Professional staff and lay leadership have gone above and beyond the call of duty to keep our physical and spiritual connections intact. We are tired, but we remain committed to sustaining CUUC on its congregational journey.
 
Voting on the 8th Principle and Petra’s Ordination are the two latest expressions of our determination to foster congregational growth and lovingly fulfill what our Mission Statement calls us to achieve – as we all lean forward, into the wind, together. 
 
Please exercise the privilege of your congregational vote on February 14. Thank you.
 ~ Joe Majsak, Chair, & Debra Manetta, Vice Chair
CUUC Board of Trustees, January 16, 2021