Our Declaration of Interdependence


Dear Friends,

Recently, a group of Westsiders attended our UU General Assembly in Columbus, OH. While there, we participated in many inspiring workshops and worship services, and heard lectures on subjects ranging from worship to history to social justice. Some of us participated in the business of the General Assembly as delegates, and voted on matters of importance to the denomination. A special thanks to Alice and Jerry Thornton for serving as delegates; to Charlie Dudney for attending workshops on finance matters; and to Ellen Greenwood, Beth Sandidge, and Wendy Weiss Southern, for chaperoning our youth group. Thanks to Adele and Madeleine Lee, Chloe Chavez, Joey Gault and Megan Aylward for making the trip more interesting and fun.


One theme at this year’s GA was doing important work in our world for justice, equity, and peace. In coming months, we’ll be exploring together how we can follow up on some of these initiatives as a congregation. And on Sunday, July 3, we made some commitments in this direction by creating together an informal “Declaration of Interdependence” for Westside. Though this is not a formal, congregationally voted-upon document, it is a good expression of what matters to us. Thanks to all who participated in its creation. As we work together to build beloved community, both within the walls of the church and in our larger world, we can deepen and expand upon these commitments, refining them together and deciding together how we feel called to act.

Here is the text of the draft declaration, written by those in attendance on Sunday, July 3:

When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary to

  • Change your attitude towards other people; defend the rights of the oppressed; stand up and say “enough”; care for our earth and its creatures; research what is best for our country; be chronically kind; revolt; and welcome all who choose to attend here

We hold these truths to be self-evident:

  • Freedom; that all people are created equal; all living creatures are created equal; we are the keepers of the earth; all beings deserve the right to pursue happiness; tolerance is a choice; we are on a path of self-destruction; democracy involves responsibilities as well as rights; life is absurd

We have witnessed the following injustices:

  • Victim blaming; racism; bigotry; religious intolerance; slavery; xenophobia; political corruption; anti-intellectualism; hatred; homophobia; greed; child abuse; destruction of nature; domestic violence; misogyny; discrimination against disabilities; acceptance of lies; polarization; terrorism; apathy; breastfeeding shaming; agism

We the members and friends of WUUC do hereby declare and commit to:

  • To take helpful social action

  • To live our consciences

  • To defend victims of tyranny in peace

  • To be a welcoming congregation

  • To try to understand the roots of injustices

  • To be guided by love, and love one another and those beyond our walls

  • To protect the environment

  • To try to change the system

  • To listen with open hearts

  • To learn from other cultures and each other

  • To accept all people seeking refuge

  • To be good allies

  • To support others/other countries to be their best

  • To be encouraging to one another

  • To use compassionate communication

  • To understand that differing views may be, and are, valid

  • To refrain from gossip

  • To be open-minded

  • To laugh together often

  • To let go of grudges

  • To raise our children to carry on these values

Though this sort of covenant—a commitment from the heart, rather than a contractual bond—is always a work-in-progress; and though the details of precisely how we will follow through on our commitments is something we are constantly refining, these are worthy goals to hold before us. We may sometimes disagree on the details of how to go about making the world a better place, but together we are committed to doing our part to bring more justice, liberty, compassion, and love into this world. Thank you all for being part of the force that transforms the world.

Rev. Carol


17 views
Westside Unitarian Universalist Church

616 Fretz Road

Knoxville, TN 37934

(865) 777-9882

Minister's Office Hours
Sunday 9a-3p
Tuesday 12:30-6:30p
Thursday 8:30-3:30p 
And by Appointment

Director of Religious Exploration's

Office Hours

Sunday 9a-3p

Tuesday & Wednesday 9a-3p

And by Appointment

To access our Members' Area, you must register and log in. See these Instructions.

  • Wix Facebook page
  • Wix Twitter page
SignUp-Logo.png