Key Policies

Weapons-free zone policy

POLICY:

In accordance with the Sixth Principle and for the safety of members, visitors and employees, The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Susquehanna Valley (UUCSV) prohibits the possession or carrying of weapons, firearms or handguns within all UUCSV owned or leased facilities and parking lots. This prohibition includes private citizens and staff members with carry permits.

Weapons are defined as any weapon, firearm, handgun or other device intended for use to inflict serious bodily injury or death. Knives with a blade length greater than three inches are considered weapons under this policy. UUCSV staff and members are advised to be alert for weapons. Any weapons that are observed should be brought to the attention of the Staff or Board Members.

PROCEDURES:

Notice of this policy will be posted where it can be seen by persons arriving at the UUCSV.

Except for law enforcement, anyone who brings a weapon onto UUCSV property will be asked to remove it to their personal vehicle or residence. Anyone refusing this request will be asked to leave the UUCSV property immediately. If anyone fails to comply with that request, the police will be called.

 

Transgender Bathroom Policy

Please trust that each individual knows which bathroom is most appropriate and comfortable.

For transgender or gender non-conforming people, use of public bathrooms can present not only deep discomfort, but also risk of harassment, assault, and even arrest for using the “wrong” bathroom.

We are encouraged to thoughtfully examine and challenge our assumptions around gender identity and gender expression. As part of our work on right relationship, we invite compassionate and ongoing dialogue around these issues. Please contact our minister or one of our Board members if you would like to discuss your thoughts and feelings on this issue.

UUCSV is a Welcoming Congregation. We continue to learn how we can be better allies to our transgender and gender non-conforming friends and guests.

Immunization Policy

Policy Statement

It is the policy of the UUCSV to require immunizations against communicable diseases, particularly for its children who are old enough for vaccinations. While we respect individual rights, and parental rights, it is vital to remember that we are part of a larger church community. That community includes people who are more susceptible to the effects of communicable diseases, such as infants who are too young for immunizations, pregnant women, elderly adults, and people undergoing medical treatment and have a compromised immune system. UUCSV does not want to expose its members, friends, and visitors to such a risk.

Those who are not immunized will be asked to avoid exposing other members of the community.

– Approved by the Board of Trustees May 17, 2015

Implementation

This policy is posted in every classroom within UUCSV, as well as the social room, the sanctuary, and the choir room. Parents and guardians will be asked to affirm their children’s immunization status on RGL registration each year. The policy will also be included on the UUCSV website and on printed materials related to RGL, and any other vehicle that the Board of Trustees or the staff deems helpful.

Rationale

Immunization of children and adults against communicable diseases has reduced the morbidity and mortality of the population throughout the world1. The access to immunizations in the US has been funded in large part by government with guidelines provided by the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC)2. Fears about the link between vaccines and autism, in particular, have been debunked and disproved by numerous scientific studies.

As a member of community, the choice to immunize or not, must be viewed as more than an individual one. A primary purpose of immunization is to achieve sufficient numbers of immunized person to bar the spread of the disease. This is called “herd immunity.” The decision to not immunize increases the potential for exposure to communicable diseases within a population3. This exposure may occur as the result of an un-immunized person’s travels or exposure to a carrier. In many cases a non-immunized person may be a carrier of a disease and communicable prior to the onset of significant symptoms. Exposure can occur both in the US and abroad as diseases can be prevented by vaccines are found throughout the world, including Europe. It is important to remember that the potential to seed a community with a communicable disease occurs with the presence of one infected individual.

The CDC offers clear advice regarding risk and responsibilities for families who choose not to immunize4. These include recommendations that parents isolate their child from others, including family members, and especially infants and people with weakened immune systems. The CDC notes that vaccine-preventable diseases can be very dangerous to infants who are too young to be fully vaccinated, or children who are not vaccinated because of their medical conditions. The challenge for many settings is that the status of the person at risk and the potential carrier may not be known to each other.

For Unitarian Universalists, several of the Principles and Purposes5 undergird this policy:

First Principle: The inherent worth and dignity of every person;

Second Principle: Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;

Sixth Principle: The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;

Seventh Principle: Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

In addition, we teach that our sources of wisdom includes the guidance of reason and the results of science6.

1 CDC. About immunizations. http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/recs/default.htm

2 CDC (http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/recs/default.htm

3 CDC. What would happen if we stopped vaccinations? http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/whatifstop.htm

4 CDC. http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/patient-ed/conversations/downloads/not-vacc-risks-color-office.pdf\

5 UUA. http://www.uua.org/beliefs/what-we-believe/principles

Covenant

We, the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Susquehanna Valley, acknowledge and celebrate our spiritual kinship with all, both past and present, who seek truth, meaning, and love in life. We honor the development of our religious community in this kinship through the Unitarian and Universalist traditions. We gather here, in Northumberland, where Joseph Priestley organized early Unitarian services in North America.

Nurtured and challenged by these traditions, we make this covenant:

To support one another in a continuing commitment to a free, open, and loving search for spiritual and religious truth and meaning.

Consistent with this search, we make this our mission:

To invite all people to share and explore diverse beliefs, and strive with us to build a better community.

By these efforts, we seek harmony with all life as we grow in love and understanding for one another.

We, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, covenant to affirm and promote:

  1. The inherent worth and dignity of every person
  2. Justice, equity and compassion in human relations
  3. Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations
  4. A free and responsible search for truth and meaning
  5. The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large
  6. The goal of world community with peace, liberty and justice for all
  7. Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

Grateful for the religious pluralism which enriches and enables our faith, we are inspired to deepen our understanding and expand our vision.

As free congregations, we enter into this covenant, promising to one another our mutual trust and support.