International U-U Leaders Visit Boston
It was an honor for the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) to host an International Council of Unitarians and Universalists (ICUU) Tent Summit for the 5 largest U/U groups around the world in Boston from November 6-10, 2011. Present for the meeting were representatives from:
Canadian Unitarian Council Jennifer Dickson (Executive Director) Dr Gary Groot (Board President) Ariel Hunt-Brondwin (Youth and Young Adult Programmer)
Unitarian Union of NE India Rev Pearl Green Marbaniang (Ass't General Secretary) Rev Nangroi Suting (General Secretary)
Unitarian Church of Transylvania Rev Ferenc Bálint Benczédi (Bishop) Rev Dávid Gyerő (Counselor to the Bishop) Rev Istvan Kovacs (Minister, Sepsiszentgyorgy)
General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches (UK) Derek McAuley (Chief Officer) Rev David Usher (London District Minister) Rev Martin Whitell (Convener of the Board)
Unitarian Universalist Association (USA) Rev Eric Cherry (International Office Director) Rev Peter Morales (President) Rev Vail Weller (Special Ass't to the President for Major Gifts)
International Council of Unitarians and Universalists Rev Steve Dick (Executive Secretary) Rev Brian Kiely (President) Rev Jill McAllister (Program Coordinator)
The Tent Summit gave the leaders from these groups an opportunity to talk about collaborative opportunities and priorities they hold for ICUU. There was agreement that ICUU has an essential role in providing a voice for the global U/U community in describing"best practices" and "guidelines" for the international engagement of its member groups. And, that ICUU's role as a first point of contact for nascent U/U groups interested in being a part of the global U/U community is equally essential. The ongoing work of providing consultation and training to "emerging" groups of Unitarians and Universalists was clearly equally valued by the Summit Meeting participants, and we reiterated to ICUU that we are all committed to provide expertise to ICUU as it pursues that work. Other concepts that were discussed include supporting the establishment of regional training centers for U/U communities around the world, cataloging resources, and collaborating to provide "mentoring" relationships with emerging U/U groups.
In addition to the discussions, the leaders enjoyed having the chance to spend time getting to know each other informally, and to worship together. On Monday, November 7, Rev. Peter Morales hosted a reception for the guests at 25 Beacon St., and formally welcomed them to the UUA.
Please enjoy a few photos from the Tent Summit!