My fellow Unitarian Universalists,
Three of the central goals of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) are to support growth of our movement, advocate for compassion and justice in our society, and support our religious professionals in their ministries in and beyond our congregations. As part of our ongoing efforts to focus our resources on these central goals, the UUA will make some important organizational and staffing changes. In addition, the effects of the economic recession will force some adjustments in staffing levels. These changes will take effect over the next several months and be completed by July.
First, we are creating a new staff group that will have responsibility for leading our growth into a multicultural future and advancing our work in advocacy. This new staff group, tentatively named “Multicultural Growth and Advocacy,” integrates the work of two previous staff groups: Identity-Based Ministries and Advocacy and Witness. The goal is to put forward the best work the Association has been doing across the Unitarian Universalist (UU) movement to live out an inclusive, multicultural vision of congregational life, public witness, and engagement in the broader world.
A second new staff group, tentatively named “Professional Ministry,” will bring together the work of Ministry & Professional Leadership (MPL) and Lifespan Faith Development (LFD) to support our congregations and religious professionals (including ordained ministers serving congregations and in community ministry, religious educators, musicians, and administrators) in a more integrated way. The goal is to foster collaboration and integration of all our ministries and among all our religious professionals.
Like our congregations and other religious movements, the UUA has not escaped the effects of this economic recession. Over the past three years, our overall budget has gone from $26.6 million to $22.6 million. We simply have to do our work with fewer people. We have thus been forced to make some staff cuts across the organization: a total of thirteen positions, equivalent to eight full-time positions, have been eliminated. We are doing all we can to help our employees in these difficult transitions.
While the specific details of these changes will emerge over the next several months, I am immediately excited about the possibilities for improving our service to congregations and for fostering the growth of Unitarian Universalism that these changes offer.