Regionalization FAQ-Background Questions & Nuts and Bolts
Questions addressing where regionalization came from, how others have implemented and what are the legal necessities of making it a reality.
Where did the idea of regionalization come from? Was this required by the UUA?
The idea of regions was an integral part of the merger plans when the Unitarians and Universalists came together in 1961. The regions with their central support staffs were not formed at that time because of the lack of financing. Regionalization has been evolving informally over the years as various districts realized the benefits of working together and sharing resources, staff and programming. The current effort to combine our four districts into a region began in our districts and as the plans have taken shape, the UUA has been very supportive.
Why were these four districts picked? How were the boundaries chosen?
These four districts have a strong history of working together and formed a regional group in 2010. The five regions of the UUA are geographically based and we fall between the New England and the Southern Regions. The boundaries of the districts themselves evolved from the various pre-merger multi-congregational structures from both the Unitarians and the Universalists.
Is this being driven by money and savings?
The main driver is simply that we all are much better together. There are definitely efficiencies to be realized and we have already seen with our newly unified and integrated staff. The primary goals are to improve services to our congregations and increase the interconnections between our congregations and our UUA.
Have other districts done this? Did they see anything positive come out of it?
The MidAmerica and Southern regions have preceded us in their regionalization efforts and the Southern region, in particular, has been most instructive and helpful with our own efforts. They are realizing the benefits, as we are, of the unified staff with deeper and broader portfolios, and of a continuing strengthening of connections among congregations.
Moving to a Region Nuts and Bolts
When will the vote take place and it will it really mean anything?
The votes take place at each of our four District Assemblies this coming spring, 2016. Each district must have their vote for regionalization approved in order to be able to transition to the region. If the votes affirm our move toward a region, then each district will continue and complete its dissolution and transition processes.
What is the minimum vote at each district required for this to happen?
It depends on the bylaws of each district.
What are the legalities of dissolving the districts? Will they really be dissolved?
Again, it depends on the district's bylaws and the state(s) regulations. Yes they will really dissolve.