Our Districts and the UUA
We'll be expanding this blog to posts from all our regional staff and feature the work and unique programs of all congregations and clusters in the region. Next week will be our first regional post at our new home.
This week we offer guest blogger, Jeff Donahue, President of the St. Lawrence District and member of the CERG Transitions Team.
For the last few years our district leaders have been working toward building the Central East Region. At our next District Assemblies, we will ask all of your congregational delegates to make it official – to dissolve your district in favor of our region and the Unitarian Universalist Association.
The latest task is to create a “Memorandum of Understanding” between the four Central East Region’s districts and our UUA. This will be an agreement that safeguards each district’s finances, programs and staffing. It also articulates a new way to be in relationship, in covenant, with our sister congregations and national association. It is a bold plan of how we can be better together.
Five major outcomes are featured in this agreement.
- Congregational Life Advisory Council
- Wisdom Seekers
Governance: The proposal is to transfer governance from each of the four districts to the UUA. The role of district governance has been diminishing in recent years, yet the structures remain requiring people to serve on various committees. Transferring governance function to the UUA will free up our leaders’ time to serve the ministry of their choosing. Our congregations will have improved connections with the UUA board through our Wisdom Seekers programs, the efforts of our UUA Moderator, Jim Key, and UUA board. Staff: All district and regional staff are, or soon will be, UUA employees. This clarifies reporting structures, salary and benefit packages, and goals. Our “primary contact” model and emphasis on congregational clusters provide faster responses to congregations from staff with a wider variety of expertise. Stewardship: We are planning to move to a simpler, more fair way of asking our congregations to support all our UU congregations. There will be one ask for congregations to financially support congregations in our district, region and nation. The recommended contribution will be based on a common list of congregational expenses rather than a headcount of members. Local leaders will be supporting our UUA’s Stewardship and Development office in this effort. Congregational Life Advisory Council: This newly formed entity is designed to provide two-way communication between our congregations and Congregational Life office in our UUA. Each of the five regions across the U.S. has a new council, providing information to the Director of Congregational Life about congregational needs and working on how life in our congregations and beyond could be improved. Wisdom Seekers: In the future our region will initiate a Wisdom Seekers program. This will be a forum to discuss the current major issues facing Unitarian Universalism and society. UU’s from across our region, the UUA Trustees, and the public will all be invited to these events. In addition to having deep discussions of current topics, this gives our UUs the opportunity to grow and serve into leadership roles. We have been growing into our region in the last few years. Initiatives such as Wisdom Seekers promises a future of engagement, connection and growth.