October 15-17, 2015
Each year in October the UUA Board sets aside time to take for team building and for taking a deep dive into an aspect of our work we wish to strengthen. This year we welcomed Jacqui Lewis and John Janke from the Middle Project in New York who led us into a heartfelt and promising conversation about our commitment to Black Lives Matter.
Our other major focus was a presentation on the financial structure of the UUA and the Trustee’s monitoring obligations offered by UUA Financial Advisor, Larry Ladd. The Board takes its own continuing education seriously.
The Board’s Empowerment and Inclusion Working Group facilitated an opportunity for us to reflect on the Action of Immediate Witness in Support of the Black Lives Matter Movement, which was approved overwhelmingly at General Assembly 2015.
We began to consider how the UUA and its member congregations might strengthen and expand our commitment to Black Lives Matter. We also recalled and discussed our experience of the GA general session at which the resolution was considered. The Board regrets that the process in place, the limited time, and the racism we’re still working to root out enflamed debate and brought out the worst in many of us. People were hurt. Lines were drawn in the sand. Old wounds were opened. We know this work is full of heartbreak. And we must find the will and the way to do a better job.
The Youth Arrive
The following day we welcomed thirty high school youth and their advisors from the Twin Cities. We broke into small groups, trustees and staff with youth and returned to the Black Lives Matter conversation. It was a profound moment of “linkage” as together we tried to figure out how to improve the likelihood of creativity, respect and transformation.
The Board seeks to model and encourage generosity. Our support for the Friends of the UUA and our involvement in encouraging financial support of the Association is central to our obligations and commitments as Trustees. The Board received an excellent presentation on the history of the Annual Program Fund and present plans to invite our congregations into a new and more generous partnership. The Board was delighted to help to welcome Ken and Lois Carpenter to a reception and the dedication of “the Carpenter Room” at UUA headquarters in gratitude for their many gifts to the Association.
GA Scholarship Support For Delegates
Moderator Jim Key, as part of our effort to expand the circle of those able to come to General Assembly, has established a scholarship fund. $18,000 has been raised so far and members of the Board are working to match a $5000 challenge.
The Board is working in a variety of ways to strengthen Unitarian Universalism’s capacity to make and keep important promises. The Board Task Force on Reimagining Governance is working on ways to encourage greater participation in the conversations, which shape and strengthen our faith. The Moderator has begun the process of convening a team to consider how we might broaden our understanding of membership in ways that lead us into covenant.
The Board was pleased to learn that one of our new covenanting communities, the UU Cooperative Communities which created the Lucy Stone Cooperative, and the new Margaret Moseley Cooperative, received a $100,000 grant from "The Forbes Under 30 $1M Change the World Competition."
The Socially Responsible Investing Committee has also invested $50,000 in the effort whose mission is “to create cooperative housing based in UU principles and purposes.”
And the Board has approved a policy calendar requiring that we annually consider the adequacy of the global ends of the Association in order to determine when it would be best to engage our member congregations and communities in a process to reconsider and renew the Ends that govern our efforts.
The Board is disciplined about its oversight responsibilities working to ensure fiscal integrity and effective evaluation. And we are committed to doing all we can to pay close attention to our “sources of authority” as we help to shape the future of our Faith.