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UUA Board Report for June 2014

The Board of Trustees of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) met in good spirits in Providence June 24-25, 2014, expressing continued gratitude for the improved dynamic of a smaller board (now one year old), and satisfaction with the progress made on a number of ongoing projects.

The report of the Congregational Boundaries Working Group summarized the efforts to address issues related to clergy sexual abuse over the past decade and a half. The group found that while some progress has been made, the UUA has fallen short of its goal of offering the restorative justice to survivors that it has promised in the past, and that survivors continue to be marginalized by UUA process and culture. The board called on the Congregational Boundaries Working Group, the UUA Moderator, UUA Director of Ministries and Faith Development, and SafetyNet (an advocacy group for survivors) to work together to make sweeping recommendations for changes in process, culture, and education. This important report, which is available in its entirety on the UUA website, concluded with the text of the apology to survivors that the UUA Moderator then delivered during General Assembly (GA).

The board “received with gratitude” the report from policy governance consultant Eric Craymer, which outlined the metrics that the board and administration have mutually agreed to use as indicators of the UUA’s progress in fulfilling its ends. The board will receive the first data connected to these metrics at its meeting in October.

Progress reports were offered on ongoing projects. One concerned the board’s continued effort to improve our democracy, a conversation that had begun more narrowly around concerns about making GA more representative of our congregations. This meeting we focused on how to most actively engage the GA delegates in this conversation, using our workshop time as well as the new forum of “GA Talks.” During GA it was decided to add a survey made available on the UUA website to the process for collecting responses on the big issues of how we gather as an association. The Emerging Congregations Working Group also updated the board on continued efforts to discern what changes in policy would make it easier for new congregations in formation to join the UUA. The need for different kinds of support for non-traditional congregations also remains a focus of board concern.

Sarah Stewart presented a report from the Finance Committee, which included concern over a significant income shortage in the area of major gifts.

The board expressed its gratitude for the service of outgoing trustees Natalia Averett, Clyde Grubbs, and Youth Observer Rosemary Dodd.

The board reconvened after General Assembly on June 30, 2014. New members Christina Rivera and Andy Burnette were welcomed, along with new Youth Observer Benji Janapol. Board working assignments were made, as were appointments to board appointed committees. The board congratulated Jim Key on his fine job as Moderator, both during GA, and also in this previous year.