2004 - 2005 Meeting Summaries

The Commission on Appraisal met at Eliot & Pickett House in Boston on October 20-23, 2005 (PDF). This was the first meeting since the election of three new Commission members. Much of the meeting was focused on team-building and revising our basic working documents (including our mission statement and handbook). Rev. Tracey Robinson-Harris from the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) staff facilitated some of this work. We also met with UUA President Bill Sinkford concerning his response to the Commision's last report, Engaging Our Theological Diversity (PDF, 195 pages), as well as his perception of current and future challenges to the Association. We also began discussions about future directions and study topics.

During the 2005 General Assembly (PDF) in Fort Worth, the Commission gave a presentation during the Saturday evening plenary. We held a workshop on Monday morning, which included a presentation on and discussion of the new theological diversity report as well as open time for attendees to raise other issues of concern concerning Unitarian Universalism and the UUA. We also welcomed our newly elected members.

The paragraphs below summarize the meetings of the Commission while it was working on its last study, published under the title Engaging Our Theological Diversity.

During April 21-24, 2005 the Commission met at Picket-Eliott House in Boston. We held discussions with UUA Moderator Gini Courter and with outgoing Financial Advisor Larry Ladd. Much of our time was dedicated to planning for the presentations on the report, to be made at GA in Fort Worth. New officers were selected for the next two years. We reviewed and adopted a number of changes to our operational handbook. We also planned for the incorporation of three new Commissoners into the group following this summer's elections at GA, and began to set our meeting schedule for the next two years.

In lieu of its usual winter meeting, the Commission held conference calls in December 2004 and January 2005, at which we discussed needed revisions to the text of our report and began the planning of its release at the upcoming General Assembly.

The Commission met at Picket-Eliott House in Boston on October 20-23, 2004. We continued to work on our upcoming report, brainstormed potential titles, met with our editor Mary Benard, and worked out the content of the final chapter, developing a process for the writing of conclusions and recommendations. We also spent an evening in our ongoing efforts to attend to anti-oppression issues by watching and discussing a film.

On August 10-13, 2004, the Commission met at Picket-Eliott House in Boston, MA. During this meeting we refined the structure of our upcoming report, reviewed drafts of report sections written by individual Commission members, met with our UUA/Skinner House editior Mary Benard, and discussed CoA procedures in light of the policy on transparency and openness in UUA operations passed at the 2004 GA.

In June of 2004, the Commission met during General Assembly in Long Beach, CA. In addition to a brief plenary report, we presented a worshop in which we previewed some of the content of the upcoming report. In our meeting time we continued to refine the content and structure of the report and assigned the writing of sections of the report to specific members of the Commission. Looking to the future, we spent some time brainstorming a list of potential topics for future studies. We also met with representatives of the Nominating Committee regarding skills needed for future Commission nominees.

In January and April, 2004 the Commission met at Picket-Eliot House in Boston. During these sessions we met with:

UUA President Bill Sinkford about the general state of the Association and his views of our current study UUA Director of Lifespan Development and Curriculum Director Judith Frediani concerning the lifespan faith development curriculum now under development Pat Hoertdoerfer and Dave Petee concerning family ministry as a growing UUA focus We also discussed the results of our continental survey of congregational worship practices, continued to plan the content of our next report (to be released at the 2005 General Assembly), and planned for our presentations and reports at the 2004 General Assembly.