Spring Greetings from the Board of Trustees! There is important work going on within our congregation and the UUA this spring, much of it “behind the scenes”, and ALL of it affects you! This is a long, but hopefully not long-winded, letter, because there is so much to talk about!
Our 2023-2024 PLEDGE DRIVE A priority for our members and friends is the ongoing PLEDGE DRIVE. While what you hear in announcements at services and in the Weekly Update seems simple and perhaps redundant, the PLEDGE DRIVE is the financial foundation of how we function going forward. Our community depends on pledges for almost 70% of its funding. What are we funding with our pledges? Salaries for our staff: our minister, administrative assistant/religious exploration coordinator, and music director. Monies for maintenance on our building and grounds, for keeping the lights on and the heat going. Funding for program needs such as supplies for RE, technology needs including monthly Zoom fees, and social events for members such as our Soup and Salsa night. Our church community is much like a family, and depends on a budget. The budget is determined in large part by what you each pledge. The Pledge Committee, the Finance Committee and the Board of Trustees all work behind the scenes to secure pledges, plan for the coming year’s budget, and make sure we do not extend ourselves beyond our annual budget. We all thank you for your pledges, to those who have done so already, and in advance, to those of you who will be making a pledge in the coming weeks.
MEMBERS NEEDED! Thinking you might want to be more involved in UUCSW? The Nominating Committee is still seeking candidates for the following open positions: Member of Board of Trustees, Clerk for the Board of Trustees, and Assistant Collector. The Membership Committee is also looking for new members. I highly recommend stretching your wings a little and trying something new! I’m happy to talk with you about what my first year as a Board Member has been like, if you are interested in becoming a Board Member. The Board is also looking for 2 adults to be our delegates for General Assembly (see below).
GENERAL ASSEMBLY and ARTICLE II Umm…what? Many of you know, but some may not, that the UUA runs an annual meeting of all member congregations each year in early June. It is called General Assembly. General Assembly (GA) functions much like many other professional organizations’ Annual Meetings. There are business meetings, and educational meetings. There is fellowship, and motivation, and support for all the work we do. This year, the UUA GA will be June 21-25, in Pittsburg, PA. It is being offered in a hybrid format. It was hybrid last year, too, and I personally attended virtually, as one of your delegates. I was impressed with the content, and how smoothly the hybrid portion ran. I learned quite a bit about how our association functions! Our minister will be attending; our YOUTH GROUP is interested in attending. We are looking for 2 adult members who might be interested in attending either in person, or virtually, as our elected delegates. Delegates are responsible to represent our congregation, and VOTE on all of the business items being presented for vote at a given assembly. There are also elections for UUA board positions to be voted on, notably this year, the next president of the UUA! The other big business item to be voted on this year is Article II. The vote is whether to go forward with the current proposed revision of Article II of our Bylaws, Principles and Purposes. See below, for more info on Article II, and PLEASE see me, or email me, if you would like to talk about what it is like to be a delegate!
So what IS Article II?From the UUA, Article II Study Report Introduction: “Article II of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Bylaws, Principles and Purposes, is the foundation for all of the work of our UUA and its member congregations and covenanted communities. It is the covenant to which all of our congregations and covenanted communities pledge themselves when they become members of our UUA.” Basically, it states what we believe in as UU’s, and how we practice what we believe. I think that’s pretty important! In this letter, I can not possibly cover all of the details of all of the changes that are presented in the Proposed Revisions of Article II. The charge to the commission is 3 pages long! Basically, the revisions aim to bring the wording and intent of Article II into the present day, and give us guidance toward the future of Unitarian Universalism as a faith community. One of the biggest changes that I see, is the new image and wording of 6 core values. Our principles and covenant are now described under one or more of these core values. It has a very different look, and a nuanced read to it. I encourage all of you to go to the UUA Website, and search for the Article II Study Report, or just Article II. Here is the link: https://www.uua.org/files/2023-02/article-II-study-report-2021-23.pdf
Because this is so important to our foundational beliefs, because of the type of faith we have, and inclusion we live by, the UUA Board of Trustees has recommended that there be an open review and feedback period before voting on changes. THIS OPEN REVIEW IS NOW, and it is ONLINE, so you, as an individual, can make suggestions to any parts of the proposal that you wish to comment on. From the UUA website regarding this review period: “All qualifying suggestions will be posted for public chat discussion at discuss.uua.org, starting after April 15. Suggestions must be received by April 30 in order to be posted. Additionally, the UUA Board of Trustees will host public discussion workshops on May 11, 18 and 21, 2023, to review suggestions and ideas. These rounds of public discussion will inform the way amendments are prioritized for discussion and voting at General Assembly.” At GA, the vote will be whether to accept the revised, final version of Article II to move forward for a final vote at the 2024 GA. Here is the link to the online feedback form: https://form.jotform.com/UUA/A2Ideas The online form is open until April 30, 2023. At the Annual Meeting of UUCSW in June 2023, you will be asked to vote on whether you support the changes to Article II, in order to inform our delegates for GA, on whether our congregation wants to vote to accept the revisions to Article II. So once again, I encourage you to head over to the UUA website and peruse the changes you will be voting on!I still find it incredible that I can be part of a faith community in which I can have a say in what we believe, and how we practice. Blessed Be!
On behalf of your UUCSW Board of Trustees