Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Did you know that the four UUA districts in New England are sponsoring a regional conference October 17-18 in Worcester, Mass.? UUA presidential candidates Laurel Hallman and Peter Morales are the keynote speakers Saturday morning, October 17, at 9:30. Learn more and register for the conference at NewEnglandUUs.org.
Forgive me in advance for the insider-baseball jargon that peppers this post.
It's time once again for the quarterly meeting of the UUA Board of Trustees, October 15-19 in Boston. Although I'm aware that no one has ever attended a board meeting on my prompting, I'd like to reiterate that meetings are open to the public. Insiders' insiders will also notice that the board is attempting to shift more completely into modified Policy Governance mode in this meeting, as Moderator Gini Courter briefly explains in her cover letter to the meeting's 167-page packet of agendas and reports. One crucial thing to notice, if you are inclined to become a dedicated board watcher, is that more and more of the trustees' conversation is taking place in working group meetings rather than in the formal board meetings on Saturday and Sunday, October 18 and 19. This means that, if you're really interested in catching a glimpse of what the trustees are talking about, you'd want to attend the Wednesday working group meetings or the Thursday governance conversation. Showing up for the Saturday afternoon meeting or the Sunday morning meeting only could be a bit confusing — unless you cozy up to the representative of the District Presidents Association, who really pays close attention and can fill you in.
The Friday, October 17, all-day session is dedicated to drafting "ends statements" for the Association. The board will be drawing on the responses it solicited at recent General Assemblies through the Open Space process in 2007 and the Appreciative Inquiry process in 2008. (UU World reported on the Open Space process in 2007; UUA.org has a report on this year's Appreciative Inquiry process, including a slideshow of collages made by participants.) The board's 33-page packet of "ends" documents is the one you'll want to read most closely.
Also: The board will spend part of its time at the UU New England Fall Conference in Worcester, Mass., October 17-18, where UUA presidential candidates Laurel Hallman and Peter Morales will be speaking about the future of Unitarian Universalism.
Monday, September 15, 2008
While I've been offline for the last several weeks — moving to a new apartment and falling into radio silence as Verizon failed repeatedly to get our phone line and Internet connection up and running — the UUA Commission on Appraisal has released its draft revision of the Unitarian Universalist Association's bylaw "Article II," better known as the "Principles and Purposes." This revision is the culmination of two years of work by the Commission, which took up a mandatory review of Article II when the Board of Trustees realized, several years late, that a review was overdue. Warren Ross, who wrote about the origins and popularity of the current Seven Principles for UU World back in 2000, has been reporting on the Commission's revision process. Here's his news story about the text the Commission released on September 1.
The Commission is seeking feedback about its draft by October 16. (Update 9.17.08: Link updated.) After that time, they'll refine the draft and submit it to the Board. After board approval, the text will then go to the 2009 General Assembly for a preliminary vote. Unless a majority of delegates nixes the revision next June in Salt Lake City, or unless at least one-third of delegates dislikes the final text in 2010 in Minneapolis, the new language will take effect.
You can see how bloggers have responded to the draft via the links Kenneth Sutton collected for UU World's "Interdependent Web" blog two weeks ago; this past week, I rounded up blog reactions to the draft's use of the phrase "cultural misappropriation" in its Sources section.
Do you like the revised text? Have you given feedback to the Commission yet?