Sunday, October 28, 2007

First let me start with some brief comments about the fires. As I came home from Boston last week I could see fires burning on both sides of the plane as we came into LAX. Many of us on the plane had not heard about the winds and fires before leaving Boston and during that seven hour span the flames really picked up. As I drove home I could see the Santiago fire burning in the hills to the east of our house about eight miles away. It was going to be an ominous night.
The next day at work we started dealing with employees who were evacuated or too bothered with smoke to be able to work. Since our job is the management of medical practices including five urgent care centers we began to get inundated with patients coming in with breathing problems and more. So to say this was an uncommon week is an understatement. I know it has been far worse for others particularly those in San Diego and the mountain communities to our east. I hope you will consider a donation to the fire relief efforts being put together on the PSWD website:

And now, more about what was happening at the UUA Board meeting last Saturday and Sunday:

A good part of the Saturday meeting is taken up with reports from the various committees and working groups along with reports from key staff as well as the financial advisor. Many of these reports are online at 
My own working group (Faith In Action) dealt with some of the issues involving our work on Katrina relief efforts along the Gulf Coast and lessons learned (which may become a GA workshop), a report on a program targeting successful ministries for ministers of color emerging from seminary training in the next few years and finally a brief discussion issues related to accessibility and the move of the inaccessibility's work to the Journey Toward Wholeness Transformation Committee (JTWTC). We will be inviting leadership of this committee to meet with us later next year to discuss specifically how the committee is handling issues of accessibility as part of its new charge. I introduced a motion to the working group to consider meeting outside of Boston occasionally and as a result we sent a motion to the whole Board to meet from time to time in a place other than Boston and to do so no later than January 2009. The motion was generally received favorably but members wanted to know at what increased cost so it was tabled until our next meeting for staff to develop some costs of meeting elsewhere. Specifically, we were thinking of New Orleans but that will be up the Coordinating Council to determine. We think we need to be more visible and present with our congregations outside of Boston (not that we have done much with the ones near Boston). Additionally, we will be looking at recommendations that come from the Consultation on Youth ministry late next year. This will give some opportunity to implement some of the recommendations made by the group

The Governance working group spent two hours with each committee looking at policies that we may adopt in the future under policy governance. It was productive work but it shows how much more education we need on how we and the Association will benefit from this style of governance. It will probably be know earlier than June 2009 before we adopt this change if even then.

The Finance Committee reported the UUA audit resulted in a "clean" report by the auditors meaning no material deficiencies or problems. The Association is in sound financial condition. Several recommendations include: raising the GA fee by $5.00; change the budget cycle so that the administration presents its first pass to the board on July 1st defining new initiatives. At the April meeting the administration will present its proposed operating and capital budget; approval of the Beacon Press budget (operating in the black by about $200K); approved additional organizations that may participate in the health plan; also approved for the Board to consider a request to increase the guarantee time period for Canejo Valley UU from 9 years tot he life of the loan. This wa later approved by the Board.

The Committee on Committees approved a new Task Force called the Fifth Principle task force whose job is to look at GA and consider all aspects of it and to later report to the Boad and the Association on any recommendations. This will be a five person task force appointed by the Board. this will be finalized at the January meeting.

Rev. John Morehouse of PUC was approved as a member of the Annual Program fund.

Rev. Cynthia Kane was approved for membership on the Ministerial Fellowship Committee. Phyllis Daniel currently is the interim chair and will be succeeded by Rev Wayne Arnason.
Rev Sam Trumbore of Altamont, NY will join with Carol Agate on the Open UUA Implementation Committee with Chair Evelyn Spurgin.
The Accessibility Coommittee has been sunseted and their work moved to JTWTC, chaired by Rev Monica Cummings and Carolyn Cartland. Michael Sallwasser of Long Beach also serves this committee. Two new persons were added including Arthur Tackman of Honolulu and CJ McGregor of Fitchburg, MA.
The complete list of all committees will be published on the UUA website soon along with the minutes.

Reports from Bill Sinkford, Kay Montgomery and Gini Courter will also be online soon as well.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions and also feel free to leave comments for all of us to look at. I do not moderate the comments so please remember to honor each other electronically no less than you would if you were talking directly to others.

The January meeting will be the 16-18th. As items of interest come up I will be in touch.

In service and in trust,




Carol Agate said...

Thanks, Tom, for a comprehensive report. It is good to get information about actions relating to our district. And congratulations on your recommendation that the board meet in places other than Boston. It would be a great step toward more openness and an encouragement toward wider involvement in the UUA.

Julie said...

Thank you, Tom. I just recently signed up to receive your notices and I am so glad I did. I, too, like the idea of the board meeting in places other than Boston. I have such a strong feeling that we are on the edge of enormous growth. A "traveling" board would seem to be in closer contact with broader base of members. Thank you for your service on our behalf. Julie Hernandez, Coordinator, Addictions & Recovery Ministry, Pacific Unitarian Church

Frank Amon MVUUC said...

Thanks, Tom. But, I would ask you to be careful about abbreviations. You mentioned PUC. I guess that is Pacific Unitarian Church, but it would be nice to be sure.

Justine Urbikas said...

I hope the fire mayhem has died down a bit over there. Keep us posted!