|From the Board of Trustees|
The end of the church year is here for many of us. Church doesn’t end, just the cycle of beginnings and ending of the church year. Budgets have been made for the coming year, some good and some difficult. In many of our congregations new officers have been elected or will be, and will assume their duties in July. We tidy up the past year and get ready for a new one. Things seem to wind down a bit as the summer approaches, in the church. But not for the UUMA!
June means a flurry of activity culminating in Ministry Days. It’s no small feat to accommodate hundreds of our colleagues. Don and Janette and the entire staff and your UUMA Board of Trustees have been working for months getting everything ready for you. We’ve thought long and hard about the programming, scheduling, accommodations, presenters and a whole host of things big and small. And now it’s time for you to show up.
Showing up can mean attending in person or by live streaming. The wonders of technology will allow our colleagues who cannot be physically present to attend via the internet. Groups of ministers can gather together and have their own mini-ministry days and have the company of colleagues. Or one can livestream from their own home or office.
There is something special, however, in being physically with each other to reconnect with old friends and make new ones. Ministry Days have always been one of the highlights of my year because of the collegial connections I make and renew each time I attend. So if you can make it, even if only for part of it, I encourage you to do so. We cannot do ministry alone, and this is a time to be with others travelling this awesome journey.
Whichever way you choose to attend, know that your voice is important. This year we will propose changes to the bylaws to give full voting rights our student members. We, the Board, feel that it is unfair to have members who cannot vote, as if they were second class citizens. Therefore we propose that Students members, who have received Candidate status with the MFC, be given the full rights and privileges of membership in the UUMA. Your vote will count.
There will also be candidates action forum for the UUA Presidential candidates. They will be asked in which ways will they will support the mission and vision of the UUMA in several areas. It will be a time when we will ask for specific commitments from them based upon what we have heard you say is important to the future of Unitarian Universalists ministry and to our faith.
These are just a couple of the highlights of Ministry Days this year. Look to the Agenda for the other exciting events including the keynote by the Reverend John Dorhauer, President of the United Church of Christ and the Berry Street Lecture by the Reverend Gail Seavey.
As we prepare for the new year of ministry for the UUMA is also a time to say thank you to the Board members who are completing their terms. Linda Olson Peebles, as President, has guided the transformation of the Board into a Policy Board, completing the work begun by her predecessors. It was not an easy task and she is to be commended for her unfailing dedication to the UUMA and for leading the Board into its next chapter. Jennifer Ryu as Vice President, has been indispensable to the Board and the UUMA, spearheading initiatives such as the Leadership Development Task Force and bringing her insight and wisdom to everything we do. And to Fritz Hudson, who served as our Trustee for Good Offices. Fritz brought to the office his sincerest desire to help our ministry find health in sometimes unhealthy situations. He has been integral to improving the Good Officer process between the UUMA and the UUA. To Linda, Jennifer and Fritz, THANK YOU! We shall miss you greatly.
See you in Columbus!
Cheryl M Walker
UUMA President Designate