UUA Trustee


UUA Trustee Tidbits

UUA Trustee Tidbits

Joan Lund

For as long as I have been involved in UUism beyond my home congregation, I have believed that to be effective our social justice work should be linked with other faith groups working on similar or the same mandates. The Interfaith Immigration Coalition (IIC) is one such partnership of faith-based organizations committed to enacting fair and humane immigration reform. Coalition members work together on reforms that reflect our belief in welcoming everyone and treating all human beings with dignity and respect. Members of the coalition work together to advocate for just and equitable immigration policies, educate faith communities, and serve immigrant populations around the country.

Breaking Bread and Building Bridges (BBBB) is part of a larger strategy to make known faith communities voices at our local level through events such as potlucks, vigils, and detention visitations to connect with those most directly affected by unjust immigration policies. The goal of the BBBB is "to create and strengthen relationships of solidarity among people of faith, impacted communities, and immigrants' rights groups to effectively organize and advocate for just immigration policies." There is a resources toolkit available to congregations to assist in engaging in such activities, depending on the type of campaign the individual congregation wishes to create.

Eat, meet, and organize for immigrants' rights by forming a planning committee and meeting with leaders in the congregation and reaching out to other congregations and human rights groups inviting them to attend an event. At this event attendees can share family migration stories and listen to the stories of others, while identifying common values and goals. Strategies with action plans that make the most sense in your region and community can be mapped out for working toward immigrants' rights. For example: working toward the passage of pro-immigrant bills like the DREAM Act.

It is never too late to organize in your congregation with other local faith groups in the campaign to strengthen the movement for just and humane immigration reform. There is much information available for your congregation on our UUA web site, and linking to Interfaith Immigration Coalition. On a personal note: I look forward to being with many of you in Louisville, KY, at General Assembly, my last as your UUA Trustee. I can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 
UUA Trustee Tidbits

UUA Trustee Tidbits

Joan Lund, February 2013

Although it is the month of love and Standing on the Side of Love is very important, once in a long while I decide to write a column of personal privilege, not something in which the UUA Board of Trustees is currently involved. This is one of those times and it is a tough column to write. Hopefully my words, and the assault weapons massacres of recent times, will generate some interest, if the topic has not already done so in your congregation.

For over 50 years I have been an advocate of controlling firearms in the possession of Americans. My interest began when as a young woman I was invited to be in the pulpit at the UU Church of Wilmington, DE, and had to make a decision on a topic; chose gun control. I knew, and statistics showed at that time, that handguns were causing problems in society, but I never dreamed of the proliferation of weapons I know so little about except that all types have turned our nation into a violent, fearful, gun-toting place to live. I know all the gun-rights advocates would say that there is a personal right to bear arms, even to the point of pre-dating the Second Amendment. But it was clear when the Second Amendment passed that Madison and the other MEN viewed the "right to bear arms" in the context of a "well-regulated militia" to defend the communities from massacres, not undermine it. The goal was to resist aggression from European powers, confront Native American tribes, and put down internal rebellions, including slave revolts. What is not happening in our country is quite the opposite of "security," not what the Founders had in mind.

As American history has unfolded, the American Right and today's arms industry have come to devote enormous resources to twisting the framers of our Constitution and Bill of Rights into extremists ideologues who put "liberties" like individual gun ownership ahead of all practical concerns about "security." And in today's world the propaganda spewed by many politicians has proved so successful that even those who favor common-sense gun control are deemed violators of the original intent of our Founders, as essentially un-American, and of course face defeat in elections.

Guns are robbing us of freedom, not insuring it. Eighty-three Americans die daily from gun violence in the USA; eight are children or teenagers. WE must put in place commonsense gun laws and enforce those laws. Our UUA is urging us to take action to prevent gun violence and the link to help your congregation work toward that end can be found at uua.org. I urge each of this to not let this goal fade from our vision and embark on congregational discussions about how we can reverse this tide of violence. I can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 
UUA Trustee Tidbits

UUA Trustee Tidbits

Joan Lund, January 2013

Happy New Year! Last month I indicated the 2009 Fifth Principle Task Force Report (5thPTFR) and the UUA Board of Trustees (BOT) work in this area warranted more than one Trustee Tidbits column. To continue the governance recommendations, the 5th PTFR stated that GA business must reflect ultimate questions as a liberal religious movement, budgetary priorities and accountability; that there be substantive linkage between the BOT and delegate teams in preparation for and during the proposed biennial GA; that delegates be trained, and empowered, and accountable to congregations through election or official appointment; that governance leaders of congregations serve as delegates.

As you realize the 5th PTFR only addresses the governance track of General Assembly (GA). But for many of us, GA is so much more: workshops, worship, Ware Lecture, a time for many of our "stakeholders" to meet and conduct their business, and more.

The 5th PTF ad hoc BOT group has determined we cannot go forward with the 5th PTFR recommendations until we determine "how we gather," and further acknowledge there are really two pillars that make up GA: How We Gather and How We Govern. So between now and June we will be securing information from various sources and stakeholders to help determine our GA direction. These groups will include, but not be limited to, our Administration, the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association, the District Presidents Association, Diverse and Revolutionary Unitarian Universalist Multicultural Ministries, Youth and Young Adults Ministries, and the General Assembly Planning Committee.

The BOT has invited the above-stated stakeholders to the January Board meeting for a conversation during the day on Friday. We have asked the invitees to converse with their constituents between now and the January meeting. In addition the 5th PTF BOT group will be sending out to our stakeholders rough draft information in two different documents titled: "How We Gather" and "How We Govern." We also plan to make certain our congregations are equipped to meet and converse together about these two aspects of GA with information and discussion questions. At GA the BOT will conduct at least one informational workshop regarding these two pillars. Hopefully your congregation will spend time discussing these two pillars of GA and let me know your thoughts. It's not too early to plan to be in Louisville, KY, for GA!

Hope your congregation prospers and grows in all the ways you hope in 2013. I always enjoy hearing from you about UUA matters and can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 
UUA Trustee Tidbits - Dec 2012

UUA Trustee Tidbits - Dec 2012

Joan Lund, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

As member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, we covenant to affirm and promote our UU Principles"...number five..."The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large." Are we involved in a "democratic process" when congregation delegates and others meet together once a year at General Assembly (GA)? Do those who participate in GA as delegates come funded by their congregations with instructions of how to vote on various issues? Are they truly representative of their congregations or are they UUs who possess enough money to be able to afford the expense of GA, have the time to attend, and maybe are interested in the location of where GA is being held? In January, 2010 the BOT received the Fifth Principle Task Force Report and for several reasons, mostly centered on making certain Justice GA 2012 was a success, did not address the recommendations of the Task Force's report. In August 2012 an ad hoc task force of the BOT, which I convene, was charged with re-opening the conversation and recommending how the BOT should move forward with the recommendations.

The Fifth Principle Task Force focused on the governance issues of GA and recommended that GA become a biennial event, held in odd years. In addition the Task Force recommended the delegate body change from passive receptors to active policy makers, giving power and the responsibility with it to the people who are the member congregations. Delegates would be elected and certified by their congregations or board and serve in an accountable relationship with geographically neighboring delegate teams and with UUA trustees. Delegate registration for the governance/business portion of the meeting would be subsidized by our UUA.

The Fifth Principle Task Force Report indicated the future of our UU faith cannot continue in a faux democracy and unaccountable representation that characterize Association governance regarding. The Task Force believes the status quo for GA is not an option. Quote from Report, "The thinking activity of the denomination has no focus now...no focusing process or mechanism".

Next month I will write on the BOT's work so far regarding the recommendations; our discussions, decisions and how we are proceeding. The BOT did accept the fundamental objectives of the Fifth Principle Task Force to make GA more democratic, delegates more accountable, make the assembly less expensive, less economically discriminatory, less generationally discriminatory, and more active in policy formation. The committee further recommended the number of delegates be reduced to approximately 2,000. I strongly suggest reading the Fifth Principle Task Force Report which is available on-line on our UUA web site.

Please email or telephone me if you would like to talk about the recommendations and/or any other Trustee related issue: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . I wish you and your congregation a happy, blessed, and Holiday Season.

 
UUA Trustee Tidbits - Oct 2012

UUA Trustee Tidbits - Oct 2012

Joan Lund, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

It is widely known that I am a Unitarian Universalist "institutionalist," which to me means it is important to think, listen, discuss, and be active with other UUs beyond individual congregation walls. There is so much we can be and do when we learn from other UUs and "share the load." If your congregation does not have a Denominational Affairs Committee (DAC) or, perhaps more aptly named Denominational Connections Committee (DCC), maybe it is time to take on responsibilities that might fall to other committees by establishing one.

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