The Commission on Appraisal is particularly happy to invite your participation in a brief survey to help prepare to select our next topic of study. The Commission serves similarly to a “think tank” on larger issues facing Unitarian Universalism. Our recent study was on class in the UUA.
They are attempting to cast a wide net and so are asking congregations, individual congregants, and professional staff to share your thoughts.
Below you will find the proposals that you will be asked about in the survey. There is also an opportunity for you to suggest a topic for the Commission to study. We would like a response by March 31st but we will leave the survey open until after GA.
To learn more about the Commission on Appraisal, an independently elected body of our Association, go to www.uua.org and search for the Commission on Appraisal or use this CoA.
Commission on Appraisal—Requests Your Help to Discern Our Next Topic
For each of the listed topics we ask the following.
- To what extent do you support this topic?
- How appropriate is the topic’s breadth?
- How likely is this topic to engage the interest of our members?
- How important is this topic to the future of the UUA?
Our Fifth Principle, Democracy
One possible topic concerns the fifth principle. How do we implement and support democratic process in our congregations, the UUA and the larger world? How do we make it more relational and less adversarial, particularly regarding parliamentary procedures used in crafting policies and by-laws; and how do we encourage members to be more engaged in democratic processes in the larger world?
Support for Religious Professional of Color
A second proposed topic is how the leadership and staff of the UUA and its regions provide human resources, advocacy, and career support for ministers and other religious professionals of color. What kinds of support are needed to ensure sustainable, gratifying, and productive careers for this traditionally marginalized group within our tradition? How does the UUA and its regions ensure that religious professionals of color have resources for navigating conflict, find trustworthy mentors, and master the politics of survival within the UUA? What are the barriers to providing support, how can we eliminate them, and what systems are needed in their place?
Managing Balance Between Tradition and New
A third proposal is to explore the balance between tradition or continuity and change as we strive to remain relevant as a faith to younger people. What is the essence of Unitarian Universalism that we would want to preserve, and how would we bridge the generations in adapting to a new era characterized by social media, digital communities, and less one-on-one interaction that millennials, and other young people, are often attracted to and use as a substitute for traditional forms of community?
Our Unitarian Universalists Faith’s Existence and Longevity
A final possible topic is an umbrella topic emphasizing our very existence and longevity through the three lenses mentioned above (Our Fifth Principle; Democracy, Support for Religious Professionals of Color, and The Balance Between Sameness and Change), specifically by examining:
Advocacy for career sustainability, mentoring, and advancement by the leadership and staff of the UUA & its regions for our support of People of Color serving in various forms of ministry, to include: parish, religious education, administration, music, and community ministry; increased financial support for entrepreneurial and youth ministry; and strengthening the democratic processes and values within the UUA, its congregations, and in the world.
The image of growing a garden comes to mind where the support of ministry and youth is planting the seed, strengthening democracy is watering; and balancing continuity and change is pruning and weeding that which chokes life from host plants.
Your Idea for a Topic
To provide your thoughts to the Commission on Appraisal, please fill out this survey.
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