Canadian Unitarian eNews | Issue #9, October 2011

A Banner Month for the CUC Board

By Ellen Campbell
President, First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto
on behalf of the CUC Board

The CUC Board had a productive meeting this September, in which several matters which have been in process for some time came together. This meeting seemed to represent a “boat leaving the dock” kind of moment.

Priorities for Action

The most obvious evidence of that shift in emphasis is the work we did to prioritize the goals for the next rendition of the work plan that should be available by the end of this calendar year. Your Board has directed our Executive Director to commit 80% of the staff resources (both time and money) to four of the long-term goals. These four goals are:

  1. Resources for Religious Exploration and Spiritual Growth,
  2. Resources to Nurture Leadership,
  3. Resources for Social Sustainability (this includes, for example, membership retention/growth initiatives, congregational vitality, and healthy proactive conflict management), and
  4. Resources for Multi-Generational Appeal and Relevant Life-stage Ministries.
The Oak Street Market

Preparations are underway for the 2012 CUC and UUMoC Symposium on Spiritual Leadership

Board Review: The Report is In

In February, the Board engaged Eli Mina, a Board Effectiveness Consultant, to carry out a review of its recent functioning. He was to examine the reasons for the large number of resignations, identify the root causes, and propose systemic improvements in Board's functioning. In addition to interviewing a number of recent and current Board and staff members, he observed one teleconference, the Board’s meeting in May, and the Annual General Meeting. He brought his final report to the September meeting, and spent time reviewing his conclusions and his recommendations for future operation.

The Board was grateful for the work done by Mr. Mina, both in producing the report and in helping us work through it. The complete final report was circulated to Presidents and Ministers on October 14, and is available for download under the heading “CUC Governance Review” here.

Monitoring Group on Affordable Housing

At the proposal of the Social Responsibility Liaison, the Board and the Executive Director agreed that a Monitoring Group on Affordable Housing be established. Leslie Kemp will work with Jennifer Dickson to finalize the Terms of Reference and recruit monitoring group members.

Canadian UU Women’s Association

The Board acknowledged that the Canadian Unitarian and Universalist Women’s Association has become an Associate Member of the CUC.

2012 Symposium on Spiritual Leadership

Finally, we would like to alert you to our first national Symposium, to be convened in Ottawa from May 18–20, 2012. The focus of this Symposium, which is being sponsored jointly by the Unitarian Universalist Ministers of Canada (UUMoC) and the CUC, will be on spiritual leadership. It will be an excellent opportunity to learn and hear from our membership. We are certain that the insights gleaned from this Symposium will help inform the future directions of our joint journey.

We would like to strongly encourage you to start thinking of leaders, both current and emerging, including youth and young adults, within your membership who would benefit from attending this important Symposium. We hope that congregations will find ways of supporting their representatives at the Symposium. There will be more information available in the next few months.

Gary Groot, president of the board, has likened the Carver Governance system to a computer operating system. Up until this Board meeting the Board has been working at developing the operating system. We have now started using the computer. Undoubtedly there will be some glitches here and there that will be identified and require the appropriate “patches” but our focus has clearly shifted from programming to using the system.