The New York State Convention of Universalists
Report to the St. Lawrence and Metro New York Unitarian Universalist Districts
The Convention is pleased to continue its direct support of district programs this year, providing block grants of $11,000 to Metro NY and $17,000 to St. Lawrence districts. In addition to our ongoing support for
each district’s operating budget, in 1999 the Convention established special grants of $5,000 for each district for leadership development. These scholarships may be used for leadership school, Our Whole Lives training, renaissance modules, district meetings, or any similar function that serves to strengthen UU leadership in the districts.
The Convention approved a loan of $50,000 for renovation and accessibility of the historic First Universalist Church of Southold and an additional $72,450 in grants for eighteen special
projects. [Addendum: after this report was written the
NYSCU Board met to consider more grant applications. Click here to see the final list of Grant and Loan recipients.] These include:
- a fourth year of UU participation in New York State Interfaith Impact
- continued co-sponsorship of the John Murray Distinguished Lecture at the UUA General Assembly, and additional funding for a second presentation at GA on Universalism in the Deep South
- capital improvements and international staff/camper scholarships at Unirondack
- translation of Unitarian Universalist materials into French for a French language resource center
- support for the new Canadian Unitarian Council video Opening the Doors to Religious and Spiritual Learning
- continuing the work of preserving and passing on the Universalist heritage unique to Murray Grove
- documenting the Universalist Service Committee’s program of work camps from 1948 – 1962
- an innovative program for a “Welcoming Community” project, based on the work of the Welcoming Congregation, to further acceptance of Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender people in the wider community
- a reprint of American Universalism by the Unitarian Universalist Historical Society
- support for the Unitarian Universalist Women’s Heritage Society
- a pilot program for outreach to families interested in a liberal religious education for their children
- a creative project to develop Sacred Story Theater for children ages 4 – 11
- support for the first ever UU Children’s Honor Choir at the UUA General Assembly
- additional projects that promote the growth of Unitarian Universalism
The Annual Meeting of the Convention was held this past October at the UU Church of Binghamton, NY. The keynote speaker was the Rev. Alma Faith Crawford, minister of the Church of the Open Door in Chicago. For the
first time, the Convention videotaped the keynote address and is making it available to interested congregations. During this annual meeting we initiated a discussion on whether to open the membership of the
Convention to other New York State Unitarian Universalist congregations. This idea had strong support from those attending the discussion and the Board is exploring the option further.
The 2000 meeting of the Convention will be held November 4-5 at the UU Church of Buffalo, NY. The keynote speaker will be Denise T. Davidoff, Moderator of the Unitarian Universalist Association. This meeting will feature past grant recipients in workshops highlighting the results of their work, so that others can learn from their innovations. While voting rights in the Convention extend only to representatives of the 23 member societies, all UUs are warmly invited to attend, for a day and half of workshops, worship, and fellowship.
For further information about the Convention and our grants and loans opportunities, visit our web site at http://www.nyscu.org or write to NYSCU c/o Susan M. Shaw, 9A Evergreen Circle, Liverpool, NY 13090-3347.
Susan M. Shaw, Secretary
12 February 2000
The New York State Convention of Universalists was organized in
1825. Today the Convention administers two large endowments. One
provides pensions* for retired New York State Universalist ministers and their
families; the other is used to promote the growth of the UU movement and to uphold the Universalist heritage. In addition, the Convention appoints the majority of the Board of the Saint Lawrence Foundation for
Theological Education, which uses proceeds from a third endowment to support students studying for the UU ministry.