2008 Annual Report

 

The New York State Convention of Universalists

2007–2008 Report to the
St. Lawrence and Metropolitan New York Unitarian Universalist Districts

Please pencil in on your calendars—if anyone, besides me, uses paper calendars—the 180th Annual Meeting of the New York State Convention of Universalists, to be held at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Poughkeepsie on October 10–11, 2008. We are very excited that Charlie Clements, President of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, will be our keynote speaker; his topic: “How Universalist Values Are Having an Impact in Every Corner of the World, Every Day.”

At our October 2007 Annual Meeting, the New York State Convention of Universalists amended its bylaws to admit two new congregations into Convention membership: the Unitarian Universalist Church of Canandaigua and the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany.

It has been an on-going quest of the NYSCU Board to create a mechanism for increasing membership beyond historically Universalist congregations. The mechanism was created only three years ago; Canandaigua and Albany are the first new members to help strengthen the NYSCU mission.

Details of this past year's activities can be found on the NYSCU website. Reports in the 2007 delegate packet provided an excellent sense of what NYSCU has been doing.

While the stock market performed better last year, our endowment portfolio is still below its year 2000 peak, constraining our ability to support the Districts and other grant/loan applicants at a level we would like. (Current policy permits total expenditures of no more than 4% of the average market value of the endowment over the past five years.) This year we were able to award $45,900 in grants, and $30,000 in loans. This includes $28,000 in block grants to the St. Lawrence and Metro NY Districts for their budgets, and smaller amounts to 15 other projects. We've also introduced a new category of grants: scholarships to leadership training.

If you have a vision for the growth of Unitarian Universalism or the affirmation of Universalist history, I hope your congregation will apply for a grant or loan. The deadline is December 21, 2008 for both email and snail mail. Forms are available at www.nyscu.org/Grants_Loans/.

While at the website, take a longer look. The site includes contact information for Board and committee members; links to member congregations and denominational contacts; annual reports for the past ten years; a ten-year history of grants and loans, with links to some project websites; a guide to books that the Convention has helped to publish; and a history of the Convention, written by our Archivist Karen Dau. From the book guide page, you can download The Universalist Heritage, a compendium of keynote addresses from 1976 to 1992, and Remember Universalism Into Life, the Leaders' guide for an adult discussion series based on those addresses. Our continual thanks to Michael Scott, our webmaster.

Board members Joyce Gilbert, Alexa Carter and Tim Hart will continue to offer their valuable service on the NYSCU board. I'd like to thank Margaret Maguire, our hard-working Treasurer, whose expertise and wisdom help keep our organization functioning. And thanks to Fred Boreali, the Convention's Secretary; his dedication provided a smooth transition in an important position. I'd like to commend Karen Dau, our tireless Archivist. Please welcome her as she travels to your section of the state on her historic explorations. And thanks to our nominating committee, especially chair Paul Robinson. Kudos to Joyce Gilbert for creating an efficient, thorough system for handling our Grants/Loans program And to Tim Hart, thanks for his conscientious efforts on behalf of our Service Gratuity recipients. And another thank-you to Michael Scott, for continuing to maintain and invigorate our institutional memory.

At the end of my second year as Board President, I must share with you the pleasure I have had in serving with such a creative, enthusiastic, caring group of people. If a member of the nominating committee calls you about serving on the NYSCU board, I hope you will give the idea serious consideration.

Peace,

Judith Adel, NYSCU President
April 2008

 


Unitarian Universalist Association


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