New York State Convention of Universalists (NYSCU)
Syracuse, New York
President’s Report 10/20/2018
Welcome to the 192nd Annual Meeting of the New York State Convention of
Universalists. Please join me in thanking the Syracuse congregation for its gracious
hospitality. Felice and Dennis Killian-Benigno have gone above and beyond in
coordinating this conference. I hope that you find your time here rewarding and
productive. Please share — with me, and other board members — thoughts on how we
might enhance these meetings in the future. But don't bother suggesting a Caribbean
retreat. I’ve tried; I was told the budget cannot (or will not) handle it.
I am delighted to announce that NYSCU’s 193rd Annual Meeting will
be held in Rochester at the First Universalist Society, in October
2019. We are in discussion with potential keynote speakers, which will
determine our final dates.
You can find details on this past year’s activities in the other
reports in this delegate packet; the reports of the secretary,
treasurer, the service gratuity chair, and the grants/loans chair will
provide an excellent sense of what NYSCU has been doing.
Organized in 1825, the New York State Convention of Universalists
continues to: support Universalist history and values, provide financial
support to CER (which includes the former Metro and St. Lawrence
Districts) programs, and administer our Grant and Loan Program which has
benefited both congregations and individuals within New York State and
beyond. Since 2004, NYSCU has awarded grants of more than $500,000 and
offered no-interest loans (to congregations) totaling more than
$400,000. And we’re very pleased to say that during this time
period, all loans have been repaid on schedule (or earlier).
We also offer retirement assistance to ministers (and surviving spouses)
who served in New York State Universalist churches for a specified
period of time prior to 1961.
Please join me in thanking the board and committee members who help get
these projects funded and distributed.
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 this year. If you have a bricks-and-mortar project, you
could consider applying for a loan. We also have a category called
scholarships to leadership schools. The deadline for applications is
January 31, 2019. Forms and information are available at www.nyscu.org and
a form is in your delegate packet.
While you’re at the website, take a longer look. The site includes
other resources, including names and contact information for board and
committee members; links to member congregations and denominational
contacts; annual reports for the past 10 years; a 10-year history of
grants and loans, with links to some project websites; a guide to books
that the Convention has helped to publish; and the history of the
Convention, written by our archivist Karen Dau.
From the Publications page, you can download
Heritage, a compendium of keynote addresses from 1976 to 1992,
and Remember Universalism
Into Life, the Leaders’ guide for an 8-week adult
discussion series based on those addresses. We offer our continual
thanks to Michael Scott, our webmaster (and Nominating Committee
member). He maintains and invigorates our institutional memory.
I am pleased to announce that Margaret Maguire Davis will change hats
again. She is resuming the task of treasurer for the next two years. And
though I will miss her in the role of Vice President, I am hoping you
will vote in the musical Mark Bunce as our new VP. Ron Clupper has
agreed to assume the role of Grants & Loans chair. Ann Rhody and
Ryan Novosielski will continue as board members. And please say hi to
Rev. Lynn Ashley, our new board secretary. We send a fond farewell to
Rev. Eve Stevens, as she leaves the board and the state. Many thanks to
Fred Boreali, nominating committee chair, and other committee members
for presenting this year’s slate of nominees. Again I’d like
to commend Karen Dau, our tireless archivist. Please welcome her as she
travels into your section of the state on her explorations. And thanks
to Tom Hackett, for providing a smooth transition for our new secretary;
Tom will continue to function in the position of Clerk (and fellow Yankee fan).
It is a pleasure to serve with such a multitalented, enthusiastic,
caring group of people. If a member of the nominating committee calls
you next year, or maybe next month, about serving on the NYSCU board, I
hope you’ll give the idea serious consideration. Giving money for
creative causes and lending money for necessary repairs and upgrades
does engender warm, fuzzy feelings. And I don’t know about you,
but I need them wherever I can find them.
Judi Adel, President
December 12, 2018.
Please direct any comments, questions, or corrections