1996 Annual Report


The New York State Convention of Universalists

Report to the St. Lawrence and Metro New York Unitarian Universalist Districts

The New York State Convention of Universalists was organized in 1825, and survived the creation of the UUA. 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, most notably through annual meetings and a program of grants and loans. 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.

The Convention was pleased to continue its direct support of district programs this year, providing block grants of $11,000 to Metro NY and $17,000 to SLD. The Convention also approved $19,625 in grants for thirteen special projects, including a promotional brochure for the Saint Lawrence District, a second year of programming by Unirondack at the Chautauqua Institution, the sesquicentenial celebration at Rochester's First Universalist Church, an R.E. curriculum kit on Universalism in Ontario being prepared by the Rev. Margaret Gooding, the Murray Lecture at the UUA General Assembly, and a new journal on UU parenting that is being launched under the auspices of the Metro NY district. This last project, entitled Inward Springs, promises to be an outstanding resource for parents seeking to enrich the spiritual lives of their children. The first issue is to be tested within the Metro district this spring; the second should be available at GA.

The Annual Meeting of the Convention was held this year in Watertown, NY. The Rev. Elizabeth Strong, of Syracuse's May Memorial UU Society, was the keynote speaker. Jill Carter (NY 4th), Ray Nasemann (Auburn), and Michael Scott (Rochester downtown) were re-elected as President, Vice-President, and Secretary of the Convention, respectively. Bert Brown (East Aurora) and Alyson LeFeve (Rochester downtown) were elected to the Board of Trustees. Jean DeBruyn (Buffalo) and Tom Cutter (Watertown) were elected to the Nominating Committee. Clara Baldwin of Rochester retired from the Board after six years of dedicated service, the last several as chair of grants and loans.

The 1996 meeting of the Convention will be held October 18--19 at the UU Church of Utica, NY. The keynote speaker will be the Rev. Janet Bowering of Haverhill, MA. While voting rights in the Convention extend only to representatives of the 26 member societies, business is a comparatively minor aspect of the meeting. All UUs are warmly invited to attend, for a day and half of workshops, worship, and fellowship.

     Michael L. Scott, Secretary
     18 March 1996


* Legally, the NYSCU “pension” program is a noncontributory service gratuity.
   In recent documents the Convention prefers to use this more accurate term. 

Unitarian Universalist Association

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