1999 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 $27,490 in grants for eleven special projects. These include a third year of UU participation in New York State Interfaith Impact, continued co-sponsorship of the John Murray Distinguished Lecture at the UUA General Assembly, capital improvements and international staff/camper scholarships at Unirondack, an innovative parenting program in Middletown, diversity workshops in the Palisades, scholarships for leadership development, and seed money for a new RE curriculum on the Holocaust and a new congregation in Hornell. The scholarship funds are to be spent at the discretion of Wendy Colby and Howell Lind. They may be used for leadership school, OWL training, renaissance modules, district meetings, or any similar function that serves to strengthen UU leadership in the districts.

The Annual Meeting of the Convention was held this past October at New York City's Fourth Universalist Society. The keynote speaker was Geoffrey Canada, President of the Rheedlin Centers for Children and Families in New York City, and award-winning author of Fist, Stick, Knife, Gun and Growing Into Manhood, published by Beacon Press. Judy Adel, Tom Reese, and Walter Moulton (addresses) were elected to positions on the Board. Pat Gengo (Canton) and Betsy Spaulding (Syracuse First) were elected to the nominating committee. Alyson LeFeve and Judy Quarles retired from the Board. I also announced that I would be stepping down as Secretary as of April 1999. I am pleased to announce that the Board has chosen Susan Shaw of Syracuse First to fill out the remainder of my term.

The 1999 meeting of the Convention will be held October 15-16 at the UU Church of Binghamton, NY. The keynote speaker will be the Rev. Alma Faith Crawford, minister of the Church of the Open Door in Chicago. 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.

On a personal note, I would like to express my thanks to the many individuals who have made my seven years on the Convention Board such an enjoyable and rewarding experience. I remain enormously optimistic about the future of the UU movement and about the ongoing role in that movement of the NYSCU.

     Michael L. Scott, Outgoing Secretary
     9 March 1999


* 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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