UUs of Greater Pittsburgh Annual Assembly 2017 Minutes

Unitarian Universalists of Greater Pittsburgh Annual Business Meeting
Unitarian Universalist Church of the North Hills, November 4, 2017
The meeting was called to order at 11:30 AM by Mark Tomlinson, Board President.
Nanette Miller, Board Secretary, announced the congregational roll call and banner parade and certified that a quorum had been achieved.
Minutes:
There was a motion to waive reading and approve the minutes from the 2016 Annual Assembly. This motion was seconded and passed unanimously.
State of the Cluster:
Mark Tomlinson provided a brief summary of UUs of Greater Pittsburgh activities over the last twelve months, including:
  • Board visits to Morgantown, North Hills and Allegheny congregations
  • Five UUs from Pittsburgh congregations attended a week long UU College of Social Justice trip to the Arizona borderlands, in a trip co-sponsored by BorderLinks.
  • The board hosted a Stronger Together: Pittsburgh Partnership Conference, led by Rev. Joan Van Becelaere in June.
  • We collaborated with Allegheny UU in hosting the annual summer picnic in Riverview Park, in July
  • The board maintained an active presence on various social media platforms to promote cooperation and communication among the congregations
  • Many other activities throughout the year aimed at building and strengthening relationships throughout the cluster.
2017 Board Recognition:
Ron Smutny thanked out-going President Mark Tomlinson and Member-at-Large Wilma Orman for their dedicated service and presented each with a gift of appreciation.
2017-2018 Board Nominations and Election:
Ron Smutny introduced existing Board members, Lynne Porterfield, Ron Smart, Lorraine Smith and himself. He then presented the three candidates for the upcoming year:
  • Nanette Miller, current cluster Board Secretary and member of the South Hills congregation
  • Caron Carnahan, a founding member of the Ginger Hill congregation
  • Linda Deere, current Board President at the East Suburban congregation
There was a motion from the floor to accept the slate of candidates without debate. It was seconded and unanimously passed.
Treasurer’s Report:
Lorraine Smith presented information concerning the financial situation, including cash on hand, cash receipts and expenditures for the previous year, along with a proposed 2017-18 budget. Details are available upon request.
Resolutions for Consideration:
Mark Tomlinson took the floor to present three resolutions for the delegates and congregations to consider.
Resolution 1
RESOLVED among Unitarian Universalists of Greater Pittsburgh, that:
Whereas the 2018 Annual Assembly of the UUs of Greater Pittsburgh will take place at the Unitarian Universalist Church of the South Hills ie Sunnyhill, utilizing their recently dedicated expansion and beautiful new sanctuary, and;
Whereas at the 2017 General Assembly Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray became the first woman elected as president of the Unitarian Universalist Association;
We therefore with great enthusiasm ask that mutual invitation be made to Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray that she attend and address the 2018 Annual Assembly of the UUs of Greater Pittsburgh.
Resolution 1 passed unanimously without discussion.
Resolution 2
RESOLVED among Unitarian Universalists of Greater Pittsburgh, that:
Whereas the stated mission at our founding included supporting congregations, connecting Unitarian Universalists, acting mutually, and growing Unitarian Universalism, and;
Whereas our current bylaws codify that voting rights and thus power, via the delegate guidelines, is vested to the member congregations not individuals, and;
Whereas there exist within our geographical boundaries people who identify as Unitarian Universalists but who are not affiliated with any of our member congregations;
It therefore seems reasonable and beneficial that all people who affirm the principles of Unitarian Universalism and identify as Unitarian Universalists should be welcome to our UUs of Greater Pittsburgh community and have a voice in its governance.
We therefore request that after dutiful consideration a proposal for appropriate changes to our bylaws and policies to support this new form of relationship be presented for consideration at the 2018 Annual Assembly.
There was some discussion and there were a few questions concerning Resolution 2. After discussion about the Church of the Larger Fellowship, Resolution 2 passed unanimously.
Resolution 3
RESOLVED among Unitarian Universalists of Greater Pittsburgh, that:
Whereas the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) is committed to the principles of the historic Cambridge Platform that itself hearkens back to ancient forms of collaborative congregations in covenant to up-hold and support one another;
Whereas increased sensitivity to and critical thinking about and insights from the exploration of the white supremacy legacy of Unitarian Universalism and its institutions has increased awareness among UUs of Greater Pittsburgh of the call to risk expanding our efforts into areas that may stretch beyond our comfort and beyond "business as usual";
Whereas increased insights about the white supremacy legacy of Unitarian Universalism and its institutions has increased awareness among UUs of Greater Pittsburgh of the call to live out our mission in proximity to the oppressed, and;
Whereas prominent metropolitan regional UU churches (Harrisburg, PA, Tulsa, OK) are devoting significant resources to expand or return their campuses to the inner city, while UUs of Greater Pittsburgh has the great good fortune of an existing, historic, vital presence already in the inner city, thanks to the tenacity of Allegheny UU Church members who decade after decade rebuffed concerted efforts of the American Unitarian Association and then the UUA to join so-called "white flight" in abandoning the inner city;
Whereas increased insights about the white supremacy legacy of Unitarian Universalism and its institutions has increased awareness among UUs of Greater Pittsburgh of the call to be in closer relationship with communities of color, and;
Whereas Allegheny UU Church has long established and cultivated deep, accountable relationships with communities and institutions in their neighborhood that serve or are run by people of color, including supporting the creation of some of those institutions and providing volunteer and material support to the sustenance of those institutions:
Be it therefore resolved that UUs of Greater Pittsburgh do make every reasonable effort to especially support and collaborate in solidarity with and sustain Allegheny UU Church in its inner-city context with partnerships, networking, resource-sharing, joint projects, and all manner of collaborations such as are mutually agreed upon in order to extend the mission and reach of Unitarian Universalism through the presence, worship, and work of Allegheny UU Church.
There was discussion about how the UUs of Greater Pittsburgh could support the urban Allegheny congregation and the afternoon workshop could be used to begin those efforts today. After discussion, Resolution 3 also unanimously passed.
Ron Smart put on a presentation about the Gold Mine Youth Foundation program, and urged attendees to continue to support youth activities. An Offering to support youth programs was gratefully received.
There was a motion to adjourn and it was seconded and passed unanimously at 12:15 PM.
Submitted,
Nanette Miller, Board Secretary
Unitarian Universalists of Greater Pittsburgh