January 8, 2018 

Liberal Religious Educators Association (LREDA)
18685 Main Street
Suite 101122
Huntington Beach, CA 92648

 

Board of Trustees
Unitarian Universalist Association
24 Farnsworth St.
Boston, MA 02110-1409


Note from Robin Pugh, LREDA Vice President: Please accept our humble apologies. The first version of this Bylaw change proposal we shared with you referenced the incorrect Bylaw Article number and used parentheses rather than brackets to indicate deletion. The corrected version is included in the text of this letter and posted on our website.

Dear Unitarian Universalist Association Board of Trustees,

We write to you as the Board of the Liberal Religious Educators Association (LREDA) to request your support for a Bylaw amendment to modify Article 4.8B to grant delegate status to all “Active members of LREDA who are currently serving a congregation."

Active members of LREDA are invested in and committed to the congregations we serve, yet our voices, experiences and wisdom are systemically silenced and excluded from our Unitarian Universalist Association through a variety of formal and informal systems.

Informed voters are the key to democracy and General Assembly is our annual living out of democracy as Unitarian Universalists. But, membership in a congregation, for non-ordained religious professionals, is required to attain delegate status at General Assembly. And, current congregational practice is for non-ordained staff to refrain from being members of the congregation they serve. LREDA members are able to represent issues from our local congregations and those of interest to the UUA as a whole. We seek to provide LREDA active members with the opportunity to serve our democracy using the experience and wisdom that comes from guiding faith development in congregational life.

LREDA is committed to dismantling white supremacy and hierarchical power structures. We recognize these aspects in our own LREDA culture and systems and are committed to replacing them with collaborative and collective systems of shared ministry.

Since last Spring, we have witnessed the UUA Board making similar efforts to awaken self examination of the systemic power structures that exist within Unitarian Universalism. We are inspired by Section C-2.3 of the UUA Bylaws (Inclusion), which states

Systems of power, privilege, and oppression have traditionally created barriers for persons and groups with particular identities, ages, abilities, and histories.

We pledge to replace such barriers with ever-widening circles of solidarity and mutual respect.
We strive to be an association of congregations that truly welcome all persons and commit to structuring congregational and associational life in ways that empower and enhance everyone’s participation

We invite the UUA Board to live into this inclusive vision of our association of congregations by amending Article 4.8 of the UUA Bylaws to grant delegate status to all “Active members of LREDA who are currently serving a congregation."


In faith,

Annie Scott           Robin Pugh
Pete Fontneau      Andrea James
Jules Jaramillo      Leah Purcell
Lily Rappaport

Underlining indicates insertion; brackets indicate deletion.

UUA Bylaws and Rules

172   ARTICLE IV General Assembly

211 Section 4.8. Delegates

245 (b) Minister Delegates and Religious Education Director

246 Delegates. Each certified member congregation is also

247 entitled to be represented at each General Assembly by the

248 ordained minister or ministers in ministerial fellowship with the

249 Association settled in such congregation, and by the director

250 or directors of religious education who are Active Members of the Liberal Religious Educators Association  {having achieved

251 Credentialed Religious Educator – Masters Level status by

252 the Association} and employed in such congregation. In

253 addition, each certified member congregation is also entitled

254 to be represented at each General Assembly by any minister

255 emeritus or minister emerita of such congregation in

256 ministerial fellowship with the Association and by any director

257 of religious education emeritus or emerita having achieved

258 Credentialed Religious Educator – Masters Level status by

259 the Association designated as such by a vote at a meeting of

260 the member congregation not less than six months prior to

261 the General Assembly, provided that any such minister has

262 been settled previously in such congregation, and any such

263 director of religious education who has been previously

264 employed in such congregation.

 

Liberal Religious Educators Association
lreda.org