* Highlights of these Minutes can be found here *
Notes - NW UUs Connecting - 4/05/10 Call
· Mark Alter (Wy'east UU) – Portland, OR
· Dick Burkhart (Rainier Valley UU congregation) – near Seattle, WA
· Cindy Creager (Edmonds UU) – near Seattle, WA
· D. D. Hilke (Woodinville UU) – near Seattle, WA
· John Hilke (Woodinville UU) – near Seattle, WA
· Dick Jacke (Bellevue UU) – near Seattle, WA
· Tandi Koerger (UU PNWD Programs Director)
· Barbara Powers (Edmonds UU) – near Seattle, WA
· Daniel Guy (Rogue Valley) – Oregon,
· Doug Mackey (Olympia UU) – Olympia, WA
· John Hilke reported to participants early on the call that Woodinville UU Church was going to begin surveying the congregation regarding their interests and involvements in various issues to help UUs within the congregation get connected with each other around issues of mutual concern.
· D2 and John said they would heading up this effort and would share progress with this group as it might support a wider clearing house effort.
D2 convened the Call at 9:05 PDT.
Introductions by new participants
· Mark Alter: been a UU for up to 50 years, now; a UU for social justice; Inner east side of Portland (Wy’east) congregation; he wears many hats; he is open for wherever this project goes. As for his congregation. They are interested in being a moral beacon. Would like to see us succeed. Tried something like this in his region before, but couldn’t get traction.
· Dick Jacke: chairs housing activism in his congregation and social justice forums; Is president of the PNWD district and past ?? of social justice. “One of the real opportunities that I saw (in this) was the possibility of smaller groups that don’t have the kind of presence (large enough numbers) to get something off the ground with a larger area.”
· Tandi Koerger: Tandi is on staff for the PNWD and has PNWD programs as her portfolio. She is here to listen and offer resources and information to help.
· D2 requests Tandi provide any incoming thoughts that she has.
Tandi’s Initial thoughts on resources
o Check out UUA website, new info on the site, manual (how to come to consensus for social justice in the congregation); common book reading resources;
o Has not heard of other districts that have a clearinghouse; if we flesh out what we need, Tandi would be happy to approach IT dept at UUA to help us with that, as a prototype project in our region.
Tandi’s Initial thoughts on PNWD listserve and how it is used.
o the people who are active in social justice are in with both feet, but are often stretched too far.
o Current listserve has 25 of the 60 congregations in PNWD represented, assuming one person per congregation.
o The listserve gets more action when there is an issue that calls for increased communication. For example, recently, congregations got involved in Marriage Equality…. Often issue by issue interest – it ebbs and flows.
Reports and discussion: What barriers and opportunities have emerged this month? (up to 20 min)
· Bottom line from Dan Guy – interest in Oregon? (2-3 min)
· Bottom line from Barbara Powers – advice regarding ministerial involvement? (2-3 min)
o BP had congregational issues which made it better for her not to contact Jaco ten Hove.
o ACTION ITEM – John Hilke of Woodinville UU will contact Jaco.
o Barbara did find a sermon that Jaco did – solidarity sermon – a fascinating sermon… you can read it here.
· Bottom line from Cindy Creager/Barbara Powers – Edmonds event option (2-3 min)
o Edmonds is open to doing a regional event to bring social justice activists in together in one place.
o Tandi – We could get a UUA staff member to come do a workshop. Perhaps Kate Lore from Portland or University Unitarian has a social justice staff member or Joan Montagne (Eastshore UU).
o John – I like the idea of having a face to face meeting to make decisions about how that structure might be organized;
· Bottom line on Website prototype from D. D. Hilke (2-3) min
o You can become a member here.
o There’s not much, yet, but the Trunity.net platform allows for RSS feeds, publishing w/ author-editor controls and saved histories, easy changing of the site topics and hierarchy, pics and media, events, a “community” site for $10 with multiple authors, members and much more.
Discussion by all: (20 min)
FIRST on what is really needed for a clearinghouse on-line:
· Cindy? We face too many options; we have trouble deciding -- do we do one project or … be a clearinghouse. We can’t do it all. Also, we want to do activities in our church, with our congregation.. yet, we could and would join some other organization if a certain issue was wanted.
· Cindy? We also have an issue of how do we publicize what we are doing?
· John … Website could post events.
· Dick Burkhart – I’m working on a state initiative for higher incomes tax… that could be something a lot of people could rally behind. Could be a hot issue. We have an existing group in Seattle. We have infrastructure needs - Whenever you have a new issue, I’d like to know who to contact in that church… So have a list of who is interested in each church.. Have a CLEARINGHOUSE SURVEY… on a District wide website. Would have to be flexible. Issues come and go. Have the infrastructure ready to go when the time is right.
· Barbara: Cindy has been looking at how church congregations can take a stand as a congregation. We could post information like this –how to take a stand…. Post some sample policies and research.
· John - - having a model from what someone else has done works well….
· Unknown: Loved the idea of the clearinghouse (if we can get folks to use one place). Right now it’s difficult with all the different places that you have to remember to post things….
· Unknown: If we had an event… like the May 7th through 9th events, how do we get that out to all the churches…
· Mark… can’t you use Tandi’s listserve?
· Unknown – Yes, but only 25 people/congregations from PNWD.
· Unknown – One challenge… Identifying a social action group at each congregation… or perhaps folks that are issue oriented.. or both. One size doesn’t fit all.
· Tandi… UUA is looking for that info.. Tandi has some information on PNWD website – Tab for congregations – alphabetical order.. who minister and DRE how many adult members and websites.
· Barbara – I’d like to see where there is a listing of the congregations with their memberships.
· Tandi – 60 congregations – 28 of them have less than 100 members and no staff. She sends info to listserves (e.g., Social Justice or DRE list serve).. also sends info to presidents… administrators,.. webmasters… newletter editors…
· Cindy.. can we send info to you and you send it out?
Second on where to find leadership and help
· Barbara… Leadership in this has to come from in the larger congregations… If the larger congregations can at least coalesce, then we can help to find the smaller congregations.
· Unknown – Larger congregations will need to take the lead…. If the bigger ones can connect, then we have a major part of the work done. Help create this clearinghouse…
· D2 – Folks in small congregations will want/need to connect…
· Mark? Or Dick? the promise of this project will lie in some of the smaller congregations… If the small congregations don’t do it, it won’t be much of success…
· D2 – what about the Church of the Larger Fellowship?
· Unknwon – CLF doesn’t do social justice as a group…. Meg Riley UUA (social justice) is the new minister for CLF, though, so that might change….
· Unknown – Social Justice has taken a hit at the national level with the reorganization. Washington Office is closing. Folks are being let go. Consolidating social justice with Identity ministries.
· D2 – To get invitations out to the group for membership in the prototype website.
· D2 – To do additional thinking regarding a clearinghouse, pulling together some of the objectives we have discussed and possibly developing a sample survey.
· Barbara – To send Jaco ten Hov’s inspiring sermon on "Solidarity" to this group.
· Barbara – To let Jaco know that his name came up, etc.
· John – To contact Jaco ten Hov to get permission to post the sermon on the website and regarding ideas he might have for our efforts.
· Mark – To read the sermon and comment back to the group.
· Everyone – To read Jaco ten Hov’s sermon as you feel so moved.
· Everyone – To share with the group any events/plans from your congregation that bear on our work, together.
Schedule for our next call (2 min)
Monday, May 3 at 9:05 pm.
Access code 887#
Event/Issue Alert: (5 min)
· Partners in Afghanistan… May 7-9.. Eastshore and Edmonds and University…
· Edmonds is showing Eleventh Hour.. narrated by Leonardo Dicaprio.. April 9th…
Meeting adjourned 10:07 pm.
o Beginning Prototype is up here.
o Dan Guy was unable to make the call; will report next month.
o Sample website in now up at www.trunity.net/UUsConnect.
(Previously titled 2010-04-05 - Social Action Call - Minutes)