Above Board: Looking Ahead at the Board Retreat

During the weekend of August 28-29, members of the UUCA Board of Trustees attended the annual retreat focusing on long range planning, spiritual leadership and good governance.

The retreat was held at The Lodge at Simpsonwood, a retreat center located in Norcross along the banks of the Chattahoochee River. The retreat allowed the members of the UUCA Board, along with Rev. David, to get away from the day-to-day UUCA tasks and do some creative planning and big picture thinking. We sang, ate, read, shared, meditated, worshiped and laughed together.

One of the major goals of the retreat was beginning the process of forming a long range plan for UUCA. The last time UUCA worked on a long range plan was ten years ago. During the weekend retreat we discussed a variety of visions of who we are as a congregation. How do we see UUCA in the future? What would the long range plan process look like? During these discussions, we kept an eye on involving the congregation at every level during this process. The UUCA Board is also looking at how the UUCA mission, values and end statements fit into the long range planning process. We expect to have an initial presentation at the December congregational meeting.

Over thirty UUCA members and friends joined other Atlantans to protest the September 10 police raid of the Atlanta Eagle, a well known gay bar. Rev. Anthony David spoke to the 400 protest attendees on behalf of UUCA and it’s support of the GLBT community. During the raid, police forced employees and patrons to lay on the floor for two hours while their IDs were run. There were reports of homophobic remarks by police officers. Not a single person was arrested for any cause. A police raid of the gay bar Stonewall Inn in New York forty years ago sparked a riot that began the gay rights movement. UUCA’s participation was featured in the UUA’s Standing on the Side of Love blog at standingonthesideoflove.org/blog. A video of Rev. David’s remarks is also available online at www.uuca.org/ category/blog.

Interweave UUCA is the community of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, Intersexed and Queer (LGBTQIQ) persons and allies within UUCA. Equality for the LGBT community can only be achieved with the active support and involvement of our straight allies! We are hoping that everyone will join us and get involved with the 2009 Pride Festival taking place on Halloween weekend. UU presence at Pride represents all UUs of Georgia, and conveys that our denomination is affirming and welcoming to all families. You can help staff the UU booth or walk in the parade with the UU float. T-shirts with UU principles in rainbow colors are for sale. To sign up, stop by the Interweave table on Sundays in the Social Hall.

We also took our “board hat” off and looked at UUCA’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This is commonly referred to as a “SWOT analysis” and is a tool that other organizations use to improve themselves. This process lead to some very insightful discussions about where UUCA has been and where we are headed in the future. We also are continuing a bylaws revision process that was started by the previous Board of Trustees. We finished the weekend by breaking into smaller groups to discuss the bylaws, long range planning, and the Board’s link to congregational engagement. All in all, it was a great weekend of working together in an “off-campus” setting.

I hope everyone at UUCA is able to attend the Celebration Sunday event on Sunday, October 18. As someone who has been on the Stewardship Team for several years, I encourage you to make a commitment to move towards giving 5% of your income. Lisa and I have been giving at least 5% for the past several years and have found it feels good to contribute to UUCA which provides some much in return. Your pledge is a major way you can help to keep the congregation you love strong.

With Gratitude,
John Guyton, UUCA Board of Trustees CFO