Dear UCM Members and Friends,
On behalf of the UCM Governing Board, we invite you to a Special Congregational Meeting on Sunday, February 13, 2022. The meeting will be conducted via ZOOM and will begin at approximately 11:00 am, immediately after the 10:00 am Sunday Service. There are two important issues we will address at this meeting, one facing outward on how we can continue to build a diverse Beloved Community through adoption of the 8th Principle, and the second facing inwardly addressing our Air Quality Project budget.
The 8th Principle
In the winter of 2021, following a year of racial justice uprising in the US, the UCM Racial Justice Group decided to introduce our congregation to the proposed 8th Principle of Unitarian Universalism, which calls us explicitly into the work of building Beloved Community, free of racism and oppression.
The seven principles of Unitarian Universalism were designed to be a living document, not a fixed creed. They were adopted in 1985 after several years of denomination-wide consideration. In 1987 the principles were amended and today, they are currently being studied for possible changes again. Perceived inadequacies in our shared principles can and have been named in the past— leading us to meaningful change.
The 8th Principle, drafted in 2013, has been adopted by 152 UU congregations as of February 2022. It is a grassroots denominational endeavor that was initiated by UU’s of color and their allies, gradually gaining steam as member congregations have voted to adopt. It is endorsed by Black Lives of UU(BLUU) and DRUMM (Diverse Revolutionary UU Multicultural Ministries). By passing the 8th Principle, UCM can be part of a historic movement to commit to dismantling racism and other oppressions within ourselves and our institutions.
We will be asking members of our congregation to pass the 8th Principle without amending it. It is tempting to get out a pen, and start shifting words around. As part of a grassroots effort, we are invited to pass it as written, so consistency across the denomination can demonstrate the strength of this movement. No doubt, as the 8th Principle is considered at General Assembly in the coming years, it will eventually be amended. And in the end, no matter your critique of the text itself, its intent is to say that we, as a faith community, believe in building the Beloved Community, free of racism and oppression.
Air Quality Project – Budget increase
For various issues, including global supply chain, inflation and increased labor prices and demand, the estimate for the Air Quality Project has increased by approximately $40,000 to a total of $290,000. The AQP Management Team also recommends adding a contingency of $58,000 (20%) to the total budget. The contingency will only be used IF it is needed. Quite generously, two members of the UCM Congregation have approached Reverend Joan with targeted donations of $20,000 and $30,000. Thus, we will be voting on whether to allocate the $50,000 donations and $48,000 from the Long Term Invested Fund, for a total of $98,000 to the Air Quality Project.
We hope you all come to the meeting to share your voice and your vote on these important issues. We invite you to contact UCM Board members with any questions, and we look forward to seeing you on the 16th.
For the UCM Governing Board:
Denise Bailey, Ryan Kane, Hugo Liepmann, Ansel Ploog, Charlotte Root, Meredith Warner
Ex officio member: Reverend Joan Javier-Duval
SPECIAL MEETING – February 13, 2022
For a Special Meeting of the Unitarian Church of Montpelier, Sunday February 13, 2022 at 11am via ZOOM.
All are encouraged to attend, to discuss, and active members to vote on the following questions:
A. Shall we, as members of The Unitarian Church of Montpelier, a Unitarian Universalist congregation, agree to adopt the 8th principle: “Journeying toward spiritual wholeness by working to build a diverse multicultural Beloved Community by our actions that accountably dismantle racism and other oppressions in ourselves and our institutions”?
B. Shall UCM allocate recent donations of $50,000, and $58,000 (20% Contingency – TO BE USED ONLY IF NEEDED) from the Long Term Invested Fund, to meet the increased estimates for our Air Quality Project? *
Each question will be preceded by a brief overview by the UCM Board, the Racial Justice Group and the Air Quality Project Group
* (According to Article Three of the UCM Bylaws, “The active members of the Congregation, acting together in accordance with the procedures laid out in these bylaws, are the ultimate authority of the organization with the power to: Approve the annual Operating and Capital budgets and any expenditure not included in the Annual and Capital budgets that exceeds $5,000.00.)
More information on the 8th Principle can be found on the UCM website at: https://ucmvt.org/the-8th-principle/
More information on the Air Quality Improvement Ventilation System, can be found at the Air Quality Website: https://sites.google.com/view/ucm-air-quality-project/home
Special Meeting Protocols
Our February 13 Special Meeting will be held over the video conferencing platform, Zoom. As a participant, you can join via Audio and Video on Zoom, or if you are not able to use Zoom on a computer or electronic device, you can dial-in by phone.
Please be sure you have the latest version of Zoom downloaded and that your microphone and camera are functional. In order to count votes during the Annual Meeting, you will need to be viewable by camera (if on Zoom) or audible by phone.
The Meeting will begin with all participants on Mute and participants are asked to keep their microphones muted when not called upon to speak.
The Meeting audio will be recorded. Please state your name clearly each time you ‘unmute’ your audio to speak.
During periods of discussion, you will be asked to indicate if you have a Question or Comment in one of two ways: 1) Typing your Question or Comment into the Chat, or 2) Raising your hand so that it is viewable in your video screen.
Board members will be monitoring the Chat and Video Panels and communicating with the Moderator. Board members will also check in with any phone participants to make sure they are included in asking questions and making comments.
If you are participating over the phone, you can press *9 in order to ‘raise your hand’ to indicate to Board members that you have a question or comment.
To allow as many people as possible to participate, each speaker will be limited to two minutes. A Board Member will alert you via private chat message when you have 30 seconds remaining, and the Zoom Host may hold up a reminder sign. The Zoom Host may mute your audio when your two minutes are complete. Board and Executive Team members will also keep responses limited to two minutes, when feasible.
All participants will get an opportunity to ask a question before anyone is allowed to ask a second question.
Anything typed into the Chat box (including Private messages) will be recorded. Please utilize the Chat box primarily for asking Questions pertaining to the agenda items at hand.