The article UUA board seeks big changes from districts, published today on uuworld.org, reports that the UUA Board of Trustees is calling on the district leaders to envision their role “if trustees are no longer elected by districts” and if “the district is no longer the basic unit of service delivery.” This issue will be considered by the District Presidents Association in November.
As I’ve been following it — and feel free to correct me — once the UUA moved toward a Policy Governance model with the UUA President charged with achieving ends determined by the UUA Board, districts suddenly became incompatible with the UUA’s governance model. By that model UUA President serves as CEO and the UUA staff are to be accountable to the President. As it stands now, District Executives and various other full time staff are co-employed by and therefore accountable to both the UUA and the districts they serve.
I’m not sure what the future of districts will be, but I do know the future of Unitarian Universalism requires the following…
We need more revolution ideas, innovation and inspiration.
We need kick @$$ leadership & ministry development in, between and beyond our congregations.
We need volunteers and staff engaged in more diverse types and forms of ministries.
And as UUA President Peter Morales often states, we need trouble makers.
Maybe being removed from “governance and service delivery” will free our districts to dedicate more time and energy to innovating, fueling revolution and making trouble. I don’t know. Its very complicated…
As someone working as a consultant at the district level and on a more “free range” basis nationally, I worry about the ease with which revolutionary ideas (and ministry) thrive in large organizations — nothing against the UUA. I’m talking organizations in general. I love the UUA and would work for it in a heartbeat if someone would create a job that matched my skills.
What do you think?
Be interesting to have existing UUA staff and UUA Board members write essays on the role of districts and district programs/ministries in the leadership development that led to the positions they now hold.
Readers, feel free to answer question for yourself in the comments of this post. Have districts mattered in your leadership development? If so, what impact will these changes have on potential future leaders?
We need to hear these stories and know what have been important pathways to leadership & ministry so we can work to protect them or create viable alternatives.