Democracy works better when more people participate.
The Liberal Religious Educators Association’s Board of Trustees submitted a formal request to the UUA Board of Trustees for a Bylaw amendment modifying Article 4.8B to grant delegate status to all Active members of LREDA who are currently serving a congregation.” The LREDA Board seeks a vote on this matter at the 2018 General Assembly in Kansas City, Missouri.
Our board will discuss this matter at our January 2018 meeting in order to have a timely vote — congregational certifications are due 02.01.2018 — and they need at the minimum 15 congregations to vote to certify this change in order for it to get on the agenda. The more congregations that certify it, the more momentum the vote will have on the floor of the assembly in Kansas City.
WHY MAKE THIS CHANGE?
[Currently] Delegate status is only available to religious educators who are members of a congregation and selected according to the church’s bylaws, or who have achieved Credentialed Religious Educator Masters Level status. Since current practice is for non-ordained staff to refrain from joining the congregation they serve, this leaves most religious educators without a voice in matters that concern the faith they serve.
This change would encourage more religious educators to participate in our democracy in a variety of ways, but also the simplest one — they would be able to vote on important issues — including in elections, bylaw changes and other critical votes that happen during General Assembly. Ministers have long gotten this privilege — their voting cards arrive with our congregations allocated number of voting cards every summer.
THE TIME IS NOW
In this time when we are focused on expanding rights, centering voices of previously marginalized groups, and re-balancing power in our organizations this change to the bylaws feels like the right thing to do. If you have an opinion that you would like considered on this matter be sure to talk to one of your board members before January 16th, 2018.