Spring Conference/Annual Meeting Notes
The MUUSAN Spring Conference/Annual Meeting was held on May 9, 2015. Representatives from 13 congregations gathered in the sanctuary at the UU Community Church in Augusta for a short welcome from steering committee co-chairs Dale McCormick and Trudy Ferland. The Rev. Margaret Beckman led the opening worship - Love that will not let me go.
In her keynote address, Bending the Arc Toward Justice, the Rev. Sue Gabrielson confronted the conflicting messages of “politics don't belong in church” vs. “spiritual upliftment and theology as justice making." (See excerpts below.)
Highlights of the past year were summarized and include MUUSAN’s participation in the People’s Climate March in NYC, the Portland Pride Parade and the Climate Expo in Augusta. Eighteen people attended the April Lobby Day, including a number of young UUs. MUUSAN members testified before legislative committees and lobbied their representatives concerning our key issues. We collected signatures for ballot initiatives, wrote letters to the editor, and organized educational forums in congregations. MUUSAN members took part in NRCM’s (Natural Resources Council of Maine) Citizen Action Day in April.
Over the past year there has been a 30% increase in newsletter subscriptions and a 200% increase in Facebook “likes." Several congregations are now sending budgeted donations to MUUSAN or have committed to a “share the plate” arrangement with MUUSAN. During the meeting the slate of steering committee members was elected and it was decided that our 3 focus areas will remain in place for the coming year.
Participants broke into small groups for discussions on how to extend MUUSAN’s outreach in the coming year. Groups agreed that MUUSAN's effectiveness relies on being able to quickly mobilize UUs to act. We plan to continue to explore options to expand our email list with congregational liaisons, boards, and ministers.
The next MUUSAN meeting was set for July 11 at 10:00 at the UU Community Church, Augusta.