Special Congregational Meeting Dec. 5

Text of this post is copied from the email sent to all UUFR members on Sunday, November 21.

Special Congregational Meeting

Agenda items include a vote on the proposed Statement of Conscience from our Anti Racism Ministry Team and an advisory vote on UUFR’s Board of Directors vote to extend Rev. James Kubal-Komoto’s contract as developmental minister two more years, through July 31, 2024


Time and Place

Our Congregational Meeting will be held both virtually and in person to allow accessibility to all members who are unable to join us in person, including those at risk due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The meeting is scheduled for Sunday, December 5, 2021. The meeting will be held in the sanctuary following service

There will be a table for member check in outside the sanctuary to ensure you receive a voting paddle. “Zoom doors” will open by 11:30 a.m., or sooner. (There is an entry process that will take a few moments for each participant, so please join as early as you can.) 

Our business meeting will begin at approximately 11:45 a.m.

Procedural Accommodations

While our bylaws were written with in-persons meetings in mind, they do not require a fully in-person gathering.  We have identified procedures for this hybrid meeting that support our normal processes for discussion and vote taking.  

It is our intention to record this meeting and make viewing available to members unable to attend and to UUFR friends who are interested. 

Meeting Participation

This meeting is an opportunity for us to live our 5th principle: The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large.  All members and friends of the congregation are encouraged to attend. 

To ensure the integrity of voting while managing logistics, only members of UUFR may attend the Zoom portion of the meeting. Members are those who have signed the UUFR membership book, and have made a pledge of record for the current fiscal (July 2021 through June 2022).  

Zoom meeting access and password information will be sent to each member by email, along with instructions to support the login process. Members who do not receive this second notification should contact UUFR Administrator, Lewis Copulsky  ([email protected], 919-781-7635)

Determining Quorum

A 20% quorum of approximately 435 members will be required for this meeting. The total membership and required quorum will be validated the evening of December 4th.

Since this meeting is both in person and virtual, we will determine a quorum by tallying the number of paddles given out to confirmed in-person members and by taking an online poll of all online members when the meeting begins.  We realize that for our virtual attendees, multiple members may attend the meeting on a single device. While Zoom will tell us the number of logins to the meeting, the virtual poll will allow us to determine the number of virtual members participating.   

NOTE:  In accordance with applicable law, a quorum established at the beginning of the meeting is fixed for the duration of the meeting. Once a quorum is established, the meeting will proceed until business is completed.

Voting

For the in-person attendees, voting will be established through a count of raised paddles.
For Zoom attendees, voting will be managed through an online poll designed to allow for response from each of two voters. Members who sign in individually should vote only once.   

Absentee ballots must be submitted on paper, signed by the member, and received no later than 11:00 a.m. on Sunday Dec 5, 2021. There will be a box in the office for hand delivery prior to the meeting. The absentee ballot may be downloaded here.  If you are unable to download or print the document, please email the congregational administrator at [email protected], or visit the office to get a printed ballot.

Resolution 1

RESOLVED: That UUFR adopts the following statement of conscience per Article XI of its bylaws, effective immediately.

The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Raleigh affirms the inherent worth and dignity of people of all races and ethnicities and is committed to actively working for the full inclusion, rights, and self-determination of those individuals in our own congregation, in Unitarian Universalism, and in society at large.

Therefore, we resolve to actively promote the enactment of laws, constitutional amendments, policies, and practices at all levels of government, in our institutions, and in society as a whole when approved by the UUFR Board of Directors.  These policies and practices should provide for said inclusion, rights, and self-determination, and to take specific actions to defeat all attempts at any infringement of them.

Resolution 2

RESOLVED: That UUFR recommends that UUFR’s Board of Directors vote to extend Rev. James Kubal-Komoto’s contract as developmental minister two more years, through July 31, 2024


More Information About the Resolutions

Resolution 1

This statement was introduced during UUFR’s Town Hall on Oct. 17 and revised based on member feedback. Approval of this statement of conscience would allow UUFR to join the growing list of organizations and institutions which are actively working to address the systemic racism that results in unequal treatment of individuals in our community, state and nation based on race and ethnicity.

According to UUFR by-laws, adding UUFR’s name in support of larger social justice efforts is only possible with a two-thirds majority voting in favor at a congregational meeting.

This statement fits in with our faith’s long history of fighting for civil rights beginning in the 1800s and including the Civil Rights Movement. In 1960, when our congregation was just eleven years old, we passed a resolution in support of peaceful sit-ins and other civil rights protests.

Resolution 2
As discussed at the Town Hall meeting on October 17, Rev. James’ current contract with UUFR will expire on July 31, 2022. Because he is a “developmental” minister and not a “called” or “settled” (i.e., permanent) minister, the formal decision on whether or not to extend his contract rests with the Board. 

Per current UUA rules, Rev. James can never become UUFR’s settled minister. However, his contract may be extended to help UUFR continue doing the groundwork necessary to become a thriving congregation. The Board has received considerable formal and informal feedback on Rev. James’ performance from members and diverse groups within UUFR, as well as information collected by UUFR’s Committee on Ministry.

Based on that feedback, the Board believes that extending Rev. James’ contract will help UUFR achieve its goals. As discussed at the October 17 Town Hall, the Board is optimistic that Rev. James can help UUFR adopt a strategic plan that will substantially improve its focus and prioritize its efforts in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing UUFR to thrive in the coming months. 

Moreover, substantial efforts Rev. James would have directed toward UUFR’s development were delayed or sidelined due to COVID-19. The Board believes more time will help UUFR reach its developmental goals.

Though the decision of whether or not to extend Rev. James’ contract ultimately rests with the Board, the Board requests that the congregation provides an advisory vote on Resolution 2.

If the Board, in considering the congregation’s advice, decides not to extend Rev. James contract, the Board would promptly start a search for a new developmental or interim minister. The Board believes that: (1) it will not be possible to call a settled minister before June 30, 2022, given the extensive search and congregational involvement associated with that process; and (2) UUFR still needs to make some progress before we are in the best position to call a settled minister.

Email the Board: All Board members will see email addressed to [email protected]

Feedback: Click here to submit a question, comment, or suggestion for your Board of Directors.

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