Delegate Status for Religious Educators: A Voice & a Vote

The LREDA Board proposes a Bylaw change at the 2018 UUA General assembly seeking delegate status for LREDA members at the active level who are serving congregations. 

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Letter from the LREDA Board

The Board of the Liberal Religious Educators Association (LREDA) requests your support for a Bylaw amendment to modify Article 4.8B to grant delegate status to all “Active members of LREDA who are currently serving a congregation."

Active members of LREDA are invested in and committed to the congregations we serve, yet our voices, experiences and wisdom are systemically silenced and excluded from our Unitarian Universalist Association through a variety of formal and informal systems.

Informed voters are the key to democracy and General Assembly is our annual living out of democracy as Unitarian Universalists. But, membership in a congregation, for non-ordained religious professionals, is required to attain delegate status at General Assembly. And, current congregational practice is for non-ordained staff to refrain from being members of the congregation they serve. LREDA members are able to represent issues from our local congregations and those of interest to the UUA as a whole. We seek to provide LREDA active members with the opportunity to serve our democracy using the experience and wisdom that comes from guiding faith development in congregational life.

LREDA is committed to dismantling white supremacy and hierarchical power structures. We recognize these aspects in our own LREDA culture and systems and are committed to replacing them with collaborative and collective systems of shared ministry.

Since last Spring, we have witnessed the UUA Board making similar efforts to awaken self examination of the systemic power structures that exist within Unitarian Universalism. We are inspired by Section C-2.3 of the UUA Bylaws (Inclusion), which states

Systems of power, privilege, and oppression have traditionally created barriers for persons and groups with particular identities, ages, abilities, and histories.

We pledge to replace such barriers with ever-widening circles of solidarity and mutual respect.
We strive to be an association of congregations that truly welcome all persons and commit to structuring congregational and associational life in ways that empower and enhance everyone’s participation

We invite the voting delegates at the 2018 UUA General Assembly to live into this inclusive vision of our association of congregations by amending Article 4.8 of the UUA Bylaws to grant delegate status to all “Active members of LREDA who are currently serving a congregation."