Annual Program Contribution Update


On behalf of the CUC Board of Trustees, here is an update on the status of the Annual Program Contribution (APC) decision process. After thoughtful discussion at its September 2017 in-person meeting, the CUC Board is recommending the following:

  • The current method of calculating the APC based on a per member amount will remain in place for 2018 and 2019. The amount approved by delegates at the CUC’s 2017 Annual General Meeting for 2018 is $100 per member.
  • Constitute a second-phase Task Force to continue exploring alternate and equitable options for calculating the APC. The Task Force will operate between November 2017 to May 2019 and will be comprised of 4-6 members, including two CUC Board members and congregational treasurers from congregations of various sizes.
  • The Task Force will bring a report or motion to the 2019 AGM, which means that any approved changes will not take effect until January 2020 at the earliest.

The CUC Board wishes to acknowledge and thank Kristina Stevens, former CUC Board Treasurer who ushered in this exploration process and spent many hours in conversation with treasurers and the CUC’s auditor, and even more hours in calculating congregational APCs based on an alternate method. The Board appreciates the diligence with which Kristina pursued this interesting conversation.

The Board also thanks the treasurers and administrators who spent time puzzling over how to calculate their APC based on a percentage of their operating budget, and appreciate the feedback provided. This feedback will inform the work of the Task Force as it embarks on the second phase of exploration.

Questions or comments can be sent to

Seeking CUC Board Nominations for 2018 – 19

Is there someone in your congregation who is ready and able to contribute at the national level?  In May, 2018 there will be three people stepping down from our national board 2 from the BC region and 1 from the Western region.  

Susan Ruttan, Board member, believes there are some real rewards when serving on the CUC Board.  She has found it a rewarding experience in many ways.  

“Before joining the national board, I was intensely involved in my own wonderful congregation,” Susan says. “Being part of the national board has allowed me to know and embrace our Canada-wide movement. That means making friends with people from congregations across the country, knowing our wonderful national staff, and understanding the strengths and challenges that we have as a national organization”.

As a national board member, Susan’s travel and accommodations expenses are paid to attend the national conference and the annual May board meetings. She and her fellow board members hold a four-day retreat in Toronto each fall in a retreat centre – they do lots of work, but also have fun and get a chance for spiritual growth.

Before joining the CUC board, Susan was on the CUC’s national nominating committee. Both experiences, she says, have helped her become a national Unitarian.

The work of the Board takes place in a variety of venues, both in person and online. Board meetings are often conducted using video teleconferences when not conducted in person.  Documents are accessed online and email communication is important.  Prospective nominees would:

  • ideally, participate in two on-line board meetings as observers on March 27 and April 24, 2018 (2.5 hours each, 7 p.m. Eastern time).
  • ideally, attend the May 2018 board meetings before the Annual Meeting in Hamilton for a focused orientation.  
  • commit to attend the September Board Retreat in Mono, Ontario from September 27 – October 1.
  • Possess a high level of technical competence with online platforms, specifically Google Drive, or be willing to acquire this competence
  • ideally, attend regional gatherings to connect with the congregations in the board member’s region.

Like the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), the CUC Board uses a modified policy governance model based on the work of John Carver. It is largely the responsibility of the Executive Director to interpret approved goals & priorities, and direct the staff to carry them out.  Acknowledging that there is sometimes more work than time or staff, the board has also decided that they will have more involvement in fund-raising, networking and special projects.

Call for Nominations 2018 for CUC Board and Nominating Committee.

For more information contact the Nominating Committee at

The Importance of Board/Staff Retreats

L to R: Susan Ruttan (Edmonton), Rev. Rodrigo Emilio Solano Quesnel (Ottawa Fellowship), Danielle Webber (Toronto), Milton Orris (BC), Carol Cumming-Speirs (Montreal), Keith Wilkinson (Vancouver), Jane Ebbern (Calgary), Maya James – Youth Observer (Winnipeg), Rev Debra Faulk – Minister Observer (Calgary), Tanya Cothran (Toronto).













Each September, staff and board members of the CUC gather for four days at a retreat centre somewhere in the Toronto area.

For both staff and board, it’s a special time. We learn and think and laugh and eat together. We are intensely with each other, working very hard and becoming a close-knit unit.

Continue reading

CUC Board Member Publishes Book on International Social Justice

Tanya Cothran

“Teach a man to fish and you’ll feed him for life” is the old adage that most people associate with global charity, aid, and philanthropy.

But what happens when the man already knows how to fish?

If the pole breaks or the river is polluted, what could help the most then?

We are pleased to announce that Tanya Cothran, CUC Board Member and member of First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto, has edited and contributed to a new book of 30 essays from 22 authors, called Smart Risks: How small grants are helping to solve some of the world’s biggest problems. This book looks at the ways that international organizations are moving beyond “teaching a man to fish,” toward a partnership model that listens to grassroots wisdom and builds close connections with local leaders.

Continue reading

Love Will Guide Us

A statement from the CUC National Voice team about the violence and white supremacy demonstrations, to UU congregations and communities. The CUC National Voice Team consists of the President of the CUC Board, the President of the UU Ministers of Canada, and the CUC Executive Director.

Our hearts are heavy by recent expressions of racist intolerance and hatred and related violence in the United States, Spain, North Korea and other parts of the world. As Canadian Unitarian Universalists we choose the guiding light of love, not hate.  We choose radical inclusion and welcome over exclusion and isolationism.  We choose the way of respectful negotiation over angry rhetoric.

Continue reading