Annual Program Contribution Update

audit

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 treasurer-board@cuc.ca.

Update on the Canadian Unitarian Council’s Truth, Healing and Reconciliation Reflection Guides

As we resume the church year, many people are reflecting back on a summer of fun, sun, and relaxation, while many others are busy getting calendars and programming in place. We here at the Truth, Healing, and Reconciliation Task Force (THRR)  wanted to take a moment to give you a heads up on some programming opportunities, as well as to let you know the status of the Truth, Healing, and Reconciliation Reflection Guides  (THRRG) material.

We are excited to announce that effective October 1, 2017, three of the five THRRG will be available in their final form. Congregations with trained facilitators will be able to access the following levels of the THRRG: Adult, Young Adult, and Upper Elementary. Thank you to everyone who took part in facilitating, participating, or supporting these pilots.

We are looking for congregations to pilot the youth THRRG to begin in the fall of 2017, or starting in January 2018. Please let us know if you’re interested – contact information is below.

We’ve already held a couple of Facilitator Trainings on:

  • Saturday, August 26 from 9-12 Pacific, 12-3 Eastern

  • Wednesday, August 30 from 3-6 Pacific, 6-9 Eastern

  • Saturday, September 30, 9-12 Pacific, 12-3 Eastern

Don’t worry if you forgot to register! You can mark your calendar for the following dates, so that you have trained facilitators in place!

  • Saturday, November 4 from 9-12 Pacific, 12-3 Eastern.

  • Saturday, January 13 from 9-12 Pacific, 12-3 Eastern.

Sign up for these trainings here, or let us know you’re interested by e-mailing us – contact information provided below. The cost to participate in this training is $25.00 for Canadian congregations, $50.00 for community groups or Unitarian congregations from outside of Canada.

The THRRG Task Force is also beginning the process of revisioning itself to become a standing committee of the CUC to continue the work of our commitment to Truth, Healing and Reconciliation. We are excited that Amber Dawn Bellemare of the team will step forward as Chair. The team will be transitioning Amber into this role over the coming year.

If your congregation is interested in knowing more and/or offering the THRRG, please contact us at reconciliation@cuc.ca.

Reflections on CanUUdle XVII

CanUUdle is the annual youth con for Canadian UU youth who are 14-20 and their adult advisors. As always, it was a beautiful weekend where youth and adults created an amazing community, worshiped together, grew as spiritual beings and joined in multigen activities. It was full of fun, laughter, games, discussion, thought, and above all, love and friendship (the special kind that can only be found in the UU community!).

42 youth participated in CanUUdle this year, which had a special focus on the youth community because there was no accompanying adult conference. Here are reflections from two of them.

Ben Bradt, Unitarian Church of Calgary

General impressions:

  • The warm fuzzies. positive notes written to friends and other con people;
  • The feeling of acceptance. No matter how you were born or what you like, respect flows like a sprinkler on plants;.
  •  Cuddle puddles, allowing so much human contact with little afterthought;
  •  Hug buttons, letting you quickly ask for small doses of said contact;
  • The workshops, letting you customize your experience and possibly make something of colours and feelings;
  •  The right to pass on anything you did not feel you wanted to do.

High points in rough order:
Friday

  • Arrival, seeing the many people i had met over the past few years all in one room;
  • Being consolidated into touch groups, giving new people a backup group to socialize with and experienced people a way to focus how they contribute.

Saturday

  •  The meaningful conversation which con allows, both in selection of people and ability to open up;
  • The friendliness of kitchen staff, allowing those using their right to pass to help them Sunday;
  •  The angel wash. being able to walk with trust in not your eyes, but your friends. being able to be embraced at every turn with arms and emotion, to hear people’s thoughts of you, halfway shrouded by anonymity.

Monday

  • The car wash, being given a large note to remember not just one person, but the entire con by;
  • The car ride home, seeing how i inspired my friends to go to more.

Alex Trefzger, Kingston Unitarian Fellowship (a youth worship coordinator)

CanUUdle 2017 was my favourite UU con experience so far. Without the adjoining ACM adult conference it was less rigid and very youth oriented which suited our theme of youth empowerment very well. The worships that I helped to put on and the workshops chosen all added to the general feel of “we can do so much”. I also really loved the Sunday service that we attended and how they tried to fit into our theme, it really gave us a connection to the congregation who was hosting us.

Political Activity by Charities: Report from the Consultation Panel

The panel which reviewed political activities by charities released its report at the end of March, offering  four recommendations to the Minister of National Revenue.  One of these recommendations calls for revising the CRA’s  administrative position and policy to enable charities to fully engage in public policy dialogue and development. The report says this will improve the quality of public policy dialogue and development in Canada, while still prohibiting charities  from engaging in partisan political activities.

In light of the report, Minister of National Revenue Diane Lebouthillier asked on May 4 for the CRA to suspend all  remaining audits and objections under the Political Activities Audit Program. The report found this program had resulted in a “chill” on charities’ public policy and advocacy activities.  The CUC welcomes this news.

“The panel listened to the thousands of recommendations from charities and individuals, and the conclusions of the report are very much in line with CUC recommendations”, said Executive Director Vyda Ng.

Imagine Canada, the national umbrella organization for the charitable and non-profit sector, also welcomes the report’s recommendations.

“Whether it was written submissions, or in-person consultations across Canada, the message from charities was overwhelming”, said President and CEO Bruce MacDonald  “The current rules are confusing and difficult to interpret, and broad reform is preferable to administrative tinkering”.

While the CUC supports the action the Minister has taken, we recognize this is just the first of many actions needed to ensure we and other charitable organizations are free to engage in the vital work of public policy dialogue and development. The report recommends changes to the Income Tax Act to remove any restrictions on non-partisan political activities and shift the focus from charities’ activities to their purposes. The government says it is reviewing the report before making an official.

We encourage you to write your MPs and tell them you support the government’s suspension of political audits, and that implementing the report’s recommendations will benefit Canada’s non-profit sector and Canadian public policy.

See information about the consultation process and the report from the Consultation Panel here.