A Statement on the CUC’s Goals & Strategic Priorities — June 14, 2023

Each year, the Board of Trustees reviews and updates the goals and strategic priorities of the Canadian Unitarian Council (CUC). These are sent out in advance of each Annual General Meeting, and member congregations, through their delegates, discuss and vote on these goals and strategic priorities, which then set the direction for the CUC over the next two years. 

At the Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Friday, May 19, 2023, the Board presented  a motion that included four goals and three strategic priorities, including one that called on Unitarian Universalists to “live into the 8th Principle of individual and communal action that accountably dismantles racism and systemic barriers to full inclusion in ourselves and our institutions . . .” The motion identified several steps the CUC could take to realize this vision including repudiating the Doctrine of Discovery and consulting with Indigenous organizations. 

Some delegates expressed concern because the motion did not specifically name anti-Black racism as a systemic barrier to full inclusion nor did it include steps to address this form of oppression. This concern was echoed by several ministers and others. A delegate suggested we add the words “anti-Black racism” to the motion. The Parliamentarian advised us this change would comprise a substantive amendment and thus would be out of order..

The Board called a brief recess to discuss the situation. After the break, the Board, in consultation with  the Parliamentarian, proposed a motion to postpone indefinitely* the approval of the strategic priorities and goals to a future meeting. This motion passed.

The President of the CUC Board, Kiersten Moore, affirms the Board’s ongoing commitment to taking action against anti-Black racism. “This conversation is ongoing,” she says, “and critical to our overall strategic planning.” Over the next several months, Board members will consult with delegates and the broader UU community on its vision.  

Moore adds that the CUC will not hold a special meeting to approve a revised motion. Instead, the Board will present new goals and strategic priorities for consideration at the 2024 AGM. In the meantime, the CUC will continue to be guided by the goals and strategic priorities approved at the 2022 AGM, including hiring a full-time staff position. “They are similar in spirit,” Moore says, “and both set us on a path towards justice and equity.” 

*Postpone indefinitely according to Robert’s Rules of Order is a motion that has the effect of dropping the main motion without taking a definite position on the main motion. The original motion cannot be brought up again at the same session (meeting) but can be moved again (in the same or modified form) at a later session.