Friday, June 22, 2007

Stolen Thunder (Sean)

Notwithstanding the fact that Scott found our tandem-blogging useful, I did mention that it was uncharacteristic. What is more common is one or the other of us posts first, and tonight that was Louise, while I was off dealing with a PayPal dispute. So she has already delivered what I consider to be the stunning news of the evening, which was the content of the Board of Trustees report. I, too, was floored -- perhaps it was coincidence, but it sure felt to me like this set of major changes got announced without fanfare at a very slack time in plenary -- sort of like the way pork-barrel amendments get read into the congressional record when virtually no one is on the floor.

Louise already went into the IA status changes, which is news enough just by itself. Announcement of that particular item fell to Jose Ballester. However, I also took notes on another item mentioned by Tamara Payne-Alex, which I could not find written anywhere in the printed copy of the BOT annual report (the IA issue is spelled out in black and white there, brief as it was). It all went by so fast, I hardly had time to type, but what I thought she said was that the board is now considering changes in how theological education is funded. At least, that's what I typed in the "copious notes" to which Louise alluded in her earlier post. Wow. I guess I had better start reading the board minutes, which are posted on line after each meeting.

The other two board speakers were Charlie King and Julian Sharp (who is actually the youth trustee, not a trustee-at-large as Louise wrote), according to those same copious notes. Before Julian started off the main part of the board report (appearing to me to be the lead speaker, coming after, as he did, a procedural announcement from Ginny), we had a presentation by three young UUs that, I am ashamed to say, I did not recognize (the names flew by before I could capture them), though I now take them to be members of the Task Force. Not realizing this was actually part of the board report, here are the raw notes that I typed at the time:
Not on the agenda was a "welcoming" presentation by young UU's on the "Consultation on Ministry To and With Youth." I have to confess it was a bit touchy-feely, so much so that I did not really get the sense of what the Consultation actually does. But the presentation concluded with an invitation to visit them in their booth, so I guess that will be my opportunity to find out.
Later, after the aforementioned bombshells prompted us to get and read the printed annual report, I found the paragraph in the BOT report on this item -- which explains why it was "not on the agenda," as it was actually part of the BOT presentation.

As long as I'm core dumping my notes on you, here's what I wrote about the rest of the plenary:

Chair Linda Friedman introduced the slate of candidates for open positions filled by the Nominating Committee. Each candidate delivered a short introduction. A motion to elect the entire slate of candidates was made and carried handily, although I noted a very small handful of ballots cast in opposition.


Ginny Courter invited anyone with comments on either of the Responsive Resolutions to meet after the bridging ceremony in specific locations to provide that feedback before the resolutions are finalized.
I also attended the 4:30 blogging session, but I knew ahead of time that Louise was going to write it up, so I didn't take any further notes. It was a good session, though, and I was happy to put some faces with the names and on-line personae. Including ChaliceChick, who may have been prescient when she wrote, in this post, about the UU Polyamorists. I suspect it is now a moot point, given the IA changes.

In between, Louise and I did another shift in the CLF booth. The 6-7 hour is the one just before close, and we were stunned when CLF staffers Beth and Iris asked us to close up shop for them. There is always a staff member in the booth. Tonight, however, the staff was getting together for some type of celebratory dinner (I confess I don't remember whose what was being celebrated, and, even if I did, it's probably not for me to post it here anyway). After we were done being stunned, though, we felt privileged that they trusted us with the responsibility. They did, however, take the cash box, which meant we couldn't sell anything (though I flagrantly violated orders and sold a copy of Jane Rzepka's book to a passing minister -- and CLF member -- anyway, and I will dutifully turn in the proceeds in the morning).

Two other items merit mention here, the first because I mentioned it to Louise and she said I should blog it: In order to get on-line at the convention center, I have to go outside. There's WiFi inside, too, but the CC wants $12 a day for it. (As an interesting, to some anyway, side note, I can see the free downtown Portland MetroFi network, with five bars of strength, inside the CC, but I can't get on -- I think the CC is jamming that channel to force people onto their own revenue-producing network.) While I was posting my first report today, a Portland Duck rolled up in front of me, put down his ladder, and half a dozen tourists got on. I was mighty tempted to just fold up the laptop and climb aboard for an amphibious tour of Portland. Well, Louise thought that was funny -- I guess you had to be there.

The other item is that I sat next to some Freightliner middle-manager on the Max this morning, on our way into the CC for morning plenary. He had his laptop out and was busy working on emails or whatever, and I remember thinking ho-hum another day at the office, poor guy, etc.. So when Louise shared her mid-day Max story with me, I was again floored. It was clear, in hindsight, that this guy had no idea what was just about to hit him. (I am assuming here that he was among the victims -- if he was one of the hatchet-men, he'd have to have been pretty cold blooded to be as calm and casual as he was on the train. In a former life, I was a walking bundle of nerves on layoff day until the word was out and the deed was done.)

1 comment:

Philocrites said...

UU World has been reporting on the board's meetings at Here's the story about the April meeting, when the board announced the changes to its priorities for theological education funding, and here's yesterday's story reporting on its decision to cut $25,000 from the grants to each school for fiscal year 2008.