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Board of Trustees Statement on Co-Employment and Regional Cooperation

District Assembly - Central Midwest District of the UUA - Bloomington, IL
April 29-30, 2011

In a spirit of shared enterprise with our sister districts and with our denominational headquarters, the Central Midwest District Board of Trustees supports all efforts tostreamline governance and to enhance the effectiveness of our staff toward growingliberal religion across the globe. Over the past few years, collaboration on programs across districts to bene?t local congregations has already happened to good effect.These initiatives have been led by our staff, but they have been no less strongly embraced by a rising number of lay leaders as well. To that end, the CMwD Board has decided, as elected representatives of the district:

1. To follow those district boards who have agreed to end the present co-employmentstatus of staff between the UUA and the district. As of July 1, 2011, the UUA willassume responsibility for all normal employer managerial roles for those now co¬employed, including hiring and supervision. N.B.: this change will have no materialeffect on the Board-approved FY 2012 budget, but will likely have an effect in district or regional budget processes in succeeding years;

2. To set aside our own district "ends" statements in favor of those adopted by the UUABoard of Trustees, in part since the "ends" of our district do not contradict UUA "ends";

3. To continue a period of collaborative research and assessment with our partner districts--Heartland to the east, and Prairie Star to the west--as we discern whether, or when, our present administrative and program collaboration should be deepened toinclude shared governance. This would eliminate our current district governancestructure, perhaps in favor of a regional board.

It is the hope of this governing board that these actions and others that follow will resultin improved service delivery to local congregations while reducing the signi?cant cost, intime and resources, of district governance. In this time of transition and experiment, weknow there are few easy, and no ?nal, answers. We are not proposing a formula for every district or every region. But we want to use the best information we have at the moment to take measured steps, along with our friends in Heartland and Prairie Star,toward the possible formation of a "Mid-America" region.

Our denominational President, the Reverend Peter Morales, frequently refers toUnitarian Universalism as "the religion of our time." We believe the time for constructive change, and the time for growth, is now. The CMwD Board joins all those who, onceinspired by the liberating message of our democratic faith, will lead others in buildingstrong congregations and in the holy and necessary work of healing our broken world.

Respectfully, in the Spirit,

The Reverend Brian H. Covell

President, Central Midwest District of the UUA