EUU Coordinating Council Meeting 1 March 2023

The EUU Coordinating Council held its first meeting of the year on March 1. There were 15 of us present.

The first and main item for discussion came out of our financial situation, which can be described as an embarrassment of riches. Jutta (Treasurer) reported that we have over 60 000 euros in our bank (even though our surplus for 2022 was modest), an amount that exceeds any possible need. She proposed that we heavily subsidize our next retreat in Spring 2024, possibly with a targeted deficit of 10 000 euros. This received general acceptance, although some thought perhaps a smaller target loss would be better, others said the subsidy should prioritize children, teens and young adults, and others said it should include a special allocation for travel cost support for those seeking grants.

There were also some other suggestions as to how we could use our money, such as lay leader training, investing in technology to help us run better “hybrid” events, hiring service providers to ease the burden on our volunteers, and donating money to the ongoing effort to replace the defunct ICUU. It was agreed that a retreat affordability task force would be set up, comprising Sharon Marshall (Basel), Shulamit Levine-Helleman (At Large) and Tony Zamparutti (Brussels).

On future retreats, Jutta and Bonnie reported that registrations for the April retreat in Bad Homburg are going well and that they hope for 130 participants. Shulamit expressed concerns that the availability of accessible rooms for those unable to climb stairs would be insufficient. The retreat committee will seek to find volunteer porters to carry luggage up (and down) the stairs for those needing that help.

Peter and Carolyn debriefed on plans for the following retreat in spring 2024. Discussions are advanced in finding a speaker, but there is no precise theme, though it will be something involving “hands” in the “head, hearts and hands” trilogy. Potential sites in Brussels and Saarbrücken are being considered, but if they prove problematic, one of the previously used sites will be looked at.

Rev. Diane Rollert, the UUA’s Ambassador, will visit us May 25-June 4. It has been decided that she will preach in Brussels (BUUF) and Frankfurt (Rhein Main), and a third event somewhere in Switzerland is also being considered.

Karen (President) announced that she will not attend the UUA General Assembly in Pittsburgh June 21-25. Anyone else interested in representing us should contact her. Then she asked for volunteers to replace Peter as Pledge Drive Coordinator. Sharon said she might be interested.

Peter Jarrett