May 21 Coordinating Council (CC) Meeting Summary 

On Tuesday evening, the fourteenth of May, 21 EUU representatives, active members, supporters and officers joined together online for a post-retreat Coordinating Council (CC) meeting. Our next such online meeting will take place early next fall, and you are enthusiastically invited to come listen and possibly contribute, as these meetings are open to all within our EUU community. (Send a request to be on the mailing list for CC meetings, to secretary@europeanuu.org.)

Most of the time (40 minutes) of the May 14 meeting was devoted to open discussion on the topic of “Sustaining Our Community”, a topic that was raised by the officers at our recent Spring Retreat. A paper wall of many ideas was gathered over the retreat weekend (thank you, Bonnie for setting this up! And thank you for all who wrote something!) At the CC meeting, all were asked to respond to what had been written (we had access to the notes, and you can too, right here), or to respond to one of the question prompts from the weekend.

One big discussion topic within “Sustaining our Community” included communication challenges and suggested solutions, both from people trying to learn how EUU functions and from experienced EUU “users” who try hard to communicate, with some new and renewed ideas already beginning to percolate, especially around how our EUU community representatives* can help ensure clearer and fuller communications in both directions. (* “Reps” are for At Large members and for the various local UU fellowships in Europe, affiliated with EUU.)

Other topics came up during this long and very enjoyable conversation, with SO MANY different voices and ideas.

A concern that we need to ensure that EUU is a community where people feel a sense of belonging, so that people are motivated to seek out information and further involvement.

An observation that retreat schedules seem overfull, and people have trouble getting from one activity to the next; agreement that it is worth a serious look at, and rethinking of, how we want to spend time during retreats.

An idea of giving a special badge to active retreat volunteers (in addition to the regular retreat badge), to help other retreat attendees understand why they are running around and not visiting as much.

A suggestion to have at least one workshop session at each retreat be a round table discussion like this one, focused on the life of our Shared Community.

Clarification of the difference between a fully “hybrid” retreat (as at Bad Homburg last fall) and a retreat with some events that were “streamed” (as at our recent spring retreat in Saarbrücken):  a hybrid retreat promises interactive opportunities for the online participants (in all retreat events, not just the speaker and the Sunday service), and therefore requires much greater investment in people and money to make happen, but also results in greater numbers of online attendees, compared to having someone simply stream the main events.

Other details announced at the meeting included:

EUU news:
We welcome the new BUUF (Brussels fellowship) representative, Sigrid Van Eepoel. Retreat planning for our fall retreat in Cologne is progressing very well; provisional budget and expected full hybrid experience were briefly discussed, and registration is expected to go online in the coming month. A retreat speaker has been found for the Spring 2025 retreat in Oberwesel. The Social Action Committee loves to hear from EUU members and CC reps, and is continuing to enjoy their work; two high school students from Transylvania UU high school will join us in Cologne. Needed: retreat planning teams for any retreats that might occur after Spring 2025 – and it is urgent to begin reserving sites now.

International news:
Diane Rollert, our UUA Ambassador from Montreal was with us at the meeting, and will be in Europe in October; we hope to organize some fellowship visits with her.
A new group was created about 6 months ago, the “International Alliance of Unitarians and Universalists” (IAUU); John Eichrodt is an active member and leader; the IAUU has created an online study course on the Enlightenment, taking place monthly.
The Leadership and Design Team that has been working to create a successor to ICUU is now hiring a Network Facilitator.
The ICUUW Convocation will take place in Cluj, Transylvania, in September