By Nancy Fisk
The San Diego Unitarian Universalist Network (SUUN) represents all the congregations in the San Diego County area, or what is known as a cluster. Representatives from each congregations meet on a regular basis to talk about what they can do to collaborate on events of importance to the cluster. SUUN was busy last year. They sponsored a Day at Seminary at First Church. A Taste of UU, held at UU Fellowship of San Dieguito (UUFSD), featured food and musicians from every congregation in the cluster, and was a kickoff to the new congregational year. There was a Peter Mayer concert also at UUFSD in October. On the current SUUN calendar is Rev. Kathleen Owens’ installation at First Church on January 11th, an Emma’s Revolution concert at UUFSD on January 24th and a leadership conference at First Church on January 31, 2015. This conference will feature workshops on social media and web communication, mental health and congregations, and planned giving. Everyone is encouraged to attend. The conference is runs from 8AM to 3PM and is free. Attendees will need to provide their own lunch.
According to Rev. David Miller, the ministerial representative for SUUN, the purpose of SUUN is “to facilitate us coming together as a group of congregations.” In the future, this will also include collaborating on cluster-wide social events, social justice events, best practices and sharing resources.
Rev. Milller adds that, “There is a growing sense across Unitarian Universalism that there is a benefit in finding places where congregations in a particular area can share resources personnel, purchasing power, insurance, facilities, etc .” The current organization of SUUN is based on a model from the Denver Cluster, who recently hired a Minister for Cluster Social Justice Coordination.
The website at www.uusandiego.org has been redesigned with the help of Ame Stanko, a member of First Church. There are events listed there for the different congregations that have cluster wide interest. In the future, SUUN would like to facilitate scheduling that ensures congregations in the cluster are not competing with major events on the same nights.
The representatives of the congregations besides Rev. David Miller are: Susan Riegal Harding, member at large; Barbre Bryant, First Church, South Bay campus; Julie McKane, First Church; Treasurer Vickie Newman, UUFSD; Dave Cochran, Palomar UU Church; Secretary Jennifer White, Summit UU Church; and Donna Davin Summit UU Church. In the future, it is hoped that congregational boards will appoint 2 people from each congregation to SUUN.