CUUPS Revisioning Frequently Asked Questions
What are the goals of the Revisioning process?
We will begin by identifying our common principles and values. Who are we? What do we do? What is UU Paganism as it’s actually practiced? Is there something unique that can be called UU Paganism? Our foundation will be built on who and what we are, here and now, warts and all.
Then we’ll talk about who and what we want to become. What do we keep? What do we change? And perhaps most importantly, what do we want CUUPS to be and do strongly enough to commit to doing the work necessary to create it?
The outcome of this process will be a mission and vision for CUUPS for the next ten years. Why ten years? Anything less is too short to justify the work of revisioning, but we can’t project much further out than that.
We hope the process and its outcome will create a shared sense of identity and purpose among CUUPS members, Pagan-friendly UUs and UU-friendly Pagans.
Who can participate in the Revisioning process?
We value the opinions and contributions of everyone associated with CUUPS: members of CUUPS Continental (aka CUUPS National), members of local CUUPS chapters, participants in various CUUPS events, and UUs and friends who are interested in Goddess and Nature spirituality. If you have an opinion on what CUUPS is and what it should be, we want to hear from you.
Who will lead the Revisioning process?
The Revisioning team is composed of John Beckett, David Pollard, Rebecca Crystal, Marty Laubach, and Pam Backstrom. The team will compose the surveys, compile the responses, analyze the results, and propose draft documents for review.
What is the Revisioning process?
We believe if Revisioning is worth doing, it’s worth doing right. The Board and the Team have committed to a multi-step process to help facilitate the best possible outcome.
First round: Who are we?
A survey to establish our demographics: who are we? What are our relationships to CUUPS? What are our relationships to Unitarian Universalism? What other Pagan groups or traditions do we follow? How do we see Nature? How do we see Divinity? How do we see Community?
Second round: What do we do?
What events do we participate in (CUUPS circles, Pagan Pride Days, Sunday services, social, environmental and political action, etc)? What spiritual practices do we keep (meditation, prayer, devotions, magical practice, etc)?
In addition to individuals, we’ll also ask representatives of CUUPS chapters, UU congregations, UUA headquarters, and current and past members of the CUUPS Board for their experiences of what UU Pagans are doing and how we’re structured.
Third round: What are our centers?
The Revisioning Team will go over the responses and identify what we have in common and therefore what we can build on.
The Revisioning Team will publish their findings and ask for comments: did we get it right? Did we overlook something important? Did we overemphasize anything? Based on the comments, the Revisioning Team will revise the document.
It’s important to remember that this process is designed to describe UU Paganism as it actually is today, not to define it. The outcome will be one or more centers – things many of us have in common. We will draw no boundaries – individuals are not in or out, they are closer to or farther from the centers. CUUPS is and will remain a non-creedal UU group welcoming all who come in friendship.
Fourth round: What do we want to be and what are we willing to do?
Based on the survey responses, the Revisioning Team will propose what we keep and what we should change. It will also consider what we are willing to do: what are UU Pagans willing to support with our time and our money? The outcome will be published, opened for discussion, and revised as necessary.
Fifth round: Mission and Vision.
The Revisioning Team will craft a mission and vision statement and any necessary supporting documents. They’ll be published, opened for discussion, and revised as necessary. When the revisions are complete the final documents will be presented to the CUUPS membership for a formal vote.
Sixth round: Implementation.
The approved mission and vision will be published and circulated. Within two months of formal approval, the Board will publish a report detailing the changes in structures, processes, emphasis, and budgeting it is making. Within three months of formal approval, the Board will issue recommendations for changes at the chapter level. Each chapter and each member will decide for themselves how they should respond to the recommendations.
Seventh round: Accountability.
Twelve months after the issue of the final recommendations, the Board will conduct a follow-up survey to see how we’re doing, and will issue a final report to all participants.
What tools will the Revisioning process use?
We will use web-based survey tools for collecting individual responses. We will also post discussion questions on our Facebook page.
What will be done with my responses?
Survey responses will be viewed only by the Revisioning Team. Data will be reported only in aggregate, and responses to free-form questions will not be published. The exception is responses on Facebook and other social media, where there is no expectation of privacy.
Will surveys be anonymous?
Yes, with the exception of chapter surveys. We’ll need to identify respondents so we don’t count any chapter more than once.
Who can vote on the final mission and vision?
While we want input from all CUUPS members, UU-friendly Pagans and Pagan-friendly UUs, the final vote will be limited to those who are invested in CUUPS and who will be responsible for implementing the mission and vision. Members of CUUPS Continental as of the presentation of the final documents will be eligible to vote.
Didn’t we go through this a few years ago?
There was a revisioning effort in 2003 and 2004. The CUUPS members who responded asked for an advocate for Paganism in UUism and for a provider of resources for Pagans in UUism. With the exception of a few calls for networking, most of these items were things the membership expected to receive from someone, presumably the Board.
The Board simply did not have the resources (in either people or finances) to implement that vision. Further, the expansion of Pagan resources over the past ten years has greatly reduced the need for what was requested.
This is why this revisioning process is focused on “what should CUUPS be?” and not “what do you want from CUUPS?”
How long will this take?
We have multiple rounds of surveys, responses, analysis and discussion to do. We expect it will take approximately six months from the release of the first survey to the presentation of the final documents for a vote. If the survey results are inconclusive or if the discussions require multiple revisions, it could take longer.
I have a problem in my chapter or congregation I want to address.
We are committed to a very intensive process intended to help us figure out who we are and what we want to be as UU Pagans. Anything that distracts us from that goal will jeopardize the final outcome.
If you have local problems, please address them through your local chapter and congregational leadership. If you have problems with CUUPS Continental, please address them to the Board. While we welcome positive suggestions (particularly in the “what do we want to be?” round) local problems and individual issues are out of scope for this project.
More Information about CUUPS Revisioning