[Union of Black Episcopalians] In the first part of its 2022 Annual Meeting on June 18, the Union of Black Episcopalians’ membership voted to elect the Very Rev. Kim L. Coleman to serve as president for a second term. Coleman’s first term as president began after UBE’s 2019 Annual Meeting.
According to Coleman, “Serving UBE has been a wonderfully rewarding challenge, especially while this country has been plagued by the dual pandemics of racism and coronavirus. UBE has a rich history with The Episcopal Church, a history that is worth knowing, emulating, and celebrating. I am glad for the privilege of serving again.”
When Coleman came into office in 2019, the organization faced an $86,000 budget deficit arising from a conference that did not achieve projected attendance goals. In three years’ time, she and her leadership team turned the deficit around, implemented budgeting and financial management strategies to guard against any recurrence of financial deficiencies, and doubled the size of its membership while also adding or reactivating chapters.
“It’s an exciting time for UBE,” says Coleman. “We are headed to Baltimore from July 4-6 for our Annual Business Meeting and Conference, and we are rejoicing over what will be a first-time opportunity in the last three years for members and supporters to be together in person. Our shared mission binds us together as family. We miss the time to reconnect. It’s going to be great to see each other again.”
Events have been modified for UBE’s 54th Annual Business Meeting and Conference (ABMC) in Baltimore as the organization strives to conform with the guidelines and expectations of General Convention. Because UBE is not funded by The Episcopal Church nor affiliated with it or General Convention directly, the UBE is unable to take advantage of incentives other organizations may have been offered to offset costs associated with canceling their event. Rather than pay the nearly $100,000 that canceling would cost, the UBE decided to safeguard its membership against COVID-19 infection and carry on with the Conference.
Under the theme “Roots, Reparations, and Renewal: Food for the Journey,” the Conference will feature leading speakers on the topic of reparations in the church, in our communities, and in our educational institutions. Small group workshops will continue themes lifted in plenary addresses and worship in the African American tradition will begin and end each day. More information on the 54th UBE Annual Business Meeting and Conference may be found on the UBE website at ube.org.
Looking toward the future, Coleman plans to continue the good work already begun by focusing on chapter development, expanding UBE’s network of partners, helping struggling Black Episcopal congregations discern next steps, enhancing its program of matching people of color who are searching for a new vocational opportunity with those who have available openings, and becoming the consummate voice of and advocate for people of color in The Episcopal Church.
Other newly elected executive officers include:
The Rev. Lynn Collins, first vice president
James Pierce, second vice president
The Rev. Linda T. Wilson, secretary
Rose West, treasurer