General Assembly 2019
Treva Burger, Eric Foster and Louise Lisi attended this year’s GA in Spokane, Washington June 19-23. They will report on their experience after the worship service on Sunday, August 25.
In the mean-time, there is much online material available for people to read and watch and think about. Enjoy all the links below.
This year’s GA, saw 2470 total attendees, including 107 youth and 226 offsite attendees. There were 1417 delegates (who go to business sessions and vote) including 198 offsite. Attendees were from 507 congregations, representing all 50 states, 2 Canadian Provinces, Mexico, and beyond. GAs are often larger than this; Spokane is not an easy place to get to.
As always, there was worship and workshops, social events and business sessions. It is a very busy and very inspiring four days.
Here are a few events online that you might want to start with:
The President’s Report (You can read it at the same link if you prefer that.)
The Ware Lecture, by Richard Blanco, President Obama’s Inaugural Poet. Rev. Susan introduces him around minute 12:30, before that you will hear crowd noise and see slides of all the past Ware lecturers.
There was a request for each of us to take questions back to our congregations and report back on people’s answers. Here is an Introduction. Here are the questions:
- When is a time that you felt “the power of we” in Unitarian Universalism?
- What is so important in Unitarian Universalism that you would be willing to sacrifice for it?
- What will it take for Unitarian Universalism to fully embody “the power of we?
The very powerful Sunday morning worship if you have not yet watched it.
The Assembly adopted three Actions of Immediate Witness (AIWS). AIWS are significant actions, events, or developments that the Assembly may wish to address immediately that could not be considered in advance of GA. Petitions are gathered at GA and the Commission on Social Witness (CSW) screens these submissions for meeting certain criteria and then selects up to six to be voted upon by the entire Assembly of delegates on Saturday. The top three are admitted to the final agenda. These are not the final drafts, but you can get the gist.
Congregational Study/Action Items (CSAIs)
There was also conversation and editing of the 2016-19 Statement of Conscience (SOC): The Corruption of Our Democracy. Last year we adopted Undoing Intersectional White Supremacy for 2018-2021. These statements are meant to guide congregations in study, reflection and action. Visit
https://www.uua.org/action/process/csais for more explanation and the full text of the statements.
Paula Cole Jones, this year’s Fahs Lecturer, speaking on Building a Community of Communities. She was one of the proposers of the 8th Principle.
These are the other workshops which are available online:
- Side with Love: Our Call for this Moment!
- Story Slam! Our Complex Identities
- The Future of Outreach
Video and Slides
- Liberal Religion Beyond Optimism
- Mini-Assembly on Statement of Consciousness: Democracy Uncorrupted
- Co-Creating Change and Building Radical Trust
- So You’re Thinking About Becoming A Religious Innovator