Ironicschmoozer’s Weblog


Saturday in Minneapolis: Your Delegates at General Assembly

Hello, dear blog fans,  all 19 of you!  The few, the  proud, those with nothing better to do.

Thousands of UUs walked through the streets to Loring Park, where the GLBT Pride Festival is taking place.  We held a rally on the site and heard from several local ministers and leaders, including clergy from Iowa, which is the only state outside the North East to have same-gender marriage equality.  Some UU churches have chartered buses to take couples to Iowa for marriage ceremonies.  They call each one of them the Love Bus.  We were a sea of yellow tee-shirts proclaiming that UUs are Standing on the Side of Love.

The most exciting plenary debate Saturday was about whether to boycott Phoenix, which had been on the schedule for General Assembly in 2012.  There has been much discussion, emotion, and heartfelt prayer and reflection on this crisis, which has been heightened since the passage of the anti-immigrant state law.  The debate was truly impressive.  The outcome of this ordeal was an overwhelming vote to go to Phoenix but “not for business as usual.”  Delegates of color said they know it may be dangerous to be in Arizona, but they are willing to go in order to support the people who live in that state.  The GA business in 2012 will be limited the the minimum necessary, and we will use our presence there to support allies and local partners for immigrant justice as well as to learn about the issues and bear witness to what is happening on the ground, including trips to the US/Mexico border.  We also committed to making travel to Arizona as safe as possible

The Children’s Choir has been off site at choir camp all week, but last night they gave a wonderful half-hour concert.  They sing tonight at the closing ceremonies.

The major lecture of GA is the Ware Lecture.  Mary Oliver, Martin Luther King, Norman Cousins, Norman Lear and many other significant speakers have appeared before us.  Last night we heard from Winona LaDuke, a Native American environmental activist from Minnesota, and the author of All Our Relations.  She leads the White Earth Land Recovery Project.  I took notes and will try to include them in a future sermon or posting.  One gem about the “doctrine of Christian discovery”:  “We [Natives] are confident we did not get ‘discovered.’  We were on to the fact that we were here.”

I attended a reception for major donors to the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee–about the best spread of food I’ve had at such an event, which was good since there was no time for dinner.  We heard from interim president William Schulz [who has been president of the UUA and of Amnesty International USA], and from several program staff working with partners in Haiti for earthquake relief and reconstruction.  Currently there is the opportunity to have donations to UUSC/UUA Haiti Relief Fund tripled by a matching grant from the UU Congregation at Shelter Rock.  Every $1 will be matched with $3, up to a total of $500,000.  To give online, go to www.uusc.org/actforhaiti.

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