Ironicschmoozer’s Weblog

General Assembly Report by Rev. Roger Jones, clergy delegate to GA from UUSS
July 9, 2015, 7:05 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

About 4,600 Unitarian Universalists recently gathered in Portland, Oregon, for the General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association. Two dozen UUSS members made the trip, attending varied workshops, worship services, lectures, public witness events, and having personal conversations with UUs from near and far.

GA is part business meeting and part revival meeting. It’s a church convention, and a trade-show for spiritual progressives.

UUSS provided 9 of the 1,700 lay and clergy delegates for the business meetings. Delegates changed the UUA bylaws to limit donations and spending for election campaigns for president of the UUA. Next election:  June 2017.

Delegates also debated a proposal by the UUA board to add a board-appointed committee and thereby eliminate an independent Commission on Appraisal. This elected commission chooses and issue to study and then reports findings and recommendations to the whole denomination. Delegates debated, and a majority voted NO–no change to the Commission on Appraisal.

Every two years GA delegates choose an issue for three years of study and action. Our congregations are urged to dig into the issue and report back. Some choose to do so; some don’t. The resulting statement is debated, amended and then approved by vote. By this work, the delegates make a proclamation of where we stand as a denomination. We call it a Statement of Conscience. The title of the latest one is Reproductive Justice. As reported in the UU World, it espouses the human right to have children, not to have children, to parent the children one has in healthy environments, and to safeguard bodily autonomy and to express one’s sexuality freely.” The statement explicitly acknowledges “reproductive justice” as a concept developed by women of color.

As I noted in my July 5 sermon on democracy, delegates also selected three Actions of Immediate Witness to urge congregational attention: Support the #BlackLivesMatter Movement; End Federal Detention of Immigrant Children and Families; Support Local Climate Justice Protests (including the native Lummi Nation’s opposition to coal extraction).

Read reflections and responses from some of our UUSS delegates and other GA attendees here in the Comments section.