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Daily updates on the presidential election and other business on uuworld.org's General Assembly Blog.
By Christopher L. Walton

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GA 2008 Opening Plenary

Congregational representatives display their banners at the 2008 GA banner parade. (Nancy Pierce)

Keep up with the latest news from the General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association in Salt Lake City, June 24–28, with UU World’s General Assembly Blog.

UU World writers will be posting frequent updates about the UUA presidential election, a proposed revision to the UUA’s Principles and Purposes, several social justice resolutions including a Statement of Conscience on peacemaking, and other business.

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Extended coverage of many GA workshops and programs, including streaming video of major events, will be posted throughout GA on UUA.org. UU World’s full coverage of GA will appear in the Fall issue.

Although delegates at this year’s General Assembly will be taking a preliminary vote on the first comprehensive revision of the UUA's Principles and Purposes since 1985, the big story at GA will be the election of a new UUA president on Saturday, June 27. The Rev. Dr. Laurel Hallman of Dallas and the Rev. Peter Morales of Golden, Colo., will be campaigning aggressively for undecided delegates' votes. (Read UU World's profiles of Hallman and Morales, and visit UUA.org's election section for more information, including videos and transcripts of several presidential candidates' debates.) The winner will be announced Saturday evening.

Other items on the agenda include:

  • A Statement of Conscience on Peacemaking that responds to a question introduced at the 2006 General Assembly: “Should the Unitarian Universalist Association reject the use of any and all kinds of violence and war to resolve disputes between peoples and nations and adopt a principle of seeking just peace through nonviolent means?” Delegates will debate and vote on the Statement of Conscience during Friday afternoon’s plenary; any amendments must be introduced in mini-assemblies on Thursday morning (#2007 and #2021).

  • Actions of Immediate Witness: These resolutions-by-petition are circulated at GA; up to six can be put on the final agenda during Saturday morning’s plenary session. Seven proposals seeking supporters were posted on a Commission on Social Witness webpage prior to June 1, although others will undoubtedly be introduced at GA. Delegates will debate and vote on Actions of Immediate Witness during Sunday afternoon’s plenary; amendments must be introduced during mini-assemblies on Saturday morning (#4007).

  • Discussion of changes to General Assembly itself: The Fifth Principle Task Force, a commission appointed by the Board of Trustees, is developing a set of proposals for changing the way the UUA conducts its business, including possible changes to the frequency and duration of GA. A workshop to discuss the task force’s proposals is scheduled for Saturday afternoon at 3:30 (#4034); the task force will also report on its work during the Sunday afternoon plenary. The proposals themselves won’t come up for a vote until 2010 at the earliest.

  • Responsive resolutions: Delegates may also offer responsive resolutions “in response to a substantive portion of a report by an officer or committee” (Bylaw IV:4.16c) during Sunday afternoon’s plenary.

The business agenda includes the slate of candidates for UUA elections, the text of bylaw changes and the proposed Statement of Conscience, and the rules of procedure.

UU World’s team at GA this year includes Christopher L. Walton, editor; Donald E. Skinner, contributing editor; and Sonja L. Cohen, assistant editor.


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