For deeper discernment, General Session on Saturday will break up entire assembly into smaller groups.
A discussion about “Renewing the Covenant” scheduled during the General Session on Saturday morning, June 25, of General Assembly 2016, will include the use of breakout groups, in an effort to give delegates an opportunity for deeper discernment and engagement.
The Task Force on Covenanting, appointed by the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Board of Trustees last fall and chaired by the Rev. Dr. Susan Ritchie, has been working for months to facilitate a reimagining of how UU congregations relate to each other and to the UUA.
During the Saturday breakout session—groups will be organized alphabetically, by surname—participants will discuss envisioning the relationships among congregations and with the UUA as one of covenant, instead of viewing the UUA as primarily a membership organization.
About 25 facilitators have been trained in preparation for the breakout groups, said Moderator Jim Key at the board meeting on Wednesday, June 22. “We want people to have a rich experience of deliberation that isn’t merely the up-and-down vote that we ordinarily do at GA,” added Ritchie.
There will also be a “Renewing the Covenant” workshop on Thursday, June 23, at 3 p.m., in which Key and Ritchie will discuss the concept behind the task force’s work.
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Elaine McArdle is a UU World senior editor and a member of First Unitarian Church in Portland, Oregon. An award-winning journalist with more than 20 years of experience, she has also written for the Boston Globe, Harvard Law Bulletin, and others.
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