In theory, Statements of Conscience adopted by the General Assembly speak the will of the denomination as a whole because they're rooted in two years of congregational engagement. (This morning moderator Gini Courter pointed out, however, that very few congregations actually took part in the process that led to the global warming Statement of Conscience under consideration this week. Only 10 percent of the Association's member congregations, she said, gave any input to the global warming statement in the past two years.)
Each year, the General Assembly also considers a handful of more time-sensitive resolutions that are understood to speak only for the General Assembly itself. Actions of Immediate Witness are proposed at GA and placed on the agenda by petition. Earlier in Friday morning's plenary, the Commission on Social Witness took an informal poll of delegates to gauge their interest in the 10 proposals submitted so far.
From where I was sitting, it looked like four of the proposals clearly generated overwhelming interest:
The other six proposals currently being circulated among delegates are:
Up to six of the proposals will be placed on the agenda in Saturday afternoon's plenary, pending the CSW's prioritization and completed petitions from each resolution's sponsors.
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Christopher L. Walton is editor of UU World. He holds degrees from Harvard Divinity School and the University of Utah and is a member of the Church of the Larger Fellowship.