Keep up with news from the annual General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations by visiting or subscribing to uuworld.org’s General Assembly blog.
UU World writers will provide daily reports on business and breaking news at the General Assembly in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., June 25–29. Read the magazine’s General Assembly blog, subscribe to the GA blog’s feed, or sign up for daily email delivery.
For extended coverage of GA events and workshops, including audio and video of major programs, please see the General Assembly section at UUA.org.
On this year’s agenda:
In less formal business, Unitarian Universalists will also reflect on the goals and future direction of the Association. The two ministers who have entered the race for the 2009 election of a new UUA president, the Rev. Dr. Laurel Hallman and the Rev. Peter Morales, will discuss their visions for the Association in an election forum Saturday evening.
Congregational leaders will also be invited to participate in “appreciative inquiry” workshops focused on clarifying the UUA’s priorities. Moderator Gini Courter, the chair of the General Assembly and the UUA Board of Trustees, explained in the Tentative Agenda that “we will gather to talk about our values and our hopes for our liberal faith, to set priorities for our Association of congregations.” She added: “All the information generated in Appreciative Inquiry will be used by the UUA Board of Trustees in the fall of 2008, when the UUA Board and district presidents will work together to craft ends (what the Association should do, for whom, and at what cost) for our Association.”
The board’s interest in “ends” is part of its effort to adopt a policy-governance model for the UUA. Last year’s General Assembly used “open space technology” to facilitate conversations about denominational priorities, to mixed reviews.
The UUA anticipates lower than usual attendance at this General Assembly, due partly to concerns about security requirements at the convention center, but also to the rising cost of travel and the worsening economy. The convention center is inside the Port of Fort Lauderdale, which requires a photo ID for admittance in compliance with federal security regulations—a requirement that some Unitarian Universalists regarded as unacceptable government interference with their freedom to worship and freedom to assemble. In response, several GA events will focus on civil liberties.
The UU World team at GA includes news editor Jane Greer, managing editor Kenneth Sutton, assistant editor Sonja L. Cohen, and contributing editors Donald Skinner and Kimberly French. If you have a General Assembly news tip, write to Jane Greer (jgreer [at] uua [dot] org).
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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.