Highlights from the UUA General Assembly in Spokane, Washington, June 19–23.
Before the Sunday morning service, the Rev. Marta Valentín invited people of color, indigenous people, and LGBTQ people of all ages to “come forward and let yourselves be seen” by joining her on stage at the end of the service as the choir sang “We Shall Be Known.” The implied question for the mostly white gathered community, she says, was: “Will we be the company you keep?” (© 2019 Nancy Pierce/UUA)
—The Rev. Marta I. Valentín (below), newly appointed Professional Development director for the UUA’s Ministries and Faith Development staff group. Excerpted from the General Assembly Sunday morning worship service she led June 23. (See more photos of worship at GA.)
The Rev. Marta I. Valentín preaches at the Sunday morning worship service June 23. (© 2019 John Benford/UUA)
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The Rev. Dr. María Cristina Vlassidis Burgoa honors the Ancestors and blesses the space before the workshop “Indigenous Experience and Unitarian Universalism.” (© 2019 Nancy Pierce/UUA)
Members of the UU Church of Spokane, Washington, walk in the Opening Celebration banner parade. (© 2019 Christopher L. Walton/UUA)
Climate activist Levi Draheim leads the UU Ministry for Earth’s Procession of the Species. (© 2019 Nancy Pierce/UUA)
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John Benford is a commercial photographer and visual storyteller, creating honest, authentic portrait and lifestyle images and powerful architectural images for clients of all sizes. He was raised UU and lives in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, with his wife, the Rev. Kendra Ford, and their child. Visit his website, John Benford Photography, or follow him on Instagram: @jbenfordphoto.
Documentary photographer Nancy Pierce has photographed every UUA General Assembly since 1993. She is a member of the UU Church of Charlotte, North Carolina. nancypiercephoto.com
Sonja L. Cohen is deputy managing editor of UU World and a lifelong Unitarian Universalist.
Faces of General Assembly
Photographs from the 2018 General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association.