UU World's coverage of General Assembly in the fall issue refers to many resources and reports available elsewhere on the Web. Here's a handy guide to those resources.
Delegates adopted a Statement of Conscience calling for widespread changes in response to global warming: Threat of Global Warming/Climate Change. (Here's the magazine's earlier coverage of the adoption of the global warming resolution. See also Jon Luoma's cover story for the May/June 2005 issue, "Slaves to energy: Global warming as a moral issue," and its companion story, "What you can do about global warming.")
The ongoing initiative to make the UUA's annual convention more environmentally friendly is called "Greening GA." Find out more about how the UUA is helping convention centers and convention hotels adopt more sustainable practices from the ">project's website.
A major player at this year's GA was the independent affiliate organization UU Ministry for Earth. Formerly known the Seventh Principle Project, the organization promotes environmental awareness and advocacy in the UUA. It also sponsors the Green Sanctuary program and honored 19 congregations at GA this year.
The Assembly's five Actions of Immediate Witness are:
Actions of Immediate Witness, Statements of Conscience, and the study/action issue process that leads to statements of conscience are facilitated by the Commission on Social Witness. This year's GA significantly revised the study/action issue process. The CSW will be providing explanatory materials about these changes on their website.
Delegates adopted a study/action issue for 2006-2010: Peacemaking.
For the second year, GA highlighted "breakthrough congregations" in plenary presentations. InterConnections, the UUA's newsletter for congregational leaders, profiles this year's four breakthrough congregations.
UU University brought some 400 congregational leaders together for workshops and programs just before GA this year; uuworld.org's coverage is here.
The officers of the Association presented their annual reports in plenary sessions, but there are also written reports that contain even more information.
Here's the full text of President William G. Sinkford's annual report [pdf].
Moderator Gini Courter set aside her prepared report to discuss racism and anti-racism. Coverage of her remarks is here. Video of the plenary session she addressed includes a presentation by youth and young adults of color and their allies; see links at the top of the page. (Delegates adopted a resolution in response to Courter's remarks and the presentation by the youth and young adults of color; see the "Racism" section below for related links.)
Financial Advisor Dan Brody's plenary presentation [pdf] is supplemented by a much more detailed report to congregations, in which he discusses the UUA's new health insurance proposal at length. (See also uuworld.org's coverage of the health insurance plan and the official UUA Health Plan website.)
Treasurer Jerry Gabert's annual report [pdf] includes the UUA's budget.
Executive Vice President Kay Montgomery's annual report discusses UUA personnel changes.
The UUA Board of Trustees meets during the General Assembly and reviews a wide range of committee and staff reports, which are available here.
In addition to hearing Gini Courter's report and a presentation by youth and young adults of color, delegates also heard from members of the board's Special Review Commission, which examined events during the 2005 General Assembly that affected youth of color especially. The Commission made a brief presentation during one plenary session and referred delegates to their final report [pdf], which provides a timeline of events and recommendations for the future. See also uuworld.org's coverage of the Special Review Commission.
During the final plenary session, delegates adopted a responsive resolution urging congregations to "hold at least one program over the next year to address racism or classism, and to report on that program at next year's General Assembly." The full text and lots of related resources are available at UUA.org. Paul Rickter, UUA secretary, sent a letter to congregations after GA explaining the resolution.
Two worship services get a lot of attention at GA: The Service of the Living Tradition, which honors ordained ministers, featured a sermon by the Rev. Judith E. Meyer, minister of the Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Santa Monica, Calif.: To Live in This World.
The Sunday morning worship service, to which the general public is invited, featured a sermon by the Rev. Gail Geisenhainer, minister of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Vero Beach, Fla.: "We Who Believe in Freedom Cannot Rest."
The traditional keynote address to the General Assembly is the Ware Lecture, given this year by the poet Mary Oliver. Here's a description of her presentation, along with a letter from Beacon Press director Helene Atwan about Oliver's experience at GA. Oliver's new collection of poems, from which she read, is Thirst.
Be sure to visit UUA.org's extended coverage of the General Assembly, where you'll find descriptions of many lectures and workshops, video of major events, and gavel-to-gavel coverage of plenary reports and business.
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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.