With only one study/action issue on the agenda this year, delegates heard from the sponsor and four supporters of the “Peacemaking” resolution (S-1) — but with no competing study/action issues on the agenda, there was no debate. Delegates overwhelmingly approved the study/action issue, which means that congregations and districts will have two years to develop a denominational Statement of Conscience in response to the question: “Should the Unitarian Universalist Association reject the use of any and all kinds of violence and war to resolve disputes between peoples and nations and adopt a principle of seeking just peace through nonviolent means?”
Later in this General Assembly, delegates will consider slowing down the study/action issue process, which the Commission on Social Witness's Susan Smith told delegates could “release us, and the congregations, from what has turned out to be a social-witness hampster wheel.” The current process (adopted in 1997) introduces a new two-year study/action issue and adopts a new finished Statement of Conscience each year.
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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.