Worship highlights from the UUA General Assembly in Spokane, Washington.
Mariela Pérez-Simons lights the chalice during the opening celebration of the 2019 UUA General Assembly in Spokane, Washington, on Wednesday, June 19, 2019.* (© 2019 Nancy Pierce/UUA)
Watch General Assembly worship services and major events at uua.org/ga/2019.
The audience sings during the opening celebration. (© 2019 John Benford/UUA)
Jyvonne Haskin sings during the Service of the Living Tradition on June 20. (© 2019 John Benford/UUA)
Yadenee Hailu preaches during a June 22 worship service. (© 2019 John Benford/UUA)
UUA President Susan Frederick-Gray and the Rev. Sunshine Wolfe (who wears a trans pride flag on their arm, as many members of TRUUsT did at GA) take the stage during the Sunday morning worship service June 23. (© 2019 John Benford/UUA)
The Rev. Lindi Ramsden, director of Partnerships and Emerging Programs and visiting assistant professor of Faith and Public Life at Starr King School for the Ministry, preaches at the Service of the Living Tradition on Thursday, June 20, 2019. (© 2019 John Benford/UUA)
Climate injustice is layered on top of centuries of colonialism and conquest, stolen land, and slave labor, and indigenous genocide. There are important signs of progress, but there still is such a long way to go to acknowledge and honorably address the historic need for truth telling, for reparations and healing.
But now is the time to go all in, to think big, to address foundational issues. Massive public and private resources will be mobilized. The question is, where? And in whose interest will those investments be made? It is so important to leverage this moment and this time of gathering momentum to advance equity, to create climate justice. It is time now, and what a time to be alive.
Now, nothing slows momentum like giving up hope. And hope is not optional for those whose lives stretch out into the next seventy years. For me, hope is not a feeling to have or not have. It is a virtue to be cultivated, a religious practice that nourishes your soul.
—The Rev. Lindi Ramsden
Video on YouTube
John Hubert conducts the Singers of the Living Tradition choir. (© 2019 John Benford/UUA)
The Rev. Lauren Smith, director of Stewardship and Development, offers a reflection during the June 20 morning worship service. (© 2019 Nancy Pierce/UUA)
Zachary Welch interprets a worship service in American Sign Language. (© 2019 John Benford/UUA)
Participants weave ribbons with written messages into a circle frame during the CUUPs (Covenant of UU Pagans) Summer Solstice celebration. (© 2019 John Benford/UUA)
The Rev. Kimberley Debus distributes communion during the UU Christian Fellowship service. (© 2019 John Benford/UUA)
Mathew Taylor strikes a singing bowl during a worship hosted by DRUUMM (Diverse Revolutionary UU Multicultural Ministries). (© 2019 Nancy Pierce/UUA)
Everette R.H. Thompson speaks during the Church of the Larger Fellowship’s worship service. (© 2019 John Benford/UUA)
The Rev. Jacqueline Ziegler and other participants circle a shrine assembled during “Community Arts and Embodied Prayer for Ecological Justice,” sponsored by UU Ministry for Earth and Church for Our Common Home. (© 2019 John Benford/UUA)
People take part in a walking meditation during a youth worship service. (© 2019 John Benford/UUA)
Emerson Finkle leads a responsive reading during the Synergy Bridging Worship honoring the transition from youth to young adulthood. (© 2019 John Benford/UUA)
UUs, including the Rev. Alison Miller, pray during the UUs for Jewish Awareness Shabbat service. (© 2019 John Benford/UUA)
Alison Chase and Jaiya Valentín Chase read as the Rev. Marta I. Valentín lights the chalice at Sunday morning worship. (© 2019 Nancy Pierce/UUA)
Martha Swisher conducts the GA choir at Sunday morning worship. (© 2019 John Benford/UUA)
The Rev. Sunshine Wolfe. (© 2019 Nancy Pierce/UUA)
Julica Hermann de la Fuente. (© 2019 Nancy Pierce/UUA)
Singers Francisco Ruiz, GA music coordinator Emily Jaworski, Jyvonne Haskin, and LeLaina Romero. (© 2019 Nancy Pierce/UUA)
The Rev. Lindasusan V. Ulrich. (© 2019 Nancy Pierce/UUA)
Cellist Clovice A. Lewis Jr. and conductor Martha Swisher. (© 2019 John Benford/UUA)
The print edition misidentified the person lighting the chalice in the opening celebration, on pages 18 and 19. We regret the error. Click here to return to the caption.
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Kenneth Sutton is managing editor of UU World.
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
My bodily differences are part of my dignity and humanity.
Worship at General Assembly
Photographs and excerpts from worship services at the 2018 UUA General Assembly.