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General Assembly 1998

Fulfilling the Promise

Rochester, NY, June 25-30

The largest General Assembly (GA) in the history of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) ended on June 30 after meeting for six days in Rochester, NY. More than 4,000 Unitarian Universalists participated in this General Assembly, surpassing the previous record of 3,600 at the General Assembly in New Haven, CT, in 1989.

During the course of the General Assembly participants attended plenary sessions that included reports delivered by Rev. John Buehrens, president of the UUA, and Denise Davidoff, the Association's moderator. Among the most heavily-attended presentations were Professor Robert Bellah's lecture which placed Unitarian Universalism within a wider cultural perspective; Dr. Rebecca Parker's presentation on the nature of covenant; and the Ware Lecture, delivered by Amitai Etzioni, founder of the Communitarian movement. Also prominentaly featured was an analysis, by Rev. Clark Olsen, of the recently completed denominational survey which is part of "Fulfilling the Promise." This four year re-covenanting program was the theme of General Assembly (GA), focusing attention of attendees and delegates on the characteristics of covenantal relationships and the connection of individual Unitarian Universalists (UUs) to the entire Unitarian Universalist Association. Many of the participants attended the Sunday morning Service of the Living Tradition which honored recently deceased ministers and welcomed new ministers into fellowship with the Association.

General Assembly offers an opportunity for delegates from each member congregation of the Unitarian Universalist Association to cast their votes in UUA policy-making and institutional processes. This year delegates focused on issues of how congregations can effect positive change in society through interfaith efforts; how church members can nurture family life; and how to better understand the links between economic injustice, poverty, and racism.

General Assembly News Available on the Web

Armed with digital cameras, mini-disc recorders, laptops and workstations, a small staff of volunteer Web reporters covered a wide variety of GA events. We are sorry we weren't able to cover everything, but we hope this coverage gives you a sense of what it was like to be in Rochester this year. Maybe we'll see you next year in Salt Lake City!


Theme Presentations



Vital Congregations Worship

Topical Workshops

Personal Path Workshops


Day-by-Day General Assembly Highlights

  • June 24, 1998: Ministry Day: A pre-GA event for ministers. Click here for the UUMA page about this event.
  • June 25, 1998: Opening Day: Opening Celebration and Banner Parade, including pictures of the parade, the words to a new version of "Amazing Grace," and other highlights.
  • June 26, 1998: First Plenary and Workshops: Worship, the first plenary, workshops, and more.
  • June 27, 1998: GA Gets Down to Work: After today's plenary and many workshops, most GA participants attended "Leading Change: A Process for Fulfilling the Promise," then listened to Dr. Robert Bellah comment on the place of UUism in America today.
  • June 28, 1998: Sunday at GA: Sunday's highlights include the Service of the Living Tradition, followed by lots more workshops.
  • June 29, 1998: At plenary, UUA Executive VP Kay Montgomery gave her report, many GAers attended the Empty Bowls lunch, and more.
  • June 30, 1998: GA Wraps Up: The last plenary session, including discussion of and voting on the Actions of Immediate Witness.

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