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General Session IV, General Assembly 2014

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General Assembly 2014 Event 338

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Order of Business

Script

The following final draft script was completed before this event took place; actual words spoken may vary.

Call to Order

The Moderator: I now call to order the Fourth General Session of the Fifty-Third General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association. Are we ready to discuss and vote on the Congregational Study/Action Issues before us this afternoon?

Debate and Vote on Congregational Study/Action Issues (CSAIs)

The Moderator: Please welcome back to the podium Dr. Susan Goekler, Chair of the Commission on Social Witness.

Susan Goekler: Moderator Key, based on the results of the congregational poll, the Commission on Social Witness submits to the delegates for a vote to select one issues for four years of study and action the following issues:

  • Empowerment: Age and Ability Reconsidered,
  • Ending the War on Terror,
  • Escalating Inequality,
  • Gun Violence: A Public Health Issue, and
  • Renewing and Securing Our American Democracy.

The Moderator: We are now at the part of the agenda where a vote will be taken to decide which of the five proposed Congregational Study/Action Issues that appear in your final agenda—at pages 87 through 95—will be referred to our member congregations and other UU groups for study and action. This is your cue to reach towards things like voting cards and programs.

See Bylaw Section 4.12 Statements of Conscience, page 106 and 107 for a complete outline of the process. This is the first step in a process that may ultimately produce a Unitarian Universalist Association Statement of Conscience. Susan Goekler, Chair of the Commission on Social Witness has reported the five potential CSAIs. They are Empowerment: Age and Ability Reconsidered. Escalating, Inequality, Ending the War on Terror, Escalating Inequality, Gun Violence: A Public Health Issue, and Renewing and Securing Our American Democracy.

As noted under Rule 11 of the Rules of Procedure—that would be on page 85 of your program book—the sponsor of each issue will have two minutes to speak in favor of the issue.

The first proposed congregational study action issue eligible for referral to member congregations and districts is found on page 87 of the program book also known as the Final Agenda and is titled Empowerment: Age and Ability Reconsidered.

Will the Chair of the Commission on Social Witness please introduce the sponsor of this proposed congregational study action issue, who will have two minutes to speak in support of the issue?

Susan: The sponsor for the first Congregational Study/Action Issue—Empowerment: Age and Ability Reconsidered—is Helen Dalzell, Unitarian Universalist Fellow ship of Falmouth (MA).

Speaker: [To be live-captioned.]

The Moderator: Thank you. The second proposed Congregational Study/Action Issue eligible for a referral to member congregations and districts is found on page 89 of the final agenda and is titled, Ending the War on Terror.

Will the Chair of the Commission on Social Witness please introduce the sponsor of this proposed congregational study action issue, who will have two minutes to speak in support of the issue?

Susan: The sponsor of this proposed Congregational Study/Action Issue—Ending the War on Terror—is David Keppel, Unitarian Universalist Church of Bloomington (IN).

Speaker: [To be live-captioned.]

The Moderator: The third proposed Congregational Study/Action Issue eligible for referral to member congregations and districts is found on page 91 of the final agenda and is titled, Escalating Inequality.

Will the Chair of the Commission on Social Witness please introduce the sponsor of this proposed congregational study action issue, who will have two minutes to speak in support of the issue?

Susan: The sponsor for this proposed Study/Action Issue—Escalating Inequality—is Rev. Brock Leach, delegate from UU Church of Sarasota, FL at t GA as a staff member of UUSC. The proposing congregation: First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis (MN).

Speaker: [To be live-captioned.]

The Moderator: The fourth proposed Congregational Study/Action Issue eligible for referral to member congregations and districts is found on page 94 of the final agenda and is titled Gun Violence: A Public Health Issue.

Will the Chair of the Commission on Social Witness please introduce the sponsor of this proposed congregational study action issue?

Susan: The sponsor of this Study/Action Issue—Gun Violence: A Public Health Issue—is Susan Manning, First Religious Society in Newburyport (MA).

Speaker: [To be live-captioned.]

The Moderator: Thank you. The fifth proposed Congregational Study/Action Issue eligible for referral to member congregations and districts is found on page 95 of the final agenda and is titled Renewing and Securing our American Democracy.

Will the Chair of the Commission on Social Witness please introduce the sponsor of this proposed congregational study action issue, who will have two minutes to speak in support of the issue?

Susan: The sponsor speaking on behalf of this Study/Action Issue—Empowerment: Age and Ability Reconsidered—is James Hall (subject to change), First Parish Unitarian Universalist of Arlington (MA)

Speaker: [To be live-captioned.]

The Moderator: Thank you. We have heard from the sponsors of the five proposed Congregational Study/Action Issues. And now we have time for up to four additional statements of support for each issue.

Let me suggest a way to do this.. Issue one will be at the amendment microphone. Issue two will be at the pro microphone. Issue three at the con microphone. Issue four back at the amendment microphone. And issue five back at the pro microphone.

We're going to hear four speakers on CSAI number one, which is Empowerment: Age and Ability Reconsidered. We will then follow that with four speakers for item two, and so on. Does everyone know where we are headed? And we may have some off site delegates speaking.

Great. OK. So I'm going to turn to the amendment microphone and recognize the first delegate who wishes to speak in support of Empowerment: Age and Ability Reconsidered.

Tell us who you are and to which congregation you are accountable.

Speaker: [To be live-captioned.]

The Moderator: Thank you. I now recognize the second delegate speaking on Empowerment: Age and Ability Reconsidered.

Speaker: [To be live-captioned.]

The Moderator: Thank you. I now recognize the third delegate speaking on Empowerment: Age and Ability Reconsidered.

Speaker: [To be live-captioned.]

The Moderator: Thank you. I now recognize the fourth and last delegate speaking on Empowerment: Age and Ability Reconsidered.

Speaker: [To be live-captioned.]

The Moderator: We have heard from four delegates speaking on Empowerment: Age and Ability Reconsidered. I'm now going to turn to the pro microphone and recognize the first delegate who wishes to speak in support of Ending the War on Terror.

Tell us who you are and which congregation you are accountable to.

Speaker: [To be live-captioned.]

The Moderator: Thank you. I now recognize the second delegate speaking in support of Ending the War on Terror.

Speaker: [To be live-captioned.]

The Moderator: Thank you. I now recognize the third delegate speaking in support of Ending the War on Terror.

Speaker: [To be live-captioned.]

The Moderator: Thank you. I now recognize the fourth and final delegate speaking in support of Ending the War on Terror.

Speaker: [To be live-captioned.]

The Moderator: We have heard from four delegates speaking on Ending the War on Terror. I'm now going to turn to the con microphone and recognize the first delegate who wishes to speak in support of Escalating Inequality.

Tell us who you are and which congregation you are accountable to.

Speaker: [To be live-captioned.]

The Moderator: Thank you. I now recognize the second delegate speaking in support of Escalating Inequality.

Speaker: [To be live-captioned.]

The Moderator: Thank you. I now recognize the third delegate speaking in support of Escalating Inequality.

Speaker: [To be live-captioned.]

The Moderator: Thank you. I now recognize the fourth and final delegate speaking in support of Escalating Inequality.

Speaker: [To be live-captioned.]

The Moderator: We have heard from four delegates speaking on Escalating Inequality. I'm now going to re turn to the amendment microphone and recognize the first delegate who wishes to speak in support of Gun Violence: A Public Health Issue.

Tell us who you are and which congregation you are accountable to.

Speaker: [To be live-captioned.]

The Moderator: Thank you. I now recognize the second delegate speaking in support of Gun Violence: A Public Health Issue.

Speaker: [To be live-captioned.]

The Moderator: Thank you. I now recognize the third delegate speaking in support of Gun Violence: A Public Health Issue.

Speaker: [To be live-captioned.]

The Moderator: Thank you. I now recognize the fourth and final delegate speaking in support of Gun Violence: A Public Health Issue.

Speaker: [To be live-captioned.]

The Moderator: We have heard from four delegates speaking on Gun Violence: A Public Health Issue. I'm now going to re turn to the pro microphone and recognize the first delegate who wishes to speak in support of Renewing and Securing Our American Democracy.

Speaker: [To be live-captioned.]

The Moderator: Thank you. I now recognize the second delegate speaking in support of Renewing and Securing Our American Democracy.

Speaker: [To be live-captioned.]

The Moderator: Thank you. I now recognize the third delegate speaking in support of Renewing and Securing Our American Democracy.

Speaker: [To be live-captioned.]

The Moderator: Thank you. I now recognize the fourth delegate speaking in support of Renewing and Securing Our American Democracy.

Speaker: [To be live-captioned.]

The Moderator: So you all have heard the delegates speaking in support the CSAIs brought to this final agenda. Now it is time to vote.

Let me explain the voting card each delegate should have. It will be used to vote for a CSAI today and an AIW tomorrow. I want you to use only the bottom stub and enter a number that represents the CSAI you wish to support.

If you wish to support CSAI 1: "Empowerment: Age and Ability Reconsidered," you would write a one in the box on the stub at the bottom of your ballot. If you wish to support CSAI 2: "Ending the War on Terror," you would write a two in the box. If you wish to support CSAI 3: Escalating Inequality, write a 3. Those supporting CSAI 4: Gun Violence: A Public Health Issue, write a 4 and those supporting CSAI 5: Renewing and Securing Our American Democracy, write a 5.

Then you will detach it from your voting card and pass it toward the tellers. The Tellers have baskets and you can recognize them by their spiffy vests.

These ballots will be counted. Occasionally someone will vote for more than one and they write two numbers in there. If you write more than one number or a number six or higher, your ballot will not be counted. You only get to vote for one.

The tellers will then collect and count the ballots. We will announce the results at the end of this general session.

This is important information so listen up. If no CSAI receives a majority of the votes cast there will be a runoff vote at the end of this general session using your yellow voting cards. We will vote between the two CSAIs receiving the highest number of votes. That's what our bylaws and rules say. If you are not here and we have to have a runoff your vote will not count so you want to stick around for the entire general session. And we have some good stuff in this session you don't want to miss anyway.

If your ballot hasn't been collected I need you to hold up a voting card so that the tellers can see it.

GA Talk: Fossil Fuel Divestment

The Moderator: Larry Ladd our distinguished Financial Advisor is here to facilitate a conversation about the Fossil Fuel Divestment Business Resolution. And he has some folks with him to help him do this. Give it up for Larry Ladd!

[To be live-captioned.]

Singing

The Moderator: Thanks Larry. We now get to sing. The first three general sessions were rather short so we didn't have any time to sing, but now we do.

Before we sing, I want to introduce our GA Music Director, David Glasgow. This is his second and sadly his final year as Music Director. And we have really enjoyed his musical direction these past two years. He is the Director of Music for the Unitarian Universalists of Cumberland Valley. That would be in Pennsylvania. He is also a UUA credentialed musician. David, it is great to share the stage with you. So what are we going to sing?

[Singing]

The Moderator: David, thanks. And thanks for that great sound from the folks in the hall. You sounded great.

Beacon Press Report

The Moderator: Beacon Press has been publishing since 1854 and is an integral part of our Association. As Chief Governance Officer, I am keenly aware of the Board of Trustees' responsibility for fiduciary oversight of our Association and that includes our very own Beacon Press. Helen Atwan was appointed director of Beacon Press by the board of trustees in October of 1995. Please join me in welcoming Helene Atwan, the Director of our Beacon Press.

HELENE ATWAN: Thank you.

We’re gathered here in Providence to talk about how Unitarian Universalism reaches out in love, and how we might stretch our arms out even further.

I want to tell you some stories about how your press is part of that mission.

We publish books that aim to ignite hearts and minds. To change the way people think and feel. And when we say we publish books, please know that the work doesn’t stop at printing, digitizing, and distributing copies of books by important thought leaders, the work includes broadcasting those progressive ideas into the wider world, which is the specific ministry of the press.

Back in 1854, when AUA president Samuel Lothrop announced the founding of a press, he proclaimed proudly that “we can send forth a thousand volumes to be read by ten thousand, for what it will cost to send one missionary to speak here and there to a few hundred….” Lothrop could not have imagined that the books which the press would publish 160 years later would be read on smart phones or listened to on digital download audio apps, or discussed in the twittersphere and on FaceBook. He imagined that a persuasive book, making a powerful argument, was a better tool to achieve the mission of his faith than a missionary, but he couldn’t have foreseen that the book—still that very powerful instrument for the mission—would be enhanced by readers chatting about it on dozens of platforms, by viewers and listeners of the mass media, by fans gathering in real and virtual spaces. And that the authors, through the use of all of these technological advances, would complete the circle by becoming missionaries themselves.

Let me begin with a few facts: as I sat down to write this report seven weeks ago, here’s what was happening: we had two reviews scheduled in The New York Times science section; we had six authors scheduled to be interviewed on NPR, including one on Fresh Air, two on Tell Me More, and three on All Things Considered. We had authors scheduled to be interviewed on This Week on ABC-TV, on The Newshour on PBS, on MSNBC and even on Imus in the Morning. That’s reaching millions of people with the messages we want Americans to hear. These authors were talking about racial and economic equality and about public health. Last year, Beacon authors spoke to Americans in over 750 reviews, features, and interviews.

And our authors are out in the community, helping to create conversation about the issues we care about: last year we had more than 425 events in 37 states; they happened in bookstores, museums, libraries, college campuses, synagogues, mosques, temples, wildlife sanctuaries and, of course, in UU churches.

So here are a couple stories about our authors on the issue of immigrant rights, one that has been of abiding concern to UUs:

The San Francisco Labor Council organized an event to celebrate David Bacon’s The Right to Stay Home. A hundred delegates, along with hotel janitors union workers attended. Lupe Sanchez, a hotel worker from El Salvador, read her story about being a virtual slave as a domestic worker. She broke down crying, and one by one her four daughters read as much as they could before choking up. At the end, everyone gave them a standing ovation.

Bacon continues to hold events like this one throughout the country, using the Beacon books as part of his powerful activism.

Journalist Mirta Ojito’s Hunting Season: Immigration and Murder in an All-American Town was widely discussed in the media. Her book tells a very important story about a community struggling with violence against immigrants. She did a lot of speaking, but probably the most important event she did was in the all-American town of Pachoque, Long Island, where a man named Marcelo Lucero was murdered for the crime of being Ecuadorian. Jean Kaleda, the Patchogue town librarian, who played a heroic role in the story, wrote to us.

Mirta's talk at the library was eagerly awaited. Audience members shared their reactions to news of the murder, as well as their past experiences as immigrants themselves, or their interaction with immigrants. One woman said: “This book is a lesson for all. But hate is always looking for another place. Mirta has done a great deal in publishing the book.”

I’m hoping some of you had a chance to attend Aviva Chomsky’s workshop yesterday.

Avi credits Beacon with helping her to build a broad and effective public platform. She has become a vibrant voice for immigration justice, through her books and appearances.

Her new book, Undocumented, illuminates the issue of living and working in America as an immigrant, an issue that continues to be central to UU activism, to our work in reaching out in love.

We were thrilled this year to publish inaugural poet Richard Blanco’s wonderful memoir, FOR ALL OF US ONE TODAY. This slim volume tells the story of his journey as a gay Hispanic engineer ending on that gigantic Inaugural lectern. I highly recommend this book to you all. I’m proud to say that the city of Seattle chose the book as the annual “Seattle Reads” selection, and Richard was able to speak to thousands of people once again, this time explicitly about the experience of being both an immigrant and a gay man.

Believe me, to hear Richard Blanco is to have your heart ignited! And Richard’s platform isn’t restricted to 10,000 sq. feet of the inaugural stage—oh no, he has thousands of followers on FaceBook and Twitter alone.

In fact, let me pause to point out that Beacon has been singularly successful in online outreach this year. We had almost 300 online features last year.

Our Facebook fans grew by over 60% to 15,000 last year; our Twitter followers grew 44% to 10,000.

We had over 1.6 million Scribd reads and too many YouTube views to count.

And reaching out in love, having our authors out in cyberspace and on the road sometimes makes surprising change.

Sharon Morgan and Tom De Wolfe wrote a book called Gather at the Table about interracial dialogue and reconciliation.

Sharon Orlopp, the Global Chief Diversity Officer at Walmart was so impressed by the book that she took seven of her colleagues on a plane to Milwaukee to participate in an event featuring Sharon and Tom. Since that time, Orlopp has written to her counterparts in other corporations such as Pepsico & Kimberly Clark, She has, in short, become an evangelist for this book and its authors. So we have Walmart not only listening to our message about race relations in America, but recommending other corporate giants take a listen. That’s reaching out in love….

Last month we celebrated the 5th anniversary of our historic agreement with Martin Luther King, Jr.’s estate to be the exclusive trade publishers of his work.

We celebrated at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta with representatives from the estate and some prominent King Scholars. It was a moment of enormous pride for the press and the UUA.

I hope many of you received the chapbook we published to commemorate the long and rich connection between MLK and the UU community; if you don’t have it, don’t fail to pick up your free copy at the UUA bookstore booth with your registration coupon. While you’re there, you might also want to pick up a few other books….

With the generous support of The Veatch Program at Shelter Rock, we began work last year on a whole new initiative: The King Legacy for Students. This year we published A Time to Break Silence, and worked with The King Institute at Stanford University to create an on-line curriculum to go with it.

And this year we met with over 2,100 teachers to talk about putting King’s words and his message back into the classroom in this powerful way….

And, this leads me to another place where we reach out in love: through so many of our other books which are taught in schools.

Over 100,000 Beacon books were used by college students last year. We offer free teacher’s guides for many; they had over 38,000 views last year.

Oh, and your press is doing just fine financially; with the support of the UUA, of course, we’re projecting our 12th consecutive year of surpluses.

If I had another 10 minutes, I could tell you so much more, but instead I urge you to look at our books at the UUA Bookstore booth here, at our website (beacon.org), to jump from the homepage to where ever you heart takes you—whether it’s Queer concerns, environmentalism, economic justice, public education, public health…. You’ll find Beacon offering important, illuminating books, books to set your mind and heart ablaze, and making it our mission to be sure their messages are widely heard.

Journey Toward Wholeness Transformation Team Report

The Moderator: Thanks Helen for that report. Our next report is from the Journey Toward Wholeness Transformation Team (JTWTC) created by the delegates in 1995. Welcome Jonipher Kwong and Wendy von Zirpolo.

JONIPHER: Aloha. I’m Jonipher and along with Wendy, Walter, Tracey, Carrie, Ben, David, Taquiena and Jackie we serve on our denomination’s Journey Toward Wholeness Transformation Committee and what we do is we basically take selfies from time to time of where our religious movement is when it comes to anti-racist, anti-oppressive and multicultural work. Wendy, would like to tell us what else our committee is up to?

WENDY: Thank you, Jonipher. In recent years, those selfies have taken the form of reports on our credentialing process and how we select, support and retain volunteer leaders. Those reports have been made available to those most closely involved with each of those roles along with affirmations and recommendations. Following our last report, we felt called to look at our charge a bit differently. Rather than focus on a specific piece of our association, our discernment called us back to you. Back to the moment of our creation in 1997 when delegates called upon us all to commit to that journey. Our focus called us to find a way to assess the larger question of how we are doing on the journey with a goal of coming back not to a board or a committee but to you. What we could not have known is that some others were thinking along the same lines.

JONIPHER: For those of you who were at General Assembly last year, you may recall a responsive resolution entitled Deep Our Commitment to An Anti-Oppressive, Multicultural Unitarian Universalist Association. This RR called on the JTWTC to assess the financial and staff resources currently devoted to this work, including those of supporting organizations that empower marginalized populations, We were asked to provide an analysis of these expenditures relative to other allocations. Toward that end we are in the process of gathering data. And, as we stepped back into this task we realized the levels of complexity involved in accurately isolating funds solely devoted to various groups and anticipate the task will require engagement with the administration and leaders of the organizations referenced by the resolution. Also, to be true to the intent of the resolution we wanted to meet with the authors themselves. The good news is that we were able to meet with them this week to provide an update, seek some clarification and also to learn what on our journey brought the authors to call for that action. That conversation and others will be important pieces of input as we work to report back to you of how we are doing on the journey.

WENDY: We wanted the authors of that resolution, and you, to hear that in many ways that resolution informed our work in progress and redirected it as we added this new charge. Importantly, it also affirmed our supposition that answers about our progress on the journey may differ depending upon our various identity groups. The data that we obtain, quantitative and qualitative, will not be an ending point for the JTWTC but offer critically important data into the question of where we are on the journey.

Beyond the resolution, we’re also working on another thread of our story. We have identified what we are calling energy centers. These are places where we think a slice of journey is going particularly well. Yesterday’s conversation cafe showcased some of these energy centers along with a menu that allowed you to follow up to ask more questions about the ingredients that helped make them successful.

JONIPHER: We're also continuing our interviews since it was such a hit last year. I heard that Ellen DeGeneres even give us a shout out at the Oscar for the fine performances some of you gave last year. Unfortunately that must have gotten edited out. So feel free to stop one of us if you see us and ask us to be filmed that you too would love to be a star. In the meantime here's some videos that answer three questions that we asked last year:

  1. What have we accomplished so far on our journey toward becoming an anti-racist, anti-oppressive and multicultural movement.
  2. Where are we now?
  3. Do you have a specific story you would like to share?

WENDY: Now, you’ve heard some of what other people have to say. How about you? Delegates in 1997 asked that we be on the journey. Delegates last year asked that we recommit to the journey. We suspect that there are many experiences of that journey as there are UUs but we also believe that there are important stories and testimonies that will help us fulfill our charge. We want to be able to come back to you and to all of the congregations we serve with an accurate assessment and recommendations. To do that well we need you. We really do hope to hear from as many of you as possible and from those you represent.

JONIPHER: Here’s how you can help. Some of you will remember these cards from last year. Wendy, would you mind holding them up please? These cards basically ask the three questions that I mentioned before. What have we accomplished so far. Where are we at on the journey and do you have a story you’d like to share with us. Many responded but we want to hear so much more. We’d also like to challenge you to engage your congregations in this process. So, take an extra card home with you and commit to holding a gathering this fall in your congregation. You might also consider taking a selfie video of yourself like I’m doing now and posting it on your facebook page. Just do a search for UUA JTWTC. Or if you want to go green and don’t want to fill it out on paper feel free to just post our responses on our facebook page. And while you're there make sure to ‘like’ us. We do appreciate the validation you know. Remember we’re all on this journey together and your voice does matter.

WENDY: Mahalo, Jonipher and thank you all.

Financial Advisor’s Report

The Moderator: Mahalo Jonipher and Wendy. Now welcome back to the podium our Financial Advisor, Larry Ladd. I bet there is a history lesson in his report.

Larry Ladd: It is my pleasure to speak to you today.”

I will be covering five topics today.

First, let me describe the role of the Financial Advisor, a position created by the General Assembly in 1969.

For me, the role is best summed up by this advice I received from a long time senior minister in our Association, back in 1996 when I first ran for the position.

The Board of Trustees of our Association determines the “ends” of the Association, but it is also legally a fiduciary.

In fulfilling the role, the Financial Advisor serves on a few committees.

This slide gives you a picture of the full range of assets “under management or oversight” by the Board. Don’t worry that you can’t read all of these quickly enough, because they are listed in my written report that is available to you.

In performing my work on your behalf, I follow these basic principles or “standards for financial performance.” Again, I’m not going to read them because you can do so in my written report.

As you may know, I’m finishing the first year of a new term as Financial Advisor, having served previously from 1997 to 2005. While many things in our Association have changed, my attitudes and values have not changed, and it worth noting my “parting advice” when I thought I was completing my final term back in 2005.

Now let me mention briefly some of my activities on your behalf in the last year.

Our financial results include only good news.

I am of the opinion that mission-driven not-for-profit organizations should have essentially perpetual capital campaigns, i.e. that fund raising should be an ongoing high priority, because the need is there but, more importantly, because donors need an opportunity to give their assets for a larger purpose than themselves.

Our endowment performance, with a strong socially responsible ethos, remains very strong.

One characteristic of our endowment management is that socially responsible investing is embedded in the work.

Any mission-based organization should grow, and especially one with a message as compelling as ours. But for us, the performance is mixed.

Ladies and gentleman, this is the first chart I prepared as your Financial Advisor back in 1997, and it may be the first modern example of “performance metrics” used in the UUA. While the numbers in the 1960s are exaggerated (the “fair share” wasn’t used yet so there was no incentive to make the figures accurate), the story is basically: we grew in the 1960s, declined in the 1970s, in the early 1980s began to grow very slowly each year until five years ago, when we began to decline very slowly.

But as I mentioned a few slides back, the overall decline masks growth in the MidAmerica, Pacific Western, and Southern regions.

Where there is growth, it is occurring at all congregational sizes.

And almost half of our congregations are growing. I’m moving through these slides very quickly, but remember that these graphs are available in my written report.

In summary, [SLIDE 19].

Lastly, let me talk about generosity.

This lady is Rev. Olympia Brown, one of our pioneer women ministers from the latter part of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Throughout of history, people of color and women have sought to provide religious leadership and their struggles should be lifted up. Olympia Brown is one of those who made possible the professional ministries of my wife, daughter-in-law, and daughter. Near the end of a life of struggle for accomplishment and recognition within our faith community, she could still say these words.

Announcements

The Moderator: Thank you Larry, I am glad you called out Olympia Brown, whose anniversary of being the first woman in America ordained as a minister was this past Wednesday. She was ordained in 1863.

I want to welcome back Susan Goekler, Chair of Commission on Social Witness to give us the results of the voting earlier of the 5 CSAI's, Susan, do we need to have a runoff vote?

Susan: [To be live-captioned.]

The Moderator: I'm going to need a slide with the results of our earlier vote on congregational study action issues, please. So here's our vote count from earlier in the session. You remember we used ballots from the bottom of our voting cards. And our rules stipulate that if no single CSAI gets a majority, that we have a run off between the top two.

So we're going to vote using your yellow voting card. And that runoff is going to be between CSAIs number [3: Escalating Inequality] and number [5: Renewing and Securing Our American Democracy]. But just so you will recall what we heard earlier, because we heard a lot about this, I've asked the Chair of the Commission on Social Witness to have the two sponsors of these two resolutions each make their two-minute statements, so you could hear it again before we vote.

So let's use the pro mic. I'm going to recognize the delegate there who will be speaking on CSAI number [3].

Speaker: [To be live-captioned.]

The Moderator: Thank you. So we will now be hearing from a speaker for CSAI number [5]. I recognize the delegate at the pro microphone.

Speaker: [To be live-captioned.]

The Moderator: So we will now go to a vote. And I'm actually going to do them in the order in which you just heard them presented. So all those in favor of proposed congregational study action issue number [3], please raise your voting cards.

Thank you. Put those voting cards down, because you only get to do it once. All those in favor of proposed CSAI number [5], please raise your voting cards. Thank you very much.

We will be working with congregational study action issue number [3]. Thank you—the new congregational study action issue for 2014-2018 is [Escalating Inequality]. There will be a hearing on this new issue during the next time slot.

The Moderator: I encourage you to take the excitement of this moment back to our congregations, where the study needs to happen.

Announcements

[To be live-captioned.]

Recess

The Moderator: There being no further business to come before us and in accordance with the schedule set forth in your program book, I declare that this General Session of the General Assembly shall stand in recess until 8:30 a.m. tomorrow morning.

For more information contact web@uua.org.

This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.

Last updated on Thursday, July 24, 2014.

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