What happens with Congregational Study/Action Issues (CSAIs) after the first General Assembly (GA)?
- The Washington Office for Advocacy prepares a resource guide, which is posted at Study/Action Issues & Process by November 1 following adoption. Congregations and districts will be notified of its availability.
- Official Comment Forms are available online in the fall to solicit feedback on congregational/district progress in the study /action process and on the related resource guide. These forms are due March 1 for the first two years of the process. Comments must reflect group opinions within congregations or districts rather than the opinions of just one person.
- At the first GA following adoption, the Commission on Social Witness (CSW) conducts multiple workshops on the CSAI for congregations and districts to share best practices, address challenges, and identify opportunities for collaboration among congregations and districts and with outside groups. Forums may also be held that feature outside speakers on the issue.
- In the third year, proposed CSAIs on new topics are again invited following the outlined procedure.
- At the second GA following adoption, the CSW conducts additional workshops similar to those of the previous GA, but emphasizing progress made since then in study, action and collaboration.
- By November 15 in the fourth year, the CSW will draft a Statement of Conscience (SOC) based on the CSAI and completed congregational comment forms. This draft SOC will be accessible at Study/Action Issue Process.
- By November 15 a Congregational Comment Form for the draft SOC and a Congregational Poll ballot to determine congregational readiness to place a revised draft SOC on the Final Agenda of the next GA will be posted online with the Congregational Certification form. Access is by Congregational log-on. Congregations will be notified of this. Congregations must cast their vote and submit their Comment Forms by February 1 following the November 15 posting date. (Note that comment forms for this year are due February 1, not March 1, as for the previous two years.)
- For a draft SOC to be placed on the Final Agenda of the next GA, at least 25% of all certified congregations must participate in the ballot vote concerning the draft Statement of Conscience, with most of those votes favoring such placement. If this happens, the CSW will revise the draft SOC, taking into consideration the comments received, and place it on the Final Agenda.
- At the fourth GA, the delegates may propose amendments to the draft SOC at a mini-assembly, after which the CSW redrafts it once more, incorporating amendments and prioritizing amendments not incorporated for possible adoption by the delegates in plenary.
- At the plenary after the mini-assembly, delegates debate and vote on amendments and then vote on whether (1) to adopt the SOC as amended as a Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Statement of Conscience, (2) to hold it over for a further year of study, or (3) to reject it altogether.
- If the delegates adopt it as a UUA Statement of Conscience, then congregations, districts and UUA staff will follow up with at least one year of implementation. UU leaders and the Washington Office for Advocacy may use it as a basis for public statements on the matter. Individual Unitarian Universalists (UUs), congregations, and districts are urged to implement it however they can.
- At the fifth GA, the CSW will conduct a workshop on the implementation of the SOC. This ends the formal process for that issue. A new CSAI is selected, most likely the second CSAI since the adoption of the CSAI whose process is explained above.
For more information contact socialwitness @ uua.org.
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Last updated on Tuesday, August 30, 2011.