General Assembly: GA Presentations: Presenter views and opinions do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the UUA.

General Assembly 1997

Building Interfaith Cooperation: Interfaith Action for a Just Community

Phoenix, AZ, June 19-24

Interfaith Task Force Chair Rev. Suzanne Meyer is spreading the "Good News" at General Assembly (GA). She says, "We knew from anecdotal evidence that there was a lot going on at the international, national, and local level. The more we asked around, the more "good news" emerged. Unitarian Universalists (UUs) are working together with members of other faiths in almost every significant justice arena. We wanted to highlight not only what was already in place, but also to inspire other congregations to join or help form voluntary associations within their own communities. We hear the news about the work of right-wing groups such as the Christian Coalition, but seldom of the good work done by other communities of faith united for more progressive and humane agendas. As religious liberals we often feel a sense of isolation, especially in communities where there are few of us. But interfaith justice work allows us to make a big impact and bring our values to bear on critical social issues. That's what the focus of this year's program is all about, bringing this good news to light, and we hope, inspiring other congregations to become involved with interfaith groups."

Rev. Meyer, parish minister of First UU Church in New Orleans, got involved in interfaith work when her church helped found an interfaith, multiracial, church-based community organization in New Orleans. The organization, "All Congregations Together", successfully addressed such issues as crime, housing, recreation, and curbside recycling. UUs have played important roles in similar church-based community organizations in Memphis, San Antonio, and Dallas. The Interfaith Task Force organized workshops in a track format so that UUs excited about the possibilities of interfaith justice work can come away from this GA not only inspired, but armed with concrete information.

The Preliminary Resource Packet for 1997-1998 Study/Action Issue S-9, "Building Tolerance Through Interfaith Cooperation", is now available on-line (prepared by Sarah Slautterback for the Commission on Social Witness and the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Faith In Action Department, and transformed into web pages by Barb Greve of the Unitarian Universalist Association Faith In Action Department).