John Sarrouf (Public Conversations Project), the Rev. Jay Wolin, Farrell Brody (UUJME), Denny Davidoff, and Dana Ashrawi in a panel discussion during General Assembly 2016.
General Session II, General Assembly 2016
General Session II, General Assembly 2016
General Assembly, Online GA

Captions (txt) were created during the live event, and contain some errors. Captioning is not available for some copyrighted material.

General Assembly (GA) 2016 Event 303

Program Description

Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Moderator Jim Key presides over the general sessions in which the business of the Association is conducted. Please refer to the Agenda for details on the specific items to be addressed. General sessions are shorter than previous years in response to delegates’ suggestions. Presenters have been asked to be as brief as possible, to demonstrate how their work relates to our Global Ends (also known as our Shared Vision), and to raise important questions for delegates to consider going forward.

Agenda

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

Call to Order

Moderator: I now call to Order the Second General Session of the Fifty-Fifth General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association.

I know that Denny Davidoff has been to 35 general assemblies and last year someone beat that record. Has anyone hear attended more than 35 GAs?

Preliminary Credentials Report

Moderator: Welcome back the Secretary of our Association, Rob Eller-Isaacs, for the preliminary credentials report.

Rob Eller-Isaacs: To be live-captioned.

Right Relations Team Report

Moderator: Does the Right Relationship Team have anything to report? I see that it does. Please welcome Steven Ballesteros.

Steven Ballesteros: To be live-captioned.

President’s Report with Staff

Moderator: It is my pleasure to welcome the President of our Association, Rev. Peter Morales, for his report to the delegates.

Peter Morales: I saw a fascinating piece of research about growing and declining congregations a few years ago. I have always been intrigued by why some congregations grow and others get smaller. This study looked at a larger number of factors. Things I thought might make a difference, like the age or gender of the minister, made no difference.

One factor had the absolute opposite effect of what I would have guessed. Congregations that described themselves as feeling like a close-knit family were more likely to be in decline. On the other hand, congregations that saw themselves as moral beacons in their community were likely to be growing.

I thought feeling like a close-knit family would be a positive thing. Then somebody pointed out that it is hard to join a close-knit family. On the other hand, congregations that were engaged in the moral issues of their communities attracted new members.

When a congregation is too focused internally, it tends to shrink. When it looks outward and is involved, it tends to grow.

The same thing is true for each of us. If we become preoccupied with ourselves and our immediate circle, we shrink spiritually. When we look beyond ourselves and beyond our immediate intimate circle, when we engage with our world, we come alive. Every great religious tradition teaches us that we truly find ourselves when we lose ourselves in something greater.

Unitarian Universalism has always been about engaging the world. We have always realized that we become our best selves in relationship. That is what our covenantal theology is all about.

What is true for each of us, what is true of our congregations, is also true of our Association. We are best when we reach out, when we engage, when we build relationships. When I think of what I am most proud of over the seven years I have served as your president, it always has to do with forming partnerships that create new possibilities.

I think back to our General Assembly in Phoenix, our Justice GA in 2012. Our vigil just outside Sheriff Arpaio’s infamous Tent City prison is a precious memory. I still get emotional looking at the images.

Were any of you there?

But what made that special? What made it possible?

What made it possible were a lot of partnerships—partnerships among our congregations in Arizona, partnerships with local immigrant rights organizations like Puente, with the UUA district staff and national staff, UUA partnerships with national organizations like the National Day Laborer Organizing Network.

That pattern of local and national partnerships has continued in our public witness. UU Ministers and congregations in North Carolina worked closely with the Rev. William Barber, president of the North Carolina NAACP, and other faith groups in the Moral Mondays movement.

That ethic of being a good partner, often following rather than leading, extends today to our work with Black Lives and in climate justice.

I am so proud of our pioneering work in Entrepreneurial Ministry training. This is a unique, and, yes, entrepreneurial, program for religious professionals that brings in top business school faculty and religious innovators. This is just one of the programs made possible because the UUA is partnering as never before with the UU Ministers Association and business school faculty across the country.

Our next challenge—and this is critical—is to take the most important lessons of this pilot program and make them available to all our ministers and other religious professionals across the country.

Next month at Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley we will have the fourth Summer Seminary, a program for high school students who are considering a career as religious professional. These young people are amazing and inspiring.

Here is a photo of last year’s group meeting in Denver. Nurturing their commitment is critical for our future. Guess what makes this innovative initiative possible? Right. Partnerships among UUA staff, our seminaries and congregations.

Another way we are involving people of all ages and helping them engage our values in the world is the UU College of Social Justice, a partnership with the UU Service Committee. The College provides immersion experiences in justice work and creates a context for crossing boundaries of culture and class.

Creating relationships continues to create new possibilities. Our growing presence in military chaplaincy provides support for military personnel from many faith traditions and for the growing number who identify with no religious faith. Sarah Lammert, our Director of Ministries and Faith Development staff group, is about to become the Chair of the National Conference on Ministry to the Armed Forces. Military ministry is dominated by conservative evangelicals.

And, as you have already seen, we are forming stronger bonds with other faith traditions. We are exploring new ways of working together not only to work for justice, but to reach out to the millions of spiritually homeless in America. We are not in competition with one another. We are in competition with fear, with ignorance, with greed, with racism and with the banality of consumer culture.

Relationships make us stronger. Relationships create new possibilities. None of the terrific work I have mentioned, none of it, would have been possible for the UUA to do alone. It isn’t just about being better together and stronger together, although that is certainly true. Relationships create possibilities. Relationships grow our souls.

I began by mentioning a study that showed that inward looking congregations, congregations focused primarily on internal relationships, tend to decline. Congregations that look beyond their walls and beyond their members tend to grow. They grow because they feed a deep hunger in the human spirit. We are relational creatures.

And so it is with our Association. Yes, we are an association of member congregations. And yet Unitarian Universalism has always been much, much more than a collection of congregations. We are the embodiment, the expression, the incarnation, of a religious vision of interdependence, of openness, of community. We are a living and evolving tradition. We are accountable to more than our current members. We are accountable to our history, to the future, to seekers who long for a spiritual home.

As an association, we need to do two things simultaneously. First, we have to serve the needs of our members. We must strive to be relentlessly useful. That means we must strive for excellence in everything we do to serve our members.

Sometimes I feel we are like an electrical utility. We only notice the utility when the grid goes down or when we get our monthly bill. So much of the essential work your UUA staff does is invisible unless something goes wrong. Here are just a few of things we do that are usually taken for granted:

  • We run a health insurance program that made health insurance available to same sex couples when they could not get it locally.
  • We manage the endowments for hundreds of congregations—and do it in a way that is sound financially and socially responsible.
  • We publish excellent educational materials for children youth and adults.
  • Take a look at the new special seeker issue of UU World. This is an outreach tool that is hot off the press. Check it out at our inSpirit bookstore in the exhibit Hall.
  • Skinner House and Beacon Press keep knocking it out of the park with their books.
  • We help every time there is a ministerial transition.
  • We do all kinds of consulting and training for volunteers and staff. The list goes on and on.

We are also the national and international voice of Unitarian Universalism. We are your voice at the United Nations, in Washington, and, in partnership with congregations, all over this nation.

Your UUA is also called to lead. In a time of unbelievably rapid change, this is vital. That is why we partner with other faiths to explore how to engage the unaffiliated, why we develop a program in entrepreneurial ministry.

Unfortunately, the best work of our Association is at risk going forward. If Unitarian Universalism is to thrive, if we are going to seize the opportunities before us, we have to have a strong association. And if we are going to have a strong association in the future, we need to rethink how we fund it. We need to have an honest conversation about what is fair for everyone. Sadly the system we have now is not fair.

Let me share some troubling numbers with you.

This chart shows the total Annual Program Fund request we make of congregations and the percent contributed. The most important element here is the line that shows that amount of the ask that congregations give has dropped from the low 80s to 71 percent in a decade. That drop is about a million dollars a year.

The drop is not because congregational budgets have gone down. A decade ago congregations gave four percent of their budgets to the association; today that has dropped to 2.8 percent.

Even more troubling to me is the fact that 47 congregations contributed nothing at all last year. 175 congregations contributed less than one quarter of their requested contribution, and 279 congregations, or 27 percent, contributed less than half. This is simply unfair.

The administration and the Board of Trustees, along with leaders across the country, have begun a conversation about finding a better way to fund our work together.

I would like to ask Mary Katherine Morn, who heads our Stewardship and Development staff, to speak with you about this effort.

Mary Katherine Morn: Thank you, Peter.

After over 25 years serving as a minister in small, medium, and large congregations I have experienced the joys and challenges of congregational leadership.

And (it’s true) sometimes I felt like we were out there all on our own, doing really good work but not supported enough to realize our full potential. In fact, though I hope Peter never hears it, I sometimes complained about the UUA. Why didn’t they do it like I would have done it?

It is also true that in the midst of the ordinary and extraordinary of congregational life, I was often vividly aware of being held by all of you, congregations, staff, and leaders that are our UUA. Those times when I knew our work in the congregation was truly amplified because of our larger religious movement.

And I know this now, more than ever.

That is why we are working hard to find the right way to fund our work. We are not at all unlike congregations in working to help you, our members, understand the importance of your financial support for our shared mission. In partnership with the board’s APF task force, we are reaching out for your input and questions. Please let us hear from you. You can find more information about the Annual Program Fund on uua.org. The task force will make a recommendation in October.

We want a plan that brings us into right relationship—where we do not have to ask too much and you can give what is asked. We want all of our congregations to know we honor their contributions and neighboring congregations to see that the responsibility for funding our larger faith is shared in as equitable a way as possible.

We know there have been tough economic times. We know that the landscape of giving is shifting. We want to be with you through this. And we are asking you to be with us, and with each other, differently now. We are asking that you prioritize support of our congregations and our UUA with your giving through APF—and what is called GIFT in our Southern Region. When your congregation does this, the possibilities for our partnership will grow beyond what we have yet imagined.

Let’s make this a new beginning. A trusting, courageous, generous covenant. Thank you.

Peter Morales: My own hope is that we reboot the whole thing—that we ask for less money, but get everyone to participate. That seems a lot fairer to me.

None of this will take effect during my presidency. Let’s get this fixed so that the next president, who will almost certainly be the first woman president of the UUA, has the resources to succeed.

One of the joys of being president is working with a staff that is passionate and capable. You have a terrific staff, you really do.

As I enter my final year, I am as convinced as ever of the potential of our faith to feed the spiritually hungry and to be a blessing to a broken world.

When we work together we can do amazing things. Thank you.

Unitarian Universalist Service Committee Report

Moderator: The UU Service Committee is a UU Related Organization that while independent of the UUA, it enjoys a very special covenantal relationship to the UUA. The Rev. Bill Schulz is the UUSC President that I am pleased to introduce for his last presentation as UUSC President, and I think he has an introduction to make as well.

Bill Schulz: This is my sixth and final report to the General Assembly on behalf of UUSC. On July 1st, I will be retiring both from UUSC and from full-time ministry. Whenever I tell people I am retiring, they invariably ask, “Yes, but what’s your next job?” So I usually repeat, “I’m retiring” and folks then say, “Sure, we understand, but where will you be working?” I got so frustrated that I decided to increase my teaching hours at Meadville Lombard Theological School and affiliate with the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard just so I could assure people that even though I’m no longer working, I still have a job. (Of course, come to think of it, I’ve known a lot of people who had stopped working even though they still had a job.)

Recently I stumbled upon a list of foreign phrases describing what people do in their retirement. This is what I should have been telling people: that I’ll be kukeluring, for example, which means “to sit and ponder without engaging in activity.” I’ll probably also do a bit of tyvsmaking, which means “to eat small pieces of food when you think nobody is looking.” Tyvsmaking sounds like a particularly pleasant thing to do in retirement. But I assure you I won’t Mbuki-mvuki-ing, which means “shedding one’s clothes and dancing uninhibitedly.” I’m just not a mbuki-mvuki kind of guy.

In any case, I’m retiring and none too soon because UUSC is in great shape and I don’t want to risk it going to the dogs on my watch so I’m giving up the watch while the giving is good.

When I say UUSC is in great shape, what do I mean? I mean that we have raised just over $24 million in our fundraising campaign to double the amount of money we have available for helping people.

I mean that for four years in a row we have received a four-star rating from Charity Navigator for efficient use of funds and transparency about our work.

I mean that we now can measure exactly how many people we are serving and for how much money. In Haiti, for example, our projects have improved the lives of 20,813 people at an average cost of $77 with more than 80,000 more the indirect beneficiaries of our work.

I mean that our new Justice-Building program is revolutionizing the way we help local congregations become the most effective agents of change they can be.

And I mean that we are touching the lives of Syrian refugees in Eastern Europe; immigrant women and children in Texas; earthquake survivors in Nepal and Ecuador; LGBT folks in Africa; and thousands and thousands more.

It’s all good so I’m retiring. And I could not be more delighted that, while I’ll be kukeluring and tyvsmaking, the organization’s leadership will be in the hands of a devoted Unitarian Universalist, one of the most savvy social change strategists I know and the next President of UUSC, whom I want to introduce to you now, my dear friend of more than thirty years, former Congressman Tom Andrews of Maine…

Tom Andrews: Thank you so very much, Bill. Congratulations on your retirement and I think I speak for all assembled here when I wish you the very best in all your future pursuits whether they include “kukeluring” “tyvsmaking” or, indeed, ” Mbuki-mvuki-ing.”

And thank you Bill Schulz for the enormous contribution that you have made to the cause of human rights and social justice—for not being content to just talk the talk, but to walk the walk so powerfully and successfully. Thank you for making our organization, and indeed our world, a much better place.

I am deeply honored to be President-elect of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee and somewhat daunted by the enormous shoes that I am being asked to fill.

Since surviving a bout with cancer at age 16 I have been an activist for social justice and human rights.

And I believe that there has never been a period of time—in my lifetime—that the mission and values of the UUSC have been more desperately needed in the world. The stakes are so high for so many.

Take global warming: The catastrophic consequences of years of unmitigated assault on our planet are being paid—first and foremost—by those who had the least to do with that assault. They are first in line to lose their land, their water, their health, their living. UUSC is standing with them and for them not just as environmentalists but as a gentle, angry people who are committed to environmental justice.

And we are standing with and for those who are on the very bottom of a fundamentally unfair economic and political system that continues to generate grotesque disparities in income and opportunity

And we are standing with and for those who are MOST at risk during a humanitarian or natural disaster—the most marginalized and the most forgotten.

When I think of the mission of UUSC, I think of the words of the late Bobby Kennedy, who delivered a speech to a group of students in Cape Town, during the dark days of Apartheid South Africa: “It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man (or a woman) stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he (or she) sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”

I am deeply honored and truly excited to be joining UUSC and this community of gentle, caring angry people who are willing to speak truth to power and take action to advance the rights, dignity and quality of life of ALL people—especially the most marginalized.

But, let’s not just make ripples as Bobby Kennedy suggested, let’s make WAVES!

Thank you.

Moderator: Thank you Bill and a warm welcome to Tom Andrews. I look forward to partnering with you for our justice-centered GA in New Orleans next June.

Unitarian Universalist Women’s Federation

Moderator: The UU Women’s Federation was formed in 1963 by joining two previous women’s organizations: The Association of Universalist Women (founded in 1869) and the Unitarian Women’s Alliance (founded in 1890). Women in our UU movement have been speaking and acting on behalf of justice for women and girls for more than 150 years. They have never been more relevant than they are today, in an era when religious extremism and patriarchal attitudes are eroding the rights of female-identified people on many fronts. Kirstie Lewis is its current board president and I am privileged and delighted to introduce her to you. Kirstie….

Kirstie Lewis: MAKING CONNECTIONS

This year’s GA theme is Heartland: Where Faiths Connect. It’s appropriate then to share with you the many ways in which the UU Women’s Federation is connecting—across our nation, and across generations, cultures, and faiths.

I. Connecting with UU Women in Congregations and Groups Throughout Our UU Movement

UUWF has increased our connections with UU women by expanding our website and facebook presence; by email blasts to the more than 2,500 members of our community; and by creating frequent, timely blogs, written by our affiliated minister, Rev. Marti Keller. These posts inform us about current public policy and cultural trends, from Supergirl to Girl Scout cookie boycotts.

At GA Portland we offered a survey asking which women’s justice issues most concerned UU women. The answers? reproductive, economic and environmental justice, including the impact of climate change.

We asked responders to describe their women’s groups and name UU ministers who promote women’s justice issues in the pulpit and in their congregational focus. Recently we shared two such exemplary women ministers in our on-line news: Rev. Leah Hart-Landsberg and Rev. Amy Zucker Morgenstern.

Bridging the gap between UU ministerial professionals and laywomen, we also reached out to UU female-identified ministers in our New Prophetic Sisterhood Project, created to provide a forum and resources for their benefit. Women ministers who have connected with this project are signing on to the “covenant of commitment” prepared by the NPS leadership circle. Rev. Beth Dana and Rev. Marti Keller co-lead this on-going project.

We’ve strengthened connections with other UU groups, especially the UUA’s Multicultural Growth and Witness program, as illustrated by our partnership in financially supporting and working with the Clara Barton Intern for Women’s Justice. Our current intern, Shaya French, aims to do social justice advocacy and organizing. Her expanding focus includes anti-racism, homophobia, transphobia, classism and ableism. She is currently involved in efforts to promote reproductive justice, our recent UUA Statement of Conscience, throughout UU congregations.

Another possible collaboration with the UUA’s Standing on the Side of Love Campaign, is in early discernment and could include a connection with women leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement.

UUWF continues connections with other UU women’s groups such as UU Women and Religion and the International UU Women’s Convocation.

II. Connecting to Multi-Faith and Multi-Cultural Groups with Shared Interests in Women’s Justice Issues

For many years UUWF has connected with other faith-based organizations, especially the Reproductive Coalition for Reproductive Choice. Together with other groups we have signed on to interfaith amicus briefs written to protest the diminishing of women’s rights, including the Texas abortion clinic case which was heard by the Supreme Court. We have made statements and joined in letters requesting

  • continuing access to contraception under the Affordable Care Act;
  • increases to the minimum wage and
  • an end to workplace discrimination against pregnant women.

We are working to strengthen partnerships with secular groups that share our values and goals. This has included connections with SisterSong, a group of women of color who are working towards reproductive justice for all women, including their Trust Black Women campaign and links to Black Lives Matter.

This year we focused on a financial contribution to and advocacy efforts on behalf of Planned Parenthood, in light of especially vicious efforts to shut it down. Leaders from SisterSong and Planned Parenthood received Ministry to Women Awards during our GA workshop on Thursday.

III. Connecting Across Generations

We have recently made a strong connection with Meadville Lombard Theological School. They are hoping to create a cross-generational archive featuring the “herstories” of our UU Women’s organizations and feminist UU leaders. We have been highlighting such leaders within the UUWF ranks. Recently we featured UUWR’s online publication of the Red Notebook of Lucille Longview, primary author of the 1977 UU Women and Religion Resolution that urged UUs to examine the religious roots of sexism within our own denomination.

Knowing that we stand on the shoulders of our strong, committed foremothers, UUWF created the Clara Barton Sisterhood to honor the “woman-centered” work of living UU women over the age of 80 in congregations throughout the UU world. These 3 newly honored members of the Clara Barton Sisterhood are from Massachusetts.

We are also intent on deepening our intergenerational connections:

  • By administering the Marjorie Bowens-Wheatley scholarship fund which provides stipends for women of color at any age who are enrolled in UU ministry, music ministry or religious education academic programs, and
  • by funding what we are calling a Badass Convergence of women in August 2017. This event will focus especially on multi-generational, multi-cultural, and intersectional concerns that are compelling to today’s women. Jessica Halperin, a current theological student and prior Clara Barton Intern, has been commissioned to develop a 2 or 3 day event. It will appeal to an all-generational group of woman-identified leaders as we look ahead to emerging issues of fluid gender identity in the context of continued gender-based violence and discrimination.

UUWF continues to be the leading voice within our faith movement in this country on behalf of women’s justice.

We are not yet a “post gender” society. Sexism is real. Our vision is that all female identified people will be safe and free and whole. Join us at UUWF.org.

Moderator: Thank you Kirstie.

Introduction of Rear Admiral Margaret Kibben

Moderator: I like the timing of this next introduction following the presentation of UU Women’s Federation.

I am very pleased to welcome and introduce to you a very special guest to this General Assembly: Rear Admiral Margaret Kibben, the 26th Chief of Navy Chaplains, and the first woman to serve in this role.

Chaplain Kibben will be presenting a workshop today at 1:15 pm on “Military Ministry: Free Exercise and Pluralism” Please join her in CC Union Station Ballroom C!

Unitarian Universalists have a lot to learn about interfaith ministry at its best from our military chaplains, and I thank Admiral Kibben and all those who serve our nation in uniform.

Our chaplaincy program under Rev. Sarah Lammert, Director of Ministries and Faith Development is one that I am very proud of and know you are as well. It is good to see our chaplains in uniform supporting the women and men who serve our country around the world.

Thanks so much for being with us today Admiral Kibben.

Debate and Vote on Congregational Study/Action Issues

Moderator: Before proceeding with our business this morning, I want to invite to the stage and introduce you to our new Parliamentarian, Justice Nina Elgo. She is a Superior Court Judge in the state of Connecticut and member of the Unitarian Society of Hartford. You will recognize Tom Bean, our legal counsel and veteran of many General Assemblies who is a member of the First Unitarian Society in Newton, MA.

They are (will be) sitting over there to my left and helping me from time to time when I get into trouble or over my head.

Let me bring back Dr. Susan Goekler to report on the Congregational Study/Action Issues or CSAIs as they are commonly known.

Susan Goekler: Moderator Key, based on the results of the congregational poll, the Commission on Social Witness submits the following issues from which delegates may select one for four years of study and action as a new Congregational Study Action Issue or CSAI. The text of each proposal is in the program book agenda on pages 93-96.

Moderator: We're now at that point of our agenda where we will take action to decide on which of the four proposed congressional study action issues will appear in your final agenda. They are on pages 93 through 96 as Susan has indicated.

This is your cue to reach towards things like your voting cards and program, so you can follow along with this. We're not going to vote for a while, but you need to have access to it.

See bylaw section 4-12, statements of conscience, for a complete outline of the process. And I hope you went to the mini assemblies. This is the first step in a process that will ultimately produce a Unitarian Universalist Association statement of conscience that emerges from one of these four CSAIs

Susan Goekler has reported the four CSAIs under consideration. As noted on page 11 of the rules for procedure, 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 is found on page 93 of the program book, also known as the final agenda, and is entitled Climate Change and Environmental Justice.

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

Susan Goekler: Thank you. The sponsor for the congregational study action issue, Climate Change and Environmental Justice is…..

Moderator: The chair recognizes the delegate at the pro mic.

Delegate: To be live-captioned.

Moderator: Thank you.

The second proposed congregational study action issue eligible for referral to member congregations is found on page 94 of the final agenda and it's entitled “A National Conversation on Race”. Will the chair please introduce the sponsor?

Susan Goekler: The sponsor of the proposed congregational study action issue, A National Conversation on Race is …

Moderator: The chair recognizes the delegate at the pro microphone.

Delegate: To be live-captioned.

Moderator: Thank you.

The third proposed congregational study action issue eligible for referral to member congregations is found on page 95 of your program book, and entitled “Ending Gun Violence in America”. Will the chair introduce the sponsor?

Susan Goekler: Thank you. The sponsor for this proposed study action issue, Ending Gun Violence in America is

Moderator: The chair recognizes the delegate at the pro mic.

Delegate: To be live-captioned.

Moderator: Thank you.

The fourth proposed congregational study action issue eligible for referral to congregations, and districts, and regions is found on what page? 96 of the final agenda entitled “Corruption of our Democracy”. Will the chair please introduce the sponsor?

Susan Goekler: Thank you. The sponsor of this study action issue, Corruption of our Democracy is

Moderator: The chair recognizes the delegate at the pro microphone.

Delegate: To be live-captioned.

Moderator: Thank you.

We have heard from the sponsors of the four proposed CSAIs, and now we have time for up to four additional statements of support for each issue. Let me see if anybody off site will be speaking. Let me suggest a way to do this.

CSAI one (Climate Change and Environmental Justice) will be at the amendment mic,

CSAI two (A National Discussion on Race) will be at the pro mic,

CSAI three (Ending Gun Violence in America) will be at the con mic,

CSAI four (Corruption of our Democracy) will be back at the amendment line.

We’re all good? OK, we will hear from four speakers on CSAI one, and then we'll go through all four speakers for each one. That would be 16 speakers to provide information and insight on the CSAIs they wish the delegates to move forward as a potential Statement of Conscience.

When you come to the microphone, please tell us who you are and which congregation with whom you are in covenant.

If we have offsite delegates who wish to speak, we are trying a new approach this year which we anticipate will alleviate the audio problems we have had in recent years.

Let me introduce those volunteers:

  • Climate Change and Environmental Justice
    • Delegate 1. The chair recognizes the delegate at the amendment mic.
    • Delegate 2
    • Delegate 3
    • Delegate 4
  • A National Discussion on Race
    • Delegate 1. The chair recognizes the delegate at the amendment mic.
    • Delegate 2
    • Delegate 3
    • Delegate 4
  • Ending Gun Violence in America
    • Delegate 1. The chair recognizes the delegate at the pro mic.
    • Delegate 2
    • Delegate 3
    • Delegate 4
  • Corruption of our Democracy
    • Delegate 1. The chair recognizes the delegate at the con mic.
    • Delegate 2
    • Delegate 3
    • Delegate 4

You have heard the delegates speaking in support of the CSAIs brought to this final agenda. Now it's 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. So you've got two voting activities on that one card. I want you to use only the bottom stub and enter a number that represents the CSAI you wish to support.

This is pretty clear, but let me state it.

If you wish to support CSAI one, Climate Change and Environmental Justice, write a one in the box.

If you want to support two, A National Conversation on Race, write two in the box.

If you want to support three, Ending Gun Violence in America, write three in the box.

If you want to support four, Corruption of our Democracy, write four in the box.

Then detach it from your voting card and pass it toward the tellers. The tellers have baskets, and you can recognize them by those spiffy vests they're wearing.

These ballots will be counted while we do the rest of our business.

Occasionally someone will vote for more than one, and they write two numbers in there. If you write more than one number, or number five or higher, your ballot will not be counted. You only get to vote for one. I know, they all have merit, but you only get to vote for one. So the tellers will collect and count the ballots. We will announce the results at the end of this general session.

Singing

Moderator: Look who our music leader is this morning—Sarah Dan Jones, a good friend and incoming trustee on the UUA Board.

Sarah Dan Jones: Good morning, my friends! It’s so good to be here with you all. We’d like to invite you to sing an old hymn from Singing the Living Tradition, in the Spanish translation created by Rev. Lilias Cuerva, for Las Voces del Camino. The original text, “Find a Stillness” by Carl Seaburg, is set to a beautiful Transylvanian hymn tune. The new Spanish setting is “Busca Calma.”

"Busco calma (Find a Stillness)," Letra: Carl G. Seaburg © 1992 AUU, traducción © 2001 Lilia Cuerva. Música: tonada de un himno transilvano, or "Meditation on Breathing," Words and Music: Sarah Dan Jones, © 2001

Moderator: I am not sure what the favorite things about our General Sessions are: the music we get to sing together or President Morales’ report. What do you think? Never mind. Thank you Sarah Dan.

Panel Discussion on Business Resolution Regarding Investing in Companies Engaged in Business with Israel in the Occupation of the Palestinian Territories

Moderator: I want to introduce the delegates to a new way of discerning complex issues before we have to debate and vote on them. UUs for Justice in the Middle East have secured the necessary signatures required by our bylaws to bring a business resolution to the general assembly delegates to embrace or reject. It is your program book on pages 99-101. The Title of the BR is Divestment from Corporations complicit in the Violations of Palestinian rights. One of the ‘therefores” directs Fund fiduciaries to refrain from purchasing five named securities and further directs the Fund fiduciaries to engage in shareholder activism or divest from four named securities as they deem necessary.

As this Business Resolution has moved through the perfecting process for presentation to the delegates, the Socially Responsible Investment Committee has been concurrently doing their job of reviewing holdings in the Common Endowment Fund. In this role, they have been utilizing the services of Sustainalytics, which applies screens based on criteria directed by the Socially Responsible Investment Committee guided by votes of GA and the UUA Board. The most recent such screening resulted in the elimination of certain holdings which did not pass the Sustainalytics human rights screen. There was no vote taken by the Board or the Investment Committee with regard to divestment, but rather the usual balancing of the fund in the usual course of the committee’s work.

(The UUA uses Sustainalytics to analyze companies according to an array of criteria including UU Principles and General Assembly resolutions. Over the past year, the UUA’s Socially Responsible Investing Committee has worked closely with its consultant to strengthen its human rights screen, which resulted in some companies previously eligible for investment moving to the “do not buy” list. The human rights screen applies to U.S. companies in conflict zones around the world. The screening process, which is updated every six months, does potentially allow companies that successfully address the human rights concerns to return to the UUCEF.)

We are now at a place where the business resolution as presented in the

Program Book asks for divesture of holdings the UUA does not have in their portfolio.

UUJME, the makers of this Business Resolution, have modified the language to reflect that and new realty and that modified language will be approved and or modified during the mini-assembly on this issue. That mini-assembly will be held this afternoon at 4:45 pm in Union Station Ballroom C. So those of you who want to influence the language of this Business Resolution should plan on being there.

With that as backdrop, I want to invite five people to the stage:

  • Dana Ashrawi, member of the First UU Church of Houston
  • Farrell Brody, member of the First UU Church of Columbus
  • Denny Davidoff, member of the Unitarian Church in Westport, CT
  • Rev. Jay Wolen, minister at the UU Congregation of the Quad Cities in Davenport, IA
  • And John Sarrouf, principle of Public Conversations Project in Watertown, MA. The Public Conversations Project fosters constructive conversation where there is conflict driven by differences in identity, beliefs, and values.

I have invited John to facilitate a conversation among the four people with different views on the Business Resolution to help the delegates understand the complexities of what you are being asked to support or oppose.

Frankly, I also want to model a better way of discerning how we UUs live out our values in a complex world that challenge competing values or put us at odds with others and difficult to distill to a yes or no.

I acknowledge that we have only 30 minutes for this discussion and we could spend the day on it.

To be live-captioned.

Moderator: John, Dana, Farrell, Denny, and Jay, thank you for that intimate conversation.

Presentation: Angus H. MacLean Award for Excellence in Religious Education

Moderator: The Angus H. MacLean award was established in 1972 by the St. Lawrence University Theological School Alumni Association and the Religious Education Department of the UUA. It is awarded each year to someone who has made outstanding contributions to religious education. This year, the honor goes to Judith A. Frediani. Please welcome Jessica York, Faith Development Director, for the presentation of the Angus MacLean Award.

Jessica York: Good morning.

As I go about my work in service to our faith, I am aware of the great need for those who keep the flame. Keeping the flame is not a passive role. It is about much more than just carrying on a legacy. A keeper can hold a light unto an organization so it may keep its stated goals in sight. And more than that, a keeper can use the light of the flame to discern the true desires of our faith, those buried deep in our hearts—the ones sometimes hidden or of which we may be too scared to speak, lest they prove too ambitious. In our faith, we need those who keep the flame of justice, the flame of a burning desire to make meaning of our daily existence, the flame of the communal fire, the flame of a mighty love strong enough to tear down walls, persistent enough to be passed down from generation to generation. This award is about nothing if not a sign of our gratitude for those who keep the flame.

When Judith Frediani left her position as director of religious education at First Parish Bedford to become the curriculum director at the UUA in 1985, she accepted a flame. Over the next 28 years, moving from that position to director of Lifespan Faith Development and Resource Development office, Judith created curricula, facilitated workshops, and supervised staff, as you would expect. But she also used her position as director to lift up social justice, lifelong learning, and the very profession of religious education.

Under Judith’s direction, religious education curricula and resources asked us to engage with themes of justice as a foundational element of what it means to be a Unitarian Universalist. Her own passion for antiracism, anti-oppression work melded with that of our Association’s. Race to Justice, Rainbow Children, Weaving the Fabric of Diversity, and In Our Hands were just some of the curricula created during Judith’s first decade at the UUA. In later years, Judith brought to life two of the most ambitious and successful projects of the UUA, both of which are also filled with a call to justice. Our Whole Lives has changed the landscape of comprehensive sexuality education. It is currently used not only in congregations, but in many secular settings. Judith was the project manager for Our Whole and Lives, editor and author of the Adult level Sexuality and Our Faith.

Tapestry of Faith, the new core curricula, was a decade in the making. Many stakeholders helped shape the vision for a free, online, lifespan curriculum that could ensure a rich, common learning experience for all UUs. Judith was responsible for taking all the ideas and making something focused and complete out them. Today we have 15,000 pages online of 40 plus programs for preschoolers to elders.

A master’s level credentialed religious educator, Judith directed the Renaissance program to provide professional development to religious educators and other congregational leaders. She taught UU Religious Education at Harvard Divinity School for 13 years, inspiring and informing divinity students with a broad understanding and active commitment to religious education in their future ministries.

Collaboration amongst religious professionals and between the staff group she directed and other teams—both within the UUA and outside—has been a hallmark of her tenure. She recruited staff amongst UUs of Color and those who bring the same anti-oppression lens and collaborative skills to their work that she herself possess.

Yet one of the most profound flames Judith has kept alive is as an advocate for religious education and religious educators as central to the very core of our faith. Judith understands that the teaching is just as important to a liberal religious faith as the preaching for how can we informed enough to make faith choices in our life without the reflection and practice religious education brings? Judith recognized the need for institutional support for religious educators and other religious professionals who focus on faith development… She tirelessly witnessed to this need at district and congregational gatherings, as a member of the Liberal Religious Educators Association, and at the UUA’s Leadership Council, where for many years she was able to speak to the importance of religious educators as leaders in our faith.

Judith has kept a burning faith in the worth of our community of religious educators. Sparks of meaning making have been fed by her devotion to educating a generation of children, youth, young adults and adults, lay leaders, ordained ministers, and religious educators. The flame of justice in Unitarian Universalism burns brighter because of Judith Frediani.

Today I give honor to a wise teacher, a staunch advocate for religious educators, a mentor, and a prophetic leader, …. the 2016 Angus H. MacLean Award for Excellence in Religious Education goes to Judith A. Frediani.

Judith Frediani: Thank you, Jessica, for those humbling remarks and for the bright flame you carry for our faith.

Angus MacLean wrote: “To be a Unitarian Universalist all the time is almost too much to ask.”

He was referring to the sometimes burden of our theological freedom and our lofty values. Yet we cherish that burden, a burden made tolerable by a community of all ages engaged in lifelong learning, meaning making, celebrating, and trying to do the right thing. I call that religious education.

Thank you.

Moderator: Congratulations to Judith Frediani on receiving the Angus H. MacLean Award.

Annual Program Fund Report

Moderator: The UUA bylaws state: “A congregation becomes a member upon acceptance by the Board of Trustees of the Association of its written application for membership in which it subscribes to the principles of and pledges to support the Association.” Our principles and purposes close with this promise: “As free congregations we enter into…covenant, promising to one another our mutual trust and support.”

Let’s bring back Denise Rimes who has another role beyond her Vice Moderator one and that is with APF, our Annual Program Fund.

Denise Rimes: Greetings beloved Unitarian Universalists!

My name is Denise Rimes. I am a member of the First UU Church of Richmond, VA, and (along with Neil Lichtman of Naperville, Illinois) I am the co-chair of the Generosity Network, a group that seeks to increase all of our congregations’ understanding about, and commitment to, our Annual Program Fund (and GIFT in the Southern Region). I am here to say thank you!

Friends, we gather together here in Columbus from near and far. Depending on your context, there may be times that you may feel quite removed from other congregations. General Assembly is one of the experiences that makes clear our connections with one another. Thank you for making this possible through your support of our Annual Program Fund (and GIFT)!

When I say: “Together, we share a vision and a promise.”

You say: “Through APF and GIFT we support one another, and amplify the best of Unitarian Universalism.”

We are an Association of Congregations bound together in covenant. This might seem like a fancy theoretical concept… but what does it actually mean? It means we promise to support one another in tangible and intangible ways, through good times and bad. It means we are here for each other. It means that none of our congregations exist in isolation.

When the UU Congregation of Northern Nevada in Reno, Nevada had the “Black Lives Matter” banner defaced, then a second stolen, individuals within the congregation went ahead and bought three replacements, just in case they’d be needed. Then the UU Church of Ogden, Utah had their “Black Lives Matter” banner stolen, and the folks in Reno heard about it. The generous hearts in Reno sent our Ogden Unitarian Universalists a new banner.

Together, we share a vision and a promise.

Please join me: Through APF and GIFT we support one another, and amplify the best of Unitarian Universalism.

When the minister of our UU congregation in Norfolk, Virginia died tragically, the board of my congregation in Richmond empowered our minister to go serve the Norfolk congregation through their period of grief and confusion. We knew that we would want someone to do the same for us. We know that we are all connected.

Together, we share a vision and a promise.

The gathered respond: Through APF and GIFT we support one another, and amplify the best of Unitarian Universalism.

Think of something that you are proud of about your congregation. The building your church purchased in which you will offer transitional housing to refugees? The OWL curriculum taken out into the community? A ministry of presence on the street corner every week showing that you Stand on the Side of Love?

Perhaps you are proud of the youth service that reminds you just how remarkable the young people are that we collectively raise, or the fair wages that you prioritized paying your hard-working staff. What about the community partnerships you made that are building greater justice in your town? The garden that you grow, the music that you make, the food you pack up for the hungry?

Friends, we are a part of one another’s stories. Not only do we strengthen one another, we also learn best practices from one another. Unitarian Universalism is more interesting, more challenging, and more enriching because of YOU. Your support of the Annual Program Fund (and GIFT) is a concrete expression of our pledge to support one another, and allows us to do far more than we could as individual congregations.

And we hear you and learn from you. We continue to discuss congregational membership dues to the Association. Earlier this year, a joint Board and staff task force undertook the challenge of examining how we might share our financial support in an equitable and consistent way. How might we reassess giving so that the funding of the Annual Program Fund is shared more evenly across our UUA? There’s no simple solution, and the answers lie deep in our values as Unitarian Universalists. We’re talking to a lot of you about your thoughts, and would welcome you into further conversation if you’d like to stop by our booth in the Convention Center lobby. There will be more information to come this fall about our findings and recommendations, so stay tuned.

Together, we share a vision and a promise.

The gathered respond: Through APF and GIFT we support one another, and amplify the best of Unitarian Universalism.

YOU are there in the #BlackLivesMatter banner in Reno, Nevada…Ogden, Utah, and countless other communities;

YOU are showing up to companion the grieving church in a time of congregational crisis in Norfolk, Virginia and countless other places;

YOU are making it possible for OWL to be taken out into the communities across our nation.

YOU are increasing the odds for love, justice, and joy through your gifts.

When your congregation became a member of our Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations, a part of the process was making a promise: a pledge support to the Association.

Your support of the Annual Program Fund is the concrete expression of this pledge, and your contributions to APF (and GIFT) are the fulfillment of a promise that has already been made. We thank you for your generosity. You make all of this, and more, possible.

Friends, we ask you to strengthen your support and recommit to caring for each other. You are encouraged to financially support our larger faith from a sense of our interconnectedness, and with gratitude for all of the ways—large and small—that other Unitarian Universalists are supporting your community, just as you are supporting theirs.

You are asked to give to fulfill the promise that has already been made, as together, we proclaim:

We are all in this together.

Through our support of the Annual Program Fund and GIFT, we amplify the best of Unitarian Universalism.

On behalf of the Unitarian Universalists across our Association who benefit from your giving, we thank you for your collective generosity.

Moderator: Thank you Denise.

Presentation: Legacy Society Memoriam

Moderator: I now would like to introduce Rev. Mary Katherine Morn, Director of Stewardship and Development and Special Advisor to the President.

Mary Katherine Morn: Friends, you and I have received an inheritance.

The Rev. Dr. Peter Raible, inspired by Hebrew scripture, described our inheritance:

“We warm ourselves by fires we did not light.

We sit in the shade of trees we did not plant.

We drink from wells we did not dig.”

This is our time to honor some of the generous Unitarian Universalists who have died this year. Here are people who, in our congregations and our Association, have been lighting the fires that warm and guide us in our work today.

Let us, in gratitude, remember.

May we honor these lives, friendships, and memories as we work together to nurture and grow Unitarian Universalism across our Association, and our world, knowing that “what they dreamed be ours to do.”

Defying the Nazis: The Sharps’ War

Moderator: I am pleased to introduce a greeting from Ken Burns.

I’m Ken Burns. I’m sorry I could not join you but am honored to have an opportunity to welcome all of you to the General Assembly and to provide an early look at our new film, “Defying the Nazis: The Sharps’ War.” My co-director Artemis Joukowsky and I are delighted to share this extraordinary story of two Unitarians who lives fully embodied the ideals you hold as a community. We are very fortunate to have the Unitarians as a partner on this film and greatly look forward to working with you to spread the word about the broadcast and the deeper values that the Sharps’ so personified. You should of course be proud of their work and the work of so many other Unitarians to create a better world for their neighbors here and throughout the world. For more information about the film, please visit defyingthenazis.org.”

Moderator: This September, with the film's PBS broadcast and the publication of Beacon Press' companion book, everyone will be talking about the Sharps’ powerful story. We have a unique opportunity to advance UU values of justice, compassion, and equity and carry on the Sharps’ brave legacy.

I encourage you to sign up your congregation to join the Defying the Nazis UU Action Project, co-sponsored by the UUA, UU Service Committee, and the Fahs Collaborative at Meadville Lombard Theological School. The project asks UUs to use interfaith partnerships to address anti-Muslim bigotry and the refugee crisis as modern-day parallels to the Sharps’ work.

Here are two congregations who are already taking action:

First. Bell Street Chapel in Providence, RI, partnered with the Council on American-Islamic Relations and other interfaith and secular allies to counter-protest anti-refugee speakers at the Rhode Island State House, proclaiming their messages of welcome with their Standing on the Side of Love shirts.

And second, Bay Area UU Church in Houston got national attention for the solidarity event they organized with the Clear Lake Islamic Center to decry the Texas governor’s executive order barring Syrian refugees from the state.

Visit uua.org/sharpstory to share what your congregation is doing about Islamophobia and refugee solidarity, add yourself to the map, and download key resources, including a congregational action guide with suggested events, a set of guidelines for interfaith dialogue, and a refugee advocacy toolkit.

Visit the UUA and UUSC booths in the exhibit hall. Use the hashtag #WeDefy to join the conversation on social media.

So right now, everyone: take out your phones or a notebook! [Pause] Mark September 20 in your calendar as the date when the documentary airs on PBS. And write down a reminder to get connected with the Defying the Nazis UU Action Project, online or here at GA.

A word of thanks for Artemis Joukowsky, who is not only the film's director but also grandson of the Sharps, and whose tireless efforts have made this possible [pan to Artemis, sitting in the front row]. Thanks also to the staff of the UUA, UUSC, MLTS, the UU Congregation at Shelter Rock and many other leaders who are making this happen.

We can carry on the Sharps legacy to defy hatred, bigotry and fear by taking action for freedom, justice and solidarity. Remember #WeDefy.

Financial Advisor’s Report

Moderator: Welcome to the podium our Financial Advisor, Larry Ladd. Larry Ladd is an institution and a force of nature within Unitarian Universalism. Three years ago, as the new Moderator two weeks into my new role, Larry came to my rescue and saved my…bacon. I will let him tell you more about that.

Larry Ladd: It was three years ago. I was in North Carolina, driving along US Rt. 70, heading north to my client Wake Forest University.

It had been almost two weeks since I had completed my work as chair of the UUA Nominating Committee, a year since I gave up my work as board chair of Meadville Lombard, and eight years since my two terms as UUA Financial Advisor had reached their conclusion. Almost twenty years of continuous service to the denomination.

Then, the call came on my cell phone. I answered the call.

It was Jim Key. The person who had just been elected Financial Advisor had quit. Would I consider serving as Financial Advisor once again?

As Jim will attest, I hemmed and hawed, for at least a minute. Then, I answered in the affirmative. Because I always have and I always will.

I still recall the very first call. It was in 1964, and from Ann Davidson, the newly elected president of the Liberal Religious Youth (LRY) group of the Grafton, Massachusetts, Unitarian Church. She asked if I would serve as corresponding secretary of the group. My job was to remind and entice the youth group members to come each week to our meetings. I knew that it was the program that would attract, so I focused on making sure we had substance to offer. I haven’t stopped since. Eventually, I became national president of LRY, and was elected in 1969 to serve on the Commission on Appraisal, at that point the youngest person elected by the General Assembly to an office. I’ve since been elected by GA to one office or another in four different decades. Each time, I have answered the call in the affirmative.

Now I stand before you three years after that most recent call. Happy. Every day of service is an honor and a joy. Looking forward to the next call.

The financial condition of the UUA is stable. Our balance sheet is very strong. The quality of oversight is excellent. Our financial practices are above average for an organization of our size. The board and administration take their stewardship responsibilities very seriously. We make our mistakes but they are corrected and we move on.

The governance condition of the UUA is generally very good. The smaller board size and the end of district representation have improved board performance. There is more diversity. The board can think more deeply and focus only on board-level matters. The UUA still has way too many committees. They misdirect volunteer energy away from mission-focused work. The shorter terms of officers and trustees, coupled with annual elections, are inhibiting the long-term focus that makes change possible.

I see the decline of our membership numbers and RE enrollments as troubling, even though I know those are flawed measures. As a history buff, I know that the Unitarian movement suffered similarly in the 1930s and revived itself, and that Unitarian Universalism suffered similarly in the 1970s and revived itself. But there’s also the story of Universalism in the 20th century, which suffered only a gradual decline without reviving itself, all the while congratulating itself on its virtues.

I am hopeful, and devote all of my volunteer energies toward justifying that hope.

I see hope in the ministers who are assuming leadership within our movement and our most vibrant congregations.

I see hope in the congregations that are thriving because of their spiritual depth and mission-focus.

I see hope in our commitment to Black Lives Matter and LGBT work. And in our commitment to becoming an anti-racist, anti-oppressive, multi-cultural movement.

I see hope when I see us cast aside old structures, like committees and districts, that divert our energies inward rather than on mission.

I am grateful to have made a difference for the UUA in so many ways, including strengthening the clergy compensation program including established a unified retirement plan, improving oversight by creating an audit committee among other steps, institutionalizing our commitment to socially responsible investing, and finding qualified and committed people to serve our association. I’m grateful to have helped the Meadville Lombard Theological School to thrive. I’m glad that I helped the Starr King School for the Ministry at a time of great need.

When I was growing up and attending Sunday school, there were certain phrases, that seem almost antique, that have stayed with me and which I repeat often as silent mantras.

The first is the James Freeman Clark phrase: “Salvation by Character.” Not the rest of the statement, but just those three words. “Salvation by Character.”

The second is a reworking of the lines that originated with James Vila Blake: “Love is the doctrine of this church….And service is its prayer.”

“And service is its prayer.”

I am grateful for every opportunity for service. I answer each call, and I say yes. That is my prayer. Thank you.

Moderator: Thanks Larry for your report and for your many years of service to this faith we love.

Announcements

Moderator: This general session seems to be focused on financial issues and I have gathered the six presidents of UUA, UUSC, UUMA, CLF, Starr King, and Meadville Lombard to share with all of you some great news. These folks have been working together for some time to share resources and coordinate capital campaigns so donors could share their gifts with all of our Unitarian Universalist institutions. Well today, we can announce the Wake Now Our Vision campaign, a collaborative capital campaign has received a $5 million grant from the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock. Shelter Rock is calling on us to consider our legacy, to plant for the future, to Wake to a Vision of our shared future in faith.

There are three benefits to congregations or other ministries.

This challenge grant of five million dollars from the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock. Their own remarkable experience stewarding the gift of Caroline Veatch has taught them the power of legacy gifts and now they are inspiring us to build our own bright future through this challenge.


Moderator: Before I call on the Secretary of our Association for any announcements, I want to recognize another special congregation.

The Accessibility and Inclusion Ministry (AIM) program or AIM, a joint program of the UUA and EqUUal Access, was announced in 2015 and has granted certification to the first congregation to have come through the program: the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Ann Arbor. This has come after 3 years of hard and significant work by the Ann Arbor congregation on disability issues, that has included:

  • Two Worship services focused on disability issues
  • Four Workshops: Inclusion, Depression forum, Memory Improvement workshop, Intergenerational workshop
  • Accessibility projects: large print hymnals, signage, parking lot improvements
  • Inclusion projects: that include mental health
  • Social justice projects: Detroit Airport accessibility, Funding grant to local disability advocacy organizations

Congratulations to the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Ann Arbor.

Rob Eller-Isaacs, do we have any announcements?

Rob Eller-Isaacs: This Saturday at 1:15 p.m. in the Plenary Hall we'll be having our first General Assembly UUA Presidential Candidates' Forum, featuring the Reverends Alison Miller, Susan Frederick-Gray, and Jeanne Pupke. GA participants are invited to submit questions in advance of this Forum. The submitted questions will be reviewed by the Election Campaign Practices Committee, which the candidates have determined will select the questions for Saturday’s Forum. Questions should be addressed to all three Presidential candidates and can be submitted electronically at: elections [at] uua [dot] org or by filling out a paper form that is available at the GA Office, Convention Center Room 111, prior to 5 p.m. on Friday. We encourage and welcome your participation in shaping the future of our religious movement.

Moderator: Thanks Rob. 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. on Saturday, June 25, 2016.

Be here!

For more information contact web@uua.org.

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