General Session V, General Assembly 2017

General Assembly 2017 Event 506 (combined with Closing Celebration)

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Unedited Live Captioning (TXT)

Program Description

A team of board-appointed moderators preside over the general sessions in which the business of the Association is conducted.


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 Fifth and final General Session of the Fifty-Sixth General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association.

Chalice Lighting

Moderator: (live caption)

Youth and Young Adult Voices on Race and GA

Moderator: (live caption)

Panelists: Rev. Ranwa Hammamy, Vanessa Birchell, Charlie Smith, KC Slack

Facilitator: Greg Boyd

(live caption all)

Establishing a Study Commission for Bylaw Article II, Principles and Purposes

Moderator: (live caption)

Presentation: President’s Award for Volunteer Service

Moderator: Once again, please welcome our three co-presidents for the presentation of the Presidents’ Annual Award for Volunteer Service.

Co-Presidents: The President's Annual Award for Volunteer Service to the UUA is given to the person or organization designated by the President as having given extraordinary and vital service to the UUA as a volunteer. The Co-Presidents are proud to recognize Black Lives Unitarian Universalist also known as BLUU as recipients of the President’s Award 2017. BLUU has given our Association another “Movement Moment” where Black people can have their own space as Unitarian Universalists. BLUU is not as the Rev William Barber II describes a collective with a one-moment mentality: BLUU is about building a beloved community for all. BLUU exemplify resistance in love, truth and justice. BLUU collective is a movement that emerged from the pews and the streets. BLUU is truly a movement deep into the spiritual work of dismantling white supremacy structures and culture. BLUU challenges our faith to fully live our principles and purposes and to make them evident in all we do as we move together toward beloved community. BLUU has challenged us to look at the white supremacy within.

Spirit asks us to be unifiers, justice makers, and not sow division among groups of people such as is the aim of white supremacy. Any one person or groups of people who are in an effort to dismantle white supremacist culture are doing spiritual work. BLUU has challenged and supported us to look at the white supremacy within. To quote BLUU: Getting there will be uncomfortable, and messy, and impolite — just as work for justice has always been. The Black Lives of UU Organizing Collective believes strongly in the promise of Unitarian Universalism. BLUU’s programing, community organizing work, intense and joyful worship, and hard discussions all has opened the possibilities of the realities of what Unitarian Universalism can be.

Responsive Resolutions

Moderator: All right. This is the time in our agenda when we entertain responsive resolutions, if there are any. (Must be received in writing to the Moderator by 6:00 pm Saturday, Rule 10, page 79.) Could we open up the amendment microphone, please?

Right Relationship Team Final Report

Moderator: our final Right Relationship Team Report is up next. Thanks so much to the team for an incredible job

Steve Ballesteros / Hannah Villnave: (live caption)

GA Kansas City 2018


Moderator: Please welcome to the stage, Gaby Kusko.

Gaby Kusko: Kansas City is a Crossroads in so many ways. We still have the visible ruts from the pioneers who travelled the Santa Fe and Oregon trails and the painful history of the Shawnee Mission Indian School.

But living in the middle of the map has the unique benefits of also being a cultural hub ..a virtual... Paris of the Plains.

So why should you come to GA in Kansas City next year and make it a vacation to remember? Because your bi-state, UU hosts will help you explore the riches of a crossroad that is experiencing a renaissance. The arts run the gamut of the grand Chinese collection of art and Buddhist temple at the Nelson Atkins Museum to the tiny treasures at the National Museum of Toys and Miniatures.

The eats are more than BBQ, although we are proud of our meaty traditions. We boast some of the freshest innovative eateries in the US. Our breweries such as Boulevard are world renowned as are our coffee roasters and growing distilleries.

The topic of music is near and dear to my heart. Kansas City’s music scene is spectacular. From classical music and Ballet at the Kauffman Center of performing arts to the historic 18th and Vine jazz district, to the blues at Knuckleheads honky tonk in the East Bottoms. Kansas City is a music town. Think Charlie Parker, Pat Metheny, Joyce Didonato, Janelle Monae and Tech9 as just a few of the musicians who launched their careers in Kansas City Missouri and Kansas City, Kansas.

Take a trolley ride tour with me. We’ll start at the historic City Market and the Steamboat Arabia museum, enjoy libations and music at the Power and Light District, head to Union Station for Science City and the Planetarium. Then we will go to the world renowned WWI museum and Liberty Memorial Let's hop across the street to Crown Center for shopping, the Aquarium and Legoland.

We also have an amazing theatre scene with plays at the Missouri Repertory theatre on the UMKC campus, modern works at the Unicorn and family friendly offerings at the Coterie. If you plan your trip to come early you can also partake in the delights of the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival in Westmoreland park next to All Souls UU Church which is celebrating 150 years of liberal religion and activism in Kansas City.

Kansas City will not disappoint. So, visit our city and leave your own ruts in this vibrant crossroad.

Process Observation

Moderator: Natalie, thank you for helping us launch the process this year. We appreciate the skill with which you and John observed and provided feedback. What final words do you have for us?

Natalie Jeffers: (live caption)

Recognition of All Who Made GA Possible

Moderator: There are so many people to thank this year. As I call your names, would you please rise in body or spirit

  • Our tellers and ushers
  • Our Right Relationship Team
  • Our Chaplains
  • Our Youth and Young Adults
  • Black Lives of UU
  • EQUUAL Access
  • Accessibility Team
  • UUMA
  • UUMN and all of our wonderful musicians and singers
  • Our amazing staff
  • GA Planning Committee
  • Our Board of Trustees
  • Our remarkable co-presidents
  • Our amazing Tech Deck
  • Everyone who attended

Let's give ourselves a big hand! It's been quite a year. Thanks to all of you who discern, learn, and continue to grow on this faith journey we call Unitarian Universalism! Now it's time to Celebrate!

The President's Volunteer Service Award was presented to Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism. From left: Royce W. James, Takiyah Nur Amin, the Rev. Mykal O'Neal Slack, Kenny Wiley, Lena Gardner (executive director of BLUU), and Interim Co-Presidents William G. Sinkford, Leon Spencer, and Sofía Betancourt.

2017 GA Photo Album