General Session IV, General Assembly 2018

UUA General Assembly Off-site Participation: Kansas City, Missouri | 2018

General Assembly 2018 Event 327

Program Description

Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Co-Moderators Elandria Williams and Mr. Barb Greve preside over the general sessions in which the business of the Association is being conducted.


The following final draft script was completed before this event took place; actual words spoken may vary. Unedited live captions (TXT) were created during the event, and contain some errors. Captioning is not available for some copyrighted material.

Call to Order

Barb: I now call to order the Fourth General Session of the Fifty-Seventh General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association.

Opening Words

Sarah Dan Jones:

Congregational Study Action Issues

Co-Moderator: In Accordance with Section 4.12, a (3) of the bylaws, at least 25% of certified congregations must participate in the ballot vote to place proposed Study/Action Issues on the ballot. The Chair of the Commission on Social Witness, Susan Goekler, will introduce the issues that met the threshold. Then the proposer of each CSAI will have 2 minutes to explain the proposed issue and invite your vote. Up to four others may each speak for up to 2 minutes in favor of each issue. Following the presentations, delegates will vote to select one for four years of study and action, so get your delegate cards ready.

Susan Goekler: Co-Moderator, 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 agenda on pages 74-76.

Annual Program Fund Report

Co-Moderator: I would like to welcome the Rev. Vail Weller the Director of Congregational Giving to give the Annual Program Fund Report. Thank you Vail and the Office of Stewardship and Development for all the work that you do.

[video narration] Our 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.” The vehicle for congregational support is the Annual Program Fund.

[end video narration] Vail Weller: I am the Rev. Vail Weller, and I have the privilege of serving as your Congregational Giving Director. Thank you for your support of our Annual Program Fund. Your generosity powers Unitarian Universalism!

I’d like to introduce….myself.

[video plays] “I visit many of our congregations and in each and every place I go, I am inspired. I am moved by the thoughtful, hard work that our congregations are doing to bring our shared UU principles to life. When I am with you…with our congregations… with our ministers…my faith in who we are and who we are becoming as Unitarian Universalists is enriched. It is a privilege to witness faithfulness in our congregations, and to help each congregation know it’s importance to the rest of the Association. Friends: your generosity powers the Unitarian Universalist Association. And the UUA is here to support and amplify what you are doing.

The UUA equips and supports congregations for vital and thriving ministry in all areas of congregational life. From publishing and online resources, to training and coaching, to ministerial search and settlement, the UUA provides essential foundational resources for sustaining transformative and liberating ministry.

For staff and volunteer leaders, the UUA offers valuesbased training, professional credentialing and support services, and comprehensive leadership development experiences to prepare for faithful leadership of UU congregations and communities.

Our faith calls us to take action for justice and liberation in our communities. As the national voice of Unitarian Universalism, the UUA shows up with campaigns and partnerships to bring UU values into the wider world.

Online, on paper, in person and around the world, the UUA helps people stay connected to our shared faith.

My friends, it is your support which makes all of this possible. Your generosity powers the Unitarian Universalist Association.

We know that generosity is an important component of the spiritual life.

Similarly, your congregation’s commitment to the Annual Program Fund is a covenantal spiritual practice. It is one of the ways in which you demonstrate that we are an Association of Congregations – by supporting not only your own, but all Unitarian Universalists. The other congregations across our Association depend upon your generosity, as you depend upon theirs.

We need each other in so many ways.

Through your support of the Annual Program Fund, you help to embolden congregations across our land to do the work of justice, to love more deeply, and to grow to meet the challenges of our time. Your generosity powers the Unitarian Universalist Association.

On behalf of all of the congregations that your generosity benefits… Thank you for your generous, steadfast, ongoing support.” [credits run, then it is end of video] Vail Weller: Wave your arms if you believe in the importance of our religious communities in this time!

Wave if you know this is no time to go it alone!

Wave your hand if you are a member of a congregation that proudly gives to support APF!

Wave your hand if you are from an Honor congregation (contributing the full amount requested)!

Please, look around. Make it a point to thank at least one of these representatives from congregations across our Association who help to support your own.

Please do come see us at our Stewardship and Development booth so that we can also appreciate you in person.

Your generosity powers Unitarian Universalism and the work of the UUA!

Thank you for your care, your love for our faith, and for your support.

Legacy Society Memoriam

Co Moderator: Please welcome the Rev.

Alicia Forde, the Professional Development Director in Ministries and Faith Development for the Legacy Society Memoriam. Thank you.

Alicia Forde: This is our time to honor some of the generous Unitarian Universalists who have died this year.

Their gifts of time, talent, and treasure have profoundly transformed their congregations and our Unitarian Universalist community. Their dedication to love and justice will continue to enrich the lives they touched. As we remember these friends who loved our faith with all their hearts and whose hopes for the future now rest with us, may we renew our own commitment to this faith we share, a faith that connects us to generations gone and generations to come.

We celebrate the many lives, friendships, and memories that have been lifted up here today and we honor those who died with our own commitment answer the call of Unitarian Universalism and build the Beloved Community in our faith and in our world.


Rules and Process Review

Barb: Before debate begins, time will be provided for you to informally discuss the agenda item with others sitting around you; this informal discussion time will not count towards the thirty-minute limit.

The thirty minutes of debate time does include time devoted to discussing any amendments to the proposed amendment.

Amendments: Amendments must be submitted for consideration of at the appropriate Mini- Assembly in order to be offered in the General Session. There has to be 15 minutes of discussion before amendments to the main motion can be considered.

Time Limits

  1. No one can speak for more then 2 minutes and not more then once unless no one else wants to speak except by permission from the moderator.
  2. There are thirty minutes total allowed bylaw or rule ammendments, resolutions or action.
  3. After 15 minutes of debate motions to table or refer are in order if that much time is needed. Motions must come from the producurel mic.
  4. Now for the fun part. A motion to call the previous question is in order once 7 minutes has expired and there are people at the pro and con mic. Once 5 minutes has expired and no one is at the pro or con mic then the motion to call the previous question is in order.
  5. Time taken at the procedural mic will not count against discussion time.

Consider Bylaw Amendments: Article II, Linkage, LREDA, Youth Observer

Co-Moderator: “There are delegates joining us online who will be participating in this debate by submitting typed statements and voting via a secure polling app. Submitted statements will be read by our volunteer teller team who will be the ‘voice’ of our offsite delegates and the statements they read do not necessarily reflect their own personal views.”


Co-Moderator: Now it’s time to call on the Secretary of our Association, Christina Rivera, for any announcements.

Christina Rivera: (live caption)

Co-Moderator: Thanks, Christina.

Process Observation


Closing Reading

Greg Boyd:


Co-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 Saturday, June 23 at 9:00 a.m.