General Session VIII, General Assembly 2018

General Assembly 2018 Event 505

Program Description

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


  • Call to Order
  • Opening Words
  • Installation of Elected Trustees and Nominating Committee
  • Installation of Co-Moderators
  • Presentation: President’s Award for Volunteer Service
  • Consideration of Actions of Immediate Witness
    The Sunday CSW Alert (PDF) includes the revised AIWs and unincorporated amendments to be considered:
    • We Are All Related: Solidarity NOW with Indigenous Water Protectors
      Result: AIW “F” was adopted with the previously-unincorporated amendment to line 53.
    • Dismantle Predatory Medical Care Practices in Prisons
      Result: AIW “C” was adopted.
    • End Family Separation and Detention of Asylum Seekers and Abolish ICE
      Results: AIW “A” was adopted.
  • Responsive Resolutions (if any)
    • Result: There were no responsive resolutions that met the criteria this year. However, the body of the Assembly recognized the importance of the 3 AIWs that did not make it to the Final Agenda (during General Session V) and asked congregations to engage on those topics even if the UUA does not have specific resources allocated to them.
  • Right Relationship Team Report
  • Safety Team Report
  • GA Spokane 2019
  • Process Observation
  • Final Credentials Report
    • Registration was 2,814, including 134 youth. There were 1,570 delegates, including 199 off-site. All states; Washington, DC; Canada; Mexico; and Puerto Rico were all represented.
  • Recognition of All Who Made GA possible
  • Chalice Extinguishing
  • Adjournment

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

Co-Moderator: I now call to order the Seventh and final General Session of the Fifty-Seventh General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association.

Opening Words

Manish Mishra-Marzetti:

Installation of Those Newly Elected

Co-Moderator: The following individuals have been elected by this General Assembly to serve on the following boards, commissions, and committees:

Board of Trustees

  • Rev. Patrick McLaughlin
  • Tim Atkins
  • Gregory Boyd
  • Latifa Woodhouse

Nominating Committee

  • Rev. Joseph Cherry
  • Aisha Hauser
  • Sana Saeed

Christina Rivera: Guided by love for this tradition and hope for the future, this General Assembly has duly elected members of the Board of Trustees and committees of the Association. We welcome their gifts, skills, time, sacrifice and voice to be shared in love, trust and dedication in the years to come.

Please join with me [Slide #1] as we covenant together to install these leaders to the offices to which we have elected them.

Christina Rivera: May our Unitarian Universalist faith and heritage inform your work and deeds as you serve with our leadership, our congregations and our staff. May your efforts and work inspire good will among all.

Newly Elected Leaders: I covenant to affirm and promote justice, equity and compassion in human relations.

Christina Rivera: As you [Slide #2] signify Unitarian Universalism in the wider world, may you serve as an instrument of reconciliation, hope, and welcome.

Newly Elected Leaders: I covenant to affirm and promote a goal of community of peace, justice, and liberty for all.

Christina Rivera: May you [Slide #3] deal forthrightly and honestly with us, keeping foremost in your heart the health and well being of our movement, speaking your truth without fear of repercussion and encouraging others to do the same.

Christina Rivera: I covenant to affirm and promote the right of conscience and the use of the democratic process.

Christina Rivera: In the [Slide #4] spirit of hospitality and understanding among people may all who cross your path feel they have been heard and seriously considered Newly Elected Leaders: I covenant to affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of all.

[Slide #5] General Assembly: We covenant to encourage you and support you as you serve our movement. May our trust carry you through both difficulty and triumph. In gratitude, we thank you for your willingness to serve.

Newly Elected Leaders: With gratitude I acknowledge and accept the trust that you have placed in me.

Co-Moderators Installation

Sarah Dan Jones, Greg Boyd, and Tim Atkins: Eleven months ago, The UUA Board, on behalf of its member congregations, entered into a new leadership relationship that was intended to model what it means to have a beautiful way to work together and a provide pastoral presence as a way to help lead our faith. We heartily approved comoderators of the Board of the Unitarian Universalist Association with the goal of shared leadership and collaboration. Having seen the benefits since then, and in accordance with our bylaws and in the true spirit of covenant, we ask this General Assembly to bless Mr. Barb Greve and Elandria Williams as they continue their journey in leading us to lead and lift up this faith that we love. Please join me in these words, adapted from Gina Whittaker. The co-moderators and the search committee will read the words in bold together, and the assembly will read the words in italics.

[Slide #1] Presenters and Co-Moderators: We gather here this week, A community of leaders within a larger community of faith.

Our work before us, we are called to "deliver the goods" with commitment, reason and foresight.

Remembering we are a religious community, We strive to set our goals, develop our policies and express our opinions With love at the top of all agenda items.

[Slide #2] General Assembly: Remembering we hold open the door to welcome the multitudes who may yet enter We set the pace, teach by example and encourage growth Sustaining a spirit of abundance and a connection to the greater good.

[Slide #3] Presenters and Co-Moderators: Remembering we hold the lamp to illumine others' visions, We pledge our service, listen to each other and our stakeholders and pool our individual gifts With transformation as our overreaching goal.

[Slide #4] General Assembly: Serving together, We are building Unitarian Universalism, We are bonding in unity and love We are blessing each other.

Presentation: President’s Award for Volunteer Service

Co-Moderator: Once again, please welcome President Susan Frederick-Gray for the presentation of the Presidents’ Annual Award for Volunteer Service.

Susan Frederick-Gray: The President's Annual Award for Volunteer Service to the Unitarian Universalist Association (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 President is proud to recognize the Liberal Religious Educators Association (LREDA) as the recipient of the 2018 Volunteer Service Award.

Since 1955, LREDA has been committed to promoting professional standards in religious education. LREDA’s partnership with the UUA to create a religious education credentialing program set a key standard for religious educators nationwide. And through the development of a common code of ethics, good offices, and continuing professional development resources and trainings, LREDA has continually invested in and supported the highest professional standards for religious education.

LREDA and its leaders have long charged our Association to live and lead at the margins of our faith, from the Diversity and Inclusion Team to focusing on the spiritual dimensions of the tough topics of race, human sexuality, death, and our relationship with money. From the initial conversations and leadership that created the About Your Sexuality and later the Our Whole Lives curricula, to commissioning their own anti-racism audit, to becoming the first Welcoming Organization, and most recently, members of LREDA leading the call and developing curriculum resources and trainings for a White Supremacy Teach-In in which over 700 congregations participated, LREDA has exemplified how courageous conversations create spaces where all are welcome.

Throughout its history and in this moment, LREDA and its members have been bold and fearless in challenging our faith to be more inclusive and to deal with the issues of the time with honesty and courage through an unwavering commitment to developmental learning and growth.

This award comes with the financial award of $1,000 to be given to the charitable organization of one's choice.

LREDA has selected the Promise and the Practice Campaign to fund Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism as the recipient of the financial gift. Once again, LREDA is centering the work of Anti-Racism and Anti-Oppression and leading the way in our faith!

Rules and Process Overview

Co-Moderator: 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.

Motion to Adopt Actions of Immediate Witness

Co-Moderator: We will now consider the Actions of Immediate Witness that you added to the agenda yesterday. You may adopt 1, 2, or all 3. They are not in competition with one another. Adoption requires a two-thirds vote. The Chair of the Commission on Social Witness will make a separate motion for each issue. Then there will be opportunity for debate and amendments on that issue before a vote.

The only acceptable amendments are those submitted at the mini-assembly and reflected in the CSW Alert. If you wish to speak for adoption of a proposed Action of Immediate Witness, go to the Pro mike. If you wish to speak against adoption of an AIW, go to the Con Mike. If you wish to propose an amendment, come to the Amendment Mike.

Amendments will be considered only after 12 minutes of discussion, as long as there are people wishing to speak to the motion.

Susan Goekler: Co-Moderator, the Commission on Social Witness moves to adopt Item 1 found in the CSW Alert as an Action of Immediate Witness that expresses the intent of the delegates at this General Assembly. [debate & vote] The Commission on Social Witness moves to adopt Item 2 found in the CSW Alert as an Action of Immediate Witness. [debate & vote] The Commission on Social Witness moves to adopt Item 3 found in the CSW Alert as an Action of Immediate Witness. [debate & vote]

Responsive Resolutions (if any)

Co-Moderator: It’s time for Responsive Resolutions.

Responsive Resolutions are those resolutions that are brought to us by delegates that are responding to a report made in General Session.

Right Relationship Team Final Report

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

Hannah Roberts Villnave / Yadenee Hailu: (live caption)

GA Spokane 2019


Stephanie Samson: Good afternoon! My name is Stephanie Samson and I am a member of the UU Church in Spokane Washington where the next General Assembly is scheduled in 2019. The General Assembly will be the only big activity in the downtown area. Our small town is a welcoming place. In 2003, I moved from Phoenix to be closer to family and soon found the UU church, which has become a second home for me and has been a life changing event.

I would like to introduce my minister, Rev. Dr. Todd Eklof, who will share via video a brief history of our church and the Spokane community.

[Video] Thank you and I look forward to seeing many of you next year in Spokane.

Process Observation


Final Credentials Report

Co-Moderator: I call on the Secretary of the Association, Christina Rivera, for a final credentials report.

Christina Rivera: (live caption)

Recognition of All Who Made GA Possible

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

Extinguishing of the Chalice


Adjournment and Gavel

Co-Moderator: I now call for the official adjournment of the Assembly. Is there a motion from the Board?

Christina Rivera: Moved: That this General Assembly is now adjourned.

Co-Moderator: All those in favor of adjournment please so signify by raising your voting cards. (Pause for response.) All those opposed. (pause for response.) What say our online delegates?

The motion to adjourn is carried. I declare that the 2018 General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association now stands finally adjourned. Have a wonderful summer. We’ll look forward to seeing you in Spokane next June.

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