General Assembly Planners and Collaborators

Two women wearing purple GA Planning Committee shirts speak from the podium

Co-Chairs of the General Assembly Planning Committee Ila J. Klion and Debra Boyd at the Opening of General Assembly 2019.

Many committees, task forces, staff offices, and meetings make GA happen, starting several years before the event.


General Assembly Planning Committee (GAPC)–oversees development of each GA, managing those pieces not directly managed by others within the UUA. Voting members are those who are elected by General Assembly (GA) delegates or appointed by the UUA Board.

Non-voting participants include the Director of the General Assembly and Conference Services, the Moderator, the UUA Board liaison, and the Local Arrangements Chair(s). The Worship Arts Team Chair and the GA Music Coordinator and Song Leader are sometimes invited to attend, as are other individuals with business related to the General Assembly Planning Committee.

Board of Trustees – the Moderator sets agenda for and facilitates General Sessions. The Board of Trustees moderates Mini-Assemblies (set-aside time for delegates to work on specified agenda items prior to those items coming up for a vote in General Sessions) for Proposed Business Resolutions and Bylaws/Rules changes.

Council on Cross-Cultural Engagement – representatives of professional and identity-based UUA groups whose charge relates to the governance of the Association. The Council on Cross-Cultural Engagement typically meet immediately after GA to review our engagement in cross-cultural ministries during GA; General Assembly Planning Committee Chair represents the committee.

General Assembly Mission of the Association Partnership (GAMAP)– Immediately prior to the September meeting of the General Assembly Planning Committee, this group gathers at the behest of the President to set themes for the next GA and address any issues relevant to the administration, the Board, and the Planning Committee. GAMAP generally has two people from the administration including the President, two from the Board including the Moderator, two from the Planning Committee including the Chair, and the Director of General Assembly and Conference Services.

Grid Meeting– Each year a team that includes members of the General Assembly Planning Committee, Commission on Social Witness, Youth Caucus, Young Adult Caucus, UU Musicians Network, General Assembly and Conference Services staff and the Moderator meets to examine the General Assembly schedule and recommend a schedule to the GA Planning Committee. They consult with others as needed to draft a General Assembly schedule that will serve the needs of delegates and other attendees. The draft schedule is reviewed and finalized by the Planning Committee.

Program Development Group (PDG)– The PDG is a diverse team of individuals comprised of Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) staff, religious professionals, lay leaders, and members of the GA Planning Committee. The PDG is charged with identifying and selecting excellent General Assembly programming aligned with the vision and mission of the UUA and its member congregations.

Worship Arts Team (WAT) – selects worship leaders and provides liturgical guidance; also provides support and direction to worships sponsored by others—the Service of the Living Tradition [UUMA], Synergy [Lifespan Faith Engagement Office], and Sunday Morning [President]; budget through the General Assembly Planning Committee; chair serves as liaison to the Planning Committee and in that role provides regular updates to the committee. GA Worship Arts Team (WAT) Volunteer Interest Form

Music Ministry Team (MMT)–budget provided by the General Assembly Planning Committee

  • GA Music Coordinator and Song Leader – (selected by the Association for Unitarian Universalist Music Ministries (AUUMM) – administrator for all aspects of music at GA; serves on Worship Arts Team
  • GA Choir Director (selected by the AUUMM) – reports to GA Music Coordinator
  • GA Band Leader (selected by the AUUMM) – reports to GA Music Coordinator

UUA Staff & Committees

UUA President – besides participating in General Assembly Mission of the Association Partnership (GAMAP) (see below), the President invites the speaker for the Ware Lecture.

General Assembly and Conference Services (GACS) Staff– professional staff that coordinate logistics such as registration, housing, the exhibit hall, services to our attendees prior to General Assembly, and the GA Program.

Organizing Strategy Team (OST)– plans and manages the GA Witness event; the General Assembly Planning Committee budget and General Assembly and Conference Services Director provide logistical support.

Commission on Social Witness (CSW)– five members: three elected and two appointed; discern and craft a vision for the Association on pressing social issues; responsible for both Congregational Study/Action Issues (CSAI) leading to Statements of Conscience (SOC) and Actions of Immediate Witness (AIW). The Commission on Social Witness moderates Mini-Assemblies (set-aside time for delegates to work on specified agenda items prior to those items coming up for a vote in General Sessions) for Proposed CSAIs, Proposed SOCs, and Proposed AIWs.

Lifespan Faith Engagement Office (LiFE) – provides support for General Assembly Youth, organized by and for high-school-aged youth, offering a full schedule of business meetings and other events; also provides support for Young Adults at General Assembly (YA@GA).


Local Arrangements Task Force (LATF)

If you are interested in joining the Portland-based local area/arrangements team, please email to learn more.

  • Local Arrangements Chair – recruited by UUA staff, appointed by the General Assembly Planning Committee; meets with Planning Committee starting April, one year prior to GA in their city; serves as liaison for Local and National volunteer staff with General Assembly and Conference Services staff/Planning Committee; recruits other members of the Local Arrangements Task Force. Job description (PDF)
  • Atmosphere Coordinator – responsible for ambience, the banner parade, and evening events. May include recruiting other UUs to help with pre-GA tasks and banner hanging at GA. Job description (PDF)
  • Information Services Coordinator – responsible for Greeter/Ask Me staff and the provision of information about local restaurants and events that would be of interest to GA participants. Job description (PDF)
  • Social Justice Project Coordinator – responsible for selection process, working as liaison with local social justice organization, oversight of the complementary booth in Exhibit Hall, and the “ask” before the collection/offertory at Sunday service (includes video piece). Job description (PDF)
  • Local Arrangements Task Force Document Packet (PDF)

National Volunteers

Selected by General Assembly and Conference Services staff. These individuals learn their jobs by shadowing and serve for several years at the request of the General Assembly and Conference Services staff /General Assembly Planning Committee.

  • Accessibility Coordinator
  • House Manager, manages ushers and front-of-house duties
  • Administrative Assistant, manages the Volunteer Office
  • Ex-officio Members – by virtue of their roles, these individuals also serve for multiple years at the request of General Assembly and Conference Services/General Assembly Planning Committee.
  • Production Manager/Stage Manager, Plenary Hall Tech/CMI Liaison, Production Manager Job Description (pdf)
  • Registration Coordinator (filled by UUA staff)

Meetings of Local Arrangements Task Force and National Volunteers – all meetings are facilitated by the Local Arrangements Chair. A meeting occurs on the Saturday of the General Assembly Planning Committee April meeting; morning meetings during GA are held as needed. At start of GA, a dinner gathering is planned by the Local Arrangements Chair and paid for by the Planning Committee budget. All participants in the LATF, with the exception of UUA staff, receive complimentary GA registration and are eligible for reimbursement for all travel, hotel, and meal expenses according to UUA guidelines.

Care Team Volunteers

Accessibility Services (onsite and off-site)
Onsite: Provide information and assistance to individuals with mobility difficulties and those who request other services. Experience with providing services to persons with disabilities is desirable. 
Off-site: Help registrants encountering accessibility problems with the GA Participation Portal and finding solutions to the problems. Volunteers will work closely with staff to fix issues that can be resolved. Must be comfortable talking on the phone.

Chaplain Team (onsite and off-site)
GA Chaplains manage and coordinate care for registered attendees experiencing spiritual or physical crisis during GA. Chaplains must be in final fellowship with the UUA MFC and a member in good standing with the UUMA (retired ministers are also encouraged to apply).

Conflict & Covenant Team (onsite and off-site)
The Conflict & Covenant Team assists registered attendees of virtual General Assembly who are in conflict and/or whose actions violate the GA covenant (which is accepted and agreed to by all attendees prior to being granted access to the virtual GA Portal). Team members must have prior training and experience in conflict resolution.

Inclusivity Review (pre-GA)
Work closely with the Worship Arts Team to apply ARAOMC lens to General Assembly pre-recorded video, written materials, and musical content to implement the UUA's Anti-Racist, Anti-Oppressive, Multi-Cultural principles.

Safety Team (onsite)
The safety team will respond to and intervene in incidents of harm, attend to crises both medical and emotional and interact with outside agencies including the police towards the safety of convening participants.

Systemic Justice Team (off-site)
The GA Systemic Justice Team assists registered attendees from currently and/or historically marginalized communities in creating structural change by providing access and advocacy to challenge and change oppressive structures and/or systems. Team members must have a thorough comprehension of the issues of oppression experienced by various individuals and groups in our event community.

Consulting mental health professional (onsite)
Volunteer recruited by Local Arrangements Chair to provide back-up as needed to General Assembly and Conference Services staff, the General Assembly Planning Committee, and the Chaplains; complementary registration through the General Assembly Planning Committee budget.

Production Volunteers

Off-site Production Volunteers – off-site volunteers who apply and receive a team assignment a virtual registration in exchange for 20 hours of work (12 in some cases) during GA at jobs like transcription and video editing, zoom or chat hosting.

Onsite Production Volunteers – onsite volunteers who apply and receive a team assignment receive a t-shirt and a full-time registration in exchange for 20 hours of work (12 in some cases) during GA at jobs like registration check-in, ushering, and "ask me" greeters.


MeetGreen– experts in environmental stewardship with extensive knowledge of environmentally responsible meeting practices; contracted by General Assembly and Conference Services to monitor sustainability practices.

CMI – audio-visual provider for the General Session Hall at General Assembly; contracted by General Assembly and Conference Services to ensure excellent production values.

Heritage Exposition Services – a full-service special event and trade show contractor building out the GA Exhibit Hall.

KiddieCorp Child Care– a national company providing children with a comfortable, safe, and happy experience while their parents attend professional meetings; contracted by General Assembly and Conference Services to provide child care for children who have not yet completed 5th grade.

Middle School Day Camp – for youngsters who have completed 5th through 8th grades; managed by religious education professionals recruited by the General Assembly Planning Committee and assisted by KiddieCorp.