International Presence at General Assembly 2010

By Nicole McConvery

International Guests in Attendance

Reema Nanavaty Self-Employed Women's Association (SEWA) - India Ms. Nanavaty is the Director of Economic and Rural Development for SEWA, which is the largest labor union of informal sector workers in India. Guji Yukiyasu Yamamoto Tsubaki Grand Shrine - Japan Reverend Yamamoto is the 97th Generation Guji (high priest) of Tsubaki-O-Kami-Yashiro, one of the oldest Shinto shrines in Japan. Rev. Steve Dick International Council of Unitarians and Universalists - England Rev. Dick is the Executive Secretary of the ICUU and serves as a congregational minister and District Executive in England. Eric Hausman Deutsche Unitarier - Germany Mr. Hausman is serving the congregations of Deutsche Unitarier throughout Germany. Rev. Jozsef Kaszoni First Unitarian Church of Budapest - Hungary Rev. Kaszoni is the minister of the First Unitarian Church of Budapest in Hungary. Eva Kelemen Project Harvest Hope - (Transylvania) Romania Ms. Kelemen helped found Project Harvest Hope and Harvest Hope pro Homorod and has been the in-country PHH pilgrimage coordinator since 1996. Rev. David Gyero Transylvanian Unitarian Church - Romania Rev. Gyero serves as the Counselor to the Bishop of the Transylvanian Unitarian Church. Francisco Javier Lagunes Gaitan Free Unitarian Congregation of Mexico City Mr. Gaitan is the lay chaplain for the Free Unitarian Congregation of Mexico City. Jennifer Dickson Canadian Unitarian Council - Canada Ms. Dickson is the Executive Director of the Canadian Unitarian Council, headquartered in Toronto. Rev. Robert Balint Unitarian Church in Meszko - Transylvania, Romania Rev. Balint is the minister of the Unitarian Church in Meszko, Transylvania and the 2009-10 Balazs Scholar from Starr King School for the Ministry Rev. Masamichi Kamiya Rissho Kosei-kai - Japan Rev. Kamiya is the minister of Rissho Kosei-kai of New York

Virtual Guests

Aryanto Nugroho Unitarian Christian Church of Indonesia (UCCI) Mr. Nugroho is the President of the Executive Body of UCCI, which is a member of the ICUU. Beatrice Niyungeko Assemblée des Chrétiens Unitariens du Burundi (ACUB) Ms. Niyungeko works as the Executive Assistant for Action Aid Burundi and is a lay leader of ACUB, which is an emerging ICUU group.

Introduction at Plenary

Our International guests were introduced and warmly welcomed during Plenary session IV. Video of the introduction is available online here (slide the time bar over to the 55 minute mark).

International Village Booth

Located in the exhibit hall at booth #227, the International Village was comprised of the following international UU organizations: The International Village hosted several events during GA, including a musical performance by emma's revolution (hosted by UUGAC), a reading from "Walking in Others' Shoes: Stories from the Early Years of the Partner Church Movement" by author Rev. Gretchen Thomas (hosted by UUPCC), numerous informative talks, and a fundraising raffle for the BUILD UU dormitory project in the Philippines. Raising just under $2,900 for BUILD UU, the raffle awarded Rev. Roger Jones, Family Minister of the UU Society of Sacramento, an all-expense trip to the Philippines in spring 2011 to visit with UU congregations there.


The UUA collaborated with various international UU groups to present three workshops:
  • International Partnership 2.0: Community Based Justice-Making
  • Our Global Faith: Multiculturalism and Partnership
  • Empowering Women Using Microfinance and Organizing: SEWA's Strategy
"International Partnership 2.0" was co-sponsored by Project Harvest Hope, UUA International Resources Office, UU Holdeen India Program, ICUU, and UUPCC. As UU organizations are gaining experience in facilitating community-based justice-making work around the world, US congregations can partner with these organizations literally to change the world. International guests spoke about their experiences with community-based justice-making, including: Reema Nanavaty (Self-Employed Women's Association - India), Eva Kelemen (Project Harvest Hope - Transylvania, Romania), and virtual participant Beatrice Niyungeko (Association of Christian Unitarians Burundi). View a few clips from "International Partnership 2.0": [vimeo 13178546] [vimeo 13179787] "Our Global Faith" was co-sponsored by the UUA, UUPCC, and ICUU. The Global Unitarian/Universalist community can provide American UUs with a new vision of Multicultural identity. Unitarian leaders from beyond the USA helped workshop participants to explore the reality of our global multicultural community and the power of congregational partnerships in a multicultural context. Speakers included: Virtual participants Aryanto Nugroho (Indonesia) and Beatrice Niyungeko (Burundi), and Francisco Javier Lagunes Gaitan (Mexico) who was present at the discussion. It was wonderful to engage with UU leaders via audio/video connections, and for all to discuss in real-time their experiences. View a few clips from "Our Global Faith": [vimeo 13146052] [vimeo 13169599] [vimeo 13170478] [vimeo 13179171] "Empowering Women Using Microfinance and Organizing" was sponsored by the UU Holdeen India Program. The Self Employed Women's Association is one of the UU Holdeen India Program's oldest partners. SEWA's unique strategy is to combine microfinance and community organizing as an effective means of empowering women. SEWA director Reema Nanavaty provided stories of the struggle and discussed ways in which congregations can get involved with their work in India. UUHIP Director Kathy Sreedhar, and UUA International Resources Director Rev. Eric Cherry also participated in the discussion. View a clip from “Empowering Women Using Microfinance and Organizing”: [vimeo 13145155] Full video from each of the workshops will become available in the coming weeks.