A Virtual Future for the UUA Office at the United Nations

UU@UN Staff and Interns at a recent Morning Meeting conducted via Zoom. (With a stock photo of a desk from Canva)

UU@UN Staff and Interns at a recent Morning Meeting conducted via Zoom

By Bruce Knotts

Like much of the world, we in the UUA Office at the United Nations have operated virtually for nearly a year – and we have done so very effectively. We have attended and hosted meetings and events online. We have mentored and worked with interns and colleagues. Other than infrequent visits, we have not been in our office since March 9, 2020 – exactly one year ago today.

I know the strong emotional attachments that many have to our office at the Church Center for the UN, where we have been located for several decades. Prior to the pandemic, our strategic planning efforts made clear that having a physical office was not mission-critical for achieving our goals. The pandemic has only made this reality more apparent, especially as we have successfully shifted our work responsibilities online without interruption.

Our lease at the Church Center ends in April 2021 and we will not renew it. We will continue to operate virtually for most of what we do. When meetings can be attended in person at the United Nations and elsewhere, our interns and I will attend and participate in those meetings.

Should we need a place of our own to meet, Community Church NYC has offered to host us. We began our history in 1962 at Community Church and that partnership has been renewed.

We plan to operate as do many other NGOs at the UN: virtual operations, in-person participation at UN-related meetings, and using space at Community Church when necessary. I share the nostalgia that many may have about our former office, but the world has changed and so have we to adapt to new realities.

As we all continue navigating virtual life, we hope to see you online at our virtual Intergenerational Spring Seminar April 9-11, “All In for Climate Justice: Food Equity and Sustainability.” This event is hosted in partnership with UU Ministry for Earth, as part of Spring for Change – A Season of Sacred Activism whose theme this year is “Pathways to Healing and Regeneration.” Learn more about the Seminar and register by March 18.

We are so grateful for your continued support in this new stage of our office’s history.

About the Author

Bruce Knotts

Bruce Knotts is the Director of the Unitarian Universalist Office at the United Nations. He was born and raised in Southern California. He got his Bachelor’s Degree in History from Pepperdine University and his Master’s Degree in International Education from the Monterey Institute of...


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