The 2015 General Assembly (GA) of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) closed Sunday, June 28 in Portland, OR.
More than 4,500 Unitarian Universalists from around the world gathered for five days of workshops, worship, and witness around the theme of “Building a New Way.”
GA is the annual meeting of the UUA and is held each June in a different UUA region. Major highlights of this year’s gathering included:
- Indigenous communities, including Lummi and Chinook Nations, led a worship ceremony and public witness event for climate justice.
- Cornel West, prominent and provocative intellectual, delivered the Ware Lecture.
- The Rev. Clark Olsen, a UU minister and racial justice activist, received the UUA’s 2015 Award for Distinguished Service to the Cause of Unitarian Universalism, the highest award bestowed by the Association.
Delegates from UU congregations passed statements on social justice and climate justice:
- A Statement of Conscience on reproductive justice developed over four years of study and action. Though the UUA has long held pro-choice convictions and has long taught comprehensive sexuality education, this statement embraces a broader reproductive justice framework, which explicitly addresses racial, economic, and gender inequality.
- An Action of Immediate Witness (AIW) supporting the Black Lives Matter Movement, calling congregations “to action, in order to become closer to a just world community.”
- An AIW supporting climate justice campaigns locally, nationally, and internationally, including the Lummi Nation’s opposition to the Gateway Pacific Coal Terminal in Washington State.
- An AIW to call an end to immigrant child and family detention by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
More than $70,000 was collected for the Living Tradition Fund, which provides grants and scholarships to ministers. Nearly $20,000 was raised to support future GA attendance for youth, young adults, people of color, and other marginalized groups. The collection at the Sunday morning worship service raised over $66,000 in support of the Reentry Transition Center, operated by Mercy Corps, Northwest.