Here at the UUA, now is when so much of our attention turns to our largest gathering of the year—General Assembly (GA). GA is the annual gathering of Unitarian Universalists from across our Association. It is where we engage the governance and business of our Association, explore the theological foundations of our faith, learn together, worship as a larger community, and discern the ways we are called more deeply by our mission and principles. This remains true even when we cannot gather in-person. Last year, virtual GA had more than 4,900 registered attendees participate from remote locations around the world. Let’s build on this number!
This year we have exciting and interactive programming, invigorating worship, and transformative business on the agenda. We also have exciting updates in our technology to strengthen virtual engagement. Registration gives you access to our new GA app where announcements are made, conversations are already happening, and the program guide is published. Remember too that our on-demand library of GA content will be yours to view throughout the summer...if you register!
And in case you missed it, I am thrilled to announce that the 2021 Ware Lecture will feature Stacey Abrams & Desmond Meade! I can’t wait!
I am immensely grateful for the many General Assembly staff and volunteers, who, each year, create a GA that is inspiring and grounded in our shared values—in particular, LaTonya Richardson, UUA General Assembly and Conference Services Director. I am pleased to share this message from LaTonya about what the future of GA could be like:
If the Commission on Institutional Change (which completed its work early in 2020) had witnessed our success with Virtual GA 2020, I imagine it would have recommended a virtual gathering every other year. The idea of alternating between an in-person GA and a virtual one is but one of the possibilities being discussed amongst GA stakeholders this spring.
Now is the time to renegotiate our contracts with Portland, Oregon—the location of our 2022 GA. The GA Conference Services office is again gazing into a crystal ball and making predictions about how UUs will engage next year. I can feel the excitement of being together in person once again—to sing together a thousand voices strong, to hug and to share a meal. AND the benefits of virtual GA enable us to honor equity, sustainability, and inclusion in a more significant and meaningful way. We expect GA 2022 will be a multi-platform GA with thousands engaged in person and thousands more online! And we hope you will be there! Mark your calendars for June 22-26, 2022.
I hope you are receiving the weekly email announcements with GA Updates. These go to all current and previous GA attendees. Register today to see weekly updates of our programming, business, and events happening at GA. You can also find updates by following the GA Facebook page. I find the flash poll results to be intriguing!
We miss you and look forward to connecting for justice, healing and courage, as we CIRCLE ‘ROUND for virtual General Assembly 2021 beginning on June 23rd.
Yours in community,
Susan Frederick-Gray and LaTonya Richardson
P.S. If you have not yet registered for the 2021 all-virtual General Assembly (GA), do so today! And encourage other leaders and members in your congregation to register as well.