Deadline Extended for GA 2012 Program Proposals!

Program proposals for the 2012 General Assembly, a Justice GA, will now be accepted until Wednesday, November 30.

Proposals submitted will be reviewed by the GA Program Development Group (PDG), a diverse team of Unitarian Universalist Association staff and members of the GA Panning Committee. For GA 2012, a Justice GA, the PDG will also include representatives from the Arizona Immigration Ministry (AZIM) and the GA 2012 Accountability Group.

The Program Development Group is charged with identifying excellent General Assembly programming – education and preparation that will build the capacity of Unitarian Universalists to stand in opposition to systemic racism and to witness on immigration, racial and economic justice. The PDG will review all submitted proposals and will select approximately 100 proposed events for inclusion on the General Assembly schedule.

To merit consideration, proposals submitted for the 2012 GA should be related to the issues of migration and borders, and/or racial and economic justice. Workshops and other events that serve to educate and prepare attendees to publicly witness and to perform service, both in Arizona and at home, are especially sought. Every proposal need not be about immigration; however, a reasonable person must be able to draw a clear connection between the proposed topic(s) and the issue of Justice. For example, a program on water scarcity would be considered, as its relationship to immigration and economic justice is easily demonstrated.

All proposals must be submitted by Wednesday, November 30.  Though the Program Proposal Form is short, it still requires the clear description of a fully designed 75-minute event (workshop, worship, etc.). Proposers must assume the participation of people of all abilities and of all generations in all General Assembly activities.

GA 2012 Program Proposal Form

2012 Justice GA Input and Email List

Check out this very short web form and fill it out if you’re interested in sharing your thoughts about the 2012 Justice GA.  You can also sign up to be on an email list to receive planning updates on the same form.

All input collected here will be compiled and shared with GA planners and stakeholders. Beginning in September, detailed plans for programming and witness, as well as arrangements for accessibility, registration, housing, etc. will start to come together. If you provide your email, we will send you updates as more information becomes available. We hope you are excited and ready to participate.

Please fill out this form if you have suggestions for GA 2012, if you have skills/expertise to help with GA 2012, and/or if you would like to receive email updates about the planning of GA 2012.

Exhibiting “Green” at General Assembly

Did you know that UUA will reuse 48,600 square feet of recycled content carpet at General Assembly this year? Carpet reuse avoids about 170,000 lbs of carbon dioxide emissions and saves enough water to fill 74,000 milk jugs!

Through practices like carpet reuse UUA and exhibitors are trying to create a ‘greener’ exhibit hall. A big thank you to all of these exhibitors who took steps to reduce the environmental impact of their booths this year:

These exhibitors reduced their footprint in a variety of ways, including:

  • Avoiding disposable booth elements by using materials and furnishings that are re-usable, rented or able to be donated.
  • Choosing reusable signage options, or ones that can be recycled locally.
  • Reusing packing materials and eliminating non-recyclable packaging.
  • Reducing or eliminating giveaways or ensuring these items are sustainable.
  • Using no lighting for their booth or choosing energy efficient lighting options like LED or CFL bulbs.
  • Using no flooring or choosing a re-usable carpet option with recycled content.

Come visit them in the exhibit hall and applaud their green practices!

To see find out more about the exhibit hall you can visit the list on our website or our new online event guide.

2011 Ware Lecturer is Karen Armstrong

Dr. Karen Armstrong, who has been named Ware Lecturer for 2011 General Assembly, will discuss her new book, Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life and the companion project, Charter for Compassion during her appearance at GA.

Armstrong recommends that anyone attending this year’s Ware Lecture read Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life in advance of her engagement. The book offers thought-provoking information about religious, ethical, spiritual, philosophical, and literary traditions that supports Armstrong’s thesis that compassion is a central component of all.

Final Agenda for the 2011 General Assembly is Now Online

The Final Agenda for the 2011 General Assembly is now online. It contains substantive proposed amendments to the UUA Bylaws that were added to the agenda by the Board of Trustees after the Tentative Agenda was posted in March. Congregations are encouraged carefully review the Final Agenda and discuss the business items with their delegates.

Some of the proposed UUA Bylaw amendments would:

  • Reduce the size of the UUA Board from 26 persons to 14, change the process of electing Trustees, and shorten their terms of service
  • Modify the term of persons serving on the Nominating Committee
  • Introduce a mini-assembly process in the first year of a two year process to amend Article II of the UUA Bylaws, The Principles and Purposes
  • Eliminate Actions of Immediate Witness at General Assembly, or
  • Eliminate Actions of Immediate Witness at General Assembly in 2012, reconstitute them beginning with the 2013 General Assembly, and modify the process for submission

Delegates will also debate and vote on whether to adopt the draft Statement of Conscience Ethical Eating: Food & Environmental Justice.

A Message from the 50th Anniversary Task Force of the UUA

May 15

While we will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of our Unitarian Universalist Association at this year’s General Assembly in Charlotte in June, the true date of the consolidation of the Universalist Church of America and the American Unitarian Association falls on May 15, 1961, the anniversary of which will occur this coming Sunday, May 15, 2011. So let’s get the celebrations started now!

To help our congregations mark this important moment in our history, we would like to share the following possible Chalice Lightings or reflections for worship this Sunday.:

***

Fifty years ago this week, Universalism and Unitarianism in America combined to form the Unitarian Universalist Association. This “milestone moment,” as one leader of the time put it, envisioned a religious family of congregations and people dedicated to a faith that would be “history-making rather than history-bound.” Over the last fifty years Unitarian Universalists have indeed made religious history – at Selma, in courageous interfaith action for justice; in the Women and Religion movement; in pioneering efforts on behalf of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender rights; in environmental activism; and more. Therefore, “seeing that we are compassed round by so great a cloud of witnesses, the great of past and present and all the humble heroes who worked and sacrificed beside them, who, indeed, held up their hands and made strong their voices, let us now, in our own day, lay aside every weight of selfishness and fear and take up with faith and joy the urgent tasks to which this historic hour has summoned us. Let us together build the free and universal church of tomorrow.”

Based on the sermon given by the Rev. Dr. Donald Szantho Harrington at the
service in Symphony Hall, Boston, celebrating the formation of the UUA.

***

50th Anniversary Chalice Lighting words by Stefan Papa:

As two candles lit one flame fifty years ago, the chalice held two traditions with their histories, hopes, and dreams.

Our kindred fellowships have come together; united, we are stronger. With gifts from each tradition, we have developed our faith for today: an empowering, justice seeking and spiritually grounded faith, which blesses us and calls us to live with courage and love.

May this fire kindle within us, as it did for those who lit it fifty years ago, strength and hope, clarity and commitment, gratitude and faith in the future.

***

For more worship resources, to explore historical documents, or to share your own reflections about our Association and participate in our Oral History project, please visit us at http://www.uua.org/50th .  Happy Anniversary, everyone!

Yours in Faith and Celebration,

The 50th Anniversary Task Force of the UUA

UUA Congregational Life Staff Group invites you to TABLE TALKS at GA

The UUA Congregational Life Staff Group will be facilitating Table Talks throughout GA.  Table Talks may be follow-up questions from GA programming or stand alone questions on many topics.  Each Table Talk will last 27 minutes.

Visit the Congregational Life Booth in the GA Exhibit Hall ( Booth# 721 on the UUA Expressway) for a schedule of Table Talks.

Sample topics (subject to change):

  • Governance
  • Hot Worship (beyond the weekly announcements)
  • Stewardship
  • What is the Adaptive Leadership Toolkit?
  • Appreciative Inquiry: asking better questions for tomorrow
  • What IS Justice Ministry?
  • Ministerial Transition: how to best utilize your district staff when you’re in a ministerial transition?
  • Conflict
  • Size Changes: Transition conflicts
  • Family MinistryTable Talks