An Invitation to Remember, Reflect and Aspire at General Assembly

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50th Anniversary Perspectives:

The Spirit and Necessity of Liberal Theology
Dr. Gary Dorrien, Leading American theologian Union Theological Seminary New York
Friday 1:00 PM  Ballroom A&D

A People’s History of Universalists and Unitarians
Rev. Dr. John Buehrens
Thursday 2:45 PM Ballroom C

Community Churches and Consolidation: John Haynes Holmes and Clarence Skinner
Dr. Dan McKanan, UUA Senior Lecturer
Harvard Divinity School
Friday 10:45 AM 213 D

Moral Imagination: 50 Years of UU Social Justice
Panel Discussion
Thursday 9:00 AM Ballroom A&D
Looking Forward, Looking Back: UU Scholars of Color Assess our History Panel Discussion
Saturday 1:00 PM 208 A

Fifty Years of Sexual Justice
Rev. Debra Haffner
Thursday 10:45 AM 218-219

Rewriting the UU Narrative: Where We Went Wrong
Rev. Dr. Mark Morrison-Reed
Friday 2:45 PM Ballroom A&D

Meet the UUA Presidents
The Revs. Schulz, Buehrens, Sinkford and Morales
Thursday 10:45 AM Ballroom A&D

50th Anniversary Worship Services:

Opening Worship: Re-Covenanting after 50 Years
Wednesday 7:45 PM  Hall C

Love, Unity, Aspiration: Blended Family as Metaphor
Dr. Leon Spencer
Friday 8 AM  Hall C

A Promise We Will Keep: Synergy Bridging Worship
Friday 8 PM  Hall C

What They Dreamed Is Ours to Do
Rev. Claire Feingold Thoryn
Saturday 8 AM  Hall C

And more:

Visit the Fiftieth Anniversary Booth (#921) in the Exhibit Hall
Share your UU memories in our recording booth and get your free 50th Anniversary pin!

50th UUA Birthday Party
Join the Celebration in the Exhibit Hall immediately following Opening Worship

New Epiphany Revival Hour
with UU composer and songster Nick Page, Friday 7 PM Hall C

Sing Fifty Years of UU Music
Saturday 7 PM in Hall C, before the Ware Lecture by Karen Armstrong

Welcome Message to Future GA Choir Members

Hello Future GA Choir Members!

I am thrilled to be the GA Choir Director for 2011! John Herrick (from Charlotte, NC) will be our fabulous GA Accompanist. I want to invite you to join the GA Choir this year, and let you know some of the changes and special things we’ll be doing this year.

Registration NEW!
This year, registration for the GA Choir will be done differently. The intention is to minimize the chaos and delay of registering for choir immediately before the first choir rehearsal. Instead of lining up to register for choir before the first rehearsal outside the rehearsal room, you will be able to register for choir and pick up your music, for a fee of $10, at the main GA registration area anytime during regular conference registration hours, which will begin on Tuesday, June 21st, 2:00-6:00 pm.

Registration for choir will continue at the main registration area on Wednesday from noon until 2:45. At 2:45, we will move registration outside the choir rehearsal room. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. If all available choir spots fill, we will keep a waiting list for spots that may open after the first rehearsal and notify you in time for the second rehearsal.

Rehearsals
The GA choir rehearsals will be Wednesday, 3:00-4:15 pm, and Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, 1:00-2:15. Participation in the GA Choir is a large time commitment and will limit the number of the wonderful workshops you can attend. I appreciate your commitment to this important and valued part of GA.

Choir Attire
This year, choir members will wear all black. If you have a stole of scarf that you wear as part of your home choir, please bring it. If not, please bring a long scarf from home to wear over your black shirt.

Repertoire
This year, the repertoire, particularly for the Sunday morning service, will be more contemporary. The Sunday morning music will be lively, solo-driven, and will be accompanied by both John Herrick and the amazing GA Band. Ideally, we would learn some of these pieces aurally rather than with written music and sing them with our hands free. In the interest of time, we will have written music, but it is my hope that we can shed the sheet music as the week progresses and have our hands open when we sing for morning worship. Think, “open minds and open hands”!

Services
There are two opportunities for the GA Choir to sing. We will sing for Sunday morning worship, 8:45-10:15 am. and for the Closing Celebration, 5:00-6:00 pm.

I look forward to making music with you!

Amber Fetner
Music Director
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Athens

Choir at GA

Sneak Peek at the 2011 Exhibit Hall!

This year we have a full and lively bunch of exhibitors ready to serve your information, justice, networking, religious and shopping needs! How could they possibly cover all that and more?  To find out…

Check out our online list of exhibitors

Our new mobile/web guide Event Mobi will let you see exhibitors as well with the added functionality of being able to search by categories!

The Unitarian Universalist Association is committed to a diverse marketplace of ideas.  Participation in our exhibit hall does not necessarily mean the UUA endorses the position of any given exhibitor.

King rooms now available at Crowne Plaza

GA Housing Update: There are currently a limited number of King rooms  available at the Crowne Plaza Charlotte Hotel which is located five blocks from the Convention Center.  We are still working on acquiring rooms with two beds from some additional properties.  If you need a room with two beds, please check back next week.  If you only need one King bed, please book a room at the Crowne Plaza now.

Thank you for your continued patience as we work hard to add to our hotel room inventory.

As we said earlier, housing reservations for General Assembly 2011 have been coming in at a pace we haven’t seen in years.

We are gratified that the level of excitement over this 50th Anniversary celebration is so high. The General Assembly Office is currently in negotiation with other area hotels – just having added one hotel option and hoping to be able to continue increasing the size of the UUA’s hotel room block soon.

General Assembly housing information is posted here.

Vegetarian and Vegan dining options in Charlotte

Who out there attending General Assembly this year is vegetarian or vegan?  There is one of each in our office of four- so there has to be lots more of you out there too!

Not to fear- there will be plenty to eat.  I know when I arrive in a new city without my culinary guideposts finding somewhere to dine out can be a bit daunting.

So we’ve started to get the lay of the land for you.

Bon Appétit!

We have already asked the caterer in the exhibit hall to provide vegetarian and vegan options- so there will be something at the convention center for you.

While venturing around Charlotte for a meal out you might want to consider:

Enso – an Asian restaurant that has a vegetarian and vegan-friendly menu, though also serves meat.  (We ate here on our site visit and liked it a lot).

Blynk Organic is nearby with sit down option or prepackaged to go- I plan to check it out in June.  VegGuide.org says vegan, gluten-free and vegetarian options are well marked on the menu.

Brixx Wood Fired Pizza looks vegetarian friendly, and though I can’t find the information on the website, VegGuide says that they offer vegan cheese. (I can’t promise this is true, but you may want to call or check it out)

If you’re willing to travel about 2 miles from the convention center you can experience Luna’s Living kitchen– specializing in vegan and raw foods.

Salsarita’s seems to have vegetarian options.  See for yourself.

Check out options on your own by going to

VegGuide.org

HappyCow.com

If you live in Charlotte or just happen to know some great vegetarian or vegan places to eat there- please share in the comments!  Thank you!

UUs are filling lots of Hotel Rooms in Charlotte – Big GA this year!

We have just added another hotel to our reservation system.  If you haven’t been able to get a room yet you can go online and reserve now.

Registrations and housing reservations for General Assembly 2011 have been coming in at a pace we haven’t seen since the 2007 GA in Portland, Oregon (when we had 5,787 attendees).

Charlotte, North Carolina

We are gratified that the level of excitement over this 50th Anniversary celebration is so high. The General Assembly Office is currently in negotiation with other area hotels – just having added one hotel option and hoping to be able to continue increasing the size of the UUA’s hotel room block soon.

General Assembly housing information is posted here.

‘Charlotte’s Got a Lot’ iPhone App & Mobile Site

Available for free download in the Apple App Store, the ‘Charlotte’s got a lot’ iPhone App identifies your location and maps nearby restaurants, hotels, attractions and more!

If your a Smartphone user, you’re in luck, too. The ‘Charlotte’s got a lot’ Mobile Site serves up a “stripped down” version of the Charlotte Travel and Tourism site offering pertinent information: upcoming events, hotel, dining, shopping, nightlife and attractions listings and more!

Check out our new 2011 GA Web/Mobile Event Guide!

We have recently unveiled a new interactive, innovative, and eco-friendly mobile event guide that gives attendees the ability to engage and access event information on their smartphones, tablet devices and computers.

GA 2011 web/mobile guide

It goes well beyond what is possible with a traditional printed guide.  It allows us to take our GA event to the next level by enhancing attendee networking, and increasing engagement, all while reducing paper printing. Attendees will have easy access to customizable agendas, maps, speaker bios, attendee profiles, and detailed exhibitor information right on their phone or portable computer. Speakers and exhibitors are currently updating their profiles, so you can keep checking back for more information.  You can even make your own attendee profile right now!

You can see our general schedule here and always check our website for the latest and greatest information!

GA Planning Committe Doubles Scholarship Funding

The General Assembly Planning Committee is thrilled to announce that the amount designated for Financial Need and Scholarships has been doubled for the 50th Anniversary General Assembly in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The Planning Committee’s matching-fund scholarship program was created to increase economic accessibility for folks who want to attend General Assembly and to encourage congregations to send delegates to our annual meeting of congregations. (more…)

Proposing a program for the 2011 General Assembly

New this year, there is a unified process to propose a program for the 2011 General Assembly. Beginning September 1, GA program proposals may be submitted by way of an online proposal form at uua.org/ga.

Proposals submitted via the 2011 General Assembly Program Proposal Form will be reviewed by both the GA Program Development Group (PDG) and the GA Planning Committee. The PDG is a diverse team of Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) staff and GA Planning Committee representatives committed to providing excellent General Assembly programs that are aligned with the vision and mission of the UUA and its member congregations. The PDG will review program proposals with the goal of filling over 100 program slots. The GA Planning Committee will also review proposals seeking innovative programs and distinguished speakers that will appeal to many UUs attending GA.

The  deadline for submitting a GA program proposal is November 1.