Carrie and I are here in Spokane, WA this week, for our respective professional days (before General Assembly, the Liberal Religious Educators Association and the UU Ministers’ Association each meet), plus the UU General Assembly.
General Assembly, or “GA,” is an annual meeting of UUs around the country. The location changes every year, moving from one region to another. (Next year, we’ll be on the other coast, in Providence, RI.)
During GA, there are workshops on many topics — undoing racism, how to do things better at church, Unitarian Universalism, and more. This afternoon, I’ll be on a panel discussing (no surprise for those who know me) James Luther Adams.
GA is also filled with beautiful worship services, mixing and mingling, and an exhibit hall full of booths from organizations that interact with UUs.
But the main purpose is our business meeting. This is where decisions are made about our association. One of the principles of Unitarian Universalism is the democratic process. The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) is an association of congregations. Every congregation can send delegates to General Assembly to vote on the issues of that year.
This year, there is a streamlining of that process. The business meeting will be operating with something the Live Oak Policy Team uses — a “consent agenda.” Minor issues that are expected to need little to no discussion go on the consent agenda. It is expected that all delegates will have already read through it, and can pass it with a simple vote. This is expected to save hours of time, and I think it’s a smart move forward. (If there are issues on the consent agenda that delegates decide need more discussion, they can vote to move them outside this vote for more time.)
Our polity means that congregations hold the power to make significant decisions. (And as Spider-Man says, with great power comes great responsibility.) Want to know more about GA? The below link will connect you with what’s happening here!