From June 21-25, about 40 First Unitarian members and staff participated in the UUA’s General Assembly in the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in downtown Pittsburgh. Our own Reverend Kate (and Rev. Jim Magaw from the South Hills UU congregation) led the opening worship service in stellar fashion, with outstanding contributions from Erica Shadowsong, Ellen Gozion, and Miguel Sague, Jr. GA was attended in person this year by more than 2500 Unitarian Universalists from around the country and around the world, with about an equal number participating online. Alice Carnes, Ebe Emmons, Kyle Gracey, Eleanor Mayfield, and Jean Schmidt served as voting delegates to help decide UUA business.
The delegates at General Assembly passed several essential decisions:
1. gave preliminary approval to the Proposed Article II Revisions.
Note: Because the UUA by-laws specify that changes to Article II must be voted on in two separate General Assemblies, this vote does not actually change Article II this year. This vote initiates a year of further study on the proposed changes, where more amendments can be proposed. In June 2024, the General Assembly will make the final vote for or against this revision package, and if it passes with a two-thirds majority (67%) next year, then the changes will actually be made. (Stay tuned! More on this in next week’s newsletter.)
2. elected various officers, board members, and a new President of the UUA, the Reverend Sophia Betancourt.
3. approved three Actions of Immediate Witness stopping the construction of “Cop City” (a $90 million militarized urban warfare training complex in Atlanta, Georgia), organizing for health equity, and protecting the Dreamers (the recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival – DACA) with a pathway to permanent residence in the US.
While a Business Resolution focused on divestment considered at General Assembly did not pass, the UUA Board of Trustees subsequently issued a statement reaffirming their commitment to the work of climate justice and shaping the way forward on reparations.
Next year’s General Assembly will be entirely virtual, Thursday, June 20, through Sunday, June 23, 2024. We will return to a multiplatform GA in 2025, gathering online and in Baltimore, Maryland, June 19-22, 2025.
The UUA Board of Trustees subsequently issued a statement. Click the link below.