We are in touch with our theological roots, we are engaged in transforming our faith, and we are fired up to take action in the wider world.
What is our annual UUA gathering, General Assembly (GA), all about? https://vimeo.com/386281324 Each day of GA offers numerous opportunities to attend worship services, lectures, over 200 workshops, time to meet other UUs from around the world, visit displays and of course have some fun! This year’s UUA formerly planned in Providence RI will be adjusted in response to covid-19. Naomi Klein will be the Ware Lecture speaker. See the schedule posted on the bulletin board in our Fellowship Hall and at https://www.uua.org/ga.
COVID-19: General Assembly Update
Year after year, General Assembly gives us an opportunity to pause and be together, reminding us of our connection to each other and to our shared Unitarian Universalist faith. In that regard, General Assembly 2020 is no different. While the Conference Services team and GA Planning Committee are working to adapt to the unprecedented needs of this moment, the mission of our work remains the same.
We are monitoring local and national news, as well as hotel and conference service industry organizations, for updates, protocols, and advice about the spread of the coronavirus in the United States. We are discerning how General Assembly will be shaped to meet changes and challenges, but we are sure that General Assembly will take place from June 24 – June 28, 2020.
In the weeks ahead, we will keep you informed to this very fluid situation. Unitarian Universalism teaches us to stay connected, especially in uncertain times. We are hopeful and encourage you take good care of yourselves and one another even as we hold those who are directly affected by this crisis in our thoughts and prayers.
GA will offer more than 100 outstanding programming selections (workshops, panel discussions, worship services, and other presentations) over the course of five days. Programs will provide attendees with concrete and usable tools to further the work, and the balance needed to explore multiple identity-based and theological perspectives. More programming details are available at uua.org/ga.
Like Unitarian Universalism, GA offers a wealth of theological diversity. A variety of worship choices are offered throughout GA. The Service of the Living Tradition is where we commemorate fellowshipped and credentialed religious leaders, those who have died, those who have completed active service, and welcome those who have received fellowship or credentialed status in the past year. Sunday Morning Worship at GA is a powerful, communal worship experience and is the largest annual gathering of UUs in Worship.
Each year a distinguished guest speaker is invited to address the General Assembly as the Ware Lecturer. Recent lecturers have included Bryan Stevenson, Cornel West, and Maria Hinojosa. The 2020 Ware Lecturer will be announced soon.
Financial Aid Available
The UUA is committed to the goal of making GA accessible to as many attendees as possible. Go to uua.org/ga in the month of March to learn about scholarships to support delegates – particularly those from marginalized groups – and volunteer opportunities (work in exchange for registration).
Congregational Participation from Off-site
The votes that GA delegates cast have a huge impact on Unitarian Universalism. They determine our elected leaders, amend the bylaws and rules that govern our Association, and shape the justice work that we do as a movement. If you are interested in serving as a delegate from your congregation, talk to your minister or your congregation’s governing body.
Technology provides opportunities to connect on-site participants with those who cannot attend in person. GA is transforming into a hybrid meeting—incorporating off-site delegate participation, live-streaming of events, and social media to create an interactive experience for on-site and remote attendees. Off-site registrants are able to watch and ask questions in live sessions, including select workshops and business sessions. Off-site Voting Delegates are also able to propose amendments in the live business sessions, participate in debates, and vote in General Sessions.
Go to uua.org/ga to learn how congregations can register Off-site Registrants at a discounted group rate, and to find useful tips how they can gather together locally while they participate in GA.
The UUA is committed to addressing the inclusion of all people, whatever their abilities might be, in all GA activities. Beyond the physical accessibility of the facilities we use—ramps, captioning, seating cut-outs, etc.—we endeavor to take the next step: to truly welcome people with disabilities into every facet of GA.
All children are welcome to attend GA events with their parents or guardians. Children who have not yet entered high school (or its equivalent) are welcome to attend GA events with their parents or guardians at no cost but are still required to register. For parents who need child care, Children’s Programs are available Thursday, Friday and Saturday during GA. Register for Children’s Programs by May 28 at uua.org/ga.
Attending the annual General Assembly as a high school aged youth (grades 9-12 in the preceding school year, or the equivalent for home-schooled youth) is an incredible experience. Not only do you get to worship, witness, learn and connect in a multigenerational continental community, you can get to know hundreds of other youth and participate in making an impact on the Association through the democratic process.