Are You Ready for General Assembly?

Nov 29, 2022 | Article II, Beacon, News

General Assembly is the annual gathering of Unitarian Universalists, where we conduct business of the Association, explore the theological underpinnings of our faith, and lean fully into our mission and principles. Please join us Wednesday, June 21 through Sunday, June 25, 2023 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and/or online for this 5-day immersive experience where we participate in inspirational worship services and informative workshops, reconvene with friends and colleagues, and explore our bustling exhibit hall. GA is an unforgettable experience for the thousands of UUs who attend. Meet us online or in Pittsburgh and you’ll leave with renewed energy and innovative ideas to share with your congregation and community-at-large! Watch this video for more.

This Year’s Theme: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging
General Assembly continues to be a time for us to gather, in body and spirit, to honor our history, celebrate who we are, and forge our future together. The General Assembly and Conference Services Team leads the initiative to ensure that diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) are woven throughout, from planning to fruition.
Over the next several months leading to General Assembly 2023, we will highlight aspects of DEIB through a series of videos. Our hope is that you will embrace the theme and activities and continue discussions, both in and outside of the UU community. American developer John Seely Brown said, “conversation is a catalyst for innovation.” Be an innovator and champion for diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and accessibility at General Assembly 2023 and beyond.

Be A Delegate
Delegates are very important to the democratic process at General Assembly. It can also be a truly meaningful experience. Here are two testimonials from past delegates:

“Three years ago, I attended GA at the urging of my friend, Manny Brown. The experience opened up a new, larger world to me of Unitarian Universalism. In fact, the experience was so changing for me that I have continued to go as a delegate representing East Shore every year since. I plan to do so again this next June. I would love for more congregants of East Shore Unitarian Church to experience that wider world. And to consider being a delegate to insure appropriate representation. Delegates do not have to pay to attend General Assembly’s business meetings. Delegates can attend virtually which is how I have attended for the last three General Assemblies and plan to again next June. Please consider being a delegate; or, at least, going to General Assembly 2023.” – Maury Edwards

“Attending GA in person as a delegate is energizing and full of meaning. You experience the energy of hundreds of other UU’s thinking about the future of our faith in one room. There are people to talk with, including VIPs. Sessions give you the context and rationale for the issues you are voting on. You can speak to the question being voted on, or not, and amendments that have been approved in “mini-assemblies” are included in the final voting of any particular item. I found I needed to expect preparation before GA. After all, an educated voter makes better decisions. Preparation was worth it for the meaning full topics to vote on and a sense of community living into UUism!” – Grace Colton

If you would like information about serving as a delegate, please contact Nicole Duff.

What’s On The Ballot? New UUA President and Changes to Article II!
For a few years now, there has been an investigation of our national bylaws as is required by those bylaws every fifteen years. Included in that study are the Seven Principles voted in at General Assembly in 1984. Also included in that study is the language of the Eighth Principle that East Shore voted to adopt in 2020. After an intensive and exhausting study, the Article II Commission, the body responsible for making recommendations for bylaw change, is ready with its recommendations. Those recommendations can be found in this report, that will be presented at General Assembly in June of 2023 for a vote by delegates from across the United States. A history of how the Seven Principles were adopted in 1984 can be found here: How the UU Principles and Purposes were adopted. If the report has a 50% approval vote by those delegates, there will be a one-year discussion period. At General Assembly 2024, the recommendations will be put to a vote for approval by that year’s delegates. If the approval reaches a 66.67% approval vote, our bylaws will be amended to reflect the report’s recommendations.

We also will be voting in a new UUA President. Rev. Susan Frederick Gray has been a wonderful leader, but her term concludes in June. In November, the UUA nominated Rev. Dr. Sofía Betancourt. You can read more about her and the announcement here.