A Stable Faith
The annual General Assembly (GA) of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) is held in a different city every year. This year it is scheduled for June 26 in Portland, OR. Thousands of UUs from around the world gather at GA to meet and greet one another, to study together, and to do the business of our denomination. Even though our regular church season will have given way to summer programming, we will stream the GA Sunday service starting at 12:30pm EDT on June 26, and have a discussion afterwards.
Regarding denominational business, the following two items are coming up for a vote at this year’s GA:
- One authorizes the UUA Board of Trustees to undertake a rewrite of the UUA’s bylaws, as recommended by the Commission on Institutional Change report, Widening the Circle of Concern . As noted by the Commission, the current bylaws were written in a different time, when volunteerism (and the rest of the world) was in a much different place. The structure is now really too big and ineffective with respect to living our values. Furthermore, as observed by the Commission, our current bylaws promote exclusion rather than inclusion.
- The second vote is really a subset of the first. Leadership at the UUA wants to dissolve the GA Committee in order to “to separate the governance responsibilities of the elected Board of Trustees (and their committees) from the implementation responsibilities of the Association staff and staff volunteers.” Again, there are a number of things that make this necessary, not the least of which is that the current multiplatform format requires a great deal more flexibility than the current GA Committee structure allows or makes cumbersome. The GA Committee has not had a role in denomination governance now for quite some time, so this makes sense.
As one of UUCM’s delegates to GA, I will be attending business meetings in order to vote on these two proposals, and whatever else may arise as an Action of Immediate Witness. My initial inclination is to vote ‘yea’ on both of these matters. Of course, between now and when the vote happens there will be lots of discussion… LOTS of discussion! (We are, after all, UU’s!) But if any of you have questions about these matters or would like to discuss them further, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I will, after all, be serving as your delegate!