I am writing this just as our annual General Assembly has come to a close. The full name of this event is the General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) of Congregations, but we mostly just call it “G.A.”
This year, for the first time ever, the entire G.A. was held online. Fortunately, G.A. has had an online component for many years. It’s been possible to be an “offsite delegate” (meaning you can vote on G.A. business without attending in-person), and some of the workshops each year have been recorded and available to offsite attendees. It has also become the norm in recent years for key events that are open to the public to be livestreamed, like the Ware Lecture and Sunday morning worship.
So the UUA was well situated to move G.A. entirely online when that decision became necessary this past March.
Like so many other changes that have come as a result of this pandemic and quarantine, there will be no going back to how things were before. Although we missed the buzz and excitement of having thousands of UUs gathered together in one room, it was powerful to know our online gathering minimized our impact on the environment and made this event far more accessible than it has ever been.
Thirteen of us from Chalice attended this “virtual G.A.,” including myself and Chris O’Connor, our Director of Family Ministries. Congregational leaders in attendance represented the Board, the Transformation Team, the Green Team, Family Ministries Team, and more.
We approved two Actions of Immediate Witness at this G.A. One seeks to support Indigenous peoples and repair the harms of colonization, entitled “400 Years of White Supremacist Colonialism.” The second calls to find alternatives to policing and to pursue police abolition within UU justice work, entitled “Amen to Uprising: A Commitment and Call to Action.” Both documents are available on the UUA website, if you would like to read them over.
As always at the conclusion of G.A., my heart is open and full. I love us! G.A. always lifts up our highest ideals, and at the end of our time together, I am somehow both exhausted and revived, overwhelmed with ideas and excited to bring some of these thoughts back to our shared congregational life.
Chalice watched the G.A. Sunday morning worship together in lieu of our own worship experience, and I hope that was meaningful for you. Thousands of UUs across the country watched that worship service together.
There was so much good at G.A. this year, but the best part, really, has to be that all the workshops were recorded, and everything I didn’t have time to squeeze in over the past several days is still available for me to engage with over the next several months. I can’t wait to dig into the workshops that Chalice congregants told me were meaningful and thought-provoking. (These recordings are available to registrants, not the general public—sorry!)
We’ll have a worship service in August for congregants who attended G.A. to share with the rest of the congregation the highlights of their experience.
Blessings and love to each of you,
To schedule an appointment with Rev. Sharon:
Text or call: 619.871.9959