Guide to 2012 General Assembly coverage

Justice General Assembly banners in Phoenix (©Nancy Pierce)

Below are direct links to UU World‘s reports on the 2012 Justice General Assembly in Phoenix, Ariz. Visit our General Assembly blog for the latest reports. For live video of major events, on-demand video, and transcripts, visit’s General Assembly 2012 page. Reports are organized here by the date of the event, even if we […]

2012 General Assembly news summary

Vigil outside 'Tent City' jail, June 23, 2012 (©Nancy Pierce)

Unitarian Universalists gathered in Phoenix, Ariz., for five days of worship, public witness, and education June 20–24, 2012, at the Unitarian Universalist Association’s “Justice General Assembly.” The 1,723 delegates, representing 530 congregations, didn’t get much practice raising their voting cards this year, as there was limited denominational business. They chose to make reproductive rights the […]

3,714 people came to Justice GA

Young UUs played in a fountain during Friday night's community celebration (©Nancy Pierce)

The 2012 Justice General Assembly drew 3,714 people, according to UUA Secretary Tom Loughrey’s final credentials report in the closing plenary on June 24. The total included 1,359 congregational delegates from 530 congregations in all fifty U.S. states and the District of Columbia, 333 ministerial delegates, and 3 certified religious educators with delegate status. (Three […]

Morales: Justice GA ‘like a dream come true’

After the Sunday morning worship service on the final day of the 2012 “Justice General Assembly,” UUA President Peter Morales told UU World that the Arizona GA had exceeded his expectations.

Video: UCC leaders reflect on General Assembly

Three leaders of the United Church of Christ—a liberal Protestant denomination with 5,600 congregations and 1.2 million members—attended the UUA’s 2012 Justice General Assembly in Phoenix. The Rev. Geoffrey A. Black, the UCC’s general minister and president, toured the Maricopa County “Tent City” jail with UUA President Peter Morales and other ministers on June 23; […]

Video: Youth group shares highlights of Justice GA

UU World talked to the youth group of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Minnetonka in Wayzata, Minn., who traveled to Phoenix as part of a 15-day pilgrimage. The teens, their minister, and the adults who traveled with them talk about the impact of the candlelight vigil at the “Tent City” jail and about the experience of […]

Board to review Fifth Principle Task Force report

Board of Trustees meeting (©Nancy Pierce)

After the close of the Justice General Assembly, the Unitarian Universalist Association Board of Trustees met Monday for a half-day meeting to reflect on last week’s events and discuss upcoming board business. Board members were abuzz with the just-released U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Arizona S.B. 1070 immigration law. Lawyer-board members Nancy Bartlett and Catherine […]

Video: How ‘Standing on the Side of Love’ was born

At the 2012 General Assembly, the Rev. Jason Shelton, associate minister of music at the First UU Church in Nashville, told UU World the story of how he wrote the song “Standing on the Side of Love” back in 2004 while listening to UUA President William G. Sinkford prepare for a phone call with a reporter.

GA 2012 ends on upbeat note

Closing Ceremony, 2012 General Assembly (©Nancy Pierce)

The Justice GA closed Sunday night with a rousing final worship. After five days of learning about immigration issues and after Saturday night’s massive candlelight vigil at the Tent City jail, GA participants gathered one last time before heading home to continue justice work there. The service opened with the group emma’s revolution inviting the […]

Takahashi Morris: ‘Tent City’ and internment camps

The Rev. Leslie Takahashi Morris tells UU World about her experience inside the Maricopa County “Tent City” jail, which she toured with other religious leaders and Sheriff Joe Arpaio on June 23, 2012. She draws parallels with her father’s family’s internment—as U.S. citizen—in the Japanese internment camps in Arizona during World War II. Reflecting on […]

GA finalizes several bylaw amendments without debate

Delegates vote (©Nancy Pierce)

Delegates to the 2012 General Assembly almost unanimously approved several amendments to the Unitarian Universalist Association’s bylaws without debate at Sunday’s plenary. All three amendments required approval by two consecutive General Assemblies and had been endorsed by the 2011 General Assembly. The first amendment removed “associate ministers,” an obsolete category of ministry, from the bylaws, […]

GA repudiates Doctrine of Discovery

Youth Caucus speaks in favor of repudiating the Doctrine of Discovery (©Nancy Pierce)

The General Assembly voted overwhelmingly Sunday afternoon to repudiate the Doctrine of Discovery. The doctrine is the premise that European Christian explorers who “discovered” other lands had the authority to claim those lands and subdue, even enslave, peoples who lived there simply because they were not Christian. Local groups that the UUA is working with […]

Courter: Justice GA has transformed future GAs

UUA Moderator Gini Courter (©Nancy Pierce)

In her moderator’s report at the last Plenary of the Justice General Assembly, Gini Courter spoke of transformation. “All over the county UUs expect transformation,” she said. Personal transformation and societal transformation. After Justice GA, General Assembly has been transformed, Courter said. She invited UUs in Plenary to note how they were changed at this […]

Video: UUs arrive for ‘Tent City’ vigil

UU World filmed last night’s candlelight vigil outside Maricopa County’s “Tent City” jail. Watch this clip showing Unitarian Universalists arriving at the jail, passing counter-protesters, and gathering in witness.

Financial advisor Brody: Justice in UUA finances

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In his plenary report to the 2012 General Assembly, UUA Financial Advisor Dan Brody focused on three areas in which UUA policies and practices have been modified to align with UU values. He described the UUA’s decision in 2010 to move the management of its retirement funds from Fidelity to TIAA-CREF after Fidelity resisted the […]

Vice presidents: How to take Justice GA home

General Assembly banners, Phoenix, Ariz. (©Nancy Pierce)

How do we take the Justice General Assembly home? That was the focus of Sunday afternoon’s plenary report from UUA Executive Vice President Kay Montgomery and Vice President for Ministries and Congregational Support the Rev. Harlan Limpert. “The act of coming here has been a declaration that living our Unitarian Universalist faith is inherently about […]

Crestwell: ‘Go home and start a little trouble’

The Rev. John Crestwell (©Nancy Pierce)

Plenary Hall was nearly filled to capacity on Sunday morning as General Assembly attendees gathered to worship together with song, prayer, and spirited words. Kellie Walker, David Glasgow, and the Rev. John T. Crestwell lead the congregation in song and UUA President Peter Morales offered a welcome to all gathered, saying, “We come to affirm […]

Latino community prepares for Court SB 1070 ruling

UU World talked with Sharon Zapata, president of the Arizona Hispanic Community Forum, about preparations within the Latino/a community for the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Arizona SB 1070. UU World spoke with Zapata at Friday evening’s Community Celebration in Civic Park Square.

Citizenship fair draws hundreds of UU volunteers

UU volunteers assist immigrants at a Naturalization and Citizenship Fair in Phoenix. (©Nancy Pierce)

When Daniel Stracka began to organize a service project helping people complete their paperwork for citizenship for the Justice General Assembly, he hoped to get 200 volunteers. Instead, 600 people signed up. “We were bowled over,” Stracka said. “It was a great affirmation that people wanted to do this kind of work.” Stracka is president […]

‘In 2017, Unitarian Universalism has gone viral’

UUA President Peter Morales (©Nancy Pierce)

In his annual report to the 2012 General Assembly, UUA President Peter Morales stressed the importance of collaboration, especially in working for justice and in helping UU congregations adapt to a rapidly changing society. He began his Saturday, June 23, report by celebrating the work Unitarian Universalists have done to support immigrants and promote immigrant […]


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