In the first year of a two-year process, delegates approved changes to the UUA’s “C” bylaws that introduce a new intermediary structure between congregations, districts, and the Association. The current bylaws define geographic districts, but several districts have started working together as multi-district regions. Delegates voted to amend four parts of the C bylaws to change references to “districts” to “districts and regions.”
As part of the same motion, delegates approved amendments to Rule G-13.2.1 that removed references to the three districts that voted earlier this year to cease existence and reorganize as a single MidAmerica Region.
A few delegates raised questions or objections to a difference between the C-bylaw changes and the G-rule changes. The G-rule change adds the name “MidAmerica” to the list of districts and does not use the term “region.” One delegate asked why the term “district” couldn’t be understood to include “region.” UUA legal counsel Tom Bean explained that because a C-bylaw requires votes over two years before it goes into effect, the rule change needed to recognize the MidAmerica Region as a “district” for one year.
The Rev. Mel Hoover received the 2013 Distinguished Service Award from the Unitarian Universalist Association, recognizing his work in anti-racism, anti-oppression, community building, gender equality, and environmental justice, and his role in shaping the path of faithful justice-making in the UUA.
In presenting the award, UUA Board member Lew Phinney, said: “When the biblical writer advised those setting out to do holy work to be ‘as wise as a serpent and gentle as a dove,’ he must have anticipated Mel Hoover’s appearance on the scene in the 20th century. Mel is a truth seeker, truth speaker, collaborator, networker, and community builder. His ministry is filled with gifts of the spirit—grace, hope, and courage. Where others see injustices and fall into despair, Mel looks for ways to make new paths.”
Now the co-minister of the UU Congregation of Charleston, W.Va, with his co-minister and wife Rose Edington, Hoover also served on staff of the UUA for many years as assistant to the president and advocate for racial inclusiveness.
Delegates gave Hoover a standing ovation as he accepted the award. Hoover came to the podium with a photograph of his brother, Felix. Hoover had wanted his brother to be with him when he received the award, but he died a month ago. He was joined on the stage by his wife and co-minister and several friends.
Hoover spoke of first learning of Unitarian Universalism watching white people march among black civil rights activists in Selma, Ala. He found out they were Unitarian Universalists, and he wanted to know them better.
Despite the years of struggle and progress, he said that more work needs to be done to end oppression. “The journey is not over yet,” he said. “I stand here today in hope that you and we someday may not just stand on the side of love, but stand in the midst of love together.”
The Synergy program celebrates and affirms the transition from youth to young adulthood. Here is a selection of photos from the service.
You can also watch video of the service:
Author Eboo Patel presented the Ware Lecture at GA Friday evening. Patel is the author of Acts of Faith, published by Beacon Press. The book is the UUA…
In their final appearance together before the election on Saturday that will make one of them the next moderator of the Unitarian Universalist Association, Jim Key and Tamara…
During plenary on the afternoon of Friday, June 21, delegates are meeting in small groups to discuss three questions about General Assembly, and members of each group are posting their responses using Twitter:
1. If you could not attend General Assembly, describe the person from your congregation who ought to attend. Why?
2. What do you love best about General Assembly?
3. For the future of our faith, what is the one thing General Assembly should stop doing?
A small group of General Assembly delegates met Friday afternoon to discuss a proposed change to bylaw section C-3.1 on Member Congregations. Nathan Hollister, a member of the…