Assembly adopts immigration Statement of Conscience

GA delegates vote

Delegates to the 2013 General Assembly adopted overwhelmingly a Statement of Conscience regarding “Immigration as a Moral Issue” Friday morning. The statement, introduced to the delegates by Susan Goekler, chair of the Commission on Social Witness (CSW), has been several years in the making. In 2010, delegates voted that Immigration as a Moral Issue should […]

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 […]

Hinojosa describes ‘two Americas’ in Ware Lecture

Maria Hinojosa (©Nancy Pierce)

Maria Hinojosa, National Public Radio broadcast journalist, presented the Ware Lecture at General Assembly Saturday night, telling several thousand Unitarian Universalists there are two Americas. Places like Arizona, she said, are “an America where people live in fear of any kind of authority. Imagine looking at officers and feeling fear because the police have the […]

Phoenix UUs know pain, fear of deportation

Geraldine and Tiffany Mendez (©Nancy Pierce)

During the Saturday afternoon plenary the General Assembly heard from Isabel Chairez, a Phoenix resident who spent three months in a Maricopa County jail last year while pregnant. She said she witnessed oral abuse, was only fed twice a day, and did not receive adequate prenatal care. She was released a month before giving birth […]

Talking about immigration with children and youth

Youth at General Assembly (©Nancy Pierce)

Gail Forsyth-Vail, adult programs director of the Unitarian Universalist Association, assembled a panel of three religious educators to discuss how Unitarian Universalist congregations could talk about immigration issues with children and youth. Even though immigration is a complicated issue for adults, said Jessica York, youth programs director for the UUA and one of the panelists, […]

Widow of slain officer supports immigrant rights

Julie Erfle (©Nancy Pierce)

Almost five years ago, Julie Erfle’s husband, a Phoenix police officer, was shot and killed in the line of duty by an undocumented immigrant who had previously been deported. The death of Nick Erfle was a catalyst for anti-immigrant legislation in Arizona. But Julie Erfle, a member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Phoenix, became […]

Opening Ceremony ends with outdoor rally

Arizona Immigration Ministry Witness Event (©Nancy Pierce)

The Opening Ceremony of the Justice General Assembly spilled out onto the streets of Phoenix, Ariz., Wednesday night, as hundreds of Unitarian Universalists processed from the Convention Center to Heritage Square singing, “Freedom is Coming.” At a park one block away, people gathered for the outdoor conclusion of the first-night events, filling the plaza with […]

Team trains to facilitate witness events

Volunteer training for witness events (©Nancy Pierce)

About 100 General Assembly participants gathered Wednesday afternoon for a three-hour public witness training session at the Phoenix Convention Center. The group included a diverse mix from across the country, including youth, young adults from the SALT (Spiritual Activist Leadership Training) group, and the District Presidents Association. Wednesday’s session was designed to train the group […]

Ariz. partners glad we’re here, anxious about court ruling

Sandy Weir (©Christopher L. Walton)

The Unitarian Universalist Association’s immigration justice General Assembly, which takes place this week in Phoenix, Ariz., appears destined to coincide with a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the Arizona law that provoked the UUA’s emphasis on immigrant rights in the first place.

Witness and worship on tap at Justice GA

UUA President Peter Morales, 2011 General Assembly

General Assembly 2012, the long-awaited “Justice GA,” is here. Unitarian Universalists will converge in Phoenix, Ariz., June 20 for five days of social justice education, witnessing, and worship. Expect a different GA than others you’ve been to. This one will be light on business sessions and heavy on social justice work. Virtually every GA event […]

Board seeks input on 2012 Justice GA

The Unitarian Universalist Association Board of Trustees held a workshop Friday afternoon inviting people to share their concerns and ideas for the 2012 Justice General Assembly in Phoenix, Ariz. About 80 people gathered at the “UUA Board Conversation Space: Planning for Phoenix 2012” session. A steady stream of people stood at the microphone to offer […]

2012 ‘Justice General Assembly’ begins to take shape

What will the 2012 Justice General Assembly look like? That’s the question more than 100 people came together to ask and to begin to answer in a Thursday afternoon workshop called “Looking Ahead to General Assembly 2012.” Planners have delivered a clear message that the 2012 GA will not be business as usual. At last […]

AIW approved: ‘Oppose Anti-Immigrant Measures’

Delegates adopted Action of Immediate Witness 1, “Oppose Anti-Immigrant Measures at the State Level (Arizona Law SB 1070 and the Like) and Hasten Federal Immigration Reform,” after adjusting a line that had urged joining “tourism and product boycotts of Arizona.” As amended, the resolution recommends applying “such economic pressure to the state as is specifically […]

Film: ‘Standing on the Side of Love in Arizona’

During the presentation Saturday afternoon that preceded the debate and vote about holding a General Assembly in Arizona, the UUA introduced this six-minute video about Unitarian Universalists and Arizona SB 1070. The film, “Standing on the Side of Love in Arizona,” includes footage of the May 29 protest and march opposing SB 1070 and interviews […]

Hearing on new Study/Action Issue rescheduled

A hearing on the newly selected Congregational/Study Action Issue for 2010-2014, Immigration as a Moral Issue, has been rescheduled due to a conflict with another event. The hearing will now take place Sunday from 10:30-11:45 a.m. in Convention Center room 201. The purpose of the hearing is to learn more about the CSAI process, share […]

Delegates resoundingly approve resolution on Ariz. GA

The 2010 General Assembly has just approved the substitute business resolution that calls for a “Justice General Assembly” in Phoenix, Ariz., in 2012 “for the purposes of witnessing on immigration, racial and economic justice . . . in which business is limited to the minimum required by our bylaws.” The vote was overwhelmingly in favor of […]

Delegates focus debate on substitute resolution

As delegates to the 2010 General Assembly debate a business resolution about meeting in Arizona in 2012, they have rejected a proposal to return to the original resolution as introduced by the Board of Trustees. Instead, they are keeping the debate focused on the substitute resolution developed in two mini-assemblies over the last two days. […]

Preparing for debate: ‘We’re all Arizona’

“We are all Arizona,” said the Rev. Victoria Safford, minister of White Bear UU Church in Mahotmedi, Minn., at Saturday afternoon’s plenary session, “and this is not about Arizona. It is about fear.” Safford was prefacing a debate about whether to boycott Phoenix as the site of the 2012 General Assembly, which is dominating the […]

Immigration is new Study/Action Issue

Delegates selected a new Congregational Study/Action Issue for 2010-2014: Immigration as a Moral Issue. The new CSAI was selected after a runoff vote Saturday morning between two of the original five proposed Study/Action Issues: CSAI 2, “National Economic Reform: A Moral Imperative,” and CSAI 3, “Immigration as a Moral Issue.” None of the proposed issues […]

Mini-assembly: Focus GA in Ariz. on justice, not business

A transformed UUA General Assembly will be held in Phoenix, Ariz., in 2012, if delegates embrace the latest version of a business resolution drafted in response to Arizona’s anti-illegal immigration law SB 1070. The latest version was hammered out in a mini-assembly Friday afternoon. Preliminary work was done to merge two amendments that came out […]

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