WaterFire, and a wedding, cap off Saturday GA celebrations

The UUA sponsored WaterFire Providence, a public art festival, as an opportunity to reach out in love, June 28.
© Nancy Pierce/UUA.

Tens of thousands of people joined in with Unitarians Universalists at the dramatic WaterFire event on Saturday night in downtown Providence, R.I., the public witness event at this year’s General Assembly. As night fell, Unitarian Universalists in their bright yellow Standing on the Side of Love t-shirts were easy to spot in the enormous crowds […]

Witnessing to the power of love

UUA Moderator Jim Key and President Peter Morales lit torches outside the convention center before carrying them to the river for the start of WaterFire. 

©Nancy Pierce/UUA.

The Unitarian Universalist Association is sponsoring tonight’s WaterFire Providence art festival under the theme “Love Reaches Out,” honoring our belief that love is justice and witnessing for the power of love to change the world in radical, faithful ways.

UUA divests from fossil fuels

General Session VI Debate and vote on Divestment. Cindy Davidson, board member of UU Ministry for Earth © Nancy Pierce/UUA.

On Saturday afternoon General Assembly delegates overwhelmingly approved divesting the Unitarian Universalist Association of most of its investments in companies that produce or process fossil fuels, including oil, natural gas, and coal. The vote was held after the required 30 minutes of debate, during which speakers were divided nearly evenly among supporters and opponents. Opponents […]

Delegates discuss making GA more inclusive

Donna Harrison, Vice Moderator of the UUA Board of Trustees. © Nancy Pierce/UUA

Should the General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association be free to everyone? Should it be held every other year? Is its purpose for governance, networking, theological discussion, community—all of these? In short, how can GA be more democratic and reflect more fully the range of voices that Unitarian Universalism includes—including groups that are currently […]

Military chaplain offers tools for UU ruck sack

The Rev. Rebekah Montgomery

An energetic crowd filled Providence’s Dunkin’ Donuts Center Friday night to celebrate and honor Unitarian Universalist religious professionals at the annual Service of the Living Tradition. In her sermon at the event, the Rev. Rebekah A. Montgomery, a U.S. Army Reserve chaplain, called UUs to reach out to the “Other” and offered tools for packing […]

Fossil fuel divestment passes first test

The hottest topic at General Assembly––whether the UUA should divest itself of investments in major producers and processors of fossil fuel, and invest in clean energy technologies––sailed through a miniassembly Friday evening without amendments, clearing the way for it to be voted on by the full delegate body Saturday afternoon. The divestment resolution had been […]

UUs rappel down convention center at GA

President Peter Morales rappels down Convention Center

Would you hurl yourself off a downtown high-rise for the Unitarian Universalist Association? Eighty UUs did just that on Friday, raising over $500,000 by overcoming any fear of heights to rappel 110 feet down the side of the Rhode Island Convention Center in the “Brave Souls” fundraiser, one of the most widely anticipated events of […]

GA 2014 opens with tribute to Pete Seeger

UUA General Assembly  2014 - Opening, banner parade, worship

With the colorful congregational banner parade led by Officer Tony Lepore, the famous dancing traffic cop of Providence, R.I., the 53rd General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association kicked off Wednesday night to a joyous crowd of several thousand at the Rhode Island Convention Center. With a musical tribute by Emma’s Revolution to beloved UU, […]

53rd General Assembly is underway

UUA General Assembly  2014 - Opening, banner parade, worship

People are sharing their experience of the UUA’s 53rd General Assembly through social media. Here are selected tweets and photos from the Opening Celebration in Providence, R.I.

$1.3 million deficit surprises UUA administration, board

Tim Brennan describes deficit, June 24, 2014 (Nancy Pierce/UUA)

The Unitarian Universalist Association will end the fiscal year on June 30 with an unexpected $1.3 million deficit. The Board of Trustees met with the UUA administration this afternoon, June 24, to ask how they had all been taken by surprise by a drop in revenue from major gifts to the UUA’s $24 million operating […]

Follow the 2014 General Assembly with UU World

Bonfires are lit in the rivers that converge in Providence, R.I., as part of the city’s WaterFire festival; the UUA will cosponsor the June 28 WaterFire as its public witness event during the 2014 General Assembly (cc 2009 Liz West).

This week thousands of Unitarian Universalists will gather in Providence, R.I., for the 53rd General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association. Follow news and major events at GA with UU World. We’ll publish stories and photos on our dedicated GA blog, with immediate updates on our Twitter feed, @uuworld. (The General Assembly hashtag is #uuaga.) […]

Roundup: Media coverage of 2013 General Assembly

General Assembly banners

In addition to early media coverage of last Thursday’s clean energy rally—the public witness event of the 2013 UUA General Assembly—GA also attracted the following news coverage: The main Louisville newspaper, the Courier Journal, profiled Unitarian Universalism with a long story Saturday: UUs seek to reach the like-minded but church-wary (June 22). The newspaper’s religion […]

GA clean energy rally draws attention from EPA

General Assembly ally draws EPA’s attention from UU World on Vimeo. The General Assembly’s public witness event—a June 19 rally for clean energy sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Association and a coalition of local environmental and religious groups—is already having an impact. As the 2013 General Assembly was drawing to a close, the Rev. Dawn […]

Delegates donate $16k to New Orleans congregations

© 2013 Nancy Pierce/UUA

In Plenary Friday afternoon, a special collection raised $16,994 for the three New Orleans-area congregations, still recovering from the damage of Hurricane Katrina and broken levees in 2005. “As an association, we have made a promise to New Orleans to walk with members of our family and faith” in the difficult process of rebuilding, said […]

Courter urges assembly to set the UUA’s vision

Gini Courter

Gini Courter delivered her last moderator’s report Sunday afternoon, an impassioned plea to the delegates to be the visionaries for the Association. “You hold the power of this Association in your hearts and hands,” said Courter, in her 10th moderator’s report to the General Assembly. “You are the power in Unitarian Universalism. And when you […]

Ministry fund created in Courter’s honor

Announcing a fund to honor Gini Courter that supports experiments in UU growth. (© Nancy Pierce)

In honor of the service of UUA Moderator Gini Courter, who retired from that position at General Assembly, a fund has been created to support innovative ministry. The fund, named Faithful Risk, is available on the website of the Clara Barton/Massachusetts Bay District. Courter got the idea for the fund from work being done by […]

3,426 people participated in Louisville GA

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A total of 3,426 people participated in the 2013 General Assembly, Trustee Tom Loughrey reported during the final plenary session Sunday night. Of those, 1,732 were on-site delegates, 112 were off-site delegates, and 1,582 were non-delegate participants, including 232 youth. They represented 611 congregations in 50 U.S. states and one Canadian province. Loughrey also reported […]

Recommitting to antiracism, thanking Gini Courter

Responsive resolution presentation

Delegates introduced two responsive resolutions during Sunday’s final plenary recommitting the Unitarian Universalist Association to antiracism, anti-oppression, and multicultural work, and thanking Gini Courter for her years as moderator. The first responsive resolution was read from the floor and appeared on screen, and was endorsed heartily by the delegates:

Passed: fossil fuel divestment AIW


General Assembly delegates voted overwhelmingly Sunday afternoon to adopt the Action of Immediate Witness “Consider Divestment from the Fossil Fuel Industry,” which calls for delegates to “begin a denomination-wide conversation within their congregations about divesting from fossil fuels or exercising shareholder influence.” During debate on the plenary floor, those at the “con” microphone primarily focused […]

Delegates oppose institutional racism with AIW


GA delegates voted overwhelmingly Sunday afternoon for an Action of Immediate Witness (AIW) that condemns racist mistreatment of young people of color by police. The AIW grew out of an appearance at General Assembly a year ago of Michelle Alexander, whose book, “The New Jim Crow” explored the extent to which people of color are […]


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