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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Thousands wage peaceful protest at Tent City

Buses arrive at the 'Tent City' jail. (©Nancy Pierce)

Several thousand gathered outside the Tent City jail complex Saturday night to protest inhumane conditions maintained by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. The peace vigil was organized by the UUA, and drew nearly 2,000 people, many of whom arrived in busses from the Phoenix Convention Center, site of the UUA Justice General Assembly. People lined […]

Fahs lecture: Race, immigration, and religious education

“Children in the preschool years are generally trying to make sense of what they’re seeing,” including what they’re seeing of racial differences, said Louise Derman-Sparks, a well-known anti-bias educator, who delivered this year’s Fahs Lecture on religious education on Thursday at General Assembly. She said children become aware of differences in skin color in their […]

Religious delegation visits ‘Tent City’

The Rev. Susan Frederick Gray (front) and the Rev. Leslie Takahashi Morris tour 'Tent City.' (©Dea Brayden)

Unitarian Universalist Association President Peter Morales said he was “saddened and appalled” by what he observed inside the Tent City jails, an outdoor jail complex maintained by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Arpaio led Morales on a tour of a women’s and a men’s jail Saturday evening. He was accompanied by the Rev. Geoffrey A. […]

Live reports from religious witness at ‘Tent City’

Candlelight vigil outside the 'Tent City' jail. (©Nancy Pierce)

UU World is monitoring social media about the 2012 General Assembly and curating them on our Storify page. Here are highlights from the religious witness at the Maricopa County “Tent City” jail on Saturday, June 23:

Building the world we dream about

Dr. Mark Hicks (©Nancy Pierce)

In a three hour workshop on Saturday morning, Dr. Mark Hicks, Angus MacLean Professor of Religious Education at Meadville Lombard Theological School, gave participants a taste of his curriculum, “Building the World We Dream About.” This program for adults “seeks to interrupt the workings of racism and transform how people from different racial/ethnic groups understand […]

Delegates pick reproductive justice as next CSAI

The Rev. Rob Keithan spoke in support of a "reproductive rights" CSAI (©Nancy Pierce)

  The 2012 General Assembly chose a new four-year Congregational Study/Action Issue at Saturday’s plenary. For 2012–2016, congregations and the UUA will focus on “Reproductive Justice: Expanding Our Social Justice Calling.” During Friday morning’s plenary, delegates heard from advocates of five proposed Congregational Study/Action Issues for 2012–2016 and cast paper ballots for the proposal they […]

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, […]

In Civic Space Park, an evening of fun, fellowship

Community Celebration (©Christopher L. Walton)

Watch Community celebration with partners from UU World on Vimeo. Friday night was an evening of fun and fellowship in Phoenix. Unitarian Universalists and members of the partner groups that have been so central to the Justice General Assembly gathered in Civic Space Park for food and music on a warm Arizona night. The folk […]

Worship: Dreaming a better future

The Rev. Dr. Jeremy Taylor (©Nancy Pierce)

“Welcome, dreamers,” said the Rev. Meg Riley, senior minister of the Church of the Larger Fellowship (CLF). “Welcome, sojourners of the spirit.” She was speaking to about 200 people who had gathered in a room at the Phoenix Convention Center. CLF has some 3,500 members spread all around the world, and the usual weekly worship […]

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 […]

Alexander urges action against mass incarceration of blacks

Michelle Alexander (©Nancy Pierce)

Law professor Michelle Alexander urged a packed ballroom of listeners to awaken to the reality that the mass incarceration of African Americans that has followed the “War on Drugs” has created a new caste system in the United States. The system is so pervasive it has created a new era of the Jim Crow laws […]

‘We are not here to implement iChurch’

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

“We are the iChurch,” said the Rev. Dr. Fredric J. Muir in his 2012 Berry Street Lecture, “From iChurch to Beloved Community: Ecclesiology and Justice,” in which he offered a strong critique of what he sees as a disturbing commitment to individualism within Unitarian Universalism today. In addition to individualism, Muir also pointed to Unitarian […]

Board asks president to resubmit report, defining metrics

UUA logo

At its June 19 meeting in Phoenix, the Unitarian Universalist Association’s Board of Trustees sent back a Monitoring Report by the UUA administration and asked the administration to describe the metrics it uses to measure its compliance with board policies. “We treat monitoring as an opportunity for continuous improvement and learning,” said Donna Harrison, trustee […]

General Assembly welcomes three new congregations

UUA Moderator Gini Courter

  At Wednesday night’s opening plenary session, the UUA’s General Assembly welcomed three new member congregations: the UU Congregation of Petoskey, Mich.; the UU Community of Cambria, Calif.; and Brockport UU Fellowship in Brockport, N.Y. The total number of UUA member congregations grew from 1,046 in 2011 to 1,054 in 2012.      

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 […]

2012 General Assembly photos from UU World

Arizona congregations march in the Banner Parade

View UU World’s General Assembly photographs on Flickr.

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