General Assembly

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PickarJewettThe UUA Outreach Group at First Unitarian Church in Portland, Oregon recently honored retiring member Dr. Arnie Pickar (left). “The Outreach Group owes a great vote of thanks to Arnie for his long-term support of the delegate’s role in our faith community,” notes Outreach Group Chair, Stan Jewett (right). “UUs throughout the denomination have benefited from his sustained focus on the importance of congregational participation in the governance of UUA and the central place of congregations in our social justice policy positions.” Jewett announced that a First Church scholarship fund for General Assembly delegates and District Assembly delegates now bears Pickar’s name. Dr. Pickar is physics professor emeritus from Portland State University, a Unitarian Universalist for 50 years, and author of the book, A Kopek in the Dust.


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GA Logo 2013 horizontalThe 2013 General Assembly (GA) of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) closed Sunday night, June 23, in Louisville, KY. Over 3,400 people attended the annual meeting which featured worship, educational workshops, public witness, and UUA business.

Jim Key

Jim Key, UUA Moderator

Highlights of the meeting included:

  • The election of Jim Key as the new UUA Moderator for a six-year term.
  • The re-election of the Rev. Peter Morales as UUA President for a second four-year term. He ran unopposed.
  • A worship and rally for environmental justice that drew over 2,000 participants.
  • Many wonderful speeches from guest speakers including Wendell Berry, author, environmental justice activist, economic critic, and farmer; Tim DeChristopher, UU activist; and renowned interfaith leader Eboo Patel.

Delegates at GA 2013 overwhelmingly approved a Statement of Conscience (SOC) regarding “Immigration as a Moral Issue.” In addition, delegates voted on and approved three Actions of Immediate Witness (AIW) on Sunday, June 23 including:

  • “Support the Proposed 28th ‘We the People’ Amendment to the Constitution: Corporations Are Not Persons and Money Is Not Speech”
  • “Condemn the Mass Incarceration, Killing, and Mistreatment of Young Men of Color by Police”
  • “Consider Divestment from the Fossil Fuel Industry”

GA2013 voting

Adopted AIWs are used by congregations in local efforts and empower Multicultural Growth & Witness to take action and recommend action through other departments of the UUA and other Unitarian Universalist groups.

The collection from the Sunday morning worship service was given to Kentucky Interfaith Power and Light (KIPL). KIPL’s mission is to “protect God’s creation by mobilizing a religious response to global warming through conservation, efficiency and alternative energy.”

Detailed coverage of the agenda, justice work, and worship at GA can be found on UU World’s General Assembly coverage blog.

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Do you know where your energy comes from when you turn on a light switch in your own home? Our climate is changing because of how we harness and use energy and we are causing harm to our planet, our communities, our neighbors, and our future. We need to stop the harmful effects of practices like mountaintop removal, hydraulic fracturing, mining, and drilling. They are hurting all of our communities, and most especially, communities of color, low-income neighborhoods, and rural towns. We can find new ways forward together. But in order to change how we get our energy, we must first use the energy within all of us to make a change.

- UUA Website on GA Public Witness

GA Logo 2013 horizontalOne of the most highly anticipated events every year at UUA General Assembly (GA) is the Public Witness event. This year, the witness event will focus on Environmental Justice. It is scheduled for the evening of Thursday, June 20, (6:15 – 7:30 p.m. Eastern), right after an all-GA worship in the Louisville, KY, convention center.

UUA President the Rev. Peter Morales will join poet Wendell Berry, activist Tim DeChristopher, interfaith and community leaders, GA attendees and members of the local community in this public witness for our Earth, our communities, and our future.

Demonstrators will leave GA’s Plenary Hall together and proceed to the Belvedere Plaza for this witness event where all will gather at the river. The Belvedere outdoor facility is located on the riverfront GA Public Witness 2012in downtown Louisville. It is an open park with ample cement paths, grassy areas, some benches and low cement walls for seating, though with very little shade. Terrain is sloped but not steep. Restrooms are located in the park, as well as at the Galt House, accessible through the pool area.

Participants will hear testimonies, join in song, prayer, and a reverse water communion. Attendees will learn practical ways to make a difference in their lives and their communities.

Remind your congregation’s delegates to wear their bright yellow “Standing on the Side of Love” t-shirts and related gear! And when they return, ask them to share what they’ve learned about finding a sustainable way forward together.

Visit the UUA website for more information.


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GA Logo 2013 horizontalIf you’re attending General Assembly (GA) in Louisville, KY, this month (June 19-23), you can now view or download the GA Program Book and plan your GA.

And if you are a delegate (on-site or off-site), be informed! You can now view the GA Final Agenda and familiarize yourself with the business items up for vote, and discuss these items with your congregation.


You can also participate in on-line discussion before, during and after GA. The hashtag for GA discussion on Twitter is #uuaga. Follow @uuaGA for official updates and announcements.  General Assembly can also be found on Facebook.



You’re invited to join the General Assembly choir, which will sing for Sunday Morning Worship and the Closing Ceremony on Sunday evening. You must be registered for General Assembly, and you must arrive early to register for choir and pick up your music.There is a modest fee for the music, which can be paid by cash or check.

The choir is capped at 180 singers with balanced sections and the spaces are filled quickly. Choir registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Singers are required to sing in both performances, and attendance at all rehearsals is expected. Be sure to pack proper attire:  All black, shoulder to toe.

For more information, including registration and rehearsal times, see the GA Choir information page.

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Jim Key Tamara Payne-AlexDelegates to this year’s UUA General Assembly in Louisville, KY will be electing a new Moderator to serve a six-year term as the Unitarian Universalist Association’s (UUA) Chief Governance Officer. The two candidates for this position are Jim Key and Tamara Payne-Alex (right).

To enhance congregants’ knowledge of the candidates and the issues, the UUA is sponsoring an online Moderator Candidates’ Forum on Thursday, June 6, at 7:30 p.m. Eastern, 5:30 p.m. Mountain, and 4:30 p.m. Pacific. The forum will be moderated by the Rev. Ken Sawyer, minister emeritus of the First Parish in Wayland, MA and chair of the UUA’s Election Campaign Practices Committee.

You are invited to view the forum at – prior to the live event, this page offers details and links related to the Moderator position and campaign. At the on-line forum, each candidate will present an opening statement and then respond to questions presented by Sawyer.

If you would like to submit questions to be considered for use in the forum, please send them to The deadline for submitting proposed questions is 12 p.m. Eastern on Monday, June 3.

Following the live forum, the video will be posted as soon as possible on


PNWD Congregations may have recently been contacted with requests to submit nomination forms for candidates running for UUA President or Moderator. Candidates for these elected positions are required by the UUA bylaws to submit a minimum number of nomination forms by February 1, 2013.

Peter Morales, UUA President

Please note that by submitting this form, congregations are not bound to endorse a candidate – they have indicated only support for a candidate’s name to be placed on the ballot for the GA 2013 elections. Multiple candidates may be nominated by any one congregation.


The Rev. Peter Morales is running for re-election to a second 4-year term as UUA President. You may wish to review his Candidate’s media kit.



The UUA Board of Trustees has nominated two persons to consider for a six-year term for the UUA Moderator position according to bylaw section 9.5(a):

Jim Key


Jim Key – You may wish to review the UUWorld profile
 or the Candidate’s Website.

Tamara Payne-Alex

Tamara Payne-Alex - You may wish to review the UUWorld profile or the Candidate’s Website








Several other positions will also be determined by vote of congregational delegates to GA 2013 in Louisville, KY, this summer. You may wish to review information on the UUA Website related to these elections. In addition to President and Moderator, these positions include:

      • Financial Advisor
      • Seven Trustees-at-Large
      • Presidential Nominating Committee for 2017
      • Commission on Appraisal
      • Commission on Social Witness
      • General Assembly Planning Committee
      • Nominating Committee
      • Board of Review

The Nominating Committee is nominating one or more persons for these elective offices and this information will be made public by December 10th.

Additionally, any qualified person may choose to run by petition.  For those planning on running by petition for one of the Board of Trustee positions, the petition must be specified: 1) a term of office – either one year or three years for elections in 2013, and 2) a nominated candidate to run against.

Our elections of people to serve the members and congregations of the Association are at the heart of our fifth principle of our faith and our trust in the democratic process. Please take the opportunity to learn more about the positions available and the process for running by petition.

If you have any questions or require additional information, please contact  Tom Loughrey, Secretary, at


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The GA Program Development Group is now accepting program proposals for the 2013 General Assembly.

Congregations, UU leaders and related groups are invited to apply for one or more of approximately 80 available 75-minute program slots available for the 2013 General Assembly.

Building on the experience of Justice GA, the General Assembly Planning Committee, the UUA Board of Trustees and the Administration seek to create a General Assembly in 2013 that moves our Association “From Promise to Commitment.”

Promises call us into relationship. The experience of making, breaking and remaking promises is the reality of our lived faith. We will gather in Louisville to examine and renew our covenant to our faith, one another, our congregations and the larger world.

To merit consideration, program proposals submitted for the 2013 GA should explore the kinds of promises our religious communities are called to make as we seek to live out our UU values; how we make them, with whom, and how we hold ourselves and each other accountable.

Equally important is the question of how might we move from the act of promise-making into the journey of long-term commitment. For example, how are we fulfilling the promises made or implied by participating in Justice GA in Phoenix last year? What new promises do we want to make? Submissions that focus on local or regional concerns and that include Louisville or Appalachia area partners are encouraged.  More detailed selection criteria can be found at

All submitted proposals will be reviewed by the Program Development Group (PDG). The PDG is a diverse team of UUA staff and GA Planning Committee members committed to provide excellent General Assembly programs aligned with the vision and mission of the UUA and its member congregations.

All proposals must be submitted by Thursday, November 1, 2012. Though the form is short, it still requires the clear description of a fully designed 75-minute event (workshop, worship, etc.). You also have the option to propose a 150-minute event that would occur during two workshop slots scheduled back-to-back. Proposers must assume that there will be participation of people of all abilities and of all generations in all General Assembly activities.

GA 2013 Program Proposal Form

recommended before completing proposal: GA 2013 Program Proposal Worksheet

PLEASE NOTE: All presenters at General Assembly MUST be registered – this cost is the presenter’s responsibility. Standard AV each workshop is provided (podium and microphone, an audience microphone, a projection screen, and an AV cart with an extension cord). You may bring your own additional equipment (such as projectors) or indicate on the proposal that you want to rent additional equipment at your own expense.

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You can take part in shaping the future of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA)!

The UUA relies upon energetic, committed, visionary Unitarian Universalists to serve on the board, committees, and commissions that work to carry out the mission of the Association. The UUA Nominating Committee nominates candidates for all positions elected by the General Assembly except for President and Moderator. Candidates for elected positions may also be nominated by petition.

Positions to be elected at the 2013 General Assembly are:  Board of Trustees, Financial Advisor, Presidential Search Committee, Commission on Appraisal, Commission on Social Witness, General Assembly Planning Committee, Ministerial Fellowship Board of Review, and Nominating Committee. Application deadline is August, 15, 2012.

Click here for application and other information:

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Justice General Assembly has come to a close, but that’s only the beginning of the story.

Whether you were able to attend or not, the UUA has posted information for everyone. Link to General Assembly in Phoenix, Arizona: June 20-24, 2012 to find links to video of key events, blogs and more.

UU World has provided timely reports and articles on their GA Blog, illustrated by some striking selections from their Photostream on Flickr and their videos on Vimeo. They’ve also curated social media about the 2012 General Assembly on their Storify page.

Coverage includes on-demand video and transcripts for major events and handouts or other presentation materials for workshops. You may Submit video or photos of people or public witness events at GA for use on!

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Going to UUA General Assembly in Phoenix June 20-24?

Start it off with spirit, by joining with others from the Pacific Northwest and our neighboring Districts, at the Pacific Western Region In-Gathering!

Find us  on Wednesday, 5:45 – 6:30 PM, in room 120 A at the Phoenix Convention Center.

This is event #110  in your GA Program Book, which will be available in print when you arrive at the Convention Center.

Or, refer to the nifty GA Mobile App! The app will be available soon as a free download in the Apple and Android app stores. There will also a mobile-optimized website that you can use on other platforms. With the GA Mobile App you will be able to view all program listings, speaker and exhibitor profiles, event locations and maps. You can also create your personal GA schedule and get connected via social media.

Keep an eye on updates and announcements about GA. You can also sign up to receive GA text alerts by texting “UUAGA” to 68398.


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