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General Assembly 2012 Phoenix, Arizona #uuaga #uu

August 9, 2012

Report from Delegates to Davies Memorial UU Church in Camp Springs, Maryland

Liz Echols’ Notes

There is so much to say about this extraordinary Justice GA which concluded on June 24th.  You will be hearing more details from Davies’ delegates during the GA worship service later this year, but below are initial reflections from some of the more than 3,500  in attendance.

  • It was a powerful social justice event.
  • Everything revolved around our acting from our core religious value of compassion.
  • This was the most religious GA I have ever experienced.
  • At this GA, justice was about the treatment of real people .
  • We did this GA in close cooperation with local partners.
  • Youth enrollment was double what it has been.
  • The presence of so many Youth and Young Adults raised the energy level a couple of notches.
  • Hmmm.  A profound religious focus.  Getting Real.  Working with partners.  Involving more youth.  We could do a lot worse in the future.
  • I always look forward to attending GA where I learn much, hear great music, meet old friends and make new ones, and listen to sermons delivered by the Association’s best ministers.  This General Assembly had all of that, but in addition it included public witness and advocacy. Following are some of the things I did while in Phoenix.
  • Participated in the Banned Book SmUUggling effort.
  • Spent Saturday assisting documented immigrants with their applications for naturalization.
  • With more than 2,000 others, joined a candle-light vigil at Sheriff Joe Arpiao’s Tent City.
  • Voted with the overwhelming majority of delegates to pass a resolution disavowing the Doctrine of Discovery.

Susan Goekler’s Notes

Business items were limited.  One important vote was to select the next topic for 4 years of study and action – Reproductive Justice. The issue selected 2 years ago was Immigration Reform; this Justice GA provided opportunities for personal exposure to the plight of some undocumented immigrants as well as informative presentations by very knowledgeable speakers working in the field.  Some worship services provided theological contexts for considering immigration issues.  The entity that manages the study/action issue process leading to statements of conscience is the UUA Commission on Social Witness.  At the end of the General Assembly, Davies’ new member Susan Goekler was elected to chair this Commission.

Joyce Dowling’s Quick Comments

Liz and Susan covered so much and to put it all in this newsletter article would be difficult.  Please see my notes on my LiveJournal which includes photos, videos, and links.  Also, look for a quote in the fall UU World magazine from your first off-site delegate on the first year that off-site voting (from home) was allowed.  I went to Cedar Lane UU Church in Bethesda to participate with other off-site delegates for two sessions.  I wish I had been there in Phoenix, but the internet allows a lot of viewing and participation now.

You can read about and view many of the General Assembly events on-line.

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