Next week is the annual Unitarian Universalist Association’s General Assembly (GA), when UUs from around the world gather to worship, learn, and act together. I will be attending as will Sara, Darlene, and Jo from the OUUC staff, and some OUUC congregants will attend, too.
This year’s GA theme is based on hymn #155 in our silver hymnal, “Circle ‘Round for Freedom” written by cantor Linda Hirschhorn. It has these words:
Circle ‘round for freedom, circle ‘round for peace,
for all of us imprisoned, circle for release,
circle for the planet, circle for each soul,
for the children of our children, keep the circle whole.
You can hear it sung by the Oakland Chancel Choir here.
This is the inspiration we take with us into General Assembly this year.
Like last year, GA is all online this year. There will be business meetings to do the work of the association, like change bylaws and elect UUA Board members. There will be workshops and worship services. There will be discussion groups and social groups and ways to work for justice together. Even online we do the same things at GA each year.
Each member congregation of the UUA sends delegates to GA to vote in the business meetings. As religious professionals, Sara and I are delegates. OUUC will be represented by five congregants who volunteered to be delegates: Emi Allen, Lee Doyle, Tiffany Felch, Beth Johnson, and Neil Weinberg. Thanks to each of them for their service to the congregation and association!
If you are not registered for GA but are interested in participating in some way, there are two worship services that you can attend. The first will be the Service of the Living Tradition on Thursday, June 24, at 4 pm Pacific Time. This service recognizes and honors religious professionals who have achieved fellowship or credentialed status, who have completed service, or who have died in the past year. I will be part of the service for receiving full fellowship as a UU minister last Fall. The sermon will be delivered by Rev. Dr. Natalie Fenimore, who is a dynamic and inspirational speaker. The service is open to the public and will be streamed live online on UUA.org.
The second worship service will be Sunday, June 27, which closes out the five days of GA. This worship service will be offered by First Universalist Church of Minneapolis. At OUUC, will share the recording of this service for our usual 10 am worship that Sunday morning with breakout rooms to follow as usual. We hope you will join together in our community as we connect to our larger community.
I know that those of us who attend GA will have stories and learning to share. I look forward to sharing mine with you in future editions of The Spark.
Blessings on your week.