General Assembly 2009 Event 4086
Beth McGregor, Chair of the General Assembly Planning Committee, welcomed celebrants to this well-attended event in the Salt Palace (the convention center) ballroom. She told the crowd they were there to “honor the people who stood to serve, the people who supported them.” She added that, since the election results announcement was made during a time focused on worship, unity and spirituality, this event was the opportunity to cut loose with applause and appreciation. McGregor voiced her appreciation, on behalf of those in the room and all who participated in this year's General Assembly, to a number of individuals and groups who made this year’s GA and election happen. Each name was received with applause. She then announced the official tally of the votes cast in the election for the new President of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations (UUA): 2,061 for Peter Morales and 1,481 for Laurel Hallman. UUA Moderator Gini Courter and Financial Advisor Dan Brody, both incumbents who had run unopposed, were elected to new four-year terms.
When the Reverend Laurel Hallman entered the ballroom, the crowd spontaneously stood to applaud as she made her way to the front of the room. The ovation continued as she met and embraced the Reverend Morales. Speaking to the gathering, Hallman thanked those people in the room, elsewhere at GA, and all around the country who had given this campaign their attention. She also thanked those who encouraged her to stand to serve, who counseled and supported her, and who worked for her campaign. She thanked, especially, the congregation of the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Dallas, who generously gave her time to pursue her candidacy. Hallman pointed out that each campaign had influenced the other in the way of democracy, and that this “could only be good for our beloved faith.” She called for renewed unity and focus throughout the UUA, saying that it is time to “gather from two camps and come back to our one free faith.”
Morales then rose to address the celebrants, and was also received with a standing ovation. He spoke briefly, first celebrating that, “mercifully, the election is over.” He thanked Rev. Hallman and her supporters, honoring them as a “source of strength to us all.” He repeated the theme of unity, saying that “religion is much more about what we love than what we think.” And that those things that we love, “compassion, freedom, stewardship of the earth, spiritual depth and common worship,” are what unite us. He cautioned that there are big challenges and an ambitious agenda ahead, but also called on those in the room and elsewhere to “release the potential” of more than one thousand congregations of Unitarian Universalists, to be more powerful in bringing our values—and those things we love—to the world.
Reported by Rebecca Kelley-Morgan; edited by Bill Lewis.
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Last updated on Thursday, September 8, 2011.
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