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The Unitarian Universalist Association will hold its General Assembly in Providence, RI June 25-29

For more information, contact:
UUA's Public Relations Director
(617) 948-4386 (office)
pr@uua.org

BOSTON–The 2014 General Assembly (GA) of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) will be held June 25-29 in Providence, RI at the Rhode Island Convention Center. More than 4,500 Unitarian Universalists from around the world will gather for five days of workshops, worship, and witness around the theme of “Love Reaches Out.”

GA is the annual meeting of the UUA and is held each June in a different UUA district. Major highlights of the gathering include:

  • Brave Souls: UUs Pledge Over the Edge
  • Vote to select the next Congregational Study/Action Issue
  • Celebrate the Service of the Living Tradition with the Rev. Rebekah Montgomery, 2009 Military Chaplain of the Year
  • Cranston, RI, native the Rev. Kenneth MacLean will receive the Distinguished Service Award
  • Vote on the UUA’s divestment from fossil fuel companies
  • Sister Simone Campbell, national coordinator of NETWORK will deliver the Ware Lecture
  • Worship and public witness event at WaterFire
  • Sunday morning worship with the Rev. Mark Stringer
  • Celebrate the 5th anniversary of our Standing on the Side of Love campaign

Detailed information on highlighted events:

Friday, June 27, 7:00 a.m.
Brave Souls: UUs Pledge Over the Edge
Rhode Island Convention Center, East Rotunda Entrance

The UUA is hosting a fundraising event where Unitarian Universalists have volunteered to rappel over the edge of the Rhode Island Convention Center to celebrate the Unitarian Universalist movement and raise funds for programs and services. 

Friday, June 27, 2:15-4:30 p.m.
Congregational Study/Action Issue
General Session IV
Dunk Arena

GA attendees will vote to decide the UUA’s next Congregational Study/Action Issue (CSAI). Issues under consideration this year are Empowerment: Age and Ability Reconsidered; Ending the War on Terror; Escalating Inequality; Gun Violence: A Public Health Issue; and Renewing and Securing Our American Democracy. Congregations take on the selected issue for study and advocacy for four consecutive years. The current CSAI is Reproductive Justice: Expanding Our Social Justice Calling.

Friday, June 27, 7:30-9:00 p.m.
Service of the Living Tradition
Dunk Arena
Open to the Public

The Service of the Living Tradition honors fellowshipped and credentialed religious leaders, remembers those who have died, recognizes those who have completed active service, and welcomes those who have received fellowship or credentialed status in the past year.

The sermon for this service will be delivered by the Rev. Rebekah A. Montgomery, Affiliate Minister to River Road Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Bethesda, MD. Rev. Montgomery was named “Military Chaplain of the Year” and received a Distinguished Service award from the Military Chaplains Association in 2009.

Saturday, June 28, 8:00-9:45 a.m.
Distinguished Service Award
General Session V
Dunk Arena

The Rev. Kenneth MacLean will receive the Award for Distinguished Service to the Cause of Unitarian Universalism. This is the most prestigious award given by the UUA. Recipients are individuals who have strengthened the institutions of our denomination or clarified our message in an extraordinary way. The Rev. Marlin Lavanhar will read Rev. MacLean’s citation for the presentation of the award.

Rev. MacLean is a native of Cranston, RI, a graduate of Cranston High School and Brown University (’49), and a member of Cranston Hall of Fame. He has served as minister to many Unitarian Universalist congregations across the country and as special assistant to the UUA President for International Relations from 1994-1999.

Saturday, June 28, 2:15-4:30 p.m.
Divestment Resolution
General Session VI
Dunk Arena

Delegates will debate and vote on a Business Resolution regarding the UUA’s divestment from fossil fuel companies. The resolution was brought by Unitarian Universalists for Fossil Fuel Divestment and Sustainable Reinvestment and calls on the UUA to divest from investments in major producers and processors of fossil fuels and to pursue investment in clean energy technologies.

The resolution would allow the UUA to retain investments in fossil fuel companies with which it is engaged in shareholder actions seeking environmental justice. The UUA has a long history of shareholder activism on a variety of issues including environmental justice. Most recently, the UUA has worked to increase transparency in the executive office of Chevron Corp. and supported new Environmental Protection Agency limits on carbon emissions for new and existing power plants.

Saturday, June 28, 5:00-6:00 p.m.
Ware Lecture delivered by Sr. Simone Campbell
Dunk Arena

A religious leader, attorney and poet with extensive experience in public policy and advocacy for systemic change, Sr. Simone Campbell serves as the National Coordinator of NETWORK, a National Catholic Social Justice Lobby. In Washington, she lobbies on issues of peace-building, immigration reform, healthcare and economic justice. A noted speaker and educator on these public policy issues, she is also celebrating her golden jubilee, marking 50 years of committed service as a Sister of Social Service.

Saturday, June 28, 7:30 p.m. to midnight
Worship, Witness, and WaterFire Event
Waterplace Park

The UUA is sponsoring Providence’s popular WaterFire event as its GA public witness this year. In preparation for the public witness at WaterFire, Sanctuary Boston will lead a worship service in the Dunk Arena. GA attendees will then process downtown.

During WaterFire, Unitarian Universalists will join with members of the Providence community and witness for the transformative power of love. There will be a “Love” tent to showcase what it means for Unitarian Universalists to stand on the side of love. We will share our UU “good news” in community and proclaim, as Dr. Cornel West says, that “justice is what love looks like in public.” UUs will be easily recognizable wearing their bright yellow Standing on the Side of Love t-shirts.

Sunday, June 29, 11 a.m.‐12:30 p.m.
Sunday Morning Worship
Dunk Arena
Open to the Public

The sermon for the Sunday worship service will be delivered by the Rev. Mark Stringer, minister of the First Unitarian Church of Des Moines, IA. He will consider what gets in the way of Unitarian Universalism being “a religion which, like sunshine, goes everywhere” and will inspire us to more often be the religion that reaches out in love.

A complete list of General Assembly events and presentations are listed in the online program.

All participants in General Assembly programmed events must be registered for the conference. The only GA programmed events that will be open to the public (registration not required) are the Service of the Living Tradition and the Sunday Morning Worship.

Members of the press are invited and encouraged to cover events live. Press badges will be available for credentialed, professional journalists and camera/audio crew members beginning Wednesday, June 25. Please contact Rachel Walden, Communications Specialist, as soon as possible to request credentials.

The UUA is a faith community of more than 1,000 congregations that bring to the world a vision of religious freedom, tolerance, and social justice.

Unitarian Universalist Life

For more information contact pr@uua.org.

This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.

Last updated on Tuesday, June 24, 2014.

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