The Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations’  49th Annual General Assembly in Minneapolis, Minnesota is only 14 days away.

General Assembly, GA, is our yearly meeting of congregations where we come together “to take part in the governance of our Association, to build together a vision for its future, to learn from each other, to work, talk, play, and imagine together, to grow together” (from the opening of the General Assembly Program).

The Green Sanctuary program will be well represented at GA.  Robin Nelson, Program Manager for Congregational Stewardship Services who manages the Green Sanctuary program, will be presenting workshop #2092 Environmental Stewardship: Green Sanctuary, leading a discussion group, heading up the Environmental Justice Passport project, and honoring congregations that have received Green Sanctuary Accreditation in the fiscal year 2010 in Sunday’s closing Plenary session.

For those of you who can attend GA:

You might also be interested the following workshops:  

  • #2015 Environmental Justice in Our Congregations sponsored by the UU Ministry for Earth (UUMFE) featuring Steve Maier, Dr. Mark A. Hicks and Rowan Van Ness
  • #2051 Proposed Congregationsl Study/Action Issues for 2010-2014 sponsored by the Commission on Social Witness led by Rev. Dr. Paul Johnson and Rev. Heather Starr
  • #2059 Using Sustainable Solutions to Impact Climate Change sponsored by the UU United Nations Office featuring Jennifer Jewell Thomas, Jim Harkness, Michael Noble and Will Steger
  • #2073 Environmental Justice: The Green Revolution in Religion sponsored by the Ballou Channing District featuring Rev. Robert Murphy, Rev. Jose Ballester, Rev. Paul Rasor, Rev. Dr. Fred Muir and Rev. Dr. Lucy Hitchcock Seck
  • #3013 Saving the World One Fork at a Time sponsored by the Commission on Social Witness featuring Howard Lyman, Rev. Dr. Paul Johnson, and Rev. John Gibb Millspaugh
  • #3058 Ethical Eating: Moving Toward a Statement of Conscience sponsored by the Commision on Social Witness featuring Rev. Dr. Paul Johnson, Re. John Gibb Millspaugh, Rev. Robert Murphy, and Rev. Dr. Lucy Hitchcock Seck

Check out the inside back cover of the Program book to learn more about “greening” the 2010 General Assembly.

Participate in the UUMFE’s Annual Meeting, Friday, June 26th 6pm at Central Lutheran Church.  There will be a light supper and networking, a brief meeting to elect UUMFE board members, a conversation about climate change and Earth Justice and what might be UU’s unique role in moving towards solutions. At 7:30pm, the film, No Impact Man, will be shown.

Join in the Environmental Justice Passport project.  Visit the Congregational Life, UUMFE, UU Service Committee (UUSC), and UU Statewide Advocacy Networks (SANs) booths to pick up your passport and learn more about the project.  At each booth you can “collect” stamps in your passport for actions endorsed by each organization. 

Stop by the Congregational Life “booth” #642 in the Exhibit Hall to look at Accredited Green Sanctuaries’ scrapbooks to get ideas for Green Sanctuary projects and/or pick up a copy of the interfaith environmental film Renewal  and its accompaning study guide.  If you have questions for Robin you can stop by “the booth” and leave a message and she’ll be sure to get back to you as soon as she can. 

Attend Plenary VI to participate in the debate and vote on the Business Resolution: The Green Revolution in Religion.

About the Author
Robin Nelson


  1. Claudia Kern

    A great new asset for UUs. Good work, look forward to future postings and sad that I will miss the action at GA this year. Wonderful and plentiful “green” stuff happening!

  2. James Newton

    As ambassadors within UU of the green movement, we should challenge the attendees of this GA to consider the cost to the earth of the travel, lodging, and restaurant food expended during the experience and to think about how the 2012 general assembly might be held online by teleconference from UU churches and members homes around the world instead of as a physical gathering.

    The funds could be spent to upgrade to large screens or projectors, and increase internet connection speeds on the local level leading to an infrastructure usable for other teleconferences in the future; further interconnecting our world by allowing people to share Sunday services, lectures, concerts or other events.

    Note that an online only conference also solves the question of what to do about AZ…

    Although some aspects of a gathering might not be re-producible online, we must take a stand for our planet and show our willingness to make some sacrifices to the rest of the world. We, as some of the most educated and forward thinking congregations in the religious world, have to be the leaders and set an example that really makes a difference.

  3. Robin Nelson

    James, I hear you. However, currently its in the UUA bylaws that we have to have a General Assembly every year. I know that there are people working on changing our bylaws and how we conduct UUA business and I encourage you to work with them.
    I definitely think that reducing our costs for travel, lodging, and food would be a great thing and look forward to finding an even “greener” way to conduct UUA business.

  4. Rev. Earl W. Koteen

    Thanks for posting this. Would be of help to know which of these activities/programs will be streamed.

  5. Robin Nelson

    Rev Earl-

    My understanding is that the only programings that are going to be streamed are the Plenary sessions.

    The Presentations and Vote to select the next Congregational Study Action Issues is during Plenary III (Friday at approximately 10:45am CDT).
    The Actions of Immediate Witness is during Plenary IV (Saturday at approximately 9:50am CDT).
    The Debate and Vote on the Green Revolution in Religion Business Resolution is during Plenary VI (Sunday at approximately 11:40am CDT).
    The Green Sanctuary Recognition Cermeony is during Pleanry VII (Sunday at approximatley 2:45pm CDT).
    The Debate and Vote on the Actions of Immediate Witness is during Plenary VII (Sunday at approximately 2:55pm CDT).

    That’s the best I can offer you.

  6. Sallijane

    It appears that plenary sessions and worship services will be streamed; many sessions will be available on audio CD if the pattern holds from last year (tip: ask a delegate to purchase on-site and bring home with him or her; cheaper and avoids both economic and environmental cost of shipping).
    BTW, I agree that an online GA is of interest—my particular preference is for a biannual GA with regional gatherings held in conjunction (no, it doesn’t completly eliminate the travel/lodging cost, but certainly helps; it would be super if these could be tacked onto another regional event, reducing duplicate travel/lodging).
    I must say, though, that an online GA in 2012 would, IMHO, just be walking away from the situation/problem, an easy way out of confronting how the law operates, and we would have paid the local economy some $600,000 for the privilege of NOT standing on the side of love with our Arizonan UUs and like-minded citizens. I don’t imagine that we would be active enough in the meantime for it to be worth it.

  7. Robin Nelson

    Yesterday I also found out that the UUA is taping select workshops when they came to tape the “Environmental Stewardship: Green Sanctuary” workshop. I’m not sure what they’re going to do with it in the long-term but it was taped.

  8. Desmond

    Thank you for writing this, I thought it was very useful, and it clarified a majority of the questions I had.

  9. johannes mehserle

    A great new asset for UUs. Good work, look forward to future postings and sad that I will miss the action at GA this year. Wonderful and plentiful “green” stuff happening!

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