GA – or General Assembly which is coming up June 25-29 in Providence, RI – is a great event for UUs to attend. It’s even better when you attend with someone else from your congregation or cluster and share the experience. Why? Because you can divide and conquer (have you looked at the list of workshop offerings?!?), you can bounce new ideas off each other, you can spell each other, you can discuss delegate issues and more. It’s always easier with another person around, even if they just bring you food at meal times!
For those of you attending General Assembly, I strongly encourage you to check in at the regional gathering tables on Wednesday from 4-6 pm. It will be an opportunity to catch up with our regional staff and officers, see who else from your district/region/cluster may be attending and get some tips from our staff on how to handle the overwhelming experience of GA. I also encourage you to find a buddy, take breaks for meals, schedule time to cruise the exhibit hall and time to just take it all in. And most of all, if you have a smartphone, download the GA app – and if not, check it out on your laptop. Peter Bowden has created a list of suggestions by GA veterans that we all can take a few tips from that I heartily endorse. Find it at his website uuplanet.org
For those of you staying home, you do not need to miss out. GA has become more and more available to the virtual attender over the years. All plenary sessions, the Ware Lecture, and the Sunday morning worship service are live streamed and then archived for future viewing. Some workshops will be videotaped and posted to the UUA or various regional websites after GA. Anyone can purchase access to workshop audio files, which come free to those who are registered for GA. Again, this is something you could do as a group. Consider gathering your congregation together to watch (and join in with) the livestreamed worship service Sunday morning or the Saturday evening Ware Lecture. Gather folks around to watch the debate on Actions of Immediate Witness (AIWs), or the debate on the Statement of Conscience. There are many things congregations or clusters, small groups or social justice groups may share as a group. Instructions for how to participate in GA virtually are on the UUA website.
And here is a tip for those of you attending and watching what’s happening remotely who are on twitter – the official GA “handle” is #UUAGA. If you want to know what is going on you might follow this handle, if you are tweeting from GA, please use it!.
Remotely or in person, we hope to “see” you there!
CERG Communications Consultant & OMD District Administrator