To Be Continued: GA And Other Business

Dear Ones,

The UUA General Assembly (GA) has begun! This year’s theme is “Rooted, Inspired, and Ready!” You might ask what that means…

Rooted – in our deep theological tradition and sources of wisdom and inspiration, expressed in our Principles and Sources printed in our hymnals and our orders of service.

Inspired – by one another, by the sages and saints of the past, present, and future, who call us to be our best selves, to live into our covenants, and to take action to build the Beloved Community for all.

Ready – to answer the call of love, to side with love, to embody that love that will not let us go.

At least, that’s what it means to me, after hearing a report from the Commission on Institutional Change (COIC) at the UU Ministers Association (UUMA) meeting, which is offering some bold and necessary recommendations for our UUA to live into its full potential as a life-changing, life-saving, faith.

Before GA began, I participated in the UUMA annual business meeting. Most of this is the usual – electing new members of the Board, passing the annual budget… This year was a bit different. UU ministers are bound by the covenants set forth in our Code and Guidelines. These guidelines cover ethics and accountability, and over the past two years a great deal of work was done to revise them to better serve not just ministers, but the congregations and communities we serve.

I’m happy to report that the guidelines revisions were passed by an overwhelming majority of votes. The most significant change is that the revisions move us away from a legalistic, “you messed up, so you’re out” process, to a restorative, “this hurt me, how can you do better?” process. Similar processes are recommended by the COIC for our congregations, processes I believe already exist for UUFB in our Healthy Relations Policy. I’m so proud to serve such a forward thinking congregation!

There should be a link at the top of this newsletter to Sunday’s livestream of worship from GA, as well as a link to our UUFB Zoom. The password for the UUFB Zoom is ‘worship,’ and I hope you’ll join me there after worship service for virtual coffee hour.

There will be no columns from me for the month of July, as I will be on vacation/study leave for the entire month. I have a stack of books to read, and many plans to make for the upcoming year! The Fabulous Worship Team™ has a terrific series of worship services planned for July. You won’t want to miss them.

Thank you for being here, for being part of this Fellowship, and for staying connected! I love you. You are beloved and precious. We will get through this. Keep breathing and stay safe, everyone.

Rev. Lori Hlaban