Questions about future General Assemblies

Hubby and I were attending our nephew’s baptism our West, thus my blog silence for most of the Unitarian Universalist Association General Assembly and, in particular, for the debate about the 2012 General Assembly in Phoenix. I confess there was no perfect outcome, and I suppose the minimalist “Justice GA” was the best likely outcome. All the same, I’m glad I’m not going. The situation does, however, raise a few questions:

  • What is the purpose of the General Assembly if it can be taken “off mission” like this?
  • What happens if Arizona repeals the law, or if it is stricken down in court before General Assembly 2012, and particularly if after GA 2011?
  • Are the Service of the Living Tradition and the Ware Lecture essential, or something to be removed from the agenda? Likewise, the banner parade, music and other celebratory elements? The exhibit hall? Bookstore?
  • What will fill the soft role of networking, if General Assembly is dominated by an overriding theme, particularly if there’s a higher participant opt-out rate?
  • What happens if a future site state passes such a law? Quite possible as the Arizona law has popular support.
  • What other issues can raise such a response? Who has the authority to initiate this process?
  • Given the conspicuous role of the constellation of race affinity groups in this process, will they have a standing decision making role in the future? Does that square with democratic process? Or will the race affinity groups become answerable to the General Assembly?
  • Why is General Assembly so often held in low-cost cities and in non-union venues — especially hot ones? (One guess . . . .)
  • Will the economic exposure in Phoenix lead to more modest — perhaps smaller — General Assemblies, perhaps returning to college campuses?

Readers, I await your wise thoughts and further questions.

Live-blogging General Assembly

Inasmuch as I can watch UUA General Assembly streaming video, I’ll be live blogging via Twitter. There’s a feed to the right (from the main page) or you can follow me at bitb. (With Sunlight Foundation office goodness in-between. You’ve heard about Elena’s Inbox, right? And some Swedenborgian General Convention. Also, I’ll be out a bit this weekend.)

I had a good run this evening, but absolutely stopped stunned at the chalice lighting in the opening plenary. (Link to come, when available.) Creepy, much? I just didn’t want to touch anything at that moment. One more inter-penetrating and the only friction I would suffer would be a Karen Silkwood shower. Eew.

General Assembly? Visit Unitarian Universalist Esperanto Network table

I’ve been buzzing about how much I’ve gotten from studying Esperanto — it even scratches my Universalism itch — and think many others might get something out of it, too.

If you’re at the UUA General Assembly, be sure to visit the Unitarian Universalist Esperanto Network table at the Culture Company booth (#334) in the exhibit hall. Tell Sherry Wells (no relation) and Neil Blonstein and whomever else is there that Scott sent you.