Update on Day One of General Assembly

We are providing an abbreviated update on Day One of General Assembly that opened on Thursday, June 20, 2024. This General Assembly is all virtual, so all activities, discussions, and voting are done exclusively online.

Friday General Assembly Meet-up

UU the Conversation is sponsoring another 30-minute Zoom Meet-Up. All are invited. No pre-registration is required. This is the last scheduled General Assembly Meet-Up session.

  • Date: Friday, June 21, 2024
  • Time: 2:00 PM Eastern, 1:00 PM Central, 12:00 Noon Mountain, 11:00 AM Pacific
  • Zoom Link: Click this Link to join this Meet Up Session

Vote on Rules of Procedures

At General Session I, an amendment to the Rules of Procedures for General Assembly was presented. The amendment that successfully passed out of a June 3 Mini Assembly provided the sponsor of a proposal the “last word” in the open Pro / Concern (yes, Concern. . . not Con) discussion.

The “voting” on this amendment was anticlimactic since that the Moderators did not open a vote on the amendment but simply merged the amendment into the Rules of Procedures and then called for an up/down vote on the Rules of Procedures.

Delegates voted overwhelmingly (97.4%) to adopt the amended Rules of Procedures. A total of 1,676 delegates cast a vote.

UU the Conversation Video

At the start of General Session II, the UU the Conversation’s three-minute video was shown to all attendees. This video is part of UU the Conversation’s Platinum Level Sponsorship package. The video shown was the censured version permitted by UU leadership. You can watch the banned version here (see the bottom of the page).

As recorded in the Zoom chat, reaction to the video varied from “Wow” to “What are they pushing here?” The General Assembly Moderator noted in the chat that the video was an Exhibitor Video.

MAGA Accusation

Later, UU the Conversation received more disturbing comments. The comments reveal how far UUism has fallen from its freedom, reason, and tolerance ideals.

Stop being MAGA and lying and misrepresenting information. You are not being liberal but reactionary!

-[name now shown] [email not shown]

This comment is an example of why many UUs are voting against the proposed Article II language for the insertion of “who share our values” in the Inclusion statement.

We are informed that UU the Conversation will forward this comment to the UUA President and Moderators and request that a public statement be made at General Assembly to ensure respect be shown to all on all communication platforms.

Dismissive of Christian and Muslim UUs

Another individual commented on the video, saying

Hey (UU the Conversation volunteer), was there a way to create a video that was more inclusive or accepting of other religions? I watched it and thought it was very dismissive of even Christian or Muslim UUs. It’s true that dogma isn’t required but I didn’t think it was true that it’s not accepted. Did UU the Conversation really mean that we are better than people who practice dogmatic religions?

This comment exemplifies the trend in social media and UU dialogue to create another reality (alternative facts) and then comment accordingly.

UU the Conversation responded, saying

We ask you to please rewatch the video

The opening sequence states, “we hold sacred the beliefs of others.” This statement seems pretty inclusive and respectful.

Pride in liberal religion does not diminish others.

Only those who see the world as a zero-sum experience . . . some must lose so others can win . .  . would draw such a conclusion.

Liberals don’t think that way

It is hard to understand how UUism will ever recover from the polarization that has taken hold in the denomination.

Post General Assembly National Zoom Town Hall Meeting

UU the Conversation invites all to attend a Post General Assembly Town Hall Meeting on Wednesday, June 26, at 8:00 PM. See the pre-registration page on UU the Conversation or pre-register directly below.

  • Date: Wednesday, June 26, 2024
  • Time: 8:00 PM Eastern, 7:00 PM Central, 6:00 PM, 5:00 PM Pacific
  • Duration: 75 – 90 minutes
  • LinkPre-register for this Town Hall

Vote on Amendment to Article II

Voting results on the two amendments to Article II held at General Assembly II are anticipated to be announced at General Assembly III, which starts at 2:30 PM Eastern today.

Two Important Things

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Barry F. Thomas
Barry F. Thomas
1 month ago

I notice that UU membership and RE enrollment continued their steady declines (precipitous in the case of RE enrollment) through 2020. Nothing is posted for 2021, 22, and 23. Has the UUA stopped making public this information? I suspect the falling membership has become more severe as the UUA has withered as a bastion of liberal religion.

Anna
Anna
1 month ago

The 2021-2024 numbers have been posted, and the UUA membership continued to fall each of those years.

Last edited 1 month ago by Anna
Preston S
Preston S
1 month ago

There is information on the UUA website. The link to a download a spreadsheet of the 2024 data is: https://dyn.uua.org/congregation/download-csv.php?all-congs=1&year=2024
I think it works for earlier years too.

Timothy J Bartik
Timothy J Bartik
29 days ago
Reply to  WebMaster

As I noted on one Facebook forum, there are “official” UUA numbers though 2023, that were in the June 2023 Board packet: UUA membership has generally continued to decline since 2020. The UUA Dashboard data that was part of the official UUA Board packet in June 2023, gave these figures for adult membership: https://www.uua.org/…/packets/board-packet-june-12-2023 2020: 152,870 2021: 148,529 2022: 141,661 2023: 135,447 If you download the UU congregational inventory data today to an Excel workbook, the membership there adds up for 2024 to 134,229. From looking at past year’s data, I believe that these downloaded data are fairly similar to the… Read more »

Paul Avery
Paul Avery
28 days ago

Hi all, I posted my analysis of the adult membership and RE a few months ago on the 5th Principle FB site. One has to be careful using the UUA raw data because it’s recorded by humans at each of our 1000+ congregations and – not surprisingly – errors appear in a small percentage of the congregations in the form of missing data or egregiously large numbers. In addition, a few congregations update their figures months after the nominal February due date, though that has slowed down. I corrected missing data by interpolating from nearby years and fixed the huge… Read more »

Eli
Eli
1 month ago

So…when do you all join the list of folks leaving? Because damn. You all need some hobbies.

Carmen
Carmen
29 days ago
Reply to  Eli

This seems to be a very UU comment these days. Freedom of belief means that we belong here too.

Frank Casper
Frank Casper
29 days ago
Reply to  Eli

Which explains your posting out here.

Anna
Anna
29 days ago
Reply to  Frank Casper

Apparently, Eli needs a hobby

Marilyn Holt
Marilyn Holt
29 days ago
Reply to  Anna

Yes he does and perhaps an attitude adjustment

John Bostrom
John Bostrom
29 days ago

A decline in UU R.E. is only to be expected. No, it’s not the usual excuse – that it’s just a part of the general decline in attendance at churches. In fact, that trend should be a huge springboard for greater attendance in our congregations – in particular, ones with vibrant RE programs. The the reason for decline in R.E. is in fact something quite else, Moreover, it’s the key to what’s destroying UU. Namely, it’s the “We’re not a creedal religion” meme. Over the past decades, that meme has informally spread in the cultures of ministerial training and UUA… Read more »

Anna
Anna
1 month ago

Being against the UU church being dogmatic does not mean individuals cannot have a personal dogma but that the church itself does not have and push a dogma. Same as how the separation of church and state says does not say that individuals cannot have religious faith, but that the state cannot establish one faith. Of course, liberal religion and UU welcome Christians, Mulsim, and other religious believers, and I know of no UU who argues otherwise.

Last edited 1 month ago by Anna
Mark Perloe
Mark Perloe
1 month ago

Should the Article 2 proposals are voted down, will that open up the UU World commentary? Will the leadership be open to allowing dissenting opinions to be expressed? Will dogmatism fade from our seminaries and ministries welcome and celebrate our diversity? Unfortunately I believe that once the institutions supporting a religion fails, that religions days are numbered.

Robert South
Robert South
29 days ago
Reply to  Mark Perloe

Ideally what happens for a while is the UUA becomes really weak and basically just a franchise brand name that the congregations get to use. The congregations, in the absence of “leadership” will be fine, and someday perhaps a strong center can be trusted again with providing powerful leadership and support. Congregations want to live and the UUA won’t take that away.

Margot Haynes
Margot Haynes
29 days ago

Your 3-minute video at the start of GA was amazing, even after its Vote No was censored out! I cannot thank you enough for that , the two conversations these past 2 days, your early forums on amendments and other prep topics, and your web presence for the past many months. It has educated me and folks in my Congregation in west Michigan, West Shore Unitarian/Peoples [UU] Church of Ludington. Our straw vote was 33-4-4 abstentions against Article II changes. (People who felt they knew too little were encouraged to abstain.)
Sending UUtheconversation leaders and hard workers a heartfelt THANKS.

Terri
Terri
29 days ago
Reply to  Margot Haynes

Great news about your congregational vote, Margot! It was wonderful to have you in the first two UUtheConversation MeetUps – you have contributed so much, and I hope you can make it to the “AfterParty” MeetUp on Wednesday, June 26. 🙂 Glad you liked the video! I didn’t have anything to do with putting it together, but agree that it is amazing. It’s very uplifting, and I think it will inspire many UUs to reject the proposed rewrite! No matter what happens, we will come out better on the other side, for having re-examined our incredible religion and what it… Read more »

Brian Reed
Brian Reed
29 days ago

Did you all catch this in the lead-in to the second session? Not only did the President refer to this as “our movement,” but this question was addressed as it relates to the Article 2 rewrite: Who is a member of the Unitarian Universalist Association? Right now only congregations are and two associate members, which means many individuals who identify as UU, as well as many identity-based groups, and other related organizations in covenant and communities do not have a legal vote in the business of the UUA. We’re looking at how we might widen the circle to ensure more… Read more »

Paul Avery
Paul Avery
28 days ago

I previously posted this as a comment to a comment, but now believe it should be a standalone comment ********************************************************************************** Hi all, I posted my analysis of the adult membership and RE a few months ago on the 5th Principle FB site. One has to be careful using the UUA raw data because it’s recorded by humans at each of our 1000+ congregations and – not surprisingly – errors appear in a small percentage of the congregations in the form of missing data or egregiously large numbers. In addition, a few congregations update their figures months after the nominal February… Read more »

Last edited 28 days ago by Paul Avery