Dear UU Church of the Brazos Valley,
As I write this message, I am putting the finishing touches on my annual President’s Report for the upcoming General Assembly. It has been an opportunity for me to reflect on the heartbreak of this past year, and also the incredible ministry that the UUA and all of us as Unitarian Universalists have accomplished this year.
I am excited to connect with UU colleagues and friends at General Assembly and to meet new ones! Learning in community, hearing the stories of ministry across our Association, discussing the future of our faith and worshipping together are great sources of renewal and inspiration. After this past year, I need it!
I am thrilled for this year’s Ware Lecture, featuring Stacey Abrams and Desmond Meade. After the largest election in U.S. history, with unprecedented access expanded under the pandemic, there has been a swift and severe backlash of even more extreme voter suppression laws sweeping across states. Stacey Abrams and Desmond Meade are on the front lines of this struggle to build the democracy we deserve—one that includes everyone. General Assembly (GA) will also include opportunities to explore how we articulate our highest covenantal aspirations as Unitarian Universalists with the Article II Study Commission. The UUA Board of Trustees created the Study Commission in response to growing efforts to revise our Principles, including the work in congregations to adopt an 8th Principle. This Commission has been charged with engaging our whole Association in a multi-year process of review and study of Article II of our UUA bylaws, which includes our Principles and Purposes and our Inclusion and Freedom of Belief sections. In advance of GA, I encourage you to watch "A Conversation About Covenant: An Article II Study Commission Panel" which is the first public event the Article II Study Commission held last week. It was an inspiring conversation with Rev. Dr. Bill Sinkford, Rev. Meredith Garmon and myself.
It is an incredible gift of this virtual format to be able join in a common worship across our Association.
There will also be many wonderful opportunities for worship! I am excited to hear Rev. Dr. Natalie Fenimore at the Service of the Living Tradition and the youth-led Synergy Bridging service! Last year, well over 10,000 UUs joined the virtual GA Sunday morning worship! This year, Sunday Morning Worship will be led by the First Universalist Church of Minneapolis and will be streamed on uua.org and on the UUA’s YouTube channel at noon EDT. It is available to everyone. I hope you and your congregation will consider using the service for your Sunday service. It is an incredible gift of this virtual format to be able join in a common worship across our Association! There is so much happening at General Assembly, and the virtual format makes attending more affordable and accessible. As an added bonus, your registration gives you ongoing access to the workshops and events, so you can revisit these offerings, share them with your congregation, or listen to ones you missed that week. We live out our Unitarian Universalist faith in community, and I am very excited to connect with you virtually at GA! Learn more and register online today. Yours in love, Susan P.S. If your congregation meets/streams earlier than our Sunday worship broadcast time but you want to participate, complete the form at the bottom of the Sunday Morning Worship page to request a private web link to stream the service at the best time for your congregation.