Overall Impressions of GA from Westside’s Delegate

By Kerrie Schurr, GA Delegate

Overall Impressions of GA:
The pandemic has been hard on people, as acknowledged multiple times during GA:
Moderator Charles DuMond described himself as “crispy”— he has more anxiety, fatigue,
and irritability than prior to the pandemic. We were advised to be kind when speaking to each
other and to ask ourselves whether our words were necessary and ours to say (good advice for
WSUU!). Other speakers said there is no such thing as “going back to normal,” and that we
should plan on having members who never set foot in churches—online is here to stay.

President Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray’s address (36 minutes): Quick summary: Still “no time for a
casual faith”! Both bright spots and challenges exist in UUA’s activities and past history. Of
particular concern, there is a shortage of ministers now, especially interim ministers. We need
to care for staff as well as the mission. (Note: Her term is up at the next GA, so expect to hear
about candidates for her position during the coming year.)

The move toward racial equity in Unitarian Universalism is alive and well: This is despite the
rifts of recent years. At least as many BIPOC as white folx were present on worship teams and
as presenters for the workshops I attended! Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray reported that the
executive leadership and senior management of the UUA are now 40-60% BIPOC, while lower-
level staff are ~30% BIPOC. In addition, the pro-racial equity candidates for contested board
positions won handily over their rivals.

8 th Principle: Over 200 congregations have adopted it! The real-time workshop at GA about
implementation of the 8 th Principle was not available to virtual attendees, but is now available
via Vimeo link.

Ware Lecture – Interview of author Ibram X. Kendi by Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray: Interesting
interview; he has done a lot of scholarship on the history of slavery and racism in the US and
written books on that topic, as well as how to be an antiracist for both adults and younger
readers. (No video available.)

The Article II Study Commission’s work: This was a highlight of GA; links were shared in last
week’s eNews. More opportunities for learning and feedback are coming in late summer/early
fall. In addition, the entire UUA Bylaws are up for review and a complete rewrite, per one of
the Business Resolutions that passed. This process will run for the next 1-2 years and also
involve outreach to congregations and opportunities for feedback.

Worship Services: I attended a few great services, of which a couple are available publicly. I am
working with the Board to determine when and how to share these with the congregation.
Scheduled Workshops I Attended: I attended three virtual workshops relevant to our
congregation on the topics of (1) covenant and repair; (2) collective trauma; and (3)
stewardship in a multiplatform world. I will be following up with the Board to share these
workshops with them and/or the appropriate committees.

Other Scheduled and On-Demand Workshops: Some of these are available on the UUA’s
Vimeo channel or can be made available by delegate access (meaning I would have to watch it
with you, or at least start the video). I will provide more information on workshop access in
next week’s eNews.

Demographics: 1,776 total delegates and 3,224 total attendees, of which 286 were business-
only delegates. The proportion of remaining delegates and attendees who attended virtually vs.
in-person was 3:2. Representation was from 597 (of 1,048) congregations and the UUSC; it also
included all 50 states, DC, 2 Canadian provinces, Mexico, and the Phillippines. At least 11
attendees came down with COVID and attended the rest of GA from their hotel rooms. Some
volunteers also came down with it prior to GA, so they were a bit short-staffed.

Questions? Prefer to hear me speak about GA? Email me at gadelegate2022@wsuu.org and/or watch
for a general follow-up session in the near future.

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