Why (Become a Delegate)?
The primary reason is to ensure WSUU’s collective voice is included in decisions made nationally about our faith, and to keep our congregation informed of new developments and decisions at the national level. Ideally, we would fill all four of our delegate slots and those delegates would represent a variety of identities within the congregation.
The (Serious) What:
Delegates give our congregation a voice and a vote on national denomination matters at General Assembly (GA, the annual conference of UUs held by the Unitarian Universalist Association. These business matters can be surprisingly interesting (also occasionally dull), and usually include some combination of votes on board candidates, policies, and other matters such as bylaws revisions. In addition, the UUA has streamlined the debate and voting process to make it doable for those not versed in Robert’s Rules of Order.
This year is especially important because it is an election year for President of the UUA—and because of the initial vote on proposed Article II of the UUA Bylaws , which includes the fundamental tenets and values of our faith. As a WSUU delegate, you would represent the congregation’s views on these topics and vote your conscience if unexpected issues crop up.
Delegates are asked to have at least a basic familiarity with the business matters by a couple months before GA, and to get the congregation’s views on these matters prior to attending. Delegates are also asked to report back to the board and congregation soon after GA on the happenings there.
The (Nourishing Your Spirit and/or Fun) What:
Most delegates also choose to attend some of the wonderful worship services and workshops, and/or network with UUs from around the world. They may also choose to attend the inspiring Ware Lecture by a nationally known speaker. Some of our past delegates report that the array of activities at GA was important for rejuvenating their spirituality, and for connecting deeply with their identity-based communities, such as BIPOC UUs or UUs with disabilities.
The Where (and the Cost):
Delegates may attend virtually from the comfort of their home or attend in person in Pittsburgh, PA. WSUU has allocated funds that can cover virtual registration fees, or a portion of in-person attendance, depending on distribution requests of our delegates. The GA delegate budget is not large enough to cover in-person registration for all four delegates or travel expenses to Pittsburgh, PA. See the GA website for the various registration fees.
The When (Does Your Schedule Work With The GA Schedule?):
- Starting 2-3 months prior to GA, get up to speed on business matters, and find out the congregation’s views using polls and at least a couple educational forums.
- Publicize forums using Westside Week, as well as worship service flyers and announcements.
- Either get involved in proposing amendments to the draft Article II, or prepare to offer amendments submitted by others from WSUU.
- Attend 1 to 3 UUA workshop(s) on Article II in May (details to be announced on 4/1).
During GA: It is hoped that delegates can attend most of the following sessions, especially those which include votes; the agenda with voting times is due out in late May. The full program is also due out in May.
|Wednesday, June 21, 2023||4:30-6 PT: General Session|
|Thursday, June 22, 2023||(Probably) 9:30 am PT: Mini-Assembly on Article II|
11:30-2:30 PT: General Session and Candidates Forum
|Friday, June 23, 2023||11:30-2:30 PT: General Session|
|Saturday, June 24, 2023||11:30-2:30 PT: General Session|
|Sunday, June 25, 2023||11 am-1 pm PT: General Session|
and Closing Celebration
- Soon after GA, report back to the board and congregation on key takeaways, votes, etc. Reporting may be done by writing an article or two for Westside Week, speaking as part of a service, and (for the board) at one of their meetings.
- In late fall/winter, publicize the next GA (and the role of delegates) to the congregation using the Westside Week and other appropriate means.
The How (to Become a Delegate):
To nominate yourself or another person, please contact the Nominating Committee at email@example.com.