Wednesday, June 25, 2008
It's opening day at GA! Today is the first day without rain since we got here. We need some of it back home.
The day has culminated with a performance at the Opening Ceremony of Sources by Jason Shelton and Kendyl Gibbons. This cantata draws on the six sources and was a mixture of musical styles a s rich as our sources. What a close! It is available online at http//:uua.org so check it out.
This afternoon we had the in-gathering of our own Pacific Southwest District. There are about 140 of us from the PSWD. Our new president elect, Michael Sallwasser from Long Beach, received the gavel from retiring president, Tom Stapelford. District field staff, Ken Brown and Tera Little led us in song and celebration to get us off to a good start. Representatives from various congregations shared some success stories of notable events going on in our congregations. Of special note is the fact that Pacific Unitarian Church is being honored at GA as one of only four congregations in the country to be listed as "break-through" congregations in the UUA this year. They are honored for their remarkable growth, commitment to service and strengthening Unitarian Universalism. Congratulations to all the members of PUC who helped make this happen.
We had a visit from Reverend Lindsay Ramsden, Executive Director of the UU Legislative Ministry in California. She reported on the remarkable success we have had in getting the laws on marriage equality to become real but she also talked about the proposition to remove this precious right in November. They have formed a PAC to raise funds to fight the good fight and get over 46,000 volunteers to help in the upcoming campaign. Those opposed to marriage equality will be well organized and funded and we need to now stand shoulder to shoulder to defend this new-won right. I am making a contribution to the PAC. You can too at: http://www.uulmca.org/main.html.
More from GA in Ft Lauderdale tomorrow!
Greetings from Ft Lauderdale and the 2008 General Assembly!
Things get going officially on Wednesday with the Opening Ceremony at 5 PM Pacific time. It will be streamed online at http://uua.org. If you look at it I would love to get some feedback on how it works for you.
Today was the UUA Board meeting which meets today and then next Monday following GA. Today we dealt with some reports from various committees about happenings of GA. We did do some business work though including appointing several people to committees. First and foremost I am happy to let you know that Michael Sallwasser has been appointed as co-chair of The Journey Toward Wholeness Committee replacing our own Reverend Monica Cummings. Reverend Greg Stewart, minister in San Francisco and formerly Minister of Religious Education at Neighborhood Church in Pasadena has been appointed as a member of the Ministerial Fellowshiping Committee. There are other appointments and they will be reported in the minutes for the meeting shortly.
We found out some good news and bad news about the UUA finances; first, the bad news: the attendance at this GA is significantly lower than projected with about 3,200 being registered. This is about one-half, or less, than Portland last year. The result is that it is expected to lose over $200,000. The god news is that the UUA as a whole is in the black this year, despite the projected losses of GA, by about $300,000 plus.
Do follow along with what is going on at GA both online and from my blog and let me know if there is anything you would specially like to hear about. I will be talking to you again soon!
In faith and trust,