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Business report: Be it resolved

Summary of business conducted at the UUA's 2011 General Assembly.
By Michelle Bates Deakin
Fall 2011 8.15.11

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Tom Bean, Gordon Martin, Gini Courter (Nancy Pierce)

Legal counsel Tom Bean, parliamentarian Gordon Martin, and Moderator Gini Courter assessed a plenary vote. (Nancy Pierce)

The 2011 General Assembly adopted a State­ment of Conscience promoting “ethical eating” and approved eleven bylaw amendments, including one that will reduce the size of the Board of Trustees starting in 2013. Another amendment cleared Actions of Immediate Witness (AIWs) from the agenda of the 2012 Justice GA in Phoenix, but will restore them in a modified form in 2013. Delegates rejected a competing proposal from the board to eliminate AIWs entirely.

The amendment that shrinks the size of the board ends the election of UUA trustees by districts and makes all trustees “at large” positions, with three-year terms. A related amendment reduces terms on the Nominating Committee, which picks candidates for the board and other committees. Other votes:

  • Authorized off-site voting by GA delegates;
  • Replaced “church” and “fellowship” in the bylaws with the more inclusive term “congregation,” and removed the word “local” from the phrase “local congregation”;
  • Revised the process for changing the UUA’s Principles and Purposes, empowering the General Assembly to amend proposed new Principles and Purposes during the first of two years of voting;
  • Clarified procedures for revoking or suspending the credentialed status of a religious educator;
  • Modified conditions for appointment to the Ministerial Fellowship Committee;
  • Removed references to the obsolete status of “Associate Ministerial Fellowship”;
  • Substituted the word “staff” for the name of a specific UUA staff group; and
  • Acknowledged the name change of the Thomas Jefferson District to the Southeast District.

GA approved three of four proposed AIWs, pro­testing Congressional hearings on “Mus­lim Radical­ization,” calling for support of California supermarket workers in a labor dispute, and calling on UUs to oppose the U.S. Su­preme Court decision Citizens United v. Federal Elec­tion Commission. A fourth AIW, calling for an end to U.S. military action in Afghani­stan, failed to gain a two-thirds vote.

GA also approved three Responsive Reso­lu­tions, hailing New York State’s approval of marriage equality, calling on UUs to learn Spanish, and urging the UUA to offer a youth and young adult “action ministry” in preparation for GA 2012.


This story, which appeared in the Fall 2011 issue of UU World, was abridged from an earlier article published on uuworld.org, "Delegates approve ethical eating and a smaller board" (7.4.11). See sidebar for links to related resources.

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