The 2008 General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association will be held in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Wednesday June 25 through Sunday, June 29. More than 3,000 Unitarian Universalists from across the country will gather at the Ft. Lauderdale Convention Center to worship, celebrate and determine policy for this “uncommon denomination” of 1,000 congregations.
As an alternative, liberal religious voice, Unitarian Universalism offers a fresh -- and often controversial -- perspective on today’s most compelling social and spiritual issues. Presentations on a wide range of topics give a glimpse into the UUA’s passionate commitment to social justice and religious pluralism.
A complete list of General Assembly events and presentations are listed in the online program. Major highlights of the gathering include:
- Opening Celebration, featuring a full choir and a parade of hundreds of colorful congregational banners. The highlight will be the world premier of a new 7-movement Cantata, “Sources,” which celebrates the multiple faith traditions that inform Unitarian Universalist spirituality. Wednesday, 8:00 PM.
- “Valuing All Families: An Interfaith Community Witness,” a demonstration in support of Immigrant and BGLT families, and a call to vote “No on Proposition 2.” Participants will include UUA President Rev. William Sinkford, Rev. Gail Tapscott of Unitarian Universalist Church of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida Immigrant Coalition, Equality Florida, Fairness for All Families, and the Broward BGLT Interfaith Clergy Task Force. Friday, 5:00-6:30 PM, Stranahan Park.
- The Ware Lecture, a keynote address by Van Jones, a nationally renowned environmentalist and advocate for social equality. Saturday at 8:30 PM.
Other news-worthy events include:
- “Justice in the Tomato Fields: Coalition of Immokalee Workers,” a discussion with Florida labor leaders about bringing justice to farm laborers. “Welcoming the Stranger: Justice for Immigrants,” and “Immigrant Rights: An Appreciative Inquiry,” explore the religious obligation to protect the rights of our undocumented workers and their families. Friday, 1:30-4:30.
- “The Future of Human Rights,” a lecture by former Amnesty International USA Executive Director William Schulz. Thursday, 1:30- 2:45 PM.
- “Saving Paradise” a presentation by UU theologians Rebecca Ann Parker and Rita Nakashima Brock about the profound love of the natural world that was at the heart of early Christian theology. Saturday, 3:15-4:30.
- Sunday “Seeker Service,” a public, multi-media worship service. This high-energy introduction to Unitarian Universalist spiritual and community life is family- and GLBT-friendly and open to the greater Ft. Lauderdale community. Sunday, 9:00-10:15 AM.
Theological diversity is the most distinctive feature of this “non-creedal” faith. UU spirituality is deep as well as broad. General Assembly will include workshops and worship services reflecting the broad range of UU theological positions, from Humanist to Pagan, Buddhist to Christian.
The Unitarian Universalist Association is a faith community of more than 1000 self-governing congregations that bring to the world a vision of religious freedom, tolerance and social justice. For more information on the UUA, including recent press releases and news articles, please visit our online pressroom at www.uua.org/pressroom..