GA Logo 2013 horizontalAbout 80 Unitarian Universalists from the Pacific Northwest District plan to attend UUA General Assembly (GA) in Louisville, KY, next week. But you don’t need to travel to take part – many more UUs will enjoy the many activities of “Virtual GA” on-line or on a mobile device.

GA starts on Wednesday, June 19, and concludes Sunday night, June 23. Most events will take place in the Louisville Convention Center, though nearby hotels will host some smaller meetings. Members of the UU Ministers Association (UUMA), Liberal Religious Educators Association (LREDA) and the Association of UU Administrators (AUUA) will have professional days prior to GA.

GA is the annual gathering of Unitarian Universalists, a time of fellowship, learning and leadership training, public witness, fun, reflection and conducting the business of the UUA. Member Congregations are eligible to send voting delegates if they certified membership as of February 1, 2013. Off-site delegates may also participate in discussions and elections. This year, delegates will elect a new Moderator, who presides at General Assemblies and chairs the UUA Board of Trustees. Two candidates are running, Tamara Payne-Alex and Jim Key. Gini Courter, who has served a total of 10 years as moderator in both appointed and elected terms, will complete her service at this GA and will be honored by those assembled.ElizabethGreene

This GA also marks the ending of terms for several UUA Trustees, as the reduction in the number of Trustees — from 26 to 13 — takes effect. This was a bylaw change that required a long period of study and two votes at previous Assemblies. All members will now serve in At-Large positons, ending a long-time practice of congregations in each of the UUA’s 19 Districts electing one Trustee. PNWD’s Trustee, the Rev. Elizabeth Greene (right), will complete her service at this GA, after two elected terms of four years each.

Kay MontgomeryLong-time UUA Executive Vice President, Kay Montgomery (left), will also be honored by the Assembly, as she retires after 28 years of service to the Association.

To get to GA from the airport, find shuttle information here.

Before opening ceremonies on Wednesday night, PNWD-ers in Louisville will want to be sure to attend Regional In-Gathering from 5:45 to 6:45 PM, in Convention Center “Cascade C.” We’ll join our neighbors from three neighboring districts for a rousing welcome to Louisville – be sure to pick up your bright turquoise Pacific Western Region ribbon for your name tag! Reflection Groups will also be formed at Regional In-Gathering, and will meet daily throughout GA.

Thursday evening’s Public Witness event will focus on Environmental Justice. GA attendees will be joined by special guest Wendell Berry, author, poet and spiritual environmental justice activist. The Ware Lecture will be delivered on Friday, June 21, by Eboo Patel, author, activist and visionary founder of Interfaith Youth Core. Saturday’s well loved Service of the Living Tradition honors fellowshipped and credentialed religious leaders, remember those who have died, recognize those who have completed active service, and welcome those who have received fellowship or credentialed status in the past year. PNWD’s own Tandi Rogers, along with several others from the District, will be celebrated among those who have received Preliminary Fellowship as UU Ministers.

For more information on General Assembly business, programs, exhibitors, and how you can keep your peeps updated on your activities and discoveries — or how you can follow posts and tweets, or watch many of the proceedings from the comfort of your own home — see the General Assembly main page. One of the best sources of GA info, whether or not you are in Louisville, is the UU World Blog. You’ll find regular reports, plus links for more.