UUWorld.org reports that a new system has been announced for choosing workshops at General Assembly. This system will immediately shift the focus to workshops focusing on”congregational growth, new directions in ministry, and social justice.”
The three tracks are explained as follows (from uua.org announcement):
- Growing the Congregations We Want to Be: Imagine 1000 vibrant centers of liberal faith reaching out to the world with a message of hope! Congregations grow in number and impact one Sunday and one relationship at a time by focusing on mission, hospitality and spiritual depth. What are the practical arts, skills and practices of vibrant congregations?
- Embracing Evolving Ministries: We are called to create multicultural, multiracial congregations eager to welcome each rising generation. This responsibility requires that we think about ministry in new ways and in new contexts, reaching beyond Sunday morning into the workplace, campus, community and statehouse. What skills do we need to create and sustain these new, shared ministries?
- Building a More Just Community: We recognize that true spirituality results in acts of compassion that build communities of peace and justice. Courage and partnership will be required to confront the moral issues of our time. What strategies and experiences inform effective work for justice?
Previously GA workshops were assigned to the following groups:
- UUA districts
- UUA staff groups
- Associate and Independent Affiliate organizations
- Theological schools.
Under the new system there appear to be no sacred slots with the program development group ( PDG – Joy, a new acronym!) fully responsible for inviting and selecting workshops. The PDG is a team comprised of Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) staff and GA Planning Committee members and is responsible for developing and/or inviting proposals for quality, mission-based GA programs. (source)
Proposals are due no later than November 16, 2009.
Program Proposal Web Form