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The Prairie Star: PSD President's Column
Justice GA 2012 and Regionalization Update
by Kathy Burek, PSD President
UUA President Rev. Peter Morales recently extended an invitation for all UUS to attend General Assembly in Phoenix, Arizona, June 20-24, 2012, which will focus on justice for immigrant communities (see the video at http://www.uua.org/). I, too, encourage as many of you as possible to attend GA this year. Plans are under way to make this GA a meaningful combination of worship, workshops, and witness. A special feature will be the creation of Reflection Groups of 10-12 people that will meet daily, to allow GA participants to think and talk about what they are learning and experiencing. These groups will be formed at the Regional Ingatherings on Wednesday, just before the Opening of GA. Witness events with partner groups from the Latino community in Phoenix are also being planned. The preliminary schedule for GA is on the UUA website at http://www.uua.org/ga/programming/14599.shtml.
Housing reservations open on March 1. We’re expecting a big turnout, so be ready to make your reservations early. If you can’t attend GA, I’d like to encourage each of you to work within your congregations on an immigration justice project in your local communities while GA is in session in Phoenix.
The UUA Board of Trustees will be placing a resolution to repudiate the Doctrine of Discovery on the agenda for GA delegates to debate and vote on. (See http://www.uua.org/documents/boardtrustees/rrmc/120109_motion.pdf for the text of the resolution, and http://www.uua.org/ga/2012/189502.shtml for additional information about the Doctrine and its relationship to GA 2012). It is important that your congregation educate itself, discuss the implications of the Doctrine, and give your GA delegates direction. GA is the democratic process in action for our UUA. Your GA delegates speak not for themselves, but for your congregation. Please be sure they are well prepared for this responsibility.
Late June is also Gay Pride weekend in many of our communities. Here in Minnesota, I know many congregations will be working to defeat a proposed amendment to our state constitution that would discriminate against same-sex couples. Participation in Pride events will be an important witness opportunity. Standing on the Side of Love for the GLBTQ community is also important justice work. Whether your congregations works for justice for immigrants and/or for the GLBTQ community, know that you are helping to bend the arc of history toward justice. I’m proud to be a UU when I reflect on our presence on these important issues.
The process of creating a proposal for a new regional governance structure to replace our three districts is under way. A Transition Team consisting of the three district presidents and three district vice presidents has been formed. The Team is putting together a project plan, starting with creating the vision and values for the new entity. We’ll be sharing the vision and values with Annual Conference participants at a board-sponsored workshop. Our treasurers have put together a budget for the transition process, which will be presented to the delegates at each district’s annual meeting. The PSD’s Unistar Enterprise Management Group is working on a report to the board on options for Camp Unistar. Their report will also be the subject of an Annual Conference workshop.
You can also keep track of what is happening via a new blog, which you can find at http://www.midamericauua.org/blog. The MidAmerica staff and Presidents will be contributing to this blog, so we can keep you all informed.
See you at the PSD Annual Conference!