Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Another Thing About GA

This is a shout-out to the GA Planning Committee, I suppose.  I know they're doing a lot of hard work, and I know that criticizing what they've done, when they have so many voices they've been asked to listen to and they've put a ton of thought & effort into things, is not helpful, constructive, or appreciated.  So without criticizing, what I want to say is that I want them to know how much work we, ought here in the non-UUA-committee world have been doing, as well.  We've been asked to prepare ourselves for this General Assembly, and I think we have been.  By the time I get to General Assembly, here's some of what I will have done:
  • Read the UUA's "Common Read" book for 2010-2011, The Death of Josseline.
  • Read other books on immigration.
  • Read just about everything on the UUA's webpage on immigration.
  • Read countless e-mails and websites from social justice agencies on the subject.  
  • Attended workshops designed to prepare us for "Justice GA" at my district annual assembly at two consecutive district assemblies.  
  • Attended a training from Standing on the Side of Love.
  • Attended workshops and discussions at past GAs on the subject.
  • Held congregational discussions on the subject.
  • Preached on the subject.
  • Participated in press conferences and social justice events at a state level.
  • Held a Community Forum on the subject with local experts.
  • Taken one or two semesters of Spanish and perhaps also immersed myself in an intensive study course, as urged in the Responsive Resolution from GA 2011.
  • Participated in a UUMA chapter gathering focused on immigration justice and preparing us for the "Justice GA."
That's what I can think of off the top of my head.  I don't think it's atypical for a UU clergy person--I think it's probably typical of the amount of work we're personally putting in to prepare ourselves for this GA.  I know that's not everything I need to know.  But I didn't start off this process knowing nothing about how to do justice work, either.  And I also know that there are people who will have done a lot more than me, and people who will have done a lot less.  And I'm sure that I will need some of the "education and preparation" times announced in the preliminary schedule.  Since those are all on the early days, though, I worry that the people who have prepared the most before coming are the ones who will get the most preparation there, and vice versa. 

I know there's no way to know the preparation level of each participant, and so things have to be somewhat geared towards the least prepared. But I'm just wanting to let folks out there know that when you ask us to do our homework, there are definitely those of us who are listening and doing so.  If there can be something of a advanced track that's geared to us who have done so, that would be great.

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